Wednesday, May 16

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - May

For various reasons, ranging from rain--finally!--to work schedules to the discovery that my old rechargeable batteries* needed to be replaced, I'm late in posting my Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day lists for May. Tonight I had batteries, time, and a short lull in the rain.

The cool light of a rainy day isn't my favorite for photography, as the warm light at the beginning or end of a day seems more friendly to an amateur like me. I struggled to get good pictures of some of the more muted elements in the garden... at least 4 attempts at capturing the luscious darkness of the nodding geranium flowers failed. Even the good pictures, like the one of the Japanese maple and fading purple tulips, don't really convey the zing that the golden oregano adds to the whole scene.

My disappointment at the poor photos was definitely tempered by the discovery that many things were in bloom or in bud in the garden, though.

In Bloom:

1 - 'Black Hero' double black tulips (at left, swaying over achillea and bergenia foliage in the front corner bed)
2 - 'Caradonna' salvia nemerosa
3 - bergenia cordifolia
4 - 'Jack Frost' brunnera macrophylla
5 - 'Vodka' wax begonia
6 - festuca glauca (blue fescue)
7 - carex buchanii (bronze leatherleaf sedge)
8 - 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga reptens
9 - unnamed dark purple tulips
10 - 'Strawberry Margarita' portulaca grandiflora (annual moss rose)
11 - 'Avignon' orange tulips
12 - 'Mainacht' salvia
13 - dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)
14 - galium odoratum (sweet woodruff)
15 - 'Ozark Beauty' strawberries
16 - 'Anniversary' lamium (a.k.a. 'Anne Greenaway')
17 - 'Neon Lights' tiarella
18 - 'Crow Feather' tiarella
19 - 'Purple Knockout' salvia lyrata
20 - viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 'Mariesii' (doublefile viburnum)
21 - geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
22 - 2 calendula officinalis that amazingly overwintered (yes, really!) in the front bed
23, 24, 25 - various vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberries)

In bud:

1 - physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo' (at left, underplanted with 'Pine Knot Strain' hellebores and ajuga on its shady side, and an unnamed hosta and perovskia atriplicifolia on its sunny side)
2 - unnamed deep pink peony
3 - kalmia latifolia 'Olympic Fire' (mountain laurel)
4 - unnamed deep pink rhododendron
5 - 'Newe Ya'ar' salvia officinalis
6 - salvia officinalis sp.
7 - unnamed passalong bearded iris
8 - allium schoenoprasum (common chives)
9 - baptisia australis
10 - achillea millefolium 'Paprika' (yarrow)
11 - heuchera 'Marmalade'
12 - heuchera 'Regina'
13 - unnamed deep purple, ruffled heuchera
14 - vitis x labruscana 'Concord' (grape)
15 - unnamed thornless blackberry
16 - echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (these plants are still so tiny that I'm going to remove this flower stalk, however)
17 - crambe maritima (sea kale)

Most of these things don't usually bloom at the same time, if my memory serves me. I swear that the bleeding heart and the ajuga were long spent before I saw any signs of flowers on my salvias last year. The cold in early April must have set a few things back and effectively crammed all of our early-, mid- and late-spring bloomers into a few short weeks. Whatever the reason, I'll take it... and enjoy.

*Note: the new rechargeable AA lithiums can apparently take up to 2 days for the first charge, so plan accordingly if you buy some. Hopefully that's a sign of how long the use time is, too!


Carol Michel said...

Kim... There is no "late" with bloom day... you have quite the list of flowers in bloom and bud. Isn't it an exciting time in the garden? Everyday something new. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of your flowers once you get some better light.

And thanks for the encouragement on the Deutzia. I do plan to find a place for some new ones, but probably not until fall.

Thanks for participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

Anonymous said...

You certainly have an eye for wonderful compositions, if that photo of the Japanese maple, purple tulips, and oregano is representative of your garden as a whole. Lovely!

lisa said...

Great pics! I'm sensing a kind of "train wreck" in my yard, too...I think it's some of the psycho temperature fluctuations in the midwest this year. Couple days of 80's trick the summer bloomers into emerging, then then the cold slap in the face with low's near freezing. I agree though, exciting and I'll take it!

Ottawa Gardener said...

Purple tulips, gorgeous. Was that a red japanese maple I saw in the background?

Annie in Austin said...

This list sure reflects the name of your blog - color, texture, foliage, size! May sounds pretty spectacular for you.

Kim, it's funny to read that you have white echinacea already - mine pouted so long after our dip in temperatures in April that they're only 6 inches high with no buds yet.... see - you guys ARE catching up with Texas!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

What a nice long list of plants in flower already, even after that nasty cold April you got. And so much to look forward to as well. Love the plant combinations you're making!

The pics are not half as bad as you think, but the problem is always that even the best pic doesn't do justice to the true beauty of a garden. That is something we have to see, smell, hear and feel ourselves.

Ki said...

Kim, a lot of the photography books say that an overcast day actually makes the color of flowers more saturated. I read a photographing wildflowers book and they regularly use either a translucent umbrella or translucent tent to shade the flowers from the sunlight even in a forest.

I seem to prefer a cloudy day rather than a sunny one unless I want the flower/s to be backlighted but usually there's not that much planning in my photo taking and much is left to serendipity.

I usually don't care for dark flowers but your 'Black Hero' tulip is certainly handsome. Such a wonderful shade of purple.

I didn't even know they had lithium AA batteries! 2 days for the first charge, yikes! What about subsequent charges?

Anonymous said...

like carol said - there is no "late"

you really have quite a lot happening in your garden. impressive.

kate said...

I think your pictures turned out really well. I love the deep-coloured double tulip... there's something about seeing salvia in bloom that I love.

As I went through your list of plants, I realised your garden is far ahead of mine. I noticed yesterday that the Baptisia had shot up and is now a grand 5 inches tall.

Karen said...

Yours is a garden I love to read about because we have such similar taste -- and yet quite a different approach. From you, I can learn. I will sometimes go looking for things I have read about on your site but am not familiar with, because I just know I could find a ready place for them in my garden.

By the way, as I think ki mentioned, the cool, even lighting of an overcast day is (IMHO) second only to morning/evening light for garden photography. No harsh shadows, no washed-out colours. I don't know if you're using Picasa, but it's a free tool that will let you adjust the colour temperature of your digital photograph (which might help you achieve the specific look you are going for). Anyway, don't overlook an overcast day. It really is good light for photography.

meresy_g said...

Wow. Lots going on. Where do you plant your tiarella? I am afraid that I don't have a moist/shady enough spot for it.

Entangled said...

I like the purple tulip/golden oregano/red Japanese maple combo! I wonder if the golden oregano would make a good stand-in for yellow creeping jenny in a drier situation?

Unknown said...

Carol, you're so right about how it seems like every day is something new at this time of the year! Can't wait to see where you find room for the deutzia.

Pam, thank you! I just love that little golden oregano as a part sun/part shade groundcover. It's bright at this time of the year but fades to a lovely chartreuse in summer.

lisa, I'm giggling at your statement--"train wreck" is so appropriate to describe this late spring chaos! :)

ottawa gardener, indeed it is a Japanese maple! That is the only thing that was here when I moved in that remains in the same place. I mulched it and do water it some when it's very dry, and it's starting to really fill out nicely.

annie, that we have echinacea in the same stage both amuses and scares me a bit! :) My leaves are only maybe 4 in high, but the flower stalk is about 8in already. Since these were tiny new plants last fall, I am definitely going out there today and cutting down the stalk so it puts it energy elsewhere.

yolanda elizabet, I heartily agree re: the photography. It's the 3-D part that you can't convey well in a photograph... that your eye is led to a far corner, and when you turn into that corner you find a lovely surprise, for exmaple. :)

ki, that's interesting re: using translucent umbrellas. Maybe I just like the low sun times for photography because I like to view my garden that way, then? Hmm. Oh, re: the batteries, I'm loosely keeping track of how much use I get out of them, and will definitely let you know both that and how long the subsequent charges take!

county clerk, it does seem like a lot is happening without me! I've been enjoying reading along about your planmaking, too. Seems like a smart idea for a bit lot like yours... but I hope she can find room for enough of those lupines and foxgloves. *grin*

kate, I have similar feelings about the salvias. :) My baptisia is just about 14 inches tall, and not very full yet--they were small when I planted them--but about 3 stalks on each plant have buds on them. Last year I had 2 flowers altogether on 3 plants, so I'm excited!

karen, I would love to copy your entire first paragraph and post it right back at you! I have been struck by the same feeling when looking at your blog, but haven't ever stated it so well as you do here. :) And another vote for overcast skies... hmm... maybe I need to reconsider!

meresy_g, I confess that I don't have a moist enough spot for it, either, given my sandy soil here. It hasn't gotten nearly as full and big as it normally would, so I cheat and plant it closer together than recommended. And topdress it with lots of compost every spring, and sometimes again in the fall.

entangled, I think it would be worth a shot--especially since you can buy small herb pots of golden oregano for just a couple of bucks!

This gets just a couple of hours of sun each day, and it does fade to a lovely chartreuse in the summer. (The bright gold color is only in the spring and again in the fall--I'll see if I can post a summer picture for you.) But it's a much more polite spreader than the lysimachia and I never do any supplemental watering, even of the newly replanted chunks when I dig it up and move it around.

Kristin Ohlson said...

I love your photo of the Japanese maple and the purple tulips! Everything seems to be sort of moving and bouyant, and I like the combination of colors.

My garden is a site of great despair-- lots of things died over the winter/crummy spring and those dratted violets have taken over everything again. I'm going to be gone for a month and know it will be an unpretty chaos when I return.

Kerri said...

It's interesting to read about all that is blooming in your garden at the moment. The purple tulips/oregano/J.Maple combination is a lovely blend. I love that chartreuse shade as a filler.
The Black Hero tulip looks lovely with the water droplets covering it.
I'm loving the bleeding heart especially this year. It's spectacular! I've been taking pictures like crazy and have had trouble with the lighting....I can relate! I think it's the white house behind it that messes up my photos. However, I've experimented and found some good angles. It's fun trying :)

Kerri said...

P.S. I meant to add that I agree with Karen and Ki about the light of an overcast day. It does saturate the colors. Works great!

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