The end of May is here already and today would have been my mother’s 94th birthday. She would have loved strolling through our garden on this overcast but warm late spring morning. So I am dedicating this springtime post to her. Happy Birthday, Mom – wish you were still with us!
Transitioning to summer is always fun as Hosta are full grown and starting to bloom. Spring bulbs are over for the most part with Dutch Iris still lingering and summer Asiatic Lilies starting to reclaim the blooming throne. Crimson Pieris leaves are now bright green with a hint of a new crop of red leaves beginning to form. Day Lilies are starting their June 1st cycle a few days early and I marvel every year at the intricate detail of the simple orange “Ditch Lily” and anxiously await the awakening of lavishly speckled, striped, and blended hybrid Day Lilies. Only one of these jewels has bloomed so far this year but dozens more will be here shortly.
If you have followed my blogs this year, you know I love leaf color and texture and summer is bringing us Coleus in all its forms – Elephant Ears in their trumpeting majesty – ferns of every variety!
I have had a few surprises – Roses were not a surprise as my sunny backyard was outlined in scarlet. They are receding from the Spring flush but careful deadheading back to the first five-leaf stem will bring them back in late June
St. John’s Wort erupted in frilly yellow blossoms with bright red bead capsules and the promise of summer is ever present with bushy groups of purple coneflowers waiting for July before flying their colors. One pleasant surprise is the Butterfly bush which as a gift from a fellow gardener was planted as a one foot clump a year ago and is now towering at five feet tall and around. It is covered with cone shaped panicles of deep purple with yellow centered blossoms just waiting for the butterfly onslaught.
A baby tree garden was set up last year and I now have growing Washington Hawthorne, Willow Oak, Dogwood, Crepe Myrtle, a Southern Magnolia, and a few that I have forgotten their names. Several “rescue” azaleas are recovering from a poor planting location and I am not sure all will make it through the coming summer but I will try. My Flame Azalea is still potted and looking for a permanent home while my Pinxter Azalea is doing well in its shady new home and has already grown a foot since blooming in March.
The west side of my lot has growing Sweet Olives which look like they have adapted well since my summer planting last year. They bloomed in February and will again in October. I have treated my extensive plantings of Canna Lily with an anti leaf-roller bio-pesticide and so far the caterpillars have been kept at bay. The Cannas are several feet high and will reach six feet in a month and a half with resplenent orange, red, and yellow blossoms.
I still have a lot of work to do this year as I need to finish my hillside terraces, complete the stocking of my shade garden, and keep moving my seven Hosta varieties from the late afternoon sun to the shade garden which only has two hours of sun each day.
You are welcome to come and visit if you are in the north Georgia area and I can talk forever about flowers, bushes, and trees. I know my mother instilled this passion within me and if she were still with us, I know where she would be this promising day – on her knees, trowel in hand, gently placing a Coleus in its summer home. Happy Birthday, Mom!