Cool temperatures were followed by warm ones but with no rain. The rhododendrons are over and the wisteria flowers withered and dropped their petals while the bulb greens began to turn brown. The roses are getting into full swing, lawn still looks lush and green, and the ornamental grasses are forming nice rotund tufts. The garden looks good. One of my favorite plants bloomed this week; the truly perennial foxglove, Digitalis grandiflora. I always get a kick out of the species name for this foxglove, as it means large flower in Latin but the flowers are the smallest of the commonly grown foxgloves. But I can’t complain because in spite of their diminutive size these foxgloves are dependable members of my garden and come back every year, slowly increasing in size and number. Here they are planted with Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’ (front) and maidenhair fern (right).

The foxglove ‘Foxy’ is a biennial and has been blooming for several weeks. Several apricot spikes joined the strawberry and white ones this week but although I love their color they are not full and lush as the strawberry colored ones.  Full or not these are wonderful plants and many will put up more spikes after I deadhead the old ones.

The weather has also favored the Lady’s Mantle. The chartreuse flowers are billowing over the brick walk…

And on the hosta next to it. The chartreuse of the hosta echoes the color of the Lady Mantle’s flowers.

Another clump of Lady’s Mantle is punctuated by the bright pink of crain’sbill.

The finely dissected leaves of the cut leaf Japanese maple nearby contrasts nicely with the large, lobed, soft, gray-green leaves of the Lady’s Mantle.

The small flowered clematis, Clematis integriolia ‘Rouguchi’, is putting on a show.

The delicate flowers are not as showy as many other clematis but they have a charm that makes up for their lack of size.

The large flowered clematis ‘Jackmani’on the lamp post suddenly burst into bloom.

The flowers are simple but a rich purple color.

Judging from the number of buds still on the vine I look forward to enjoying these for a few weeks to come.

Another spring favorite is Astilbe ‘Sprite’. This small astilbe is vigorous and has spread in the good soil, part sun, and abundant water available in the secret garden.

The bright white flowers brighten the whole area where it grows.

The polyanth roses ‘Belinda’ and ‘Marjorie Fair’ have hoped the wall and are gracing the secret garden.

‘Belinda’ is producing cascades of roses on the other side of the wall too.

‘Belinda’ has an unusual flower cluster; as the flowers open the cluster of blossoms are many different shades of pink.

The roses growing on the large arbor that separates the iris garden from the vegetable garden are finally beginning to cover the arbor. The three different kinds of roses growing there are all fragrant and walking through the arbor is an olfactory pleasure.

The iris garden is still going strong but one outstanding iris living elsewhere in the bog garden is striking. Yellow flag stands tall and erect and echoes the color of the pitcher plants at its feet.

The pitcher plant has put out new tubes to catch insects.

It’s flowers, however, are equally unusual and interesting.

The formal garden is beginnng to take on a more mature look with both flowers and foliage adding color and texture.

The pastel border is dominated by a large clump of evening primrose. This clump double in size every few weeks; I weed it out by the buckets but still it blooms in abundance.

The yellow border is brightened by bishops weed growing at the feet of a yellow rose.

The flowers of rue continue to open and complement the old garden iris of my youth while the yarrow begins to show color in the background and yellow Johnny-jump-ups bloom produce their last last flowers.

The head gardener has been busy on a new project; welding a sundial. He has poured the footing and is now waiting for a sunny day to set the numbers correctly before setting the rest in place.

The culinary part of the garden is beginning to grow. The pot of time in the herb garden outside the kitchen is beginning to grow.

In the vegetable garden the blueberries are covered with berries but they are a long way from ripe.

The musclun is coming up nicely.

And the horseradish actually looks nice (I love horseradish in my food but find it too coarse for the garden).

This volunteer squash has survived the cold of winter, 2 applications of Round Up and rototilling. I don’t know what kind it is…zucchini, summer, or acorn, but I do know that it is one tough squash.I hope it’s zucchini, my favorite.

Garden Journal pointer

By Karen

3 thoughts on “Garden Journal: May 16, 2010”
  1. Lovely pictures and that is some arbor! The pitcher plant flower is so interesting. My pitcher plant didn’t have any flowers this year, but it is growing vigorously. Hopefully, it will have a flower or two next year.

    1. Jackie,
      All my plants, and especially the roses, seem to have thrived with the cold weather this past winter. The pitcher plant in the picture is doing very well this year but the one right next to it is just sitting there; go figure. What is your LA iris?


    2. Jackie,

      Most of my plants especially the roses seem to have thrived in the cold winter. The pitcher plant in the picture also did very well but the one right next to it (a different species) is just sitting there. Go figure. By the way, what is a LA iris?


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