I don't think I planned it intentionally but I seem to have a lot of white flowers in the garden as it transitions from May to June. It's nothing like Vita Sackville-West's famous white garden at Sissinghurst, and yet there are little hidden gardens here and there mainly composed of whites — and green, of course.
Malus sargentii 'Tina'
Rhododendron yedoense poukhanense 'Alba'
Convallaria majalis 'Hardwick Hall' with large leaves edged in gold
Trillium grandiflorum a week ago.
You can just glimpse the Trillium still going strong behind this clump of Dodecatheon media.
The daffs bow out: Narcissus 'Dreamlight'
Gallium odoratum (rear) with Polygonatum humile.
Primula sieboldii with red candelabra Primroses and a Digitalis pushing forward.
Tiarella cordifolia 'Running Tapestry' edging Toad lilies, Cimicifuga, Hosta and a fern.
A great year for Clematis 'Guernsey Cream'
Our neighbor's Kiwi vine has colonized the fence between our gardens.
The Silverbell tree (Halesia tetraptera) has charming blooms which make a spring snowstorm when they fall, a sure sign that June is almost here.
I discovered End of the Month View (EOMV) at The Patient's Gardener's blog sometime in the last year or so. Helen describes her meme — which has been running since 2009 — as the time "to stand back and show your garden, warts and all." I think this is such a good idea, especially the way Helen's doing it: Picking a location to consider and picking a spot to shoot from that stays consistent.
I took part in this meme on and off last year but I'd like to try to be more focused this year and finally get this garden planted. It's almost where I'd like it to be, so a monthly review seems like a good way to get there.
THE TEA HOUSE GARDEN
The Tea House Garden, April 2015, photographed from just in front of the deck, looking slightly southwest. This is one of the main views of the garden that we see from inside the house and the deck where we spend a lot of time in the summer.
The Tea House Garden, April 2016. Hostas, ferns and Martagon lilies were planted since the above photo was taken though they are not very obvious yet this season. And the big brown clump of bamboo needs trimming as it's the most dominant thing in view.
The Tea House Garden, April 2015, photographed from the back of the deck looking west. This gives you a better view of the sweep of the garden around two sides of the building.
The Tea House Garden, April 2016.
The Tea House Garden, April 2015, photographed from the bottom of the slope and next to the west side fence.
The Tea House Garden, April 2016. In the photo below you can see that the ivy has finally recovered from two bad winters and the Sweet Woodruff and dwarf Solomon's Seal are rapidly colonizing the area. I need to control those plants so they don't swamp the more delicate ephemerals nearby. Just under the left edge of the Golden Shadows Dogwood tree is a small Korean maple looking nice and green. To the right of the orangey Mica rock (currently covered with ivy) are orange Heuchera and behind them (barely visible) are a gaggle of Mrs. R.O. Backhouse Martagon lilies, also peachy colored to reflect the color of the Tea House itself. Once everything is fully up in the next few weeks, I am hoping that it will be clear to me what still needs attention!
I pride myself on keeping good garden records. Every time I come home with a new plant or order one online, I make an index card for it. The front of the card lists the plant's Botanical Latin name, culture information including size and USDA zone, as well as the name of the nursery where I bought the plant, the purchase date and price. On the back of the card I write the location where I planted it. I am pretty good at updating that info if I move a plant or divide it.
But this week I faced a dilemma. For the last few years I've been growing Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' in a pair of pots on the deck. In the fall I temporarily plant them in the Tea House garden because it is the only place with space. But last year I made a big push to finish designing and planting the Tea House garden, adding in particular a number of Hostas. You guessed it; I totally forgot I did that until Hostas started coming up all over that garden and I hadn't a clue which were the ones I was supposed to dig out for the deck pots.
I've been watching and waiting and trying to identify each Hosta as it appears. But I am afraid it's much more of a guessing game than it should be given my notecard system. I finally dug out two Hostas that were right next to each other and weren't variegated or unusually colored. I potted them up and added pine cone mulch and now I have to wait to see if I guessed right. One thing's for sure; I won't make the mistake of planting these Hostas without a clear way to find them again come Spring!
Our weather has been unseasonably warm over the last four days, about 20 degrees above our seasonal norm of 55 degrees F. (12.77 C.). It pushed the garden into overdrive but was too hot to do much work. There's no shade in the garden at the moment as it's too early for the trees to have leafed out. I mostly kept wandering around to see what had changed from morning to afternoon and from evening to the next morning.
I saw my first bees of the season. First butterflies. First Bloodroot, Marsh marigold, Narcissus, and Erythroniums to name just a few plants that made an appearance. Rain is predicted for the next three days which would be a welcome relief and help the garden cope from such extreme heat so early in the season.
Daylilies (pale green) and late daffodils on the Wild Time Banke aka the streetside garden.
Our weather has fluctuated so much lately that neither flowers nor foliage are quite where I expected them to be by mid-April. But what foliage is up and unfurling is eye-catching and well-worth the wait.
Dicentra spectabilish 'Gold Heart'
Paeonia rockii type
Join Pam Penick for a monthly celebration of foliage on her blog, Digging.
Our recent weather has not done much to push Spring into bloom. As a result there are not a lot of different things flowering in the garden today, but the beauty of what is in bloom makes up for the lack of variety. It's Hellebore heaven out there. Most of these flowers have been beaten down by snowfalls and temps below freezing. But they've bounced back in time for GBBD sponsored by Carol of May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of each month.
Helleborus hybridus 'Mardi Gras Black'
Dan Hinkley's 'Kingston Cardinal'
Helleborus 'Royal Heritage Strain' — The following three are the first Hellebores I ever planted. They were developed by John Elsley back in the day at Wayside Gardens.
The last week included two days where I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground and another day where snow just came and went swirling in the wind but never piling up. A cold and wintry week with temps below normal by a good ten degrees. What that all means is that bulbs and the first spring plants are pushing up but nothing more has burst into bloom since last week.
My first thought was do a black and white arrangement of Hellebores but the contrast was too stark without a wider variety of flowers and foliage to add to the mix. I am happy with this little grouping — except for the glare off the gold screen in the background. Closing the curtains made little difference and I didn't want to wait until the sun went in and the rain began to solve the problem! This week's weather forecast predicts much warmer daytime highs so that should jump start the garden for sure.
To see what other gardeners have put in their vase today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. And if you are not part of this meme, consider joining in. It's turned Monday into one of the most enjoyable days of the week!
Mark captured our fairly typical early April weather this morning while I was off attending the all-day symposium put on by Allen Centennial Garden. The subject was the Art of the Garden but was much more broad ranging than that might suggest. Every speaker was excellent as was the food and the company. The perfect way to spend a cold and snowy day. The sun came out eventually and I am totally energized from all the ideas and images presented to us — despite the fact that the temp is still below freezing in late afternoon.
It's a glittery, chilly morning but the sun is shining and warmer weather is on the way. Ice is dripping off the trees making polka dot patterns everywhere you look. I am guessing the garden will be mostly green by the end of the day.
Korean maples retain their leaves all winter. I love the look of them but they also mean that snow and ice really stick to the tree and can easily damage them. This particular tree is bolted together from a big storm a few years ago when the trunk split from the snow weight. It has recovered beautifully.
The end of the snowdrops
We have untold versions of this image from many different years: Iris coming up though the snow.