Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2019

Iris Langport Wren

This month the stars of the garden are the various irises and aquilegias.  I have always loved Irises of all sorts.  My love affair started with bearded irises such as Langport Wren above.  Over the years various varieties have come and gone from the garden, mainly due to too much shade, but Langport Wren has ben a stalwart.  Now my garden is more sunny and I have more open border space with good drainage I think I might think about adding some more varieties for next year.

 

Iris Pacific Coast Hybrid

By contrast the Pacific Coast Hybrids are fairly new to me.  The one above I grew from seed and I thrilled it has two flowers this year.  I think they should be know more in the UK as they do very well in dry and shading conditions such as under decidious trees or around conifers.

Dutch Iris – variety unknown

The Dutch Florist irises are also coming into their own.  I add a pack of two each year and have learnt that you need to plant them amongst the late summer perennials so the new foliage of the perennials hides the long gangly stems.  They are like rockets of colour emerging from the undergrowth.

Dutch Iris Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is this years new addition and I am really pleased as it appears most of the 20 odd corms I planted will flower.

There is a lot of blue in the garden at this moment and this Aquilegia is the most amaze azure blue, it really is a vibrant as the photo indicates. All of my aquilegias come from various seed packets from various seed exchanges so aren’t named varieties and you get some amazing ones but also some not to good.  Another couple of favourites below.

I’ve previously shared my sea of blue camassias which have just gone over but now the cream ones are flowering.  They aren’t as prolific at multiplying and are more elegant than the blues; I like the contrast of the cream spires against the foliage.

Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely is another plant that looks fabulous at this time of year.  A wonderful confection of frothy white flowers above the sweet aniseed smelling foliage.

This Centaurea plant sits quietly on the corner of a border but at this time of year is awash with vibrant lilac flowers – so pretty.

In the front garden, which I am trying to remember to include more, the Libertia is drawing attention to itself with its papery white flowers.  The only trouble with Libertia, as far as I am concerned, is that the flowers translate into seeds which translate into a mass of seedlings which get everywhere and are a pain to extract but there are worse problems in the world.

And finally, my first Alliums to flower this year.  I have quite a few types of Allium flowering all through the summer.  I can’t remember the variety of these but they are good doers and come up year after year and the leaves aren’t too large to cause a problem in the border.

Those are my May highlights – for more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dream Gardens.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2016

Lamprocapbos spectablis ‘Valentine’
Lamprocapbos spectablis ‘Valentine’

Every gardener I know seems to be saying this last week ‘Goodness hasn’t the garden shot up this week’ and yes we have been blessed finally with warmer temperatures which coupled with the rain has given plants a real boost.  Needless to say having moaned about the cool spring for weeks and weeks those same gardeners are now moaning that they can’t keep on top of things!  Personally, with my more lackadaisical approach I don’t worry too much about weeds or that the last bit of lawn needs cutting – they will all be dealt with as and when I have time.  At this time of year I am spending more time looking and spotting familiar friends reappearing or studying new acquisitions to see how they grow. So for this month’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post I am going to showcase my favourite flowers this weekend.

Trillium albidum
Trillium albidum
Trillium grandiflorum
Trillium grandiflorum
Unknown Trillium
Unknown Trillium

I am completely obsessed with the trilliums that have reappeared this year, there are two more but they aren’t flowering yet.  To be honest I had forgotten about two of them so did a ridiculous little dance when suddenly I spotted them in the border.  I can’t work out what the bottom one is, it might be that the flower will develop more and be easier to identify over the next week.

Uvularia
Uvularia

Another woodland delight that took me by surprise but not for long and I soon remembered what it was.  Such a pretty dainty flower and I do like the way the petals twist.

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On a larger scale in the shady side of the garden the rhododendrons are flowering, these two are my favourites.  If I ever am lucky enough to have a larger garden with the right soil I will definitely indulge myself with lots more rhododendrons especially those wonderful ones with furry leaves.

Sweet Cicely
Sweet Cicely

Moving out of the shade into the sunshine the first of the umbellifers is flowering, lovely Sweet Cicely, such an pretty flower.

Allium cameleon
Allium cameleon

Allium cameleon is in its second year in the garden and already bulking up well.  It is a short, front of the border allium, much daintier than alliums such as Allium Purple Sensation.  I really like the way the flowers are blushed with pink.

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One of those bigger blowsy alliums just starting to open; I can’t remember which but I suspect it is Purple Sensation.  I do love alliums in all their varieties and have them flowering in the garden right through to high summer.

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The sea of camassias which have dominated the Big Border creating a delicious blue haze for the last few weeks is coming to an end.  It is only the very top of the stems which still have flowers and I can’t bring myself to remove them until they have lost every single flower.

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My favourite Aquilegia, its a seedling of the mckenna varieties with the long spurs at the back of the flower which I much prefer to the more chubby looking aquilegias which I think are varieties of the native columbine, whereas the mckenna varieties come from the USA.   I have lots of aquilegias, I went through a slightly obsessive period of growing them from seed and interestingly certain colours predominate.  I think I will weed out the ones that don’t appeal so much and maybe try to increase the mckenna varieties.  There are some who argue that over time all aquilegias revert to the muddy pink variety.  This just isn’t true what actually happens is they loose their original aquilegias and the muddy pink ones are seedlings which tend to revert back.

So those are the stars of my garden this week for other gardeners blooms pop over to Carol at May Dreams and check out the links.

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2015

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Unusually for me I’m a day late with the GBBD post but I had a wonderful surprise on my return from Rome as the Alliums have just started to open their puff-ball flowers and there are a whole array of them dancing above the prostrate rosemary.

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Allium cameleon (above) is a new addition this year and I rather like the pink tones of the buds and newly open florets which then go whiter.  Its a very pretty flower.

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Alliums aside May is the month of the Aquilegia in my garden.  I have loved Aquilegias for years and have a growing range of plants.  I prefer the ones with larger flowers to the more, shall we say dumpy, flowers which I think are related to our native Columbine.  I am rather taken with the second and last of the four above, both in their first year of flower so it was a nice surprise to see what the flowers looked like. 2015_05150041However, I have a special soft spot for Aquilegia canadensis (above).  I adore the vibrancy of the flower but it is also one of the first species Aquilegias I grew from seed and was the start of a quiet fascination.

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Orange seems to be making more of an appearance in my garden than at this time in previous years.  Both Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ and Lathyrus aureus were bought last year.  I like the contrast with the purples which seem to be the prevailing colour in the garden at the moment and I think small dots of orange, especially from the geum flowers which have a habit of nodding above other plants on long stems really add some zing to the border.

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Talking of purple one of the first plants I sought out on my return yesterday was the Buddleja salvifolia.  I have been waiting for it to flower for weeks.  Another new purchase last year it is just heavenly, the leaves are wonderfully soft a bit like Stachys byzantina and the scent is wonderful.

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Umbellifers seem to be creeping into my garden more and more.  I have started to appreciate the added texture their frothy flowers bring.  At the moment this is from Sweet Cicely (bottom) and Chaeropjyllum hirsutum roseum (top).

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In startling contrast we have Arisaema consangineum (I think) which I grew from seed many years ago and seems to really like its new location on the slope.  As ever in my garden the flowers are pointing in the opposite direction to I had planned but I learnt the other day that you can rotate the bulb to put the flower in the right place and the plant will stay like that, the flower doesn’t grow towards the sun like other plants so I might give that a go.

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And finally we have the wonderful Lamprocapbos spectablis ‘Valentine’ which is a real show stopper.  There are other flowers in the garden, the geraniums are just starting to open as are the irises but these are the plants that are flowering their  best today.

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams

 

In A Vase on Monday – Mid Spring Delights

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My Vase on Monday has been through a couple of guises today.  I wanted to feature the Ballerina Tulips which are really the only tulips I have.  They grow in the front garden so escaped the notice of the badger in past years – the badger hasn’t worked out how to get to the front of the house.  They are a form of tulip which will naturalise and they seem to be doing this.  The first incarnation of my vase featured a smoked Venetian glass vase with the orange tulips, some Berginia ‘Bressingham White’, Sweet Cicely and the new red orange foliage of my neighbour’s Photinia (it grows over the fence).

Anyway, looking at the vase on my mantlepiece it become quickly obvious that it just didn’t work.  The Photinia foliage was too strong and too dominant and although it was similar to the orange of the tulips it detracted from the flowers rather than showcasing them.  A re-think was needed.  The vase had to go as it was a narrow necked vase and I wanted to add more and the Photinia foliage was scraped.

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Instead I added some small ‘Jan Reus’ tulips which have survived in the back garden and reflowered for a number of years but as happens when you leave tulips in the ground the flowers can become smaller; I think I prefer the smaller flowers.  I also added Lunaria ‘Chedglow’ and replaced the foliage with Epimedium foliage which I think works well as the bronzing in the leaves works with the orange flowers.  I like the way the ‘Jan Reus’ tulips pick up on the centre of the Bergina flowers which also have a hint of orange in the middle.  Of course it has all ended up in a very ordinary glass vase but I think that adds to its charm and simplicity.

For more Vases on Monday ramble over to Cathy’s and check our her vase and others (links in comments box)