The purple onion

The Allium christophii I found at Walmart last October are now blooming. The flower heads are supposed to get eight inches in diameter, but these look like they’ll max out at about five. They’ll be followed shortly by another variety of allium, and then peonies and an early lily. The phacelia, poppies and other annuals will start blooming shortly.

My lilac — something I haven’t been able to say since I was fourteen — put on a fine, fragrant show despite years of neglect.

When I lived in Wichita, I didn’t have a proper yard. There was a plot about the size of two postage stamps out front where I could grow a few things, plus a strip maybe eight inches wide along one side of the house. Now I have a quarter-acre lot. Mowing that much grass every week is tedious, but it’s worth it for the buffer zone between me and my neighbors (who are actually mostly nice people). The main garden south of the house alone gives me about four times as much room to work with as I had in Wichita. I’ve also established three small beds on the north and west sides. This year I’m relying on annuals for color, but over time the perennials I’m putting in will establish themselves and take over. In a few years, the gardens will need little maintenance beyond weeding, watering and occasional fertilizing.