Thursday, May 14, 2009

May Bloom Day

We've had so much rain lately that it has really taken a toll on the blooms this spring. Some are holding up better than others.

This is a new clematis that I just planted this spring called "Durandii" -

Another clematis - "Jackmanii" a tried and true favorite -

I love the old fashioned St. Joseph's Lily (Hippeastrum Johnsonii) -

And the remainder are all roses -

A new one that I bought from Petals from the Past this year is "Dame de Coeur"

"Robin Hood" is always reliable and blooms for a long time -


"The Pilgrim" is one of the David Austin English roses -

"Red Cascade" is a miniature that can get really big

"La Marne" is a carefree shrub rose that I often recommend -

"Francois Juranville" is a vigorous but thornless rambler -

"New Dawn" is another great rose - tough and disease resistant. That is the Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea "Sike's Dwarf" on the right -

"Marjorie Fair" is a hybrid musk that grows out in front by the road. I have received more comments on it this year than any other rose.

Another great rose is "Gartendirektor Otto Linne" - I planted a hedge of it outside the fence -

A variety of roses in the border. The red in the background is the rugosa "FJ Grootendorst". The tall pink rose in the middle is "Lyric". "Gartendirektor Otto Linne" again in the bottom and "Daydream" in the foreground.

That's it for the May Bloom Day. Carol at May Dream Gardens invites bloggers to share photos of what's blooming in their gardens on the 15th of each month.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gifts from gardening friends

As I was puttering in the garden this afternoon and taking photos when I should have been weeding, I started noticing several plants were blooming that were gifts from gardening friends.

This beautiful iris - 'Edith Wolford' - is a gift from Randy, Jamie and their friend Carol who visited us a few weeks ago.

Kaye, an Internet acquaintance from Arkansas, was passing through the area on the way to Florida, and made a detour to visit our garden. I felt so honored. She and her husband have a beautiful rose garden and they brought me three China roses that I didn't have. This one is "Archduke Charles" -

Jennifer, rose rustler extraordinaire, has been rooting cuttings from the roses in our garden. Last fall she gave us this beautiful variegated sedum which has been getting lots of attention from garden visitors. Isn't it stunning?

There are many more plants in the garden that have come from friends and visitors. I will have to do a "Part 2" when those start to bloom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Veilchenblau, the "Blue Rose"

I know, I know, there is no such thing as a blue rose. Hybridizers are still trying to come up with one. This beautiful rambler is named "Veilchenblau" which means "violet-blue" in German but who would choose a blue rose over the colors this one displays? I don't think I would. I like it just the way it is. Deep purple crimson buds open to a softer lavender and fade to light pink and white. Each flower has a white streak running along the petals.  

This is a rose that always elicits ooo's and ahhhh's from visitors to the garden. Bred in 1909, it is a vigorous but thornless rambler that can be grown a variety of ways, covering arches like we grow it or letting it scamper along a fence. If you look at my photo from last year, you will see that it was much larger then. I pruned it severely last year because it was getting out of control and had some die-back. This is how it looks this year -

Disease-resistant and very easy to grow, this is one of my favorites. The only sad thing about it is that it only blooms one time a year and has little fragrance.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Peonies envy

I hate to be asked to choose a favorite flower but if someone held a gun to my head and demanded an answer, I could supply one. Roses would be my favorite and coming in second place - the peony. I love the big blowsy double types but the one pictured here is a single called "Scarlet O'Hara". I've had it for about 10 years and it always blooms faithfully. The vivid red blossoms quickly fade to pink after only a few days. This peony blooms earlier than my other peony plants, which are doubles.

Most gardeners know that peonies grow best in northern climates because they need a strong winter chill to make them happy. There are quite a few varieties though that do fine here. "Festive Maxima" and "Sarah Bernhardt" are two that come to mind.

I was visiting my mother yesterday and I noticed that the peonies I had planted there years ago were covered in buds and much happier than the ones in our garden. This is probably because hers are unhampered by neighboring plants and have full sun. That is the key to a healthy peony - plant it in a large, well-prepared hole with good rich ammendments with the "eyes" (they are easy to spot) at soil level or just an inch or so under the ground. Give it plenty of room and sun and forget about them! They don't like to be pampered or moved. And lots of people ask me about the ants that love to visit the buds. They don't harm the plants at all!