Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spring week 10- May 19

A perfectly gorgeous weekend. All the plants have headed outside. The orchids are the last to be inside, but even they have started their migration.
I was struck by a remarkable symmetry at some point this weekend. I brought the orchids in this fall and almost immediately started watching as one after another their started to set their bloom stalks. Within a matter of weeks there were 4 then 6 then maybe 10 plants with buds coming.
So in the spring the amaryllis and the clivia head outside. Many amaryllis are stone dry, looking completely dead. One good watering with some fertilizer and now, 4-5 days late,r there are a half a dozen with buds coming. And the clivia- at this point I have about 12 plants, and at least 4 now have buds coming. Amazing. Just you wait for early June. There is nothing like a blooming amaryllis in the border to catch your eye.

So what’s blooming in this, the slightly down time between the riot of spring bulbs and the riot of June with its Siberian iris and Asiatic lilies.

The peonies have started. The tree peonies began on Friday. They bloom maybe two weeks before their herbaceous cousins.
The allium have started. The shorter purple ones, maybe 18 inches tall, have started. Then there are the big ones, almost three feet tall, called Globemaster or Gladiator. I have about 30 of them scattered around the garden. They are splitting open and should all be blooming in about a week.

Then there are still the spring things, such as pulmonaria, epimedium and hellebores, all still making major statements. There are even late daffodils, including the tiniest daffodils all spring. (There is a picture.)

For your voting pleasure this week I have the following:

1- This is a shooting star, a native wildflower. I expect that Rochester Cemetery, about 20 miles east of Iowa City, has its annual display of thousands of these at the moment. If you have never been there try to find in the time in May.

2- Here is the first lupine. Lupines would be a flourist favorite but the just don’t bloom up the stalk at the same time.

3- This is hosta Split Milk with a neighboring tulip called Greenland, creating the impression that the hosta has this amazing bloom. Please understand, the garden did this all by itself.

4- Finally there is tree peony Siedi. It is amazing how this supports itself. For 2-3 days this will be a focus flower, dominating the backyard.


Last week the picture of the pink crabapple trees nosed out the gaudy iris as your favorite.

There are so many other pictures to share.
Here are three of a new bulb this year- Camassia leichtlinii- Blue Danube. It is standing tall at about two feet with each bulb sending up 2-3 stalks. I had tried cammasia before without much luck. I think this species has to have that mark in the catalogue-“Get more.” There are apparently white and yellow ones too. You should see them next year about this time.

Here is the old favorite tulip Monsella in its final bow.

I told you about the tiniest daffodils. The foliage looks just like wild onions. This daffodil gives you an excuse to avoid weeding too soon. You wouldn’t want to pull one of these up.

Then there is the seed head of the pasque flower. This proves once again that back lighting works for so many things.

Here is one of the late epimedium, a Japanese variety called

I will close with this Heucherella called Rosalie. The tiniest flowers made a good contrast with the tree peony this week.

Just you wait for next weekend.
The poppies are coming.



IBOY said...

Ah, so you're growing camassias. I've for some reason not tried them here, and we were trying to figure out the other day whether they would grow here.Now if I just had a spot for them!

philip Mears said...

These camassia are under the Sycamore tree which is very late in leafing out. So they have quite a bit of sun. For first year bulbs they were impressive. I can report next year about how they held up. Right now I am waiting to see about the ornithogalum magnum, as first year bulbs.
The fritillaria persica were complete duds. So it goes.

IBOY said...

O. magnum is kind of a seed-about, but not too bad; gets the leans in shade.