Sunday, May 8, 2011

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What's in bloom on Mother's Day

The yellow irises have been spectacular this year. I can't remember when I've had as many blooms. Although they're in the sunniest part of the old garden, they clearly yearn for more, since they lean over and flop too much. Perhaps some of them will get to be transplanted to the new border later this summer.

This is also prime time for columbines, which have self-sown all over the garden. The blue ones are most prevalent, but some occasional white ones and even a raspberry one pop up here and there.

The mazus from Martha is shyly blooming by the edge of the shrub border.

Tradescantia, which also appears in odd spots, is blooming its head off in this cool spring. I can't even remember where the original plant came from - Mom, undoubtedly - but all of them are colored an intense blue that the camera has trouble picking up.

The bleeding hearts are almost gone, ditto the English bluebells, trout lilies and other spring beauties. The mertensia is now at the yellowing and flopping stage, easy to weed out after shaking the plants to scatter the seed.

The allium triquetrum is slowly spreading among the front gardens and continues to be a favorite for its cool, elegant flowers.

Most exciting of all is the Zepherine Drouhin rose, which is blooming like mad close to the ground. There are two long stems that are probably reversions to the root stock, and which I should prune, but otherwise it is full of fragrant blooms.

The coral bells are in full flower, clashing prettily with the insane azalea under the living room windows. The little unnamed geranium nearby is twining its blooms around the stalks.

Last summer’s bronze fennel, which I started from seed, did nothing much until coming back this year. It seems to be in fine fettle, and I can only think that these caterpillars are a sign that it’s a native butterfly propagator.

The Jack-in-the-pulpit from Becky was a wonderful surprise among the greenery under the oak tree. Nearby are some May apples from Judy and the kirengeshoma that always looks terrific at this time of year but sometimes gets a bit parched come August.

Otherwise, the oakleaf hydrangeas are budding and the peonies are just about to burst into bloom. Actually, one of the Susan Heplers has already bloomed and reminded me how badly that side of the garden needs to be divided and renewed.

And the new garden? Not much going on, but everyone is thriving so far.