Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bloom Day in the Merry Merry Month of May

Garden frenzy has descended on Idyll Haven.  After losing much of April to less than stellar weather, May has become a mad dash to get things done.  Buying season for unusual annuals has begun.  "Inventory" is beginning to pile up on the patio and I still haven't been to the best places.  Every night I hook up the appliance dolly and move a few more containers out of the garage.  Eventually it all comes together.

Yesterday was my main man's 14th birthday.  Usually I don't make a big deal out his birthday and as hard as it is to face, the likelihood of him celebrating too many more is not the best.  So I took him to the groomer, posted lots of pictures on Facebook, and brought him to work with me so people could fawn over him.  At some point during the all the birthday frivolity I realized Bloom Day was today.

My Nickster is 14!  Where did the time go?

So last night I sprinted madly around the garden and grabbed a few pictures.  Much of my garden focus is on later season interest so I'm always amazed at how much is in bloom in the spring.  Here is a cross section:

The fleeting blooms of Magnolia 'Sunspire'

My big overgrown Viburnum carlesii crowding out Cotimus 'Golden Spirit'

Fothergilla gardenii with the fading blooms of a Hellebore.

Kerria japonica 'Picta' is one of my favorite shrubs for dry shady spots 

Rhododendron 'Ken Janek' just days away from bursting into full bloom

Rhododendron 'Capistrano'

Daphne caucasica 'Jim's Pride' has been happy and long lived on the wall garden

I don't remember the cultivar name of this Rhododendron.  The flowers are fading now.

Here is what the flowers looked like a week ago

Dicentra season is upon us.  Most are reseeded from a plant of long ago.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' surrounded by Galium odoratum

I absolutely love the gaudiness of Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'.

Primula in the shadow of a Disporum flavens

In the sping, I have been known to hand trim around Ajuga that has naturalized in my lawn.

Here's what happens when you restore lawn over what used to be garden.

Anemone sylvestris

Epimedium youngianum ;Niveum'

Chrysogonum virginianum is another plant for tough dry shade

Phlox subulata forms the perfect skirt for a variegated Yucca in the curb garden

Iberis sempervirens 'Golden Candy'

A true "perennial" Sunflower

Brunnera 'Variegata' and Epimedium 'Lilafee"

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Nepeta 'Little Titch' has survived repeated attacks by the flea bag cat

One of my favorite spring activities is to create garden chaos.  Usually I accomplish this by moving plants all over the place.  As a result, not much looks pretty right now but here are a few long shots.

My much neglected front garden is the only one of my gardens that looks put together in the spring.

Pathway from the garage to the side entry.  Lots of opportunity here.  Now if I could just find the perfect plants.

Another Dicentra ;Gold Heart' in the back border.

So there you have it!  Much thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly event and making me go out and stalk photos when I otherwise would not.  Be sure to head over to her site and take a peek at what's in bloom right now all over the globe.

Keep digging!



  1. Beautiful garden shots, Sue!

    Nick's looking entirely too distinguished for his own good. Happy Birthday to him!

    1. Thank you, William. I'm hoping Nick gets blessed with a few more good years.

  2. Please give Nick a hearty noggin' scratch from his fans here in North Dakota. Our old guy Tito Turns 14 in July, it goes without saying that we cherish each birthday a lot more now.

    1. Happy Early birthday to Tito! Fourteen is quite a milestone age for a dog, even a smaller breed.

  3. Bloom day is beautiful at your home! I have some lilacs blooming, and that's about it!

    Oh how I love that hearty tulip that survived the lawn. I once had one come up through a freshly poured concrete sidewalk!

    1. Lilacs are one shrub I don't grow. I love them but had problems with mildew. If someone developed a variegated foliage variety I might be tempted to take another look...

  4. Happy birthday to Nick! May he live long and end up in the Guinness Book of World Records!

    Your garden looks wonderful. I especially love that Magnolia. Happy GBBD!

    1. Nick's mother lived to be 16 so he does have some hereditary longevity. Magnolia 'Sunspire' is a beauty I just wished the bloom time wasn't so short.

  5. Your garden looks spring time fresh! The various varieties of dicentra caught my eye. I have to grow them as annuals. They simply don't return. I really like the phlox with the yucca. What an interesting combination!

    1. Dicentra spectabilis varieties go summer dormant here-even 'Gold Heart' which I have seen advertised as having foliage that holds up all season. Not true.

  6. How lovely!!!! you really have a lot blooming right now. Love that fothergilla and your rhodies are beautiful. I lost my Minnitonka and haven't figured out what to replace it with yet. It was a tough winter but you'd never know it looking at your spring pics.

    1. I lost most of my Agastaches, one of my borderline Hydrangeas is touch and go, and the Leycesteria is struggling to come back from the base. Most troubling though is I haven't seen any sign of Musa basjoo yet.

    2. Sure hope your banana comes back. Any sign yet?

    3. No, no sign at all :(.

  7. Happy birthday, Nick! 12-year-old Ein sends his best (gulp). Your garden has the scope of an estate garden, with amazing woody shrubs. I need to check your archives for posts on giving over garden space to grass. Trying to free up more of your summer to hiking possibly?

    1. I haven't done that post yet, Denise, but yes, the goal was to free up some time for activities other than gardening.

  8. Happy Birthday to Nick, who looks very handsome on his 14th birthday. I'm sure he was the toast of the office when you brought him to work. Your garden is looking great (especially the front yard - wow!).

  9. Beautiful! It is interesting that your rhododendrons are out and blooming, up in the Litchfield hills they haven't even thought about it yet.

  10. Love your garden! So many different blooms. Love how it surrounds your house so beautifully as well. How lovely, the tulip, I think it might be the same kind I have here in a pot. Only four of them and now faded already. You can see a close-up however in my GBBD post for this month. Tulips don't do well in our shady garden with heavy clay soil but I just love tulips so keep trying to grow them in pots ;)
    Have a lovely day!

  11. I always forget about meme's but I'm glad other people remember so I can read their cool posts. :o) I had no idea kerria survived dry shade. I have so much of it! Your garden is off to a fabulous start. :o)