Monday, May 20, 2013

Late May stroll

It's mid-May. The loud flush of spring bulbs is over, and now it is time for the softer flowers of perennials and shrubs to take center stage.

In this shady corner at the back of my house, the fothergilla has begun to bloom, surrounded by lamium and some hostas.

Fothergilla major 'Mt. Airy', Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost', unknown hosta
The fothergilla is still a toddler - it should grow to a glorious 6-8 feet of splendour, eventually. Here is the same shrub from another angle. Here you can see the rhubarb across the path, with a clematis vine creeping through them.

Fothergilla major 'Mt. Airy', Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost', hosta, rhubarb
Here is another shot of the same lamium, blooming incredibly heavily in a sunnier spot. Lamium grows well (sometimes too well) pretty much anywhere, but bloom is better in the sun.

Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost'

The large old lilac "shree" (=shrub/tree) is also going strong, filling the air with perfume. This is the best bloom I've seen on this old fellow yet. Perhaps he likes the compost and mulch I gave him, after many years of neglect.
Lilac in bloom

In the sunny front rose garden, Euphorbia polychroma (Cushion Spurge) is blooming with an early fernleaf hybrid peony.

Euphorbia polychroma (Cushion Spurge) and Peony 'Little Red Gem'
Here is the peony closer up. It was just planted last year so is still quite small. The fernleaf foliage is fantastic. Unlike the straight fernleaf species peonia tenuifolia, this hybrid will supposedly retain its foliage through the summer. We'll see!
Fernleaf hybrid peony 'Little Red Gem'

Another early peony is also blooming. This one is the Mediterranean species paeonia mascula. It has large-textured foliage and gorgeous deep pink flowers. (The picture was taken after a heavy rain, so the flower is unfortunately a bit battered. Naturally, a peony must open just before a storm!) This is the first spring in my garden for both these peonies, so I am pleased that they bloomed.

Paeonia mascula
My iris cristata (Crested Iris) have also begun blooming. This photo is a major macro - the flowers are tiny, about one inch across at most. The cool blue color carries across the garden despite the small size, and the short, grassy foliage remains neat and perky all season.

Iris cristata (Crested Iris)
The shady strip at the side of my house is now flush with the expanding foliage of ferns, heuchera, Solomon's seal, and a dwarf oakleaf hydrangea. Bleeding heart and bergenia are blooming.

Blooming: bergenia cordifolia 'Winterglow', dicentra spectabilis


  1. Your peonies are quite striking and I also really love the irises too. It is so fun to see what others have growing in their gardens ~ glad to be a new follower.

  2. Looking good! Hope we miss the severe storms tonight... Larry

  3. Rebecca, nice peony,it's brave one, opened after storm!
    I love lilac, this color wonderful and I think it smell great.
    Your hosta I suppose is "Golden flame" variety, isn't it?

  4. I've never seen a fern leaf peony! How fun! And your lamium is beautiful. I just planted some in my garden this year. I need something that will spread a bit. Your lilac is just beautiful. Wish I could smell it. The side plantings look fabulous.

  5. Your lamium looks very similar to my 'Beacon Silver', mine was new last autumn so I am still waiting for such a display of flowers. Love your lilac too, beautiful!


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