Bulbs · Garden Musings · Perennials · Shrubs · Trees

The Garden Waits Not for Its Gardener

Brunnera macrophylla

Time waits for no man,” may be the well-known saying, but when I arrived home Monday evening, after five days in Austin, I thought, “The garden waits not for its gardener,” was a much more appropriate sentiment.

Viburnum juddii

When I opened the car door, I was enveloped in the sweet perfume of Viburnum juddii. I breathed it in deeply and then my eyes moved quickly about the landscape. I was amazed at the change – in just five days – in my gardens. 

After spending some time with Riley (who sits on the couch and watches for me when I am gone), I went out on the deck to check on my vegetable seedlings. Don had taken very good care of them.

Pea Seedlings

The lettuce, broccoli and kohlrabies I started from seeds and planted outside a few weeks ago were growing beautifully, and the peas that were just beginning to peek through the soil the day before I left were now a couple inches tall.

The next morning, I took a walk through all the gardens. Wow!

Cercis canadensis

Amelanchiar x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance'

The redbud and serviceberry were in full bloom.

Malus, Crabapple

The flower buds on the crabapples were just about to open to cover the trees in blankets of blooms.


The unseasonably warm temperatures had forced the earliest daffodils out of bloom, but others were at their peak.

And my favorite tulips came back bigger and better this year. (Note to self: ask Jack de Vroomen to remind me the name of this variety.)

Dodecatheon meadia

Blooming wildflowers were abundant. Shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) are one of my favorites.

Anemonella thalictroides

Mother Nature planted this Anemonella thalictroides. Isn’t it sweet?

Phlox subulata

The moss phlox (Phlox subulata) was the star of the rock garden, but…

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'

Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ was doing its best to try to steal the show.

This little iris won the first-to-bloom prize by the pond but there were lots of buds ready when she tires of the spotlight.


In the shade garden in the back, a colony of mayapples grows larger every year. They’ve completely grown across a path. (Note to self: divide mayapples.)

On the back side of the mayapples, clumps of false forget-me-nots (Brunnera macrophylla), dogtooth violets (Erythronium), European ginger (Asarum europaeum) and campanulas held their ground against the advance of the mayapples.

Brunnera macrophylla

The false forget-me-nots have expanded into quite a colony of their own. This is the first year I noticed some of the flowers are blooming pink. Have you ever seen this before?

Mertensia virginica & Hostas

The Virginia bluebells and unfurling hostas have always been one of my favorite spring scenes.

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are an ephemeral, completely disappearing from the garden in a couple months. The hostas fill in the space they leave behind.

Epimedium sulphureum

Epimedium sulphureum is a beautiful ground cover that is ideal for folks with dry shade. It was showing off its yellow blooms. I think I heard it whisper, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Anemone blanda

Or maybe it was the Grecian windflowers (Anemone blanda) vying for my attention.

Dicentra spectabilis

Bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) never want for acclaim. Their exquisite flowers were applause-worthy.

And the foliage, oh my goodness, all the fresh foliage! It was bursting through the soil and unfolding on branches of trees and shrubs, eager to join the spring show.

All this in just five days! Spring came calling and this garden could wait not for its gardener.

Garden with me!

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