End of May Wrap Up

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May 2013 turned out to be a pretty good month, gardenwise.
Above: Stipa tenuissima waving merrily with Cotinus goggygria ‘Royal Purple’

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There was ample rainfall and the temperatures were more moderate than last year resulting in flowers blooming on a more normal schedule.
Above: Long view of the Knot Garden. I bet you didn’t even notice that the yellowing tulip foliage has not been cut with that Festuca glauca shouting for attention, did you?

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Success was had with the sweet peas, a first! These are very fragrant, Lathyrus odoratus ‘April in Paris’. The secret, for our USDA Zone 7a Southeast Tennessee anyway, was to plant the seeds after soaking on September 7, 2012. This fall I hope to take photos of the process and do a how to post about it, if these results can be duplicated.

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It’s lavender time again. I simply adore lavender and have been known to make wands from the stems. The directions can be found by clicking here.

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A stray seed of money plant, Lunaria annua must have blown over to the Azalea Walk from under the arbor where a colony of it grows. The purple flowers were lovely, but these seedpods are stupendous, especially with the red Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’.

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For the last couple of years I have been sowing foxglove, Digitalis ssp. seeds and buying seedlings from Mouse Creek Nursery to fill the Heather Bed with these beloved fairy friendly plants. This is the most blooming we have ever had.

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A good match is the evening primrose, Oenothera fruticosa and Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’. The primrose can be a bit thuggish, but it does a good job of hiding the fading hyacinth and daffodil foliage in the Yellow/White Bed. Scented thymes in yellow and white variegation make fine edgings and can hold their own in the fight for space.

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Pollinators are happy with the jaunty yellow native blooms, too.

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This unknown Asiatic lily is always the first to open to begin that show. Shared by daughter Semi, this one is a vigorous multiplier. Does anyone know it?

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Speaking of lilies, there have been new cultivars added each year and those have also made babies. It looks to be a very good June, from the number of buds seen here, there and everywhere. I can’t wait!


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16 Responses to End of May Wrap Up

  1. Hmmm, definitely a “yum, yum” reaction to the sturdy stalks topped with so many healthy buds in the final picture…is that a spirea blooming so profusely in the background? Your swath of foxgloves are enviable….quite a feat to have a “swath” of foxglove and, probably/hopefully, a self sustaining one at that! It really has been one of the best Mays ever here in East TN.

    Hi Michaele, thanks so much. That is indeed a spirea, Magic Carpet is the cultivar. It has been spread all over there with the rooted branches that touch the ground. I prune it twice a year to keep them in small ball shapes, after blooming, which will be soon and in the winter after the leaves have fallen. This is a great year for many of the flowers, lilies should have the best year ever, by the look of so many buds all over.

  2. Lovely inspiring photos, Frances. I especially like the serendipity of the moneyplant combination. It seems to be frolicking in there.

    Hi Georgia, thanks so much. I almost pulled the money plant when I first saw it, thinking it would get too large and gangly for that bed. So glad I didn’t!

  3. Jeanann Foster says:

    I can’t wait to see those buds open up!

    Me too, Jeanann!

  4. Jeanann Foster says:

    And, I am trying to grow lathyrus us for the umpteenth time this year ( still pretty puny at this point) so I will be at the ready to try your method of growing them in September.

    Good deal, Jeanann. I have never had more than a few scrawney plants from various sowing times. I thought they needed cold to germinate and it is not cold here in September yet, but the truth is in the giant, happy flowering vines now growing.

  5. I love the catmint and evening primrose. I bet you could also pair the catmint with lemon yellow daylilies.

    Thanks Kathy. Blue goes with everything, doesn’t it? That is why there are also blue flowers in the Yellow/White Bed.

  6. By far, you have the most gorgeous garden I follow online! May looks like a complete success! As a total lover of lilies, I await June! Make sure to take lots of pics for us!

    Hi Karen, thanks so much for those kind words. I also love lilies and promise there will be many photos of them to come. These are such photogenic flowers, it is hard to take a poor image of them.

  7. Christy says:

    Oh Frances…your garden is so beautiful. You just have a knack for taking the best pictures. You have so many flowers that I love. I just adore sweet peas (they remind me of my childhood) but have never had luck growing them. I always smile when I visit your post followed by a lot of “wows”.

    Hi Christym, thanks for those sweet words. I am just a point and shoot photographer, and take hundreds of shots to get one good one. But I know my garden and the light here and sometimes can get lucky.

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your garden is looking wonderful! So many beautiful bloomers! Floriferous May has gone far to fast this year. How I wish it could linger just a little longer.

    Hi Peter, thanks for visiting. The garden is having a good year so far, with the weather conditions making it so. I also hope it can last a little longer.

  9. So, I was down your way this past week. I think that maybe when you say “slope” people unfamiliar with this part of the country might not understand the gravity of that word (As I didn’t). I am very jealous of the physical beauty of your area, and extremely jealous of the beauty of your garden – anytime of year. Your lavender reminded me I have to eventually get home and take photos of mine!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by. You are so right about the idea of a slope. There are slopes and then there are *slopes*. HA It is so beautiful here, I agree. We have lived all over the country and really think this is the best place of all.

  10. So beautiful ! I love the bright primroses with the nepeta, blue and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations.

    Hi Jason, thanks so much. You can’t go wrong with blue, white and yellow.

  11. Ogee says:

    Love the view of the whole garden. It’s amazing to step back and take in the wonder of it all.

    Thanks so much, Ogee. I am never not taking in the wonder of it all.

  12. Jaw-dropping garden matched by stunning photography. Looking forward to seeing more as the season progresses.

    You are sweet to say so, Marian. Thank you.

  13. The Asiatic lily is stunning… Lovely garden!

    Thanks Phillip.

  14. Jo says:

    Love your garden! So colourful!

    Thanks so much!

  15. Yes, May is a wonderful month to be a gardener. Thank you for the reminder to grow lunaria. I’ve been meaning to, and seeing the seed pods again is just the motivation I need. I remember the first time I grew them, I found the seedheads quite dull till I accidentally rubbed them to reveal their translucent coins. I sat for a long time in the garden, just “polishing” all my coins. Ten years later, and those coins still grace a pretty vase on my dresser.

    Hi Robin, thanks for sharing here. The money plant was always a favorite of my kids, too. But I might have dulled their enthusiasm by putting them to work polishing those coins to sell dried bouquets. They are very long lasting.

  16. We have had record low temps and rainfall here this spring too. The garden has never looked so lush. It just makes one wonder what summer will bring. Your garden is lush even when it doesn’t get the rainfall you (it) would like. The knot garden looks so inviting.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting. I am so glad you are enjoying the lush, too, especially after last year’s drought. While my garden is somewhat xeric, it is way happier with the rain we have had. It is even raining right now!

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