I am joining in with Country Garden blog where Gillian’s meme encourages us to share what is giving us pleasure in the garden on the last Friday in the month. Loree of Danger Garden has a similar meme of favourite plants each month. I am a day late because after gardening for eight hours yesterday, I was in no state to write a post. This is the time of year when everything seems to get out of control. May, of course is a specially beautiful month, giving us so many beauties to enjoy. I will start with the bearded irises and in particular, one I am specially pleased with. It is my very own, as I arranged its parent’s marriage. It is the first to bloom, its four siblings look as if they will wait until next year. The mother was plain blue ‘Jane Phillips’.
Here is my baby, drumroll please.
Irises are easy to hybridise and bloom in about three years so it is fun to have a go. I also have some Siberian iris seedlings coming along.
Bearded irises don’t last long, but they don’t all come out together, so the season is extended.
Tree peonies are easy from seed but you have to wait at least six or seven years for your first bloom. I have written before about the Paeonia rockii I grew from seed, only to be disappointed that the expected white flowers with maroon centres were magenta. The bees get busy so you can never be sure what colour your blooms will be. Still, after eight or nine years, this one is looking wonderful and this year there are eleven blooms .
I bought the seed from Chilterns seeds. Four germinated, but two were eaten by slugs. The other one has fewer blooms this year, but they are a pretty shade of pink.
If you want to try growing them from seed you have to be patient. The seeds need to be left out in the cold for the first winter and for a year it looks as if nothing is happening, but with a bit of luck a root will be growing. You have more chance of success with fresh seeds.
Aquilegias of course, need no such pampering and put themselves everywhere. Sometimes in fact they place themselves in the perfect spot.
Thalictrums have similar foliage and seed around too. I love their frothy flowers.
Another plant which is easy from seed is Libertia grandiflora with its persil-white flowers. An Orlaya has seeded itself in front which is clever of it.
By the pond, I love the creamy yellow flowers of Trollius x cultorum ‘Alabaster.
Also by the pond is Ranunculus aconitfolius ‘Pleniflorus’ with Geum ‘Flames of Passion'(Goodness, who makes these names up?) The fern is the stately Osmunda regalis.
From time to time, we all get beguiled by lovely blue Corydalis flexuosa, only to be disappointed when it disappears without trace. For a long-lasting blue Corydalis, ‘Spinners’ is the one to go for. It is a cross between Corydalis flexuosa and Corydalis elata. I love it.
June is rose time but some of them are starting already. The David Austin Rose ‘Summer Song’ starts early and goes on and on.
Some of my roses were here when I arrived and looked very sick. I was going to dig these three up, but with a bit of feeding and heavy pruning they look fine now.
May is the time for Azaleas and Rhododendrons which I can’t grow here as my soil isn’t acid enough. But I do grow the wonderful Azalea luteum in a pot so that I can enjoy its heavenly fragrance.
One of my favourite viburnums is the lovely Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ which has an attractive tiered habit and snowy white flowers. Mine spreads out, wider each year, but so far refuses to grow upwards. It is beautiful though.
I have never been too keen on hebes as they remind me of municipal park planting. But I do have one special one from New Zealand which doesn’t really look like a hebe at all. It is called Hebe hulkeana. Thanks to my dear friend, M, who has shared so many of her treasures with me, for this beauty.
I will finish with just a few more May treasures which are delighting me at the moment.
Thanks to Gillian at Country Garden and Loree at Danger Garden for encouraging us to write about the flowers we are enjoying at the moment.