June 4, 2018

End of May Color


After years of head scratching and transplanting, the Northwest corner is finally looking pretty good this year, and I think I've got enough later-bloomers to keep it in color throughout the growing season.


'Medallion' Oriental poppies are the stars this year.  I nearly gave up on them when they were so floppy while growing in a more shaded site.  I'm so glad I found a place for them in the sun and gave them a second chance.  'Caradonna' salvia, 'Totally Tangerine' geum and 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris are in the background.


Here is a broader view of the area with a pink 'Rivida' peony in bloom at bottom right.


The 'Ambassador' alliums are still my favorite large allium, although their great height (4-5' for me) makes it harder to place them in the garden.  I never thought of purple as my favorite color, but it must be my favorite garden color since I have so much of it.  Me and the bees.


This is the current view while standing at the entrance gate to the backyard and looking north.


And here is the view looking south toward the garden gate.  I have the 'Firestorm' geum and 'Dusseldorf Pride' armeria planted in zig-zags across the path. 


The peonies come and go so quickly.  This is an early red that I received from a friend.


I have two small 'Buckeye Belle' peonies that have such deep color.  Luscious.


My 'Stellar Pink' dogwood has recovered from transplanting two years ago and looks better than ever.  It had to be moved to accommodate our remodel, and it gets a little more sun in this spot at the northeast corner of the house.  That extra sun has paid off in extra blooms this year.

Sweet 'Stellar Pink.'  This is one of the excellent new dogwood hybrids from Rutger's University.

May 18, 2018

Midway on the Color Crescendo


The best color in the garden will happen over the next month (and maybe again in August/September, if my dahlia dreams come true), but pretty combos are starting to appear around the garden.  Above are 'Margarita' and 'Black Hero' double tulips.


'Black Hero' is such a fascinating color.  It looks maroon up close and in some types of light, and then it looks truly black at other times of the day.  It's also very long blooming, even though it opens at the end of tulip season.  Above it contrasts with an 'Early Emperor' allium, 'Moulin Rouge' astrantia, Euphorbia polychroma and 'Totally Tangerine' geum in the background.


I finally planted some 'Purple Sensation' alliums last fall, and the purple color is fabulous!  It also opens early in the allium season.  This cultivar is inexpensive to buy but is a valuable addition in the garden.


Here's one more shot of 'Black Hero' in the black and white garden area.  'Blue Mist' fothergilla is blooming in the midground, and the annuals in my broken fountain are sporting new growth.


A newly planted 'Mai Tai' geum perfectly echoes the spring leaf colors of my 'Peach Sorbet' dwarf blueberry bush in the background.


'Banana Daiquiri' geum is blooming for the first time in a soft butter yellow.

'Diane's Gold' brunnera and 'Sherwood Purple' Phlox stolonifera make a soothing duet.  It's so hard to capture good photos of these low growers, especially when they're young.


Another striking harmony came from 'Axcent Blue' aubrieta and a saxifrage, cultivar name unknown.  This photo is from over a week ago.


In the front yard, my 'Coral Supreme' peonies are about to bloom.  This photo is from around a week ago and shows the new support ring I installed this year.  I used this large Essex Support on three of my biggest peony plants, and I'm happy to note that they've grown to hide the metal and are staying beautifully upright for the first time.


May 9, 2018

Spring Petal Shower



The 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple trees are coming into bloom this week as the 'Spring Snow' crabapples drop their petals.  I have been busy in the garden with all the spring chores.  It's so nice to be outside again after a long winter.

Creeping phlox and Euphorbia polycroma add color at ground level along with a few tulips.

Long blooming 'Margarita' tulips are finishing up as 'Black Hero' begins to open.  I really need to plant more tulips this fall!

By fall I have less energy for planting bulbs, but in spring I always wonder why I didn't plant many more of them.  In this main sunny bed, I'm planning to add more double tulips for next year, like 'Orange Princess,' 'Abba,' 'Miranda,' 'Black Hero,' and 'Menton Exotic.' 


Allium leaves have been providing green color for over a month, and the earliest allium bloomers are starting to open their buds.  My alliums increase each year and have been divided and transplanted around the garden.


On warm days we've been enjoying the new bench swing.  Soon this corner will be shady when the honey locust trees finally finish leafing out.


My six 'Katherine Havemeyer' lilac shrubs are blooming now.  I wish I'd planted six different types instead, but in the past couple of years I found space for deep violet 'Yankee Doodle' and reddish-purple 'Charles Joly.'  These aren't blooming yet.  Maybe next year.


I planted annual verbena, euphorbia and dichondra in the bottom section of my broken black fountain.  The sprinklers reach it, though I might have to supplement water in the hottest part of summer.


I'm happy to finally look out the window and see so much green.


May is a magical time in the garden.  There's even more color coming next month, but I have to remind myself to fully enjoy what's happening now.


The west garden is cheerful as usual.  Spring is so great.