Blooms Everywhere

Fresh from the battle against the aphids, the balcony has trudged happily onward and is now nearly in full bloom.

IMG_0433I was initially nervous about the sweet peas since they reportedly do not like warm weather. As I mentioned in a previous post, spring in the midwest can be a very fleeting thing — you go from freezing, inhospitable weather to humid, muggy, stifling weather in almost no time at all. I began to worry that these poor seedlings were never going to be given a fair shot at all in reaching their full potential. After a rather chilly March & April which seemed to slow their germination (I’d actually very nearly resigned myself to only having about two sprouts), mid-April and into May saw above average temperatures which caused them to sprout right up only to face unseasonably warm weather that didn’t seem to be going in the right direction.
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Thankfully, my fears have been allayed. We now have tons of fragrant sweet peas. I’m planning to save the seeds from these because they’re a perfect blend of colors (you don’t always get that when you buy a seed mix). Each color has its own unique scent, we’ve found. The lavenderish ones have a scent that smells nearly like a gardenia while the more fuschia-colored blooms smell almost completely like a rose. Sadly, the royal purple flowers only look beautiful and have no smell.

The dwarf variety are also interesting — producing blooms that look exactly like the full-size variety, but without all the giant foliage. I plan to keep seeds from these, as well.

The calendula are definitely taking off. I love their foliage, of course, but finally seeing some blooms is definitely rewarding.

IMG_0435The convolvulus were left in their seedling cells a bit too long, so they’re having to adjust to transplanting at the same time that they’ve begun to produce flowers and buds. IMG_0434I love how they look so similar to morning glories without the invasive vines! We grew morning glories, last year, and they took off with such abandon that we’re still finding morning glory sprouts! Three out of the four plants that I sprouted are of the same color. I’m hoping that the fourth (which has yet to produce a flower, but looks extremely healthy) will at least give us a different showing.

The pansies are still popping out blooms right and left — in spite of their recent infestation of aphids. Most of the plants recovered quite well — many seem completely unfazed, in fact.

IMG_0437With the wedding craziness behind us and the busy fruit-picking season ahead, I’m hoping that we’ll have at least a few opportunities to have a breakfast or dinner al fresco, this season. While sitting there, IMG_0438taking in our little piece of botanical beauty that we’ve carefully sculpted for ourselves, we’ll hopefully take the time to dream and plan of the summer to come. Even though the summer gets hot — hot enough to make you forget all about snow and ice — summer is a beautiful, adventurous time, here in the midwest.

Just like music, literature, flowers, or even weeds, true adventure is defined by the adventurer. Though these adventures are often similar every year, I’m looking forward to those road trips out to pick peaches, blueberries, and cherries in fields of queen anne’s lace and blackeyed susans — exploring the nooks and crannies of rural Michigan & Wisconsin. And I’m looking forward to the suspense of rolling out the pie dough for the cherry pie and waiting on pins and needles to see whether or not it will be as flaky and completely inappropriate as last year’s pie.
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~ by Jason on June 15, 2010.

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