Saturday, May 11, 2013

What's Growing On Out There?

May is such a busy time for the northern gardener. We have lots of preparation and planting to do this time of year, but we are rewarded with the constant arrival of new blossoms. It's an exciting time of year for us! Let's see what's growing on in my garden this month. The lilacs are both in bloom, first the common ones, then the Miss Kim. Both are so very fragrant, but the Miss Kim is way more floriferous! My regular lilac bush is very small and has been for several years. Maybe someday it will grow.

I'm definitely enjoying the blooming of the the Chocolate Chip ajuga by the front walk. Normally it blooms in conjunction with the daffodils I've planted underneath them, and they look nice together. This year, the daffs came and went quickly, so the droopy stems don't really compliment the flowers beneath them.
Columbines are so easy to grow, these red and white ones seed themselves all over the place. The red doesn't really go with everything else in this area, but they don't bloom for long. I tried to remove them last year, but they had other ideas. The purple double columbines would be welcome to spread themselves around, but they don't do that. Figures.

The Kousa dogwood hasn't always been a favorite around here. It doesn't bloom reliably, and never gives me nice fall color. But one doesn't just dig up a healthy tree, so I deal with it. Maybe someday I'll get the nerve to just take it out and replace it. Maybe a Serviceberry would please me more. The bracts are starting to show, so I see it is going to have a good blooming year. But even so, it never blooms as prettily as a standard dogwood.
My alliums have popped up all over the place. I'm pretty sure I planted more this past fall, and I'm glad I did. They are like exclamation points for the garden!
Doublefile viburnum is looking its best this year, and you'd think it was a lacecap hydrangea if you didn't know better.

I particularly like the tapestry under my front dining room window. In this photo, you'll see Jack Frost brunnera, Silver Beacon dead nettle, and Starry Night violas. The dead nettle spreads itself around like crazy, but it's easy to rip out any extras. The brunnera and violas are great at reseeding themselves, but in a mannerly way.
I'm not exactly a hosta fan, and recently dug out a bunch of them to give away. However, there is one hosta that I love, called June. I think it's the only hosta that made me say "Wow" when I first saw it. It looks particularly lovely covered in raindrops.
Heucheras are another plant that most gardeners love, but don't really thrill me. I do have one, and it's the traditional, original, all green model, more commonly known as Coral Bells. This one I approve of, and so do the hummingbirds.  Yes, I know the purple and red are clashing. It's okay, the ajuga blooms will fade away soon.
The first rose to arrive is always Funny Face, a vigorous shrub rose that will bloom like mad all summer. I like that in a rose.
There was a surprise waiting for me out by the clematis lamp post. I wasn't expecting any blooms for awhile yet. Hmmm, seems to be the clematis that I tore out last year and replaced. Guess I didn't get all the roots. Oh well, it can stay. I don't think I could ever separate it from the others anyway. I remember it was called Clair de Lune.
My favorite surprise this week was a beautiful fragrance on the air one morning. I went about my business, wondering what it was when I realized that the iris must be blooming! I hurried to the back yard and found these lovelies. Now that's a real beauty.
See what I mean? There is so much going on out in the garden this time of year. Every day is a wonderful surprise!


  1. You are growing some plants I love, especially the lilacs and that blue and white iris. You have a lot of flowering plants and they must keep you busy.

  2. June is one of my favorite hostas, too, and I also love your ajuga! Sadly, lilac doesn't do well here. Yours is gorgeous!

  3. Robin, your lilac looks wonderful and all the others!
    At the moment we have Ice Saints and it's cold and rainy.
    I wood love to have a dogwood


  4. Robin girl you have so many stunning plants featured here .. I wish I could see your gardens in person .. they are beautiful !! I just planted a Bloomerang lilac yesterday morning with a few other little plants and herbs .. but the weather switched from warm and sunny to WINDY and COOL .. so I am waiting for the wind to go down tomorrow to do more gardening.
    You are way ahead of me with all of your plants .. you have gorgeous pictures of them here .. I rush too much and my pictures aren't up to snuff .. must take more time ..
    Lovely post girl .. you should be proud of your plant babies !! They are smashing !
    PS .. I should really appreciate the cooler weather because soon I will be complaining of the heat and humidity ? LOL

  5. Robin, Oh my goodness!!! those are gorgeous blooms!! makes me want to go and add to my garden.. and I think I will thanks for the motivation..
    Happy Monday..

  6. Is there a person alive who does not or would not love the scent of lilacs? May is abundant with blooms and yours are beautiful. Enjoy.


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