Not ordinarily a geranium lover, I squealed when I saw two lone, unhappy-looking specimens in 4-inch pots at the garden center. This photo was taken on a bright morning, but the blooms are actually purplish red, and I swear, you'd expect them to glow in the dark. The label fell off, so I can't tell you what they are, but I've doused them with Miracle Grow. I should be able to post a more impressive photo in a couple of weeks.
I've been calling this edge of the patio "the garden center" since my hunk o' burnin' love brought home about twenty perennials and shrubs from a plant auction last Saturday. Still left to be stuck in the ground are these five rhododendrons, two cherry-red azaleas, and the find my guy's proudest of, an apple tree on which he's planning to experiment with espalier. What's interesting about the tree is that branches from six varieties of apple trees have been grafted onto a single trunk. (Red Delicious, Gala, Mackintosh, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and what I can only call "The Mystery Apple" because its label fell off.) If all goes according to plan, in a year or two we'll have apples ripening continually from summer to fall, with each branch producing enough for the two of us to eat out-of-hand and maybe make a pie. While four of the branches aren't very far along, the top two are already showing lots of baby apples, so we'll get at least a taste this season.
I'm all about instant gratification (buying plants in pots), but my husband is the patient type (which pretty much explains our 32-year marriage) and occasionally insists on planting seeds. He's currently waiting for these morning glories and moonflowers to germinate so he can plant them on either side of the arbor. Moonflowers are big, white, showy darlings that open only at night and are wonderfully fragrant. It'll be nice to have them on the far edge of the patio, where we spend so much time in the evenings. (Oh, and check out the pot of Gerbera daisies on the table. Those lush leaves always make me hungry for salad.)
Note to everyone who has e-mailed to say they're jealous of my woodsy back yard: There's poison ivy out there. Somewhere. I haven't seen any, but the left side of my face is blistered. Ick.