Around the Garden – May 28th, 2020

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.

And to think that I used to consider ditch Lilies as “just orange”!

The Japanese Pieris scarlet leaves have turned bright green but wait… isn’t that a new crop of red leaves emerging in each center?
The Azalea pinks and purples are gone but Hosta are starting to unveil their subtle lavender. This spike is three foot high and one Hosta has eight spikes reaching blooming stages.

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!

Raindrop on an “Ear” amidst the Hay Scented Fern.
Hosta are starting a bloom cycle. It seems like it is earlier than last year – maybe not.

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

The last Tea Rose of the Spring season was no disappointment!

Knock-Out roses are fading but not this guy!

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.

One surprice was an errant Clematis sneaking into an azalea for a second season of interesting blooms. Note the green visitor keeping a multi-eyed watch for “bad guys” .

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.

Only one Asiatic Lily has bloomed so far but dozens are promising to follow.

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.

Sweet Olives to the left and Cannas to the right frame my walkway. Olives will be topped at about six feet but Cannas will reach the same height on a new cycle every year.

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.

I have hundreds of orange Day Lilies but only a few dozen hybrids. This is the first – and what a beauty!

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!

Shade garden surprises!
Chocolate hues abound!

3 thoughts on “Around the Garden – May 28th, 2020

  1. Deanna L Hopper May 28, 2020 — 1:48 pm

    Your pictures are such a ray of sunshine in this coronavirus time. I don’t normally order too much online but due to everything being closed I ordered several books and a couple of items with mixed results . Spent the last hour trying to get refunds and/or get the merchants to get with post office to find out why two of my books have been stuck at one Post office for 24 days. Plus I contacted PO myself. So it was just nice to look at your pictures for stress relief. I can’t grow much here without amending the soil because this hill I live on is almost pure clay. Just planted two mock orange bushes and so far they look to be taking to the area.

    Like

  2. Just discovered your blog. Lovely flowers and narrative!

    Like

  3. Looks like a dream world of flora and fauna. Your mom imbibed such a wonderful hobby and you are taking care of each plant with so much compassion. You mom is sure very proud of you!

    Like

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