Garden Blogger Bloom Day – May 2014

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May is the month for Aquilegia in my garden.  They are amongst my favorite perennials and every year a few more varieties appear.  I know some say that they revert back to muddy pink ones but I don’t find this so.  In fact I don’t think this makes sense since it is unlikely that a plant’s flowers will revert and I think they are actually getting lots of seedlings from plants cross breeding or reverting back to the more native variety.

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At the moment it is mainly the more granny bonnet style aquilegias that are flowering.  I have some others which have the longer spurs which are my absolute favorites2014_05130032logo and these will open in a week or so.  I don’t know what varieties any of these aquilegias are as they have been grown from various mix packs of seeds over the years.

Aquilegia canadensis
Aquilegia canadensis

My absolute favourite one is Aquilegia canadensis – the colour is so vibrant and is really standing out against all the white, pinks and purples at the moment. I have to admit I do like orange and purple in the garden – I seem to have a similar combination in the front garden.

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I’m not sure what geranium this is.  I grew it from seed from a seed exchange last year but when images on the internet don’t match the plant so I think the seed was mislabeled. The leaves are very large and the flowers are significantly larger than my other geraniums.  I wonder if it is Geranium palmatum.

Dicentra Valentine
Dicentra Valentine

I am also very fond of this Dicentra Valentine which was a purchase from last year’s Malvern Spring Show.  I like the strong flower colour alongside the dark stems.

Maianthemum racemosum
Maianthemum racemosum

In the Woodland Border the colours are more subtle with the fluffy Maianthemum racemosum which is just beginning to go over but has been spectacular over the last few weeks.

Polygonatum commutatum
Polygonatum commutatum

The Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum commutatum) is such an elegant plant but last year I lost it all to the evil Solomon Seal sawfly so we shall see what happens this year.  Luckily last year’s attack doesn’t seem to have weakened the plants which are actually looking larger and lusher than last year.

Lunaria annua ‘Alba Variegata’
Lunaria annua ‘Alba Variegata’

Finally the white variegated honesty.  The variegation on the foliage this year is so strong this year that the flowers are almost lost but I do love this plant and I am reminded I need to sow some more for next year.

For other Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dream Gardens

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. ann noble says:

    I have just read a piece by James Alexader Sinclair on into gardens saying we have to relax and learn to live with the saw fly on solomons seal

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ann
      Im not so sure about living with the saw fly, it was quite disgusting last year the whole plant was heaving with the caterpillars, made me feel quite ill

  2. Hi Helen, I think your mystery Geranium is either maderense or Palmatum.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi June
      I think its palmatum as I have had maderense before and it isnt quite the same

  3. MCH says:

    I did not realize there was a white variegated variety of Honesty. I have the pale purple type self-sowing all over my garden. I love them. Do the white ones sel=sow freely as well?
    I will try to locate some seeds or plants. Marion

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Marion
      I think if you have both the white and the purple they will cross-pollinated and not come true from seed but they do self-seed although I collect the seeds and sow them in pots. I think Special Plants might do the seeds

  4. Pauline says:

    By the time the saw fly attacks my Solomon’s Seal, I just cut them down, they don’t seem to mind this treatment and come back every year without fail. Your Geranium looks like Geranium palmatum, I grew it a few years ago but forgot to save seed one year unfortunately, I will have to buy some more and start again!

  5. Linda says:

    Love your aquilegias! I have quite a patch of self-seeded, and they are all different sahdes of purple.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Linda
      My acquilegias are self seeding, I just tend to remove any that aren’t that good a colour or in the wrong place

  6. We’re fans of Aquilegia too and our garden is full of them at the moment. We have a gorgeous pink variety which we picked up from one of the show gardens at the end of the Chelsea Flower Show last year. She was such a pretty pink that I couldn’t resist her, and she’s just reappeared in our garden in the last couple of weeks I’m happy to see.
    Loving your pictures!
    Agent Sophie

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sophie
      I love aquilegias, always have some germinating somewhere. This year another four pots of seeds this time bright oranges etc

  7. Sue. says:

    geranium palmatum. Mine is not in flower but I do live in North Yorkshire and we are a long way behind you lot in the South.

    Sue.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thank you Sue and others – I suspected it was palmatum as I bought one a few years ago and promptly lost it. I will have to remember to collect some seeds as a security measure but I think the seedlings might do well at plant sales tables as they are so stunning.

  8. Aga says:

    The aquilegias are really lovely flowers. Because of its unusuall shape I decided to grow them in my garden. I only planted them this year, but one of them is going to bloom soon, so you can imagine my excitement:)

  9. I was looking forward to seeing your beautiful blooms and especially the aquilegias…I adore them too

  10. Hi Helen, good to see the ‘wisdom of crowds’ in action. I think we all agree it’s Geranium palmatum, we have some at Sissinghurst and they’re just about to flower for the first time, having been planted last summer. I love aquilegias too and as you particularly like the long-spurred ones, you would probably enjoy seeing the ones we have at Sissinghurst in the Top Courtyard as they are all long-spurred varieties. Helen

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sissinghurstblog
      (Found you lurking in spam comments!) I am hoping to visit in August which obviously will be far too late for the Aquilegias but you are so far away from me it means an overnight stay. I must collect seed from the geranium palmatum as I lost the one I had a few years back in a hard winter.

  11. Your Aquilegias and Dicentra are wonderful! Dicentra is a bit fussy here and either takes or doesn’t and yours are so healthy. I enjoyed the visit!

  12. just Lovely 🙂
    and do not miss

    SATURDAY SHOW OFF

    it is FUN 🙂
    Welcome
    The Roseman

  13. Leslie says:

    Your blooms are beautiful and way ahead of us here so I’m more thankful for you sharing them. Your gardens have developed so beautifully. What a job gardening on such a grade as in your back yard but you’ve terraced and used paths to wonderful result. Just love the wooden bench between those generous ferns.
    When I sold my late parents’ house I gave my sister many of my plants from there. Aquilegia of all kinds are one of my weaknesses but canadensis is still my sister’s favorite. I found the incredible Aquilegia site, Touchwood Plants, which just erupts into a floriferous riot of blooms. I wouldn’t trust myself any closer than the overseas web site.

  14. urzre says:

    Pretty images!

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