Hands in the Dirt: Mountain Laurel Blooming

The flowers and gardens are in full swing!  I am taking a better inventory of what is blooming and when this year so I can determine what plants to add to assure something is always in bloom.  It's a fun challenge I've given myself.

The Mountain Laurel, which was only buds last week, is in full bloom now.  These delicate bunches of light pink flowers were a really pleasant surprise when we bought this house.  They remind me of my favorite hikes with the mister.  Lots of good memories there!

I also have a whole patch of these purple flowers... I think they are called Spiderwort (thank you google).  And if they are then I am reading here, that you can even eat them?  The site goes on to say:
"that the stems, leaves and flowers of spiderworts are edible.  The herbage may be eaten raw or added to stews.  The flowers (which may be either pink, blue or rose-purple) make an attractive edible garnish for salads."
Can anyone confirm the are spiderwort?  I might have to try and move some of it... very pretty spring color!

The peonies are still going.  I had one bunch of white blooms and now it's pinks turn.  These are the bunches that seem to be getting lots of sun.  I have a few others that are still a few weeks behind.  Nice to have them staggered like this so they can be enjoyed longer!

Do you see Katie in the background of this one?

I love how the color is such an intense pink!  And they smell. so. good!  I admit I cut a few and put them on my kitchen table.

This little lovely is back now for the second year and I have to say it's doing really well!  I believe it is called Dead Nettle or Lamium. 

It's a hardy plant for sure.  I planted a small bit from my Mother in Love (MIL) in the heat of a drought last summer and it's back and spreading like crazy.  I am encouraging this one to fill in an area of thin soil on a rock outcrop. 

Beats pulling weeds from that tiny patch!  And I'm surprised to say it has bloomed three times already this spring.  I wonder how many more blooms I'm in for?  And aren't those leaves cool!

This lovely red flower is a type of carnation.  Picked it up on a whim.  The color is beautiful, but it's one of those needy plants that needs to be watered.  Not sure if it will make it in my garden.  I planted it close to the water hose and veggie garden to give it a chance... but not sure what will happen with this one.

These stalks are the beginnings of my orange day lily's!  This is also the second year for these in the garden.  Last year they grew really well, multiplied nicely, bloomed even, and then the deer ate them.  So, I now have a few in a fenced area (hopefully won't be eaten) and a few out in the open as a compromise. 

For me, these seem to sound a bell that summer is on when they begin to bloom in June!

This girl isn't so much a flower, but oh how she loves a garden walk as I snap pictures of this and that.  She is currently on the hunt for the chimpmunks living in this center garden.  And you can see some of the Dead Nettle there at her toes.

All creatures great and small seem to take residence in the gardens.  And it's that time of year for caterpillars.  Mohawk anyone?  After a quick look it seems this is a gypsy moth in the making.  I wonder what all those spikes are for?

And there you have it.  Another quick walk through a few of the gardens to check out what's happening. 

How are the pups you ask?  Wonderful!  You'd think these two have been BFF forever... happy tails make for happy mamms!  Doesn't Katie look gigantic lately compared to the wee one?  Now if I could just have a talk with Sammy about not ripping plants out of the gardens... just the weeds ;)

---I'm linking to Outdoor Wednesday's with Susan at A Southern Daydreamer and This Week In My Garden with Candy at The Little Round Table---

Much love for Japan


Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Very Nice ... LOVE the flower photos. Hope Katie n Sammy had a great walk(off leash that's wonderful). Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
We joined the linky since our photo is outdoors today. Golden Woofs

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Christie! What amazing flowers! Some of them look almost unreal! Really beautiful! And of course we wait to see the puppies - they look so sweet and fun together!
Have a lovely time!
xxx Teje

Kay K said...

Your pictures are really pretty and the doggie is a cute one !!!

Unknown said...

Hi Christie! I love your Blog, "about you", Katie and Sammie, and Mr. Happy. Scooby likes it too. Happy=puppy brath...sad=senior doggie who doesn't know how bad his breath is. :) Have a Happy Week!! Sunny109

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

You have some beautiful flowers! Love the first photo.

Lori E said...

Yes that is Spiderwort, aka Tradescandia ????
Be careful with the Lamium as it will take over and come up everywhere, even under your house siding.

Andrea said...

beautiful pictures .. I love those dogs

Candy @ The Little Round Table said...

Lovely images! Your Mountain Laurel is stunning, but the furry critters take the cake in the priceless category. :-)

Thanks for joining the party,

Anonymous said...

Greetings From Southern California

I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit my blog and follow back if you want too.

Have a Nice Day :-)

BTW, you posted some beautiful photos :-)

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wonderful pictures...Love the flowers and the dogs are just adorable.

Honey at 2805 said...

Your flowers are absolutely stunning. Wish I had a green thumb like yours!

Wendy said...

Oh, what a wonderful walk through your garden! I am so amazed at people who are able to grow such beautiful flowers! I can't keep any kind of plant alive. So this is a real treat. Awesome caterpillar!! And your pics of the pups...adorable as ever! Your post made me SMILE today!

MJ said...

I have never seen a Mountain Laurel in my life. And I have to say they are one of the prettiest flowers I have ever seen. Now I know I must see one in person one day!!! That last pic the Sammy and Katie, LOVE!!! Glad to hear they are BFF!!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Your pooch is adorable, love your beautiful flowers. Thanks for sharing and swinging by to say hello.
hugs ~lynne~

monika@mysweetprairie.ca said...

I have NEVER seen those white flowers in my life!


Seaweed and Raine said...

That was so refreshing! Thanks Christie. It's dark, raining and cold here in Sydney (topped out at 17 deg C (62.6 F)
My grandma had a big bush of Mountain Laural (aka Calmia) that I just loved as a kid - it was one of my faves, and stood as tall as her house.
The 2 girls are just adorable together! :) seeing Sammy just makes me want to pick her up and snuggle. (Call me clucky!) Hope your weekend is a good one!
S xxx

Kelsey said...

How lovely! What a cute puppy!

Liz @ Sit With Me In My Garden said...

The mountain laurel has such a neat flower! Thanks for the close-up of it, I've never seen one before! Yes that does look like spiderwort, but I don't know anything about it being edible or not.

Onlythemanager said...

It is so easy to walk by and take flowers for granted. Sure, they add a pretty presence, but how often do we really stop and look at the details such as in your lovely photos? Most flowers are amazing works of art!

Fishtail Cottage said...

Coming over from Little Round Table's garden party to peek around! That mountain laurel is so pretty! i host a garden party on Thursday's & would love to have link up sometime? xoxo, tracie

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