Saturday, May 7, 2011

Early May Flowers

      Yesterday's blog showed the lay out of the back yard garden, but did not include pictures of many of the plants currently in bloom.  So here are shots taken yesterday of some color spots around the yard.

Jack-in-the-pulpit and Tree Peony, 5-5-11

Tree Peony, 5-5-11

      The tree peony is in full bloom now, with each flower six inches across.  Unlike the common peony, tree peonies become a small shrub that has branches that don't die back in the winter.  They are very slow growing, and supposedly Do Not like to be moved.  So if you get one, make sure of the spot you put it in because if it likes that spot, it may well outlast you!
      The Jack-in-the-pulpit are in bloom right now, but I forgot to take their picture yesterday.  But they are multiplying out of control, so they are an entrant on the give away list.  Anyone interested?

Ajuga and Pachysandra, 5-5-11

      The ajuga or bugle weed has invaded the Pachysandra bed.  Interesting, as the Pachysandra is quite an invader itself.  I was delighted a few years back when the ajuga appeared in the garden as a single volunteer.  It generally behaves itself, staying in shady areas that don't dry to the bone in summer.  Certainly looks pretty in the bed above in the early morning dappled light.

Weigelia, 5-5-11

Looking through the weigelia, 5-5-11 

      I like the weigelia, as it behaves and stays in bounds most of the time.  It gets pruned maybe every other year, and puts on a beautiful spring blooming session every May.  It continues to do well in a spot that gets very little, if any, direct sun light.

Bleeding Heart and Sweet Woodruff, 5-5-11

Sweet Woodruff, 5-5-11

      I bought the Sweet Woodruff from the donation tent at the Wilmington Flower Market maybe twenty years ago as a little inhabitant in a two inch pot.  I planted it under the White Ash where it took hold before its desire to wander around the yard.  Now it is in several spots, providing a beautiful delicate green back ground with dainty white flowers in early May.  In the dry heat of the summer it gets absolutely decimated and dies back to brown twigs in places.  Don't pull it out!  It will likely return to its full glory in the next damp spring.
      The shot of the Bleeding Heart above is to illustrate just how big they get, if only for a brief time.  The foliage will start to fade to pale yellow shortly, and then die back to the ground.  But they won't be dead, just resting to come back even bigger next year.  This year I probably have ten different clumps around, so please speak up if interested.

Yellow euonymus, 5-5-11

Yellow euonymus, 5-5-11

      The yellow euonymus does not flower, but obviously can add a huge blast of color.  And it sticks around permanently.  While this plant is mainly a ground cover, if not pruned it will grow into a short shrub, or even climb trees to a height of 20 feet or more.  The white variegated form I also have is much less hardy than the yellow form, so may be preferable if you fear an invasion.  All are easy to propagate from branch cuttings, so these little babies could be mailed most anywhere. 

Star of Bethlehem, 5-5-11

     I can clearly remember finding a small clump of Star of Bethlehem growing behind the hedge years ago.  Digging it up and transplanting it to a garden bed.  Proudly telling Cindy that morning that I had found a beautiful little wild flower.  For free!  Well, like the violets to the left in the picture above, we will be at war with these two wildflowers till the day we quit gardening.  Then their legions of offspring will live to battle on with the new homeowners.  I know the violets are edible, so maybe we should just start eating them.  That would stop them in their tracks.  The people at Bellevue put in a butterfly garden last year and even welcomed donations of violets.  Unfortunately, their enthusiasm waned after only two wagonsfull.  The current supply of violets popping up in the back bed makes one afraid to sleep at night lest they should try to move indoors.  I wonder if the Star of Bethlehem bulbs are edible?

Scilla, 5-5-11

      The scilla is a relative of the hyacinths, looking somewhat like a wood hyacinth, only taller.  Yep, I found this clump growing under the back privet hedge and moved it into the garden.  Unfortunately, the leaves just fall to the ground, but the flower stalks are quite lovely.  This bunch should be divided after the plant dies back.  I noticed a couple of days ago that the mother plant behind the hedge is back.  I vaguely remember having left a couple of bulbs there from my previous scavenge.  Had I intended to move the whole clump, I luckily missed some bulbs.

Daisies to bloom soon, 5-5-11
     These daisies are about to bloom soon.  They will be a beautiful sight.  Wouldn't you like them in your garden rather than in my bunny protected enclosure.  While we are digging them out, how many thousand raspberry plants would you like?  I really don't understand why nurseries have to grow the stuff that I can't even get rid of.  And to think the raspberries began their reign as five sticks that arrived by mail.
      Tis time to quit writing, get some breakfast, put on the gloves, and head out to battle.  Garden on.

1 comment:

  1. Nice lesson on perennial ornamentals! I spend so much time on my vegetables that I don't get around to including such beauties in my landscape.