The garden found its confidence this week, reaching that special springtime peak of blooms that brings abundance, exuberance and balance. It brought such enjoyment and excitement I could hardly contain myself. I checked on the garden’s progress over and over throughout each day and it filled my thoughts even when I had to be elsewhere.
This spring, unlike the past few, I have not been able to dedicate my time to gardening, and when I had time I often did not feel that pull of the garden’s magic calling me to come out and play. This means the weeding has never been quite finished; tradescantia, columbine, common roadside daylilies and other unruly spreaders have not been brought under control; no compost or mulch has been carefully laid to accentuate the beds. But, the garden forgave all this and rewarded me anyway with, as my pbmGarden tagline suggests, a sense of place, purpose, rejuvenation and joy.
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is a true delight at the top of the Southern side path near the entrance to the main garden. Native Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ (visible in the middle right-hand side) is just coming into flower in front of a mound of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood). Sunny yellow bearded irises have been blooming for two full weeks and were among the first irises to open.
The southern border is full of pale yellow Japanese Iris and a few Iris germanica (Bearded iris), such as this dark, almost black, one.
Yesterday one of this border’s three peonies opened. All three were planted last year. One, Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony), has no buds this year, so it must want another year to mature. Another peony came from a plant exchange in my neighborhood and has a few buds. It is Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima.’
This white one with red accents was purchased as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchess de Nemours’ but it turned out to be Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’. [Thanks to Chloris for identifying it.]
Farther down the border are two rose bushes, the same old-fashioned one featured in my last Monday vase. This special pass-along rose is full of pink blossoms. Nearby, visible in the lower left, is a newly added smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’. Incrediball was recommended last year by Carolyn.
The northern border is full of Iris germanica (Bearded iris). This dusky lavender one is another pass-along from my friend Henrietta. It is one of the latest to open.
This nearly black bud is the same Iris germanica (Bearded iris) as the one shown earlier that was blooming in the southern border. It will open to a dark purple.
I adore this Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and began last year trying to re-establish it in my garden. It seems a rather old-fashioned flower that I do not see growing often. The bloom carries a sweet fragrance.
Yet another Iris from my friend Henrietta many years ago, this has pale lavender standards and regal purple falls tinged with oxblood and white.
Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) are all in bloom, filling the Northern Border with color and just filling it in general. It was not long ago that the borders seemed empty.
This Phlox is another pass-along from my garden mentor that I have grown now for many years. It just began blooming in the last couple of days.
Also opening this week, Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is easy to grow and low maintenance. It works well as a front of the border plant.
Behind the Nepeta another peony, Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ is preparing to bloom.
Here is a longer view, looking down the length of the northern border toward the west. I had to remove some winter-damaged trees from the western border, leaving a few problem areas I try to spin as growth opportunities.
There are a lot of other individual plants creating interest when viewed close-up, but I must leave them for another time. I will wrap this up for today with a few general garden views of the May garden.
Hope your garden is making you happy today.