Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden news- May 15, 2011- The in between time

I think of this little time in Iowa as the "in between time."

Maybe I am just trying to find something positive to say. It got hot last week, way up in the lower 90’s for a few days. The heating/cooling system in our house really got a work out. And after it was hot for a few days, it cooled off, more than you would have wanted. I don’t think it quite made it to 50 yesterday. We did get a much-needed rain, for most of the weekend. There, that is positive.

The heat finished the bluebells and daffodils. The crabapple trees bloomed for maybe 2-3 hours. Several tree peonies bloomed and the flowers did not last more than a day.

But as someone said- that is life in the Midwest.

Now there is old bluebell foliage in with the other finished spring bulbs. Weeds, including the proverbial and perennial dandelion are all over the place. It takes a trained and discriminating eye to appreciate the garden at the moment.
We are in the midst of the May in between time. It will be several weeks before the old foliage starts to get out of the way. While the buds from the iris and peonies and poppies are coming, they aren’t here yet.

You have to wander around to find the color, as the green and blues of the hosta predominate. I will try to write sometime soon about hosta. They really are wonderful, particularly this time of year. They just can’t compete with flower pictures.

So what do I have for you this week?

First here is a picture of an underappreciated late spring bulb, that fills in this between time. It is called camassia. This dainty pale lavender flower is one of two colors of camassia that I have established in the backyard. Please see the bonus pictures for more camassia.

The second picture is one of the tree peonies. Tree peonies bloom earlier than their herbaceous cousins. Tree peonies are called that since they form shrubs, which can get to 6 feet high. They can last for a real long time. They have really big flowers.

The third picture is the lady slipper orchid called Gisela. It is one of the cypripediums, which live outside even in the north, and under some conditions can thrive. There is a pink one, reginae, which is the Minnesota state flower. Gisela is supposed to be one of the easiest to grow.

The final picture this week is a close-up of Trillium grandiflorum. When you saw it two weeks ago it was white. What a transformation. Check out the bonus pictures to see if change in the entire clump.

Have fun with your voting this week.

In the voting last week the totals were:
Primrose close-up 43
Busy tulip 15
Anemone close-up 12
Dwarf iris 10

For your bonus pictures this week first are more camassia.

Here is the grandiflorum trillium clump, before and after.
May 8, 2011

May 13, 2011

May 13, 2011

Finally I mentioned last week that I had lost several trillium. Well this one, trillium simile, just showed up, already in flower. I don’t know how I missed it. I was sure it had not made it. You just never know sometimes.

Have a good week.


Catherine Woods said...

I had a hard time choosing this week. But fond memories trumped all else when I selected the lady slipper orchid. As a child I vacationed in the forested part of Minnesota where the reginae thrive. Seeing your Gisela triggered vivid somatic memories of cool waters, rustling wind, loamy earth, and the cry of the loon.

The remaining three feel nearly as special as the orchid. I love the trillium's color change. It continues to be one of my favorite flowers. The grand and gorgeous tree peony is simply stunning and in sharp contrast to the delicate lavender camassia. Each of these three offers something unique and quite lovely.

Thanks, the pictures this week really filled me up!

philip Mears said...

Catherine- I would love to get to someplace like Minnesota and see a whole bunch of the big pink slippers. I have actually found the pink ones the hardest to grow. I have had several die on me, while the yellow ones and Gisela come back and rebloom. I will post pictures of the little yellow ones next week.