Bloom Days April 2008
May Dreams Garden . This time around, the weather has been trying to prevent high quality photos of the showier flowers with high winds and lack of good light. The little ground covers have been up to the task, however, with strong stems and tiny blooms, the better to macro on. Please feel free to click on any or all of these photos to see more details. Shown above, ajuga reptans ‘Silver Bells’, growing in the trough planter. It is barely hardy and has barely spread, unlike the other ajugas, but what a looker!
A group shot of regular ajuga reptans, some lavender pansies, a young hellebore, cerastium and a smidge of dianthus in the background. This grouping of plants lines both sides of the first set of steps going up to the knot garden, along with some creeping jenny, among many others, not in the shot. They do a good job of keeping the weeds down and provide year around interest with their colorful foliage. The spring bloom is an added bonus.
Another group shot, this time from the front of the stoop in a shady bed. Bleeding hearts are just beginning to bloom, the new fronds of the many japanese painted ferns, and a weedy background of the myriad dog violets in blue and white add some texture to this mix. The violets are blooming more than they normally do, is there meaning in that?
These seed grown primula veris have way more flowers and buds than any of the others in any of the beds. Do you suppose their roots have found some wonderful decaying matter on which to feed? This bed under the deck steps has had our home made compost added several times, maybe a nice banana peel is under this particular primrose.
Looking like a king in this close up is the lamium ‘Hermann’s Pride’. Hardly showy in bloom, this groundcover has variegated leaves larger than most lamiums. It too is a wonderful weed suppressor, it is planted around the base of the multi trunk silver maple tree.
Our dear wild columbine, aquilegia canadensis. Our climate is a little warm for these to do really well, but we are hoping for them to take hold and seed about, maybe mixing with some of the larger flowered columbines for some new color combinations.
We will now move on to the flowering shrub portion of our presentation.
The fothergillas planted on the steepest part of the shady hillside are opening. The honey scented flowers look like brushes that could give the tidy bowl man a help. ( Sorry for that, couldn’t be helped.) The cultivar of these is unknown, but they get a little taller than we wish, so must be hard pruned every now and then.
The earliest bloomers of the many decidous azaleas we have here, R. Admiral Semmes. The cooler temps and cloudy days have prevented the buds from unfurling, probably a good thing with the danger of frost ever present. There seems to be an abundance of buds on the azaleas this year after being zapped dead in their tracks with last year’s
Another azalea, one of the PJMs. Out of five planted, only this one looks anywhere near decent after last summer’s drought. Two died outright and have been removed. Two are hanging on with only a smattering of leaves, no flowers. We shall see if they need replacing. Luckily they are located behind some junipers that hide their scraggly looks from the gardener with the shovel at the ready.
Trying to figure out the name of this viburnum, the waxy flowers, crinkly leaves, sweet perfume and time of bloom point to V. carlesii. It stands about five feet tall and wide and is doing well in the dry shade of the large pine trees. More would be added if we knew what it was.
Spanish lavender, lavandula stoechas, with its interesting flower form. A new purchase, this is planted in a ceramic pot and has been brought into the greenhouse/sunroom until the weather has warmed. It is not known how to winter this over, the greenhouse is too humid for it to be happy. Maybe the unheated stairwell with the skylight would make a good home for it during the cold months. There is a ledge that is out of the way of the step users for it to sit upon. That will be the plan.
The patches of candytuft, iberis, in front and back seem to have a more dense flowering than is usual also. No complaints about that here.
Last month there was a beauty pageant held for the violas. From the same plant as the winner, Miss Margaret, this flower lacks the yellow tinge to the center that she had. Still a beauty though.
Showing specks of the yellow dust of the pine pollen swirling about now, this volunteer viola in the gravel has been blooming for several months.
From the same four pack as Miss Margaret, there are more whiskers to this plant, it may be a male.
Now on to the bulbs. A few tulips are at their peak now, this is tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’.
A mixed bag from WalMart, all forty bulbs planted in one hole, making it easier on the gardener, are now opening. It shall be seen who returns from this batch. They do provide a good show from the street, located as they are under the pine trees. There are three groups of these.
We will close with the lone blooming orchid, Mtdm. Bartley Schwarz ‘Highland’, a gift from a dear friend, thanks Laurie!