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Small Kitchen Garden P*rn: Bloom Day, April 2010

The forsythia are in their second week, and will be gone within days. They have been particularly striking this year.

To celebrate my first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day of 2010, I’ve stepped out of my small kitchen garden. In fact, I’m going to confess something that is completely contrary to my best intentions.

I often express my lack of interest for planting anything that I’m not eventually going to eat. In truth, I’ve planted many ornamentals over the years. My wife has planted far more than many, and our yard is quite loaded with flowers through most of the growing season. Both the landscaping and the maintenance of it are exceptionally reproachable, but the flowers are gorgeous.

The photographer in me has always been a sap for flowers, and our interior décor includes enlargements of many of my flower photos. When I create a Bloom Day post, I usually stick to blossoms of the kitchen garden. Today, however, those blossoms share space with whatever else is busting out in our yard.

I grew a bit self-conscious while taking photos; I realized that I was focusing my camera a lot on what we might refer to as the flowers’ junk. The experience really brought home to me the meaning of the term “garden p*rn,” and I apologize for bringing it up in the first place. My next post will be back on point… I promise.

(Wondering why I’ve spelled “p*rn” with an asterisk instead of an “o?” I didn’t want to give Google the wrong idea.)

My wife has planted many varieties of daffodils, and they are usually the first plants to push leaves out of the thawing soil. They start to blossom as the crocuses wilt. I love the textures on these particularly frilly daffodils.


Not your typical all-yellow daffodil, the orange tinge around this daffodil’s junk makes for some lovely contrast. It was when I was photographing the daffodils that I realized the p*rnographic nature of my flower photos: what normal, young-blooded daffodil wouldn’t find this view compelling?


Among my favorite of all flowers, forget-me-nots are hearty perennials. They also seem happy to drop seeds that speed the plant’s spread through flower beds and into lawns. I adore these annoying plants… in fact, I planted the first forget-me-nots in our front ornamental bed at least ten years ago. My wife has done battle with them ever since.


The tulips start to blossom about when the forget-me-nots do. I’ve shot hundreds of tulip photos dating back to before digital, but these may be the first I’ve ever shown beyond my family photo albums. They look like tulips, yes?


Just squeaking in in time for Bloom Day, the lilacs are opening. A freeze about ten days ago left the tiny buds looking ominously dark, so I’m very happy to see these popping next to the stairs down from our back deck.


Azalea blossoms this early seem so out of place. The white azaleas have always blossomed ahead of the red ones, and this year is not exception. Only a few buds have opened, but in a matter of days I imagine the whole plant will be covered in white flowers.


Clouds against the blue sky, clusters of blossoms portend a decent pear harvest, assuming we’ve already had the final deep freeze of spring. Last year we had frost around May 26. I personally think fruit trees are stupid, given that they break into flower just because we have three weeks of warm weather three weeks earlier than usual.


I planted a Bartlett and a Moonglow pear tree side-by-side two autumns ago. They have both produced gorgeous pink blossoms among purple leaves. I won’t let them develop fruit this season, but perhaps next year they’ll be large enough to handle it.


If anyone in my yard is trying too hard this year, it’s the peach trees. An awesome display of overachievement. Assuming all the flowers set fruit, I’ll need to remove a lot of them while they’re young if I hope to harvest peaches of any significant size.


I love the way a cluster of buds emerges on an apple tree, and the bud in the middle opens… just a bit ahead of the other buds. I hate to see apple blossoms this early, but the bees have been happy. Here’s hoping we get no severe freeze, and the apple harvest is bountiful this coming autumn.


Dandelions and violets are among my favorite weed flowers. They are both exotic beauties that dominate my lawn for many weeks before I fire up the ugly lawn mower and behead them. Spring is an awesome time in a small kitchen gardener’s yard!

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16 Responses to “Small Kitchen Garden P*rn: Bloom Day, April 2010”

  • You are definitely warmer than us. Not that I’m surprised. Interesting that your lilacs are opening before the forsythia is completely done.

  • Your photos are gorgeous, and I take pics of plant “junk” a lot too! It is interesting!

    In fact, I think I have at least two of those on my bloom day blog! LOL!

  • admin:

    Kathy: Thanks for visiting! Spring is very early, and all-at-once. It’s pretty crazy. It’s so hard not to set tomatoes and peppers in the garden what with all this summer-like weather.

    Katie: Thanks for stopping by. Plant junk does seem to be the most interesting part of the flower. Does admitting that indicate I have some kind of problem?

  • I’ll have to check tomorrow and see what’s in bloom at my place. Your pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  • I am very happy you stepped out of your small kitchen garden to take these beautiful photos. You even make a dandelion look lovely!

  • admin:

    Jen: I hope you have crazy gorgeous blossoms. It’s hard not to spend the day outside with the weather and plant growth we’ve had here.

    Helen: Thanks so much for stopping by. I really am a flower enthusiast. flowers provide such amazing contrast to the subtle variations of foliage… too bad they don’t all produce goodies for our dining tables :-)

  • Beautiful photos! It’s fun to see how far ahead spring is down there, compared to here in southern New Hampshire. What USDA zone are you in? (I’m in zone 5; daffodils, forsythia and cherries are just finishing here.) What kind of camera are you using? By the way, I’ll be planting the blue hubbard squash and long-necked pumpkin seeds soon that you shared with me last fall — mentioned them/you on my blog today. So thanks for sharing!

  • Wonderful pictures — I love the daffodils. Your lilacs made me homesick for a time when I lived in Kansas City. We can’t grow them down in Southeast Texas. Thanks!

  • admin:

    Eleanor: Thanks for visiting, and for the update about your seeds. Depending on whose chart you believe, I’m in zone 5B or 6 (just saw a chart yesterday that claims I’m in zone 6). Sounds as though we’re in nearly a dead heat with you guys which surprises me given that New Hampshire is farther north than my dad, and he’s at least a week behind me.

    The camera is an Olympus Camedia C-765 with astonishing zoom and macro capabilities.

    In case you’re interested, last year I learned somewhat by accident that if you wait to put squash in your garden, you won’t get squash bugs. I started my seeds in pots in early June, and planted them in the garden in July… saw one squash bug in the garden all season. This is how I’ll plant squash every year herein… amazing to have a squash-bug-free summer!

    Elizabeth: Thanks for visiting. I’d miss lilacs – and rhubarb – if I lived that far south, but I suspect I’d find some other cool plants to love. I envy the long growing season which allows three or four crops in sequence, depending on what you want to eat.

  • I’m glad you left a comment at Hill Country Mysteries for me to follow back here.

    It’s OK to harbor multiple passions. We’re primarily wildlife gardeners but I have culinary herbs in pots and would love to have a small vegetable garden. It would have to be a fenced-in raised bed in our thin-clay-limestone wild hill country, and that’s a family discussion item. Maybe next year…in the meantime, I can enjoy your growing season.

  • admin:

    Kathleen: Thanks for stopping in! I’d love to be more of a wildlife gardener. My ideal home would be an old farm house on a small farm… I wouldn’t necessarily “farm,” but I’d grow a lot of food and establish a meadow with feeding stations I could watch from an easy chair in my living room.

    While growing annual vegetables may be a big hassle in your environment, you might find some perennials–both vegetables and fruits–are ideal. Of course, if you plant fruit you hope to harvest, you’ll need to plant a whole bunch extra for the wildlife who will compete for it. Robins seem to like under ripe blueberries, for example, so if you don’t grow enough plants, you almost never see a berry ripen!

  • I am a flower person (I mean flowers that don’t turn to edible fruits) basically and to me veggies are new and was afraid of making a clown of myself growing them, but I did dare to try them seriously this year.
    Wonderful blooms you have in your garden. I love those lovely poppies!

  • admin:

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m always glad to hear from someone starting out with a vegetable garden. I think you’d have to be pretty klutzy to mess up, especially given the amount of gardening experience you seem to have. I hope you continue to report your experiences on your blog; I’ll stop in there from time-to-time to see how things are going. Best of luck with that.

    Now, about those poppies: Mine haven’t even put up buds yet. Were you thinking of tulips?

  • Oh oops! Seeing the red one on the top-left, I thought it was a poppy. See, that shows I am an amateur! I am a fan of Poppy – may be that’s why I see Poppy everywhere? LOL! Yes, I was referring to those tulips.
    Two years ago, my sister brought Tulipa ‘aladdin’ from Germany but due to the heavy rains, we had to get out of our home as water started coming in (due to the irresponsibility of our local government), and I forgot to keep in refrigerator.
    When I returned, I saw that there were black mold on the bulbs and I lost all of them – all the ten!
    Well may be they weren’t meant to be mine? :( I still doubt if Tulips grow here in hotter parts of India…

  • admin:

    Chandramouli: Poppies may be my favorite of all flowers. I so anticipate when they emerge in late spring or early summer… and they never last long enough.

    I’ve read that some people in warm climates grow cold-climate annuals by digging them up in winter and sticking them in a refrigerator for a few months… then moving them back to the garden. That’s way more work than I’d want to do, but if you’re driven, you probably could grow tulips in India.

  • Mary Bailey:

    The pictures accompanying the blog were exquisite. As a very amateur artist I am tempted to paint all of them.

    Mary Bailey
    Wickford, Essex, U.K.
    English Garden

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