...So, I finally called Wayside Gardens to complain about my "Yellow Bird" Magnolia having pink flowers. You will recall that I planted the little twigling two years ago and have patiently tended it and waited for it to bloom, and this is the first year that any flowers appeared at all. Wayside Gardens initially informed me that their plant guarantee required me to notify them within one year "if a plant fails to perform as expected." How was I supposed to know to complain about the flowers being the wrong color before any flowers had been produced? Eventually I obtained the concession of a $25 gift certificate, but the whole exchange was so unpleasant that I doubt I'll ever purchase from them again anyway. They insisted that I didn't buy my lilac from them, but some internet research turned up some interesting possibilities for that plant's failure to bloom. My darling husband confesses to having fed Holly Tone to my lilac, and several sources indicate that lilacs prefer slightly alkaline (not acidic) soil and that feeding them with a high nitrogen fertilizer will encourage foliage but inhibit blooms -- so no more Holly Tone, and better hopes for lilac blooms next year.
At least my clematis is looking good. I planted it last year on a whim, from seeds, I think, and it was kind of like Jack and the Beanstalk watching this vine grow up and entwine itself on the trellis. I'm pretty sure the seed packet said my clematis would have "dark red" blooms, and these look dark purple to me, but seeds are cheap and I'm just happy they are growing at all.
Other happy flowers in the spring garden are the irises that my husband rescued from a building site last year under cover of darkness. It was one of those tiny old homes sitting on a big piece of land with gardens all around it, and a developer bought the house, razed it to the ground, and bulldozed the entire lot for future townhomes. This happened right before the housing bubble burst, so once they had flattened everything the property just sat there for months -- and a couple of optimistic irises, in defiance of bulldozers and townhomes and the economy and everything, had the courage to poke their shoots of green up out of the dirt last spring, trying to be a little bit of beautiful at an ugly abandoned construction site. Now they live in my flower bed, where they are blooming alongside my son's favorite African Marigolds.
Those will be red lilies coming up behind the irises eventually, along with a motley assortment of camellias and other perennials that begged to come home with me even though I didn't really have a good place to put them. I honestly don't know what all I've planted here. This is the Flower Dump.