I can't believe how quickly this semester has evaporated. I have a great deal of writing to do to complete my tasks, but it is mostly pleasurable writing, and I hope to get at least half of it completed this weekend. I am much occupied with a handful of papers I must complete in the next two weeks, but I do have a handful of specimens I need to get planted before summer's furnace arrives (I predict we'll see it by the end of May). We've already had a couple days in the 90s, one day reaching about 97. Ugh. Still, my sympathies to our neighbors up North and East who seem to have been more piled under snow this year than not. Count your blessings, because the rest of us appear to be marching resolutely back to drought status, we lucky few who emerged from drought for a couple years.
This morning I planted a bronze fennel at the front corner of one of my rock gardens (around a boulder in the ground), and at the back I planted a lovely specimen of Agastache rugosa called "Little Adder." I think it's also called Anise Hyssop, and it is a variety of hummingbird mint. They are water-thrifty and heat-hardy, and the hummingbirds love the nectar of their flowers. Doubly-delightful, they have the most beautiful flowery/minty fragrance. I have one established hummingbird mint of another variety, and I have two more specimen to plant in the next week. I also planted a beautiful phlox in front of the porch.
My catmint is going bananas, so I'm cutting bits of it off and taking it to friends at school who have cats. It's a beautiful plant and has a lovely fragrance, too. My catmint is the Blue Wonder version, and it's beautiful. I'm thinking of planting a mess of it in another area, if I can figure out how to transplant new growth.
The new shoots are coming up on my Texas Star Hibiscus, and I am thrilled. Several perennials I planted last year have new growth coming in, and I can't wait to see how they do. Also, my Blue Glow Globe Thistle from High Country Gardens is looking lush and lovely, and I can't wait for its spectacular blooms this summer. :) Also, High Country Gardens is a great resource for many varieties of Agastache (Hummingbird Mint), and that's where I obtained the specimen that I put in last year. I can't recommend High Country Gardens highly enough for their excellent specimens. Also, their website hosts a wealth of information on heat-hardy perennials with regional/zone breakdowns, and emphasis on plants for the particular pollinators you wish to attract (all of them!).
The upper photo is the new Agastache, and the lower one is the new shoots of Texas Star Hibiscus nestled among the canes from the previous year. Last year, there were about a dozen canes, and so far, I have counted over 30 canes of new growth. I'm leaving the other framework to protect the new shoots, since a neighbor runs their dogs through my yard. I'm just hoping I don't regret putting other new things in the area, because it's heartbreaking to toil over my flowers and then find they have been trampled.
What's growing in your garden? Please comment if you'd like to share how your plantings are progressing so far this year.