Over the last few weeks, the garden has truly sprung to life. The azaleas are in full bloom and I've shown one eyepopping shot below. I actually had more tulips than I expected, with the yellow and red parrot tulip putting in an appearance this year. The grape hyacinths have bloomed and have clearly spread compared to years past. The wood hyacinths have also bloomed and the bluebells are getting ready to do so. I remembered to place the peony support before it shot up so that its growth is strongly upright this year — there are already lots of buds that promise a profusion of large, sweetly-scented blooms. All of the hosta have emerged from their winter slumber and are putting on very strong growth. All in all, it seems to be a banner year for the garden.
In the world of the roses, I'm pleased to report that all of them have awakened and broken bud so it seems that there will be no losses this year. Most of them are now covered with buds that foreshadow another banner rose year. Last year, I allowed Falstaff (normally very stingy with blooms) to put out a very long horizontal cane through its neighboring abelia. Sure enough, this spring, that long cane has put out lots of laterals, each of which should have a bloom, so perhaps the secret with Falstaff will be to train it along the fence of the front porch. The rootstock of the late, lamented Sheer Bliss tree has put out a lot of growth and buds, so I should see relatively soon if it's Dr. Huey, as was the rootstock of the old Tropicana tree. Near the new Peace tree, there's a volunteer rose growing well that also has buds, so I'll find out if it's been spread from rootstock or is perhaps a result of some cross-fertilization with Peace. Time will tell. Happily, Mme. Isaac Pereire, planted last year, now has buds so I will soon get to see (and smell) this wonderful old garden rose. I've also given the roses their second spraying, this time with Immunox. Hopefully, I will be able to stay on schedule this year and keep the nasty evil blackspot away.