Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bloom Day in this Crazy Month of May

And I mean crazy. The weather has just been nuts here for months. It's either freezing or 90 (mostly freezing). Most of April was cold and nasty with an unusual amount of snow and below normal temperatures. May has been better but cold and rainy at least one day a weekend. Today it was a tornado watch, torrential rain, damaging winds and strong thunderstorms. Although we dodged the bullet at my house, tonight my Facebook and Instagram feeds are peppered with pictures of property destruction throughout Connecticut.

As you might expect I'm not where I'd like to be in the garden. Granted I'm working off a very ambitious list but that's what I do. After the patio was completed last September, we still had modifications to make to the house, much garden prep, lawn installation and some unplanned site work. Much of it got tabled into 2018. Losing pretty much the whole month of April killed me.

Anyway, here we are. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to take the pictures last night. Rivers of rain earlier tonight guaranteed no retakes. Due to never ending time constraints, I'm going to have to make this short and sweet. I apologize for being such a bad blogger. However, I'm fairly active on Instagram. If you're not already there, c'mom over!

One of my two inherited lilacs. The other is in too much shade to bloom and despite a bit of TLC this one struggles.

Corydalis sempervirens is a cute little wildflower that seeds around the ledge gardens in my front yard.

Only a few daffodils remain after a three day stretch a 90 degree weather a couple of weeks ago.

Epimedium youngianum 'Niviem'

I believe this is Epimedium 'Lilafee'

An old standby Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'

Last spring I found myself fascinated by photos of Camassia. I had never grown it before so added some bulbs to my fall order. Cool, huh?

Not much screams "Spring!" to me as loud as Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'. I know they're calling it Lamprocapnos now but I don't care. I like Dicentra better and it's easier to remember.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Alexander's Great'.

OK I am seriously in love with this fairly new Amsonia 'Storm Cloud'. Must. Plant. More.

I lost quite a few plants this winter to both weather and voles so I was excited to see the return of these two Euphorbia epithymoides 'Bonfire'. The shrub is an oddball cultivar of Forsythia 'Citrus Swizzle'.

Cool foliage or what?

One of the surprises of starting a new garden is getting reacquainted with fairly common plants that you previously took for granted like this Euphorbia polychroma.

Fothergilla x intermedia 'Blue Shadow is just a perfect little shrub.

I mean just look at those flowers!

I planted this Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine' last year and although it returned and is blooming it doesn't appear to be all that vigorous. But the flowers are unique so I'm willing to wait and see what next year brings.

A vignette of an unknown Primula, an unknown Heuchera, and what I think is Brunnera macrophylla 'Variegata'

I'm pleased with this Muscari mix I scattered all over the garden last fall.

Dave bought me this Cercis 'Ruby Falls' for my birthday last year. It's blooming and alive but suffered lots of dieback. Redbuds struggle here. Fingers crossed.

I see Rhododendrons growing in crappy full sun sites all the time yet they wither in my care. Over the weekend I moved this 'Miyama Gold Prinz' to what I hope will be a better site with more afternoon shade. I bought it in full bloom last year because the flowers were so unique but only one bud survived to bloom this spring.

"Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face..."

At some point I hope to have more long shots to share. Much of my plant budget has been allocated to shrubs and trees which makes for a lot of mulched bare spots. Once I get some annuals growing and my pots planted things should improve but it's going to be a few years before gardens start truly taking shape here.

In the meantime, head on over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what gardeners are growing today all around the world.



  1. Glad to see you on Bloomday Sue- You should think about coming to Denver next year-you and Dave could combine it with some fabu Rocky Mountain hikes! I had that Brunnera and after a few years it completely reverted to green. This seems to happen to me a lot, i.e. Nora Leigh among others . Happy Bloomday !

    1. Denver is in June so I just may be able to do that one. May was just a big nope. Too much to do here.

  2. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

  3. Crazy spring or not, your blooms are looking fabulous! I admire your hard work and patience and wish we'd accomplished more on our house while we were more motivated. Now we just avert our eyes as we pass holes in the plaster and the like.

    1. Thank you Peter! Lots of balls in the air here both inside and outside of the house. Fortunately we're proving to be accomplished jugglers I just wonder how long we'll last.

  4. I was pleased to see you pop up in my blog feed, Sue! I've wondered how your garden renovations were going. You've got a beautiful line-up of blooms. I love all the blues and those Epimediums, which I've tried and failed to grow in SoCal. I've been complaining almost non-stop about the lack of rain here but, after hearing your weather woes, I'll shut up and count myself lucky. Best wishes for improved conditions!

    1. We all have our regional weather crosses to bear Kris. As soon as I actually complete some projects I'll do a before and after post. Although it doesn't seem like it some days, we really have made some dramatic changes.

  5. Amsonia and camassia -- yes, I would if I could! Epimediums too. Sorry the weather has been so miserable. I showed Marty your IG on building the low rock wall and he was in awe, as am I of your energy level! Sucks to have it stymied by the rotten weather, but you guys have really accomplished tons.

  6. Ah, the wall...ha ha. I enjoy playing with scrap stone but I really need to be mindful of my aging back.

  7. Lilacs here are just starting to show. Our Tulip Festival is in full swing at the present, though.

  8. Your Epimediums are very floriferous! I can also understand your feelings for the Amsonia. I've got a lot of it in the back garden.

  9. I applaud your stamina and optimism. Starting over with a brand new garden and having to deal with all that delayed gratification... not something I am good at. You were my inspiration this year - I am attempting to replicate your last house's container-filled patio. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  10. I too like Camassia. I have the white, and need to move it out of the shade.