The Garden At Mid-May

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The Flowering Dogwood bloomed very well this year and with its fresh green leaves looks very healthy after years of just getting by.

By the time I visited my garden today the sun was already high in the deep blue sky, casting a strong, harsh light. I walked the meditation circle, where both Husker Red and Pike’s Peak Purple Penstemons are nearly ready to bloom.  Nearby, also in the mediation circle, one tiny blue flower is visible among the leaves of Thyme. Rows of salmon Dianthus are startlingly pink, hardly meditative or sedate. Though they overwhelm, I remind myself they also overwintered and therefore will stay for now. (Elsewhere in the garden are some other bothersome color combinations I need to work out as well.)

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

A large stand of Monarda, more than three-feet tall, is preparing to take over showcase duties from its interplanted Columbine neighbor. Hummingbirds are visiting the garden more frequently.

In the northern border Peony buds look lovely as they grow larger, but they seem to be in no hurry to open.

Peony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Peony Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) now in full bloom pairs nicely with a large planting of Nepeta.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Sweet William is an old-fashioned flower that I really enjoy.

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and Dusty Miller

Digitalis ‘Dalmatian Purple’ (Foxglove) is new to the garden this year. I expected it to be more purple than pink, but I like that the flowers face outward.

Digitalis Dalmatian Purple (Foxglove)

Digitalis ‘Dalmatian Purple’ (Foxglove)

I do not know the name for this Clematis. It has bloomed better than usual this spring.



I am mystified as to why this Black Iris is growing in its present location, having been searching for it anxiously in the opposite border for several weeks. The nice big buds look promising.

Black Iris

Black Iris

Black Iris

Black Iris


Today’s 87F temperature is a reminder of summer days ahead, but forecasts suggest more moderate days this weekend (82F and 78F), but with possible thunderstorms; cooler 77F on Monday, then back to 87F again by next Wednesday.

10 thoughts on “The Garden At Mid-May

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Cathy. I like it too. That phlox is one of my most cherished pass-along plants, given by an elderly relative so many years ago.

  1. Christina

    I’m glad you found your black iris, interesting that mine are flowering before yours; it seems some plants are ahead and some behind, no real logic to why. Is the foxglove in sun, I always think of it as a shade plant, but you have made me think white foxgloves might be good under the mulberry, so thank you Susie. Christina

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m glad too. It does seem late this year (and I still think there’s one in the other border). You shouldn’t go by my example as I don’t have much luck with foxglove but just decided to try one again (I bought the plant). This particular one grows in Full Sun or Partial Shade, but the first foxglove I ever saw was at a friend’s house in shade.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Donna. I noticed the same thing about the cool weather–slows down the whole process and gives us a chance to savor the blooms.


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