Sunday, June 15, 2014
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, June 2014
Because today is Father's Day, my first foray into "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day" is dedicated to my dad, Martin E. Boggan. My father had a major stroke last November (see "The Roots of a Gardener") but he has come a long way since then, and recovered in ways that we never expected. Sadly, he is currently in a nursing home and unable to see his rhododendrons in their spring splendor.
This is what they looked like last November, when I was spending some time with my mom shortly after his stroke, and at the beginning of what turned out to be the northeast's coldest winter in 20 years (see "Home from the holidays"):
But this was the same view last week:
It's hard to tell from these photos, but some of those rhododendrons are 8-10 feet tall. My father planted two little shrubs outside our back door when I was just a kid, nearly 45 years ago, and they did so well and bloomed so beautifully that he went on to plant many more over the years. Among the plants in the above photos are the original two, which he moved when they outgrew their space outside the back door. I don't think he ever expected them to grow so large! The bad news is that he has had to put up deer fencing every fall, otherwise the exploding deer population completely defoliates them by spring. But every spring they pay off with this glorious explosion of flowers.
The deer mostly leave the rhododendrons alone during the spring and summer when there's plenty else for the to eat, but among the few herbaceous plants that have tolerated the deer are foxglove (Digitalis purpurea); my father scattered some seeds of these years ago, and they've been coming back ever since:
My father has always loved gardening, and it is from him that I get my own love of plants and gardening (although my mom helped too!). So today I'm featuring some of his gardens and his plants that I photographed when I was visiting my parents last week. Happy Father's Day, Dad!