Sunday, May 20, 2012

May Bloom Day -- oops

Good gracious!  Am I really five days late already?  Well, even so, I can't completely miss Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, not this month, with all this great stuff in bloom!  I'll only cheat a little bit.  While some of these photos were taken a few days before the 15th and some were taken today, all of these flowers were actually in bloom on May 15th.

I'll start off with Clematis x jackmanii.  This is its third year in my garden.  The first year it was great and then last year not so great.  I'm glad to see it thriving again.  Maybe last year I pruned it too late.
I love taking macros, but with all these great flowers in bloom, maybe I can make an attempt at a grouping.  Here are four of my favorites: the clematis, sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa), larkspur (Consolida ambigua) and speedwell (Veronica spicata? or is this taller one something else? -- unfortunately I don't remember).  Purple and burgundy is not my favorite color combination, but the neighbor's Japanese maple is a better background than the neighbor's car, which is what I got the first time I framed this shot.  That's a serviceberry with lots of ripe tasty berries on it, peeking in from the left.
A closeup of the sundrops.
I've been looking forward to the larkspurs for a long time, since the foliage comes up, tantalizingly, in the winter when I am desperate for flowers.  I'd sown seeds of larkspur for several years hoping for a drift of them before I finally achieved what I wanted in this bed with the birdbath.  They came back this year here and in neighboring beds (like the one shown above) but I'm just as happy with them everywhere they have appeared.  I'm not crazy about the pink ones (one of the seed packs was a mix) but lately I've seen photos of white ones.  I think a few white ones would set off the purple ones nicely and be more attractive than the pink.  I'll have to look for some more seeds.  There's also an "Earl Gray" color in my population that I like, but none of them are obvious in this shot.
Here are the larkspurs with two more favorite self-sowers, chamomile and French hollyhock (Malva sylvestris).
Here is the other star of the garden that I have been waiting for, the Virginia rose (thanks to my husband for the photo).
The mophead hydrangea is just starting up
Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), just planted in December by my wonderful husband, is blooming its head off.
I'll finish up with some herbs in bloom, including thyme (also photographed by my husband)...
...and dill. The end of the dill is a sad day.  I think I like dill almost as much as the black swallowtail caterpillars do.  Fortunately, unlike parsley or basil, the dill still tastes fine as it begins to bloom.  But soon it will die back and I'll have to wait for next year.