No excuses this month! There are plenty of blooms to show for this Bloom Day. In fact, it looks like we’re right where we should be compared to other years, even with the cool, cloudy, and rainy weather we’ve enjoyed over the last month. Just last week, we were still having nights in the low 40s and days in the 60s; a few days ago, we jumped to the 90s. That’s not so good for the gardener but very good for the garden–at least for the basil, squash, beans, cotton, and other heat-loving plants.
There’s so much good stuff going on that I limited my photo selections to just the past 2 weeks, and I left out several things I’d planned on mentioning. But there is still lots to show, so let’s get to it.
The sudden heat has brought a sudden stop to most of the irises, but they were lovely while they lasted.
Dutch iris ‘Lion King’ with purple-leaved plantain ( Plantago major ‘Atropurpurea’) and Euphorbia nicaeensis Hybrid bearded iris ‘Edith Wolford’ Hybrid bearded iris ‘Beverly Sills’ with ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint ( Nepeta) and fringecups ( Tellima grandiflora) Hybrid bearded iris ‘Clarence’ with ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint ( Nepeta) That photo reminds me: Has anyone else noticed their amsonias flowering twice this year? It’s a first time for me; something to do with our unusual weather, I guess. ‘Butter and Sugar’ Siberian iris ( Iris sibirica) with willow-leaved bluestar ( Amsonia tabernaemontana)
Anyway, there’s no shortage of other perennials gracing the garden right now.
Star of Persia ( Allium christophii) with ‘Color Guard’ yucca ( Yucca filamentosa) and Dianthus cruentus ‘Mount Everest’ ornamental onion ( Allium) Sicilian honey garlic ( Nectaroscordum siculum, aka Allium siculum) ‘Black Barlow’ columbine ( Aquilegia) Dutchman’s pipe ( Aristolochia macrophylla) King’s spear ( Asphodeline lutea) Blue false indigo ( Baptisia australis) Common valerian ( Valeriana officinalis) Red valerian ( Centranthus ruber) Serious Black bush clematis ( Clematis recta ‘Lime Close’) Flowering here for the first time: cruel plant ( Cynanchum ascyrifolium). Thanks to Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening for sharing this little-known perennial! Another new addition for this year: ‘Masterpiece’ candytuft ( Iberis). It’s supposed to be perennial, and to flower from May until October. We’ll see. I can say that it has been flowering for 6 weeks now, which is longer than regular perennial candytuft, but it’s a long time until fall. Yet another first-time bloomer, this one grown from seed shared by Rossana Raballo of Vivaio Millefoglie: Cambridge milk parsley ( Selinum carvifolium, aka S. carvifolia) Dwarf culinary sage ( Salvia officinalis ‘Nana’). I know this isn’t all that special, but I think it’s the first time I’ve had culinary sage bloom here. I generally have to grow it as an annual because the plants almost always succumb to our winter wet, but I overwintered it in the basement and replanted it in April. So, it’s kind of cheating, but it’s in bloom, so it still counts. ‘Caradonna’ perennial sage ( Salvia) with ‘Dali Marble’ burnet ( Sanguisorba) and white-variegated sweet iris ( Iris pallida ‘Argentea Variegata’) Creeping bramble ( Rubus pentalobus, aka R. calycinoides) Caucasian crosswort ( Phuopsis stylosa) Tuberous-rooted Jerusalem sage ( Phlomis tuberosa) ‘Gold Foil’ foxglove penstemon ( Penstemon digitalis) Giant starflower ( Ornithogalum magnum) ‘Purple Haze’ catmint ( Nepeta) One of the few hot-color flowers blooming here now: Maltese cross ( Lychnis chalcedonica) ‘Lollypop’ Asiatic lily ( Lilium) with Euphorbia palustris ‘Zauberflote’ Some annuals are also contributing to the wealth of blooms this month. Purple toadflax ( Linaria purpurea)
‘Northern Lights’ Moroccan toadflax ( Linaria maroccana): much shorter than the perennial purple toadflax, in a range of delicate colors ‘Cramers’ Plum’ love-in-a-mist ( Nigella damascena) White lace flower ( Orlaya grandiflora): an innocent-looking beauty with a strong will to reproduce. It requires ruthless deadheading to keep it from seeding aggressively. I find that annual poppies that self-sow always are more vigorous than those I try to start. But wow, this patch of ‘Drama Queen’ really outdid itself. Just look at that lovely fringe. Backlighting really brings out this poppy’s red petal tips. ‘Drama Queen’ is certainly well named! Sweet William catchfly ( Silene armeria) After several unsuccessful attempts in the past, I finally had luck getting mignonette ( Reseda odorata) to flowering stage this year. As with many scented flowers, descriptions of its fragrance vary widely. To me, they smell exactly like Dr. Pepper (that’s a soft drink, for those of you outside of the U.S.). Hare’s ear ( Bupleurum rotundifolium) It’s been a surprisingly good year for the garden roses. I’ve lost so many to rose rosette disease over the years that it surprises me to see any still around, but a few lingering plants really performed well this year. The first flower on canary creeper ( Tropaeolum peregrinum)
‘Frau Dagmar’–or ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’, or ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’, or ‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’, or ‘Dagmar Hastrup’–rugosa rose ( Rosa rugosa): by any name, she’s been a dependable beauty for flowers, fruits, and foliage ‘Belle de Crecy’ Gallica rose: richly perfumed and packed with petals that dry well for potpourri Flowering for the first time in over a decade: the Gallica rose ‘La Belle Sultane’. The poor thing has been popping up here and there in the Happy Garden for many years but apparently never got enough sun until I cut down the big winter honeysuckle ( Lonicera fragrantissima) clump that was growing nearby. Other flowering shrubs are kind of in a lull at the moment, but ninebark ( Rosa achburensis flowers for a very short time–usually just a week or two–but it puts on a great show of abundant, brightly colored hips in fall. Physocarpus opulifolius) always puts on a nice show if I haven’t cut it to the ground in spring.
‘Dart’s Gold’ ninebark ( Physocarpus opulifolius) in flower If we’re going to enjoy features beyond flowers, then this is the place to slip in a few more seed, fruit, and foliage favorites. ‘Dart’s Gold’ ninebark ( Physocarpus opulifolius)–even showier in seed
Dyer’s woad ( Isatis tinctoria) in seed ‘White Pine’ strawberries (aka pineberries) Variegated barley ( Hordeum vulgare ‘Variegatum’) Golden catalpa ( Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’) Golden full moon maple ( Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’) ‘Berggarten Variegated’ culinary sage ( Salvia officinalis) Variegated rue ( Ruta graveolens ‘Variegata’, aka ‘Harlequin’) A few combination shots… ‘Goldenvale’ ghost bramble (Rubus cockburnianus; aka ‘Golden Vale’ or ‘Aureus’)
‘White Nancy’ spotted deadnettle ( Lamium maculatum) with ‘Pewter Lace’ painted fern ( Athyrium niponicum) Euphorbia palustris ‘Zauberflote’ with ‘Angelina’ sedum ( Sedum rupestre) Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’ with golden lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis ‘All Gold’), ‘Prairie Munchkin’ little bluestem ( Schizachyrium scoparium), and oxeye daisies ( Leucanthemum vulgare, aka Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) A closeup of Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’ with golden lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis ‘All Gold’) ‘Axminster Gold’ Russian comfrey ( Symphytum x uplandicum) with ‘Harvest of Memories’ hybrid bearded iris Eupatorium fortunei ‘Pink Frost’ with ‘Redbor’ kale and prairie blazing star ( Liatris pycnostachya) Lamb’s ears ( Stachys byzantina) with ‘Junior Walker’ catmint ( Nepeta) and pink creeping thyme ( Thymus praecox Coccineus Group) And some general garden shots… Wine and Roses weigela ( Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’) with Magic Carpet spirea ( Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’) and bloody cranesbill ( Geranium sanguineum)
The Happy Garden (look, I didn’t name it; I’m just darn lucky that Mom didn’t name *me* Happy) The Happy Garden at Hayefield The blue, silver, and white side of the Side Garden Variegated fuzzy deutzia ( Deutzia scabra ‘Variegata’) and ‘Festiva Maxima’ peony along the Cottage Path ‘Monsieur Jules Elie’ peony, gas plant ( Dictamnus albus), and white lace flower ( Orlaya grandiflora) in the Side Garden ‘Caradonna’ perennial sage ( Salvia), giant starflower ( Ornithogalum magnum), white-variegated sweet iris ( Iris pallida ‘Argentea Variegata’), and rue ( Ruta graveolens) in the Side Garden Arbor Path in the Side Garden ‘Screaming Yellow’ false indigo ( Baptisia sphaerocarpa) in the yellow side of the Side Garden ‘Screaming Yellow’ false indigo ( Baptisia sphaerocarpa) in the yellow side of the Side Garden The yellow side of the Side Garden Side Garden path with ‘Harvest of Memories’ hybrid bearded iris, ‘Dr. Huey’ rose, ‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood ( Buxus sempervirens), golden mockorange ( Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’), and golden wayfaringtree ( Viburnum lantana ‘Aurea’) Wine and Roses weigela ( Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’) and red-leaved rose ( Rosa glauca) with Magic Carpet spirea ( Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’) and bloody cranesbill ( Geranium sanguineum) in the Side Garden It’s kind of a shame that, just as they start to look lush, it’s time to do heavy pruning of the perennials in the front garden. The gaps look bad for a few weeks, but I’ve learned that if I don’t cut the Japanese burnet ( Sanguisorba tenuifolia) and orange coneflower ( Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida) to the ground and shear the New England asters ( Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) and ironweeds ( Vernonia) back by at least half now, this area would be a crowded, sprawly mess by early September. The courtyard path is still in need of some grooming… …but it doesn’t look too bad from this direction. So far, I’ve been making good on my resolution to keep up with the vegetable garden. At this point, I have pretty much every square inch planted and weeded, and now I’m mostly watering and mulching. And to finish, I couldn’t resist tossing in some pictures from my porch–particularly the side porch, which gives a superb raised view of the gardens. Remember the junky “cutting garden” area I showed back in April? It looks much tidier now with these new galvanized raised beds. They–and much of the larger part of the vegetable garden, too–are filled with seed gifts of wonderful oddities and interesting Italian heirloom beans, corn, and squash from Clark Lawrence of La Macchina Fissa.
The vegetable gardens and perennial meadows from the back porch The Cottage Path from the side porch The blue, silver, and white side of the Side Garden from the side porch Another view of the blue, silver, and white side of the Side Garden from the side porch What will the next month bring for the garden? The diagonal path, which separates the front and side gardens, as seen from the side porch
All we can do is hope for seasonable temperatures and regular rainfall, then deal with whatever we’re actually given, and enjoy our gardens in the meantime. When the weather wherever you are isn’t conducive to being outside, do some virtual garden visiting among the participants in this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. You can find them in Who nose? Carol’s main GBBD post at May Dreams Gardens. Enjoy!