Tag Archives: spring garden

Sunday Morning Promenade — Part 2

This Sunday morning’s stroll around the garden with the camera yielded many nice surprises. I wanted to document the views in walking order. I began the tour with Sunday Morning Promenade — Part 1. Picking up the wander at the northwest corner, here are more glimpses.

This Anemone coronaria is one of those surprises. I expected this to be ‘Admiral’ which I planted last fall. It appears to be  ‘Governor’ from a spring planting the previous spring.

Anemone coronaria ‘Governor’

Anemone coronaria ‘Governor’

Walking up toward the house along the Northern border, in front there is ‘May Night’ which came into bloom this week, and Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) which seem very close to opening.

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ With Dianthus barbatus ‘Barbarini  Mix’ (Dwarf Sweet William)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ With Dianthus barbatus ‘Barbarini Mix’ (Dwarf Sweet William)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ With Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ With Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

This Northern border is where the bulk of the irises are.

Northern Border Looking West

Northern Border Looking West

In the area toward the northeastern corner of the garden (just out of view in the photo above) many irises are quickly are filling out and showing color. ‘Raspberry Blush’ is usually an early bloomer and is one of the few irises I actually bought. Most are pass-alongs.  After dividing these irises last summer I was concerned I’d lost track of Iris ‘Batik’ but it showed up in its original location. Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony) has more buds than ever before.

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Iris germanica ‘Batik’ (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica ‘Batik’ (Bearded iris)

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Before leaving the Northern border I stood at the peony and turned around to look back across the meditation circle towards the southwest corner. The garden was calm and pleasing this morning.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Turning back around to face the Northern border and continuing eastward I noticed ground covers at Northeastern corner are filling in between the entrance stones at gate.

Sedum and Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) at North Gate

Sedum and Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) at North Gate

The Eastern border is that area along the foundation of the house. There is a large swath which I recently showed filled with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm).

Facing the central back stairs leading down to the patio is a small planting of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue).

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

On the other side of the stairs, in the back are two Hydrangea macrophylla (not shown) with green leaves, but the buds appear to have been damaged once again, this year by a severe freeze earlier in the month. In front of the hydrangeas is a Gaura that needs to be moved. It starts out promising each spring but does not bloom well. Further down are the Shasta daisies from the start of the tour.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy), Yarrow and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy), Yarrow and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Finally, I stepped through the South gate into the Southern Side Garden. Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is beginning to glow. The yellow bearded iris along the path is usually one of the first to bloom. It seems late this year. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is sending up shoots. A pretty multi-stemmed white Narcissus is blooming. This may be from the home where I grew up or from a purchase last year. I wish I had not lost track of this one.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Viola

Planter of Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Viola below the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Iris germanica (bearded German Iris)

Iris germanica (bearded German Iris)

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Narcissus (Daffodil)

Narcissus (Daffodil)

End of tour. Thanks for coming along.

Sunday Morning Promenade — Part 1

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)

The forecast which called for rain by afternoon proved accurate. Fortunately I was out very early this morning to check the garden’s progress. Besides there was some planting to do—2 Dahlia ‘Blue Boy’, 40 Gladiolus Blue Shades Mix and 3 Dahlia ‘Black Jack.’ Only about a third of the gladioli made it into the ground as I kept running into weeds that took a lot of time. I still have zinnia seeds to plant.

I also planted a pass-along from last fall I am excited about. It is a red dahlia from Libby at An Eye For Detail that her mother used to grow, so I feel extra responsibility to take care of this one. The tubers made it though the winter in my garage and even showed a bit of new growth.

Another new pass-along came from touring a garden club friend’s beautiful property last spring. She had potted up a variety of plants for us to take home and I selected Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s seal). I checked on this plant fairly recently and decided it must not have survived, but here it is after all.

Polygonatum biflorum(Solomon's seal)

Polygonatum biflorum(Solomon’s seal)

Before the work started I just enjoyed wandering around and around note-taking with my camera.

First views stepping out the back steps from the garage, looking due west with southern border on the left, panning north, and finally, looking down at Shasta daisies beside the garage steps.

Next I walked along the Southern border. There are three peonies here. The juniper hedge has grown tall. Aquilegia is everywhere. At the far end of the Southern border begins the shadiest corner in the garden.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and Peony in Southern Border

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Peony in Southern Border

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

 

Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and Gold)

Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and Gold)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not), Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose), Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not), Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose), Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Turning the corner toward the Western border, here is the Oakleaf hydrangea. I move it to the front of the border in early spring and it seems to be doing much better.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

There are two small islands near this corner, one of which is planted with iris and a hodgepodge of other things. The iris foliage looks very brown. I thought it might be cold damage but I need to check for disease or iris borers.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)

Looking toward the southwest corner. Iris germanica (Bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)

From here I turned around to my right to inspect the snapdragons in the meditation circle, almost ready to bloom. This is looking toward the northern border.

 

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Returning to the oak leaf hydrangea and moving on along the Western border.

Liriope muscari and Dusty Miller

Liriope muscari and Dusty Miller

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'  (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

I stepped into the Western border and looked back southward across the the columbine. Many plants have died out in this area and the columbine is taking advantage. I need to get it under control.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Turning back to continue the walk, this is the rest of the Western border as it curves around the meditation circle.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Fading Phlox subulata with Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and 'Bride'

Fading Phlox subulata with Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and ‘Bride’

 

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Later I will share the rest of the garden views from my Sunday morning promenade.

Garden Views At Mid-April

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The past week was sunny, hot, rainy, cool—mostly splendidly spring. Dogwood branches dress the back northwest corner. At first the bracts opened a creamy yellow-green, but later changed to white.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

 

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

An afternoon thunderstorm passed through several days ago. That night another storm followed with rain pounding and prolonged streaks of lightening piercing the nighttime sky. Here is a garden view in-between storms.

 

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

The stones in the circle now need a good cleaning since the driving rain washed mud across the the labyrinth. The upper part of the the circle is filled with Viola that overwintered. Their purplish hue is continued along the back border by Phlox subulata.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Also in the circle are snapdragons that were planted last October. I have never grown them successfully but this year they made it through the cold and now look poised to flower. Dark clumps of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ are putting out fresh new foliage. This penstemon self-seeds freely. The mounds of bright green foliage are white and pink Dianthus.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

A few days this week I took my coffee outside into the very early morning just as the birds awoke. Those first hours of the day are often the best time to appreciate this little garden’s peaceful offerings.

Not often do I photograph the garden from the position below, that is, standing behind the dogwood at the northwest corner and looking east toward the back of the house.

 

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

The brick foundation seems rather bleak and bare from this distance, but move back up close and one can see the first of the native columbine flowers are nodding about. In this border Aquilegia is underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). Soon it will all fill in. I spotted our first hummingbird this week and this area is a big attraction for them.

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Returning to the dogwood corner, I could not resist sharing a few more views. Phlox subulata looked pretty waterlogged on this morning, but has since recovered.

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and 'Bride'

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and ‘Bride’

Close by the dogwood is where the Anemone coronaria are planted. Since last year only one survived I am happy this area is so colorful. Maybe someone will be able to help solve a mystery. I am curious as to why the centers of some of the white “Bride” flowers look so different.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Sadly the newly purchased Gardenia jasminoides ‘Summer Snow’ fell victim to a late freeze. It was supposed to be a hardier variety but the entire shrub turned brown. Fortunately I was able to return it for a refund.

Pine pollen is in full force, coating everything with a fine yellow dust. Not even the huge storms this week could tamp it down. This will go on for several more weeks.

On a happier note, elsewhere in the garden Irises are gaining inches each day and a few fat buds have appeared. And Peonies, baptisia, clematis and more are making promises for a beautiful spring.

Late March In The Garden

Garden View from Above

Garden View from Above

Grass is at its most verdant this time of year in deep contrast to the surrounding perennial borders. But with iris, monarda, columbine and phlox reaching upwards and filling out, soon the focus will shift. In the meantime a crescent of viola in the meditation circle are fairly ostentatious and a few hyacinths add color to the northern border.

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Woodstock’

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Woodstock’

Last week I purchased more Iberis, one of one of my favorite ground covers. It needs to be planted right away, but rain is pouring down this morning. This is Iberis sempervirens ‘Snow Cone’.

Iberis sempervirens 'Snow Cone' (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens ‘Snow Cone’ (Candytuft)

This time of year I hear the garden center call. While many gardeners are dealing with seeds and seedlings, I am just itching to add some things to the garden that offer immediate gratification.

For several weeks though I have been single-mindedly working on garden cleanup and finally yesterday I completed the weeding—I made it around the entire garden and those pesky things will not dare return. Now I can concentrate on some planting fun.

From this upstairs view of the garden one can see much more white fence than evergreen shrub. Succumbing to drought and other excuses, over the years countless shrubs have died out and been replaced, only to have them die out also. The five Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper) have been the exception.

Garden view from above, with Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper) hedge along southern border.

Garden view from above, with Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper) hedge along southern border.

I had intended to make a plan to add shrubs to the garden over the fall and winter. The Chuck Hayes gardenia hedge along the back fence has dwindled to a mere five bushes and this harsh winter has contributed further to its demise. Two days ago I dug one gardenia out completely and pruned another way back nearly to ground level to try to revive it. Only one other looks healthy and it is hidden out of view behind the spirea.

Yesterday, without a plan but under the magical spell of springtime, I explored a local garden center to look for new shrubs. The nursery aisles were bursting, with more temptations being unloaded all the time.

Although what I came home with are not perfectly well-suited to the garden, they spoke to me.  Shade loving plants for a garden that has little shade? Surely I can convince them to thrive.

Soon I had selected a pink single camellia with a delightful and strong, sweet fragrance. Its name is Camellia X ‘Koto-no-kaori’.

Camellia japonica hybrid 'Koto-No-Kaori'

Camellia japonica hybrid ‘Koto-No-Kaori’

It features an upright form, reaching 8-10 feet at maturity. I will wait a few days to plant it as the temperature is supposed to dip into the twenties this weekend. Koto-no-kaori needs light shade, which will be a bit of a problem. We plan to lop off some lower branches of the juniper in the southwest corner, so I may be able to work the camellia under its protection somehow.

Camellia japonica hybrid 'Koto-No-Kaori'

Camellia japonica hybrid ‘Koto-No-Kaori’

I use to see Acuba growing on UNC’s campus and found those yellow dotted leaves fascinating. Now, realizing how useful its foliage can be in flower arranging, I have been focused on acquiring one. Welcome Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba), but where will I put you? Your mature size is 6-10’ H x 4-6’ W and your foliage burns in sun.

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' (Gold Dust Aucuba)

Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)

One shrub that can take full sun is Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’ (Green Mountain Boxwood). This upright, cone-shaped evergreen is a moderate grower, maturing at 5′ H x 3′ W. It has bright green foliage.

Buxus x 'Green Mountain' (Green Mountain Boxwood)

Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’ (Green Mountain Boxwood)

Looking around the nursery I became distracted from shrubs at some point with predictable results. These two sun-tolerant perennials are Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ and Euphorbia ‘Shorty’. I have grown Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ in a pot for a number of years, but finally decided to try some others. These should form nice mounds.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'  (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Shorty'  (Shorty Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)

Last fall’s Sweet William seeds are still in their packet, so I bought a healthy-looking clump of Dianthus barbatus ‘Barbarini Mix’. This old-fashioned plant is one I always want in the garden.

Dianthus barbatus ‘Barbarini  Mix’ (Dwarf Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus ‘Barbarini Mix’ (Dwarf Sweet William)

Oh, I did find a new gardenia that claims improved cold hardiness (zones 6-10). Gardenia jasminoides ‘Summer Snow’ features fragrant, double white flowers and grows 4-5′ tall. I may even go back for a couple more of these. I hear the garden center calling.

Gardenia jasminoides Summer Snow (Gardenia 'Summer Snow')

Gardenia jasminoides Summer Snow (Gardenia ‘Summer Snow’)

A Garden Review of 2014: Spring

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) April 13, 2014

Today Cathy at Words and Herbs published a special look back at her 2014 spring garden. I decided to join her on this journey to review the garden in three segments: Spring, Summer, and Late Summer/Autumn – one each week running up to Christmas.

I may do a more extensive review around the first of the year, but for now here are a few things that stood out this Spring.

March

The winter was very cold and wet. The morning of March 4 found the garden encrusted with a layer of sleet. Normally in early March temperatures would be nearing 60F/15.5C. By March 18 daffodils had opened but the garden lay under an icy glaze.

Garden Under Ice - March 4, 2014

Garden Under Ice – March 4, 2014

When the vernal equinox occurred here on March 20, 2014, a most welcome reprieve brought blue sky, sunshine and warm temperatures.

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

This Narcissus 'King Alfred' weathered the recent ice storm

This Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ weathered an ice storm

By the end of March I was way behind on garden chores. It was still raining, but the spiraea was blooming and the grass was turning green.

Garden View In Early Morning Rain-March 29, 2014

Garden View In Early Morning Rain-March 29, 2014

April

What a difference flipping over a calendar page makes. On April 4 the temperature was 79°F (26°C) at 7:00pm. The native redbud was blooming, spiraea was bursting with blossoms, and the soft green leaves of Eastern red columbine were unfurling.

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Spiraea

Spiraea

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

By mid-April it was still raining.  The garden seemed to be lifting itself upward, turning green, and filling out.

Garden View On Rainy Mid-April Morning

Garden View On Rainy Mid-April Morning

In time for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day there was plenty of fresh new growth.

Northern Border View Facing West

Northern Border View Facing West, April 23, 2014

It pleased me to no end to see an Anemone coronaria in my garden this spring. I had planted 40 bulbs, but rather late, and only one came up. Was it too late? Did the voles eat them? I do not really know, but yesterday I planted a new set of bulbs, so I hope to see many more next spring.

Anemone coronaria 'Governor' (Governor Double Poppy Anemone)

Anemone coronaria ‘Governor’ (Governor Double Poppy Anemone), April 23, 2014

By the time April ended the irises were lighting up the borders.

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)-2

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) April 28, 2014

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica ‘Batik’

Iris germanica ‘Batik’

May

In early May there were many more wonderful irises to enjoy. This part of the year is when my garden is most enjoyable.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)-3

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

By May 10 there were still more irises and I was enjoying their rich blues and violets.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Other colors than blues do show up in the garden though. Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) were spilling over in the western border a few days later, May 14. The aquilegia had been blooming 5 weeks by then.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

May brought more happiness as irises in the (southward facing) North Border were joined by lush peonies, phlox, nepeta, foxglove and Sweet William. Here are some views from May 21. If only the garden could stay like this.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

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

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

Digitalis purpurea 'Pam's Choice' (Pam's Choice Foxglove)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ (Pam’s Choice Foxglove)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

A big thanks to Cathy for inspiring me to prepare this garden review. As I am trying to consider changes for this coming year, it was instructive to reflect on my 2014 spring garden.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2014

Hard to believe how quickly May is rushing by, but it is once again time for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. This monthly focus is a chance to consider the role foliage plays in creating an interesting garden. My garden is not strong on having year-round structural interest, but at this point in spring the borders are filling out nicely.

There is nice fresh growth on the passalong Hydrangea macrophylla , but it blooms on old growth. I have read several places they will not be blooming this year because of damage from our cold winter. This was shared by Jayme last year and it did have a few gorgeous flowers last summer. I was looking forward to a bigger show this year, but gardening demands patience and the bigger show is being rescheduled for next year.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

This plant is also from Jayme last spring, Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box). It is still very small and seemed not to have made it through the winter, but it certainly came around after the weather warmed up. These shiny, bright leaves are much improved over how they looked a couple of months ago.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

I mentioned Amaryllis in the post yesterday featuring flowers, but its dew-coated stately leaf and fat bud are interesting too. The fine leaves of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and dark red stem and leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) bookend this Amaryllis.

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Tendrils and buds of  this passalong Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea are always a welcome sight. This variety does not have a fragrance but will have lovely pink flowers.

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Tendrils of Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Tendrils of Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) are gaining size suddenly. These came from a daylily farm in Fayetteville, NC which my daughter and I visited a few years ago with one of my sisters. I love the plants in my garden that have a little memory.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ in front of a large stand of a passalong, woody-stemmed Chrysanthemum bring green lushness to the southern border and the promise of later color.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Newly planted this year, the foliage of Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’ looks very healthy. It is planted in front of an old-fashioned rose.

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’

After seeing so many great specimens from other gardens I made it a point to add Brunnera this year. After blooming very well, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) is set to lighten up a dark corner of the garden with its bright leaf color and pattern.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

I wonder if anyone else grows Tansy? A coworker gave it to me years ago and it started becoming a thug. Yes, she warned me it would spread, but I did not understand at the time that when someone giving you a plant speaks those words, it is imperative to heed the warning. I cannot get rid of it, but lately it has just shifted around here and there, not causing too much problem. The foliage is attractive and it has little yellow flowers later. Oftentimes I am actually fond of it.

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) is pushing up into the morning light. These are planted in several spots around the garden, most of which are much sunnier than this particular protected location. The dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea is visible in back.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is growing well in many spots, preparing to take over the floral display as the iris and columbine wind down.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

The foliage of Baptisia australis (blue false indigo) is a soft, gentle green that remains attractive for a few weeks after the flowering time. Baptisia also forms interesting bluish black seed pods.

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) had beautiful white flower clusters for weeks, but now is going to seed. (Actually I have since trimmed this back to encourage it to fill out.) This Iberis is surrounded by Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue).

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

A large clump of Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) has filled the front of a border next to the back steps. Behind it stands Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) with lots of airy, feathery leaves. Completing this area, English thyme is just entering bloom and boldly patterned leaves of Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) dance above.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides to see what foliage she is featuring this month and find links to other participants.

An Aquilegia Moment

Native to eastern North America Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) has been blooming in my garden since April 9. This is about the same time we noticed the spring’s first hummingbird visitor.

Recently I was reading on the black bench facing the meditation circle when a hummingbird came near. From my ring-side seat I watched it sip from one, two, three, four of the nodding red and yellow flowers.

In an instant the tiny bird was on its way, but the moment lingers still.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)