January 2018

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day May 2013


Alliums add dramatic flair to the garden. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Except for a few 80-degree days, it’s been a slow, low-temp spring, which has prolonged tulips, in particular. This year, the large alliums, a gift from Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens, are beautiful and so dramatic. I’m going to have to get a lot more of these and other alliums, especially those that bloom a bit later in summer.

Native columbine (Aqueligia canadensis). (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The lower temps have also delayed the bloom cycle of other plants. Just starting to reign supreme in the garden are the beautiful native columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), which self-sows about, but would never be considered invasive. This year, the flowers’ red-orange seems more intense.

The coral bells (Heuchera) are forming a nice mass, with so much foliage color…oh, they bloom, too. There are a few heucherella and tiarella mixed in there too, along with sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) and Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica). The bluebells are always such a nice surprise because they bloom later than other spring bulbs.

My maidenhair fern (Adiantum) survived the winter, always cause for celebration. The clump was given to me by a regular customer at the garden center where I work. She over heard me telling another customer that maidenhair ferns were hard to find in the trade and brought one for me! The garden center has some really nice customers.

The ‘Bath’s Pink’ Cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) grows more on my asphalt driveway than in the garden bed. I swear this plant would grow on concrete. It is so fragrant right now!

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The reblooming bearded iris (Iris)  ‘Immortality’ is lovely and soon, the blue one will bloom, but I don’t remember its name. Reblooming iris flowers are large, fragrant and put on a nice show in spring and again in late summer.

A favorite plant—Arisaema triphyllum—has emerged amid the Epimedium (E. x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’) and I’m thinking about moving it before it gets completely swallowed up. The jack-in-the-pulpit came from the late Jim Story, the first reader who wrote me when I started writing about gardening in 1989. He was such a generous soul, as are many gardeners, but he was special.

Last fall, Longfield Gardens sent a bunch of spring-blooming bulbs. By far, among my favorites is Anemone de Caen ‘Mr. Fokker/Sylphide’ (Anemone) mix. I hope they return next year, but if not, they have been beautiful this year.


A variety of heuchera, heucherella and tiarella have rooted nicely to offer a mass of colors. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Dozens of trial plants have arrived for the 2013 growing season. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Last spring, I whacked back my 20-year-old ‘Miss Kim’ lilac (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula) and last fall, shifted her to the back yard because Carol Michel’s garden designer (Wendy Ford, Landscape Fancies) said it was too big for its space and blocked the view of my front door. I planted another one in the front, but about 5 feet from the original, which allows for a better view of the door. Both are ready to bloom.

With all of this work from Mother Nature, it’s like Christmas for me. And not just because of the plants blooming in the garden. Awaiting planting are this season’s trail plants. Before it even gets in the ground, I think I’m really going to like ‘Purrsian Blue’ catmint (Nepeta faassnii). I’ve already cut it back once and it’s not even planted in the ground yet. However, it immediately—within a week—began blooming, not something I’ve noticed with catmint. It’s not supposed to flop, either, so we’ll see how it does once its in the ground.

Bath's Pink Cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus). (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for being the  host of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Please feel free to join in. We think it’s the longest running gardening meme on the Web.



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