My gardening has been going slowly, and it was only yesterday that I completed the first of my flower beds, the island in the front yard.
I had seven rose bushes in this bed, but only three of them survived the winter. I guess the "polar vortex" last January was too much for them. So I had to dig out the dead bushes being careful with the thorns as I pulled them out. At the garden center I bought a few new things, and I divided some perennials from the back gardens to fill in the empty spaces.
The lilac bush that I have in the bed was not looking good last year, and it did not bloom last spring. This year it has some new growth and has more blossoms.
Hopefully it will do better now that it has more sun. Last autumn a pin oak in the front yard was taken down in a wind storm. That has opened up the entire bed to more hours of sunshine.
Speaking of that pin oak... I decided not to plant another tree. Instead in that spot I planted three shrubs.
One of them is a Japanese willow. It has attractive variegated leaves. It grows quickly and attains a height of eight feet. So I will have something fairly tall without shading the entire front yard. In front of it I planted two potentillas. They grow to be about two feet tall and will have orange flowers.