Planting Familiar Flowers in Garden of Dreams


Ready to plant–roots unpacked from mailing box, new trowel my wife just brought home from the store. Had to soak the roots first, so I had sometime to shoot pictures of blooming flowers, too.

When we moved into our house in 2001, there weren’t many gardens in back, but there were a few flowers.

Among those were a couple of clusters of peonies. Over the years, I’ve planted a few more, and some old ones have died off. I like peonies, but have even though I’ve added lots of garden beds to the backyard, I’ve usually focused on planting other things.

But, as part of a group of spring flowers I ordered, I included several peonies this year—pretty pink Sarah Bernhardt and an unnamed mix of red and white plants. It was 10 root in all.


Lilac time! Crab apples are starting to fade, but a new, pleasant perfume is in the garden air.


Those, along with some phlox, coneflowers and toad lilies all arrived in a box Wednesday and were planted Friday.

Such is the hopes and dreams of every gardener—put the roots and shoots and seeds in the ground, and wait and hope.


Spring is getting on in Iowa. Even the oaks are starting to wake up.

tricyrtis hirta

Image from Breck’s, where I ordered these plants. Toad lilies–supposed to do well in shady gardens. We’ll see.

Some of my garden dreams may be more realistic than others. Peonies? Not sure what will happen, but those are tough and lively roots—I’m thinking we’ll see some results in the form of some plants this season, although blooms will probably have to wait for 2017. Toad lilies? I’ve planted them before. I have not yet ever seen a flower, however. I suppose gardeners are hopeless like Cubs fans, always thinking maybe this year.

The coneflowers might seem an odd thing to order, since I have numerous coneflowers already—but all of mine are purple, and I planted 10 roots of what are supposed to be a mix of colors, so I’m hoping for some whites and yellows to add a bit of color to summer blooms.

So, we’ll see.

Meanwhile, my wife and I went to a pair of one-act plays last night. While we waited in the theater, we started thumbing through an early catalog of fall bulbs—picking out crocus and daffodils and tulips, etc.

I’m inspired, I suppose, by the pleasant reality that my spring gardens show positive results from last fall’s bulb planting. Garden dreams—they keep going and growing!


Tulips almost done, although others are just starting. I think it’s sticking its tongue out.


A cluster of new peach colored tulips that were planted last fall, about to open.


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