A sure sign of spring at my house, Hyacinthoides (Spanish Bluebells)
Ok...yeah, I'm a couple days late...but it's been a BUSY spring! it really seems the last few weeks have brought about a veritable explosion of growth in the garden. Things that seemed to barely be above ground a few weeks ago are now knee-high. Bare ground is becoming rarer and rarer. Even the new backyard garden is starting to fill in (albeit very slowly), and that's the subject for another post.
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'
One of 3 different types of this Geranium, I'll be honest, I bought them for their fragrant, evergreen foliage...but the flowers are totally charming as well. I love the little ribbed barrels they emerge from, and the wispy antennae-like anthers. This one I actually bought this spring, after seeing how well some others I had bought in the fall fared.
Geranium macrorrhizum, white
Last fall at the HPSO plant sale, I bought 3 of these...not knowing what their flower color was. It turns out that 2 of them were white and one was lightest blush pink...a bit subtler than the screaming magenta of 'Bevan's Variety'!
Geranium macrorrhizum, pink
And here is teh pink version. I think one of the coolest things about the blossoms is how their buds are all dark pink, but the flowers have these contrasting, lighter colors.
Oxalis oregana 'Winter Green'
I actually am not sure of the name of this Oxalis, but I go it at the Xera booth at the Yard Garden and Patio show last spring. I love that it's (partially) evergreen and has these bright pink flowers. If I keep it watered, it will blooms all summer into fall.
The good old stand-by, a selection of our native Oxalis. Another plant I bought for it's foliage effect, love how it forms a lush, green carpet around other perennials. The flowers are a nice touch and the pure white really pops out in the shady corners I have it planted in.
Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
I love these, and they are totally care-free, until they die after a few years...oh well!
I was only on the Heuchera bandwagon for a few blocks, just long enough to get a few varieties. The ones I do have, however, I really love. They are colorful all year long (although they don't always seems entirely pleased by winter, and in spring they positively erupt into new growth. The flowers themselves are pretty nondescript, but I love the tall, wand-like stems...they change the whole form of the plant.
Ah, yes, the stalwart Bearded Iris. This is one of only a handful of plants that were planted around our house when we moved in...granted, there are, literally, hundreds of them! I've spent quite a bit of time this spring dividing and re-distributing them. I was amazed at how they continued to bloom, some in full shade, others in piles 5 rhizomes deep. They aren't fancy, exotic or on anyone's "must-have" list, but I still have a soft place in my heart for them. These are pretty much just like the flowers I grew up with...pretty much the only flower my mom grew! I still remember as a kid, running around during spring, only to round a corner to a huge swathe of these blooming their hearts out. Such an unexpected display, every spring, won me over.
Astrantia major 'Star of Beauty'
My "cheat" Astrantia, because I bought it this spring! All the others are still busy growing their basal clumps of foliage and I'm eagerly anticipating their bloom. For now, however, I still have the few stalks of bloom on 'Star of Beauty' to tide me over and remind me of what's to come.
Hyacinthoides (Spanish Bluebells) and Nepeta 'Walkers Low')
The dreaded Hyacinthoides are nearing the end of their bloom period and will soon dissolve into a soupy mess. The Nepeta stands ready to take over. Amazingly, the neighborhood cats have left my Nepeta alone for the most part this spring, focusing all their love onto one plant on the SW corner of our garden...poor thing.
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's Beard)
While this grows almost like a weed around Portland, I love it. I wasn't a big fan when I first moved here, then I watched a clump in a neighbors driveway bloom all spring, summer and fall with zero care and knew I had to have some. Any plant that looks THAT good with NO care is a winner in my book.
Allium schoenoprasum (Garden Chives)
What can I say, I love the flowers of Chives. I don't eat them, as they are subject to the marking tendencies of our neighbor's cats, but I can still enjoy the blooms.
|Aquilegia 'Tequila Sunrise'||Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'|
Verbena 'Homestead Purple'
Sadly, not reliably perennial for me, but I love the color and vigor of this long-blooming plant.
Tiarella 'Pacific Crest'
After wanting a Tiarella for years, but not sure where to put it, I finally got one this spring. This particular variety is supposed to stay short, but spread up to 36"...can't wait!
I have no idea what variety these are...my partner picked them out last spring. I do kinda like how it's a surpise!
I should have kept track of the Tulip varieties I planted last fall...but I didn't. Nevertheless, it doesn't lessen our enjoyment of the parade of color this spring. Although there may be only a week or two left for the tulip show, we're loving every minute!