May is Busting Out!

A recent walk through the gardens reveals that yes, indeed, spring has sprung!  If I’m not careful, I’m gonna miss it!  It’s amazing to me how fleeting this season is.  I look forward, as I’m sure you do as well, to the blooming of the flowers.  They don’t last long, though!

The crabapple bloomed just in time for prom season.

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Roses for prom

Brittany looked simply divine, and I was so pleased that the crabapple waited until the weekend of May 3 to burst into bloom.

Amazingly, the blooms lasted all of a week, until a strong wind storm blew all the blossoms all over the neighborhood.

The azaleas have passed their prime, little over a week did they stay.

And now I’m thoroughly enjoying the irises.

A few years back, I found a lonely bag of irises under a bench at the softball field.  I’m sure one of the other softball moms brought them to share, but they were left behind.  I kept my eye on that bag until after the game, and when no one claimed them, I rescued them myself.

It has taken a few years, and a few relocations, but I think I’ve finally hit the jackpot with the current location.

I will never forget the excitement that first year waiting for the irises to bloom.  I had no idea what variety I had found.  I was secretly hoping for a blue one, but these purple ones were not a disappointment!  And I could not beat that price!

I did not have much hope that any of them were going to bloom this year.  Every day, I would go out and take a peep between the greens.  I hope they do forgive me, for I did feel a bit aggressive checking under the hood, so to speak.  But quite magically, one day I went out to an array of spikes that must have shot up overnight, I kid you not!

And seriously, these guys bloom at night.  I was watching the buds getting ready to burst one evening late last week, and the next morning I woke up to a purple garden that took my breath away!

And Beverly Sills has made her appearance as well.  She was the lone bloomer last year, and I do believe she really appreciates some company at the party this year.

I’m sorry to say that a heavy rain storm yesterday afternoon may have ruined these beautiful blooms, but there are more to come.  Hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough for me to catch my breath, as well as a few more pictures to share.

The Bachelor’s button is so much fun to photograph.  I got a little daring with the macro lens this past weekend, and got some truly amazing shots.

No wonder we look forward to spring, all year long!  But as I said, take a moment to enjoy it.  It won’t be around for long.

In a Vase on Monday – Creamy Callas

My first submission to Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday turned out to be more challenging than I thought it would be.  I knew exactly what flowers I wanted to highlight, and coming up with a container that was tall enough to handle my tall Creamy Callas left little room for creativity.

3 Creamy Callas

This tall vase doesn’t seem to be as original as what I’ve enjoyed from other participants, but hopefully you will forgive me.

These lovely Callas were given to me by a friend at the office, Diane.  Last fall, she sent out an e-mail offering calla corms to whoever wanted them.  Of course, I snatched 6 right up.  I kept them in the garage all winter, and actually rememberd to bring them out and plant them back in May.  They sprouted almost immediately, and in mid-June, they started blooming.

The leaves of this plant are interestingly speckled.  I checked with Diane as soon as the leaves unfurled, I was concerned I had some sort of blight!  But that’s the one feature she really loves about this variety.

I like the creamy yellow color, and matched it up with some of the enormous blue hosta leaves that grow in The Shade Garden.  My daylillies are up and blooming, and I chose of few of their leaves to offset the height a bit.

The true challenge came from actually photographing this arrangement.  I really need some practice on lighting, avoiding shadows, choosing backgrounds.  It’s amazing how much you pay attention to the details of other shots once you have tried to do it yourself!

Of course, true to how I roll, I’m submitting this entry with little time to spare!  It’s still Monday, tho!!

 

Bloom Day – May 15, 2014

It’s a very rare month that I’m actually posting my entry in the Garden Bloggers Bloomday blog on the 15th, but here it is.

Blog-May14May looks very white in the yard – the first iris to bloom is white, the azaleas (you can see them behind the chair) are white, the crabapple, which bloomed 2 weeks ago, was white!  There is some blue arriving as well, the bachelor’s button, the lungwort, and the pansies are a nice blue this year.

Many hostas are already up and spreading!  For as long as spring took to get here, she is quite suddenly in full bloom!

My columbine seems to appear overnight, and I completely forgot to spread the seeds I gathered from Tracy’s yard – she has a lovely pink columbine.  I will spread the seeds now, and hope I’m not too late to enjoy these lovelies!

Please head over to Carol’s May Dreams Gardens for more blooms from around the world today!

 

A Slow Start – But It’s a Start!

The Helleborus have arrived!

Peppermint Ruffles

And they are much smaller than I anticipated, but they do look like healthy plants.

The Peppermint Ruffles actually arrived in bloom – so exciting!  It’s so hard to judge the size of a plant by the pictures they show in the catalog.  I’m thinking that once they start establishing, I’ll be dividing and transplanting in a year or two.

Helleborus

I was hoping to plant by week’s end, and I was able to get them in the ground just yesterday.  I’d been scouting the yard trying to determine the best location, and determined Elaine’s View the best spot – it’s shady most of the day and gets minimal evening sun.  The digging was easier than I anticipated – the ground is still very wet from all the snow melt.  And I was thrilled to open the composter to discover some great compost to help strengthen the soil.  I worked some into the ground as I turned the small plot.

Digging like this before other perennials have started is a dangerous practice for me.  As much as I think I remember the gardens from year to year, I’m always nervous that I’ll disturb a plant that I’ve forgotten about.  I really must update the garden plans so I have a good map to follow!

I’m hoping that the snowdrops arrive soon so they can join the Lenten Rose in this shade garden.  I’ll try them there, and can always move them if it turns out bad.

On my tour of the yard, I realized that something has been snacking on my Japanese Maple.

I’m so disappointed – I never even got a real good picture of it.  I’m terrible at capturing those before shots!  I’m not sure it will recover but I’m hoping.  Elaine tells me that deer frequent the yard.  I’ve never seen them, but she’s home more than I am so I will have to take her word for it.  I’m hoping deer do not like hellebore – I must read up on that.

Just a couple of crocus are up and the daffodils are poking their heads out of the ground.

My mom tells me that April is predicted to be cooler than normal.  I certainly hope this isn’t our climate changing – I can’t take much more of this cold.  I need warmth, and not just a sneak peek!  I’m seeing mid 30s in the 5 day forecast, and mid 50s the week after next.  By then it will be April, and I really don’t want to see showers of the snow variety!

A Hemerocallis by any other name

About 10 years ago, I started noticing beautiful daylilies around the neighborhood.  Seemed as though every yard that was adorned with flowers had at least one specimen.  The one I noticed first was the stella d’oro.  In fact, I believe my first daylily was a stella d’oro Alice divided and shared.

stella d'oro
stella d’oro

A few years later, she gave me a pink one and a taller maroon one.

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I don’t know the official names of all of my daylilies.  I ordered some through mail order nurseries, and have misplaced the identifiers.

So on my first trip to the Phipps Conservatory Mothers Day flower sale, I searched out the daylily table, thinking these experts will surely be able to help me identify my daylilies.  I thought I could simply show them my pictures and they would recognize them immediately.

OMG – was I in for a surprise.

This table, belonging to the Pittsburgh Iris and Daylily Society, sported binders upon binders of pictures – hundreds of pictures – of possible varieties.  I never realized how many there are.

I’m a fan of daylilies and have visited many websites that feature them.  With the vast amount of hybridizing, there are literally thousands of varieties, each with its own lineage, each with its own interesting name.  And I discovered you can register your own varieties and give them proper registered names.  The American Hemerocallis Society offers a registration service, where for a small fee, you can register your own cultivars.  There are many rules and many features of the flowers that must be documented in order to complete the registration.

I will do my best to identify the daylilies in my collection, but I doubt I will ever be sure.  For now, I will be making up names for them, until the “official” names are discovered.

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