Friday, May 2, 2014

First of the Month Blues and Reviews in May

We had a blue Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with much rain. Today is cloudy with several sunny days upcoming. Broad views right now are mostly massive green, so my pics are closer to the subjects.

White Dawn Rose usually blooms by Mother's Day, right on time this year. White Dawn and Carefree Delight have that glossy dark foliage that looks so good.

I can never resist one more Julia Child close-up. The yellow roses have all bloomed. Sunny Knockout is just about dead. One limb died and critters knocked over the remaining stem. Nacogdoches and Eclipse added to the Julia show.

Verbena bonairensis is hard to capture in an attractive way because it acts as a see-through scrim in front of other plants and does not show up well. You can see enough to see that it's almost 5 feet tall this year and a good stand. I tucked some Chartreuse alternanthera in with it and Purple Heart. There is a good cover of Sedum acre blooming yellow on one of the stones that has Graptopetalum in the crevice between stones.

Chartreuse Alternanthera caught the best of the rains, tucked into place just in time. The bed above faces south and Purple Heart is rallying from the roots as Poppies bloom above. Below, 'Pandora's Box' daylilies relocated last fall with bits of Purple Heart between is joined by a defining row of Chartreuse under a white Crape Myrtle. This is the far end of the Yellow Roses Bed. Every year I add a little more pine straw when it falls and the bed gets a little longer.

I looked previous years' views ot this bed. It once had tulips, a good display in its early days when there was a rock wall that I tumbled down. I forget why. There used to be orange roses in back and yellow daylilies in front. Half the daylilies made a line across the back. At the end visible here are a Vitex tree and a Carefree Delight Rose. Carefree Delight gets bigger every year and mockingbirds make nests there. Kniphofia is now on both ends. There are Poppies most years.

I planted some Muhly grass that is now trying to make a show by fall. One of two porterweeds has sprouts which butterflies will enjoy the spikes of tiny blooms soon. I planted coral porterweed in the Fiesta bed today. I think this bed has blue.

 The big clump of Echinacea has some seedlings joining it on the north end. It doesn't show in the pic because it doesn't photograph well, but there is a good stand of the wildflower Venus' Looking Glass Triodanis perfoliata joining 'Victoria' Salvia farinacea which is at its best this year after all the rain.

I looked longingly at pictures of Salvias in the Lurie Garden. 'Victoria' is seed-grown and then I rooted more pieces when some failed. I am seeing this spring that years when we do not have ample rainfall is the primary reason for many failures, even of plants reported to be drought-tolerant.

 Dotted all around are self-planted clumps of Rose Campion, here with the only petunia to return -- last year's self-planted petunias did not return -- and a Brumansia that is just thinking about when to produce a bud.

Every day I find another sprout that decided to live another year, but there are several losses from cold and wet. I can hardly wait to see if white Lantana returns in the rock beds. Lots of Lantana sprouts, no blooms yet anywhere. I need more white for the greenhouse bed. One little plant survived; the big Lantana looks dead but I couldn't pull up the old root. Maybe it's just sulking. I will either root more or buy a new plant to start anew.

May is the time of year when we take stock of what survived and what needs pruning or removing. Did you have any surprises?    


  1. My Melianthus major that I thought was dead has sent up a little shoot. I don't know if it will be as magnificent as last year, but I hope so. I have some Salvias that seem to take forever to show themselves too. You have a lot more blooming there than I do.

  2. I love seeing all of the lovely blooms in your gardens dear Jean.

    We finally had a good soaking rain yesterday.

    Happy Spring and Mother's Day too.



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