Seasonal Page: May
A Moist May (moistly...I mean,
It has been a real struggle getting this page up in any sort of
timely fashion. Part of it is because I've been rather busy with
soapmaking... toss in end of school activities, a music commitment
with rehearsals and the beginning of summer. Excuses! This has been a
very rainy and cool summer so far, but some of these photos were
taken during some stretches of sunny weather. Consequently, part of
them are a bit contrasty to be their best. I hope you enjoy them
anyway. I'll probably be a month behind for most of the summer! I
feel like I did a better job of these seasonal pages last year as far
as providing more copy... but this year is pressed so you mainly get
pictures with short captions... and common names when I'm not
confident of the Latin one (or its spelling) and don't want to take
the time to look it up or write out the whole thing!
The photo above is of some charming Labrador Violets
blooming against a backdrop of double English Primroses (probably
This is the Choisya ternata/Mexican Orange
which blooms near the deck (evergreen shrub with white
flowers). It's very sweet smelling, but cloying if you are
too close... the way Queen Anne's Lace affects me. The
bluish grass to the front is Blue Oat Grass... a
favorite. The burgundy leaves in the right foreground belong
to the Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'... a prolific
seeder! Eeeek! Easy to pull though... if you don't wait two
years to do it.
My little plant nursery on the deck. Most of
these pots are still there, but with more leafy growth and
no tulips! The flat with the tags has germinating daylily
seeds in it.
Hosta leaves look so much like geysers when they
come out of the ground. I love these with their neighboring
bluebells. This is near the deck bed and behind the Choisya
I really took this because of how adorable those
volunteer viola faces are... aren't they pretty? A
few years ago I planted a similar type close to the entry
walk. These are at the other end of the blueberry bed and
must have seeded from the originals. Their yellow centers
were picked up by the fleeting blooms on the dwarf
More of the Tulip 'Orange Bouquet' that I
planted last fall. I still think it's another variety and
someone made a mistake... a true clear red. I was pleasantly
surprised by these and LOVED them! The wooly leaves nearby
are the non-flowering Lamb's Ear.
Not as many blooms as last season, but even one
truss of Rhododendron 'Grace Seabrook' would stop
The next rhody to bloom in the back is R.
'Hallelujah' ... it was really pretty this year and will
look even better next after I finish weeding around it.
These are the developing seed pods on the
Hellebores which were shown in March and April. They are
planted in the Oak Bed behind the carport.
A familiar view of the Alley bed with the
Clematis montana rubens in all its glory. The pink
rhody to the left corner is a seedling I'd crossed years ago
from R. 'Unique' and R. 'Fabia'. It needs pruning now so it
doesn't slop over the pathway.
Here's a closer look at the delicate flowers of
the Clematis montana rubens. You'd never know the
deer nearly ate this thing to death when I first planted it
on a fence in the back yard. It's more protected here by
being close to the house... but is starting to get larger
than I'd like. Gardeners seem to either be frantically
nurturing or whacking with not much relaxing in between! :-)
When the flowers on the Flowering Dogwood
first emerge, they nearly look coral. They lighten as they
are out longer.
The charming Double English Primroses
flanked by Labrador Violets. This variety is
Rh. 'Ken Janek' is so blushed and
beautiful when it first emerges. It grows in the small bed
set into the front walk. Eventually, I'll have to move some
things out of here... this bush will spread. It is a R. yak
A close-up view of the delicate flowers of
Daphne 'Somerset' ... a close relative to the popular
variegated 'Carol Mackie'. Sure wish you could smell these!
This grows in the back bed very near the Rhody 'Grace
The size of this viola is between
Johnny-Jump-Up and pansy. I think it was a cross from a
named viola I planted in the Ash Bed a few years ago...
'Better Times'? Sure is pretty. Probably would have trouble
finding it now... everything has filled out so much.
Along the front edge of the driveway bed is this
clump of Iris florentina... the iris from which orris
root is obtained. The flowers are rather washed out and
almost gray, but have a nice fragrance. They are also
earlier than the hybrid bearded irises.
The orchard taken from the driveway. It was
prettier in person than this photo.
Near the trunk of the cherry shown to the left
are three Hosta tardiflora. They have small leaves
and bloom quite late in the summer. The
Forget-Me-Nots are kaput now (mid-June) but really
shine in April and May.
I always show this azalea (probably a Knap Hill).
Don't know the variety, but my mother brought it from our
old home on Erland's Point and I've had a portion of it for
years now. There were others more brightly colored than this
one, but I still enjoy it.
With a backdrop of Choisya, the new leaves of
Purple Smokebush are nearly as pretty as flowers. The
real flowers come later... in June ... and look like a
purple haze. Surprisingly, the deer will eat them!
A dry shade workhorse... this is Geranium
macrorrhizum. The leaves have a strong geranium smell
(which is rather satisfying). This is a volunteer.
The same plant with different shutter speed.
Something went wrong, but I thought it looked rather pretty,
so posted it. Might make an impressionistic desktop picture!
Another shade-loving hardy Geranium... G.
monacense. This is a somewhat obscure species that is
much like G. phaeum... "The Mourning Widow". The reason it
looks like this is that the flash came on.
An interesting summer sky... after a LOT of rain!
I took this from the driveway and that's the tree in our
front yard that should be cut down.
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This page last updated on June 27, 1999.
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