Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - May 15, 2011

hyacinhoides  273
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 bevans variety  252
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  254
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  255
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.

pink oxalis  269
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.

white oxalis  270
Oxalis oregana
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  272
Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
I love these, and they are totally care-free, until they die after a few years...oh well!

heuchera marmalade  272
Heuchera 'Marmalade'
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.

iris  271
Iris gernamica
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  267
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 and nepeta  262
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  259
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.

chives  258
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.

columbine tequila sunrise  265 heucherella sweet tea  256
Aquilegia 'Tequila Sunrise' Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'

evening verbena  250
Verbena 'Homestead Purple'
Sadly, not reliably perennial for me, but I love the color and vigor of this long-blooming plant.

tiarella pacific crest  257
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!

lupine  263
I have no idea what variety these are...my partner picked them out last spring. I do kinda like how it's a surpise!

tulips  268
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!


  1. The Hyacinthoides are simply lovely. There's something about the color of them, massed, that is such a spirit-lifter. From the looks of all your photos, bees and butterflies are very much at home in your garden :)

  2. Better late than never and your photography is always a feast to the eyes. What lens do you use 1.8? or 1.2? Your images are so soft and dreamy today with my favourite being the Tiarella. I can see my Astrantia buds from this chair so I think I too will have them in flower next week.

    Oh no I wonder what the cats do to my chives when I'm not here...... well I do wash them but I think I'll wash them a little better from now on.

    I'm just finishing editing my photos for my native bluebell post for publishing later this week though I do have some of those spanish ones in my front garden - yours seem to be a paler colour than mine.

  3. Lovely post ... lots of goodies ... love your Verbena 'Homestead Purple' shot!

  4. It's nice to have the bloom day posts spaced out! I'm going to try astrantia some day in a pot and hope for better luck. Wonderful spring, it all looks so fresh.

  5. I wish I had taken that aquilegia photo.... and the purple of the verbena has a real zing to it...

  6. great stuff! I'm jealous of your white Geranium macrorrhizum, it's much classier than the pink variety we both have (though it certainly has it's uses in the garden). Everything else looks great and the variety of items you have going in your small yard is asouting.

  7. Scott your garden is really starting to shine now. You have a great collection of geraniums. I am loving your Erysimum Bowles Mauve. What a lovely flower.

  8. Yes I wish I could find a perennial verbena also. Your oxalis seems interesting.

  9. What a great collection of blooms. I have Sweet Tea too, love it. Your Erysimum is a beautiful color. Wonderful!

  10. Bloom day comes up every month but you always manage to make your shots look fresh. You're a talented photographer. Thanks for letting us enjoy your garden from miles away.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog Scott. Your garden is coloring spring beautifully. I love tierella and can't seem to find a spot in my garden where it will grow. I hope you always have a spot in the garden for flowers of the heart such as the Iris. They are beautiful even if they aren't the latest. Happy Spring.

  12. As usual, all your photos are just stunning! You have so much blooming. I'm hoping it won't be long now for us up near Seattle. So many flowers have been delayed by this wet, cold weather. I'm thinking maybe I need to get some Oxalis.

    I love that last shot of the tulips, with the one bending over, like it's trying to peer around its neighbor. One pretty pink nonconformist!

  13. Your flowers and photos are incredible. It is as if around every corner there is something blooming. My favorite is the verbena. What a beautiful color!

  14. There is something about those tulips that I just love. Great photos, as usual, Scott. Isn't it nice that our plants are coming into their own despite the crappy weather? :)

    Btw, my blog address is www.gracepete.blogspot.com. I'm just letting everyone know. Thanks.

  15. Your giving me lots of new ideas for my garden. My back bed needs an "uplift" this year. Just amazing photographs!

  16. Well, it may be a late posting, but what a great selection. Your photos make a really strong case for each of these flowers. For some reason the deer have let the Spanish and English bluebells actually bloom in our forest this year. For us they provide a nice follow on to the Virginia Bluebells. I'm sold on the Astrantia. They should be arriving next week...

  17. Scott, thanks for stopping by my blog! I am so tickled to have found yours! What beautiful photography. You mentioned a few flowers I'm going to have to research further, as if they've done well for you, there is hope for me just down the river! Cheers, Jenni

  18. Awesome variety, great photo close-ups.

  19. Thankyou for leaving a comment on my latest post, without which it would not have directed me here. I love your photos and your garden must look beautiful. It is way ahead of mine in the UK. I will be visiting again.

  20. You just added Jupiter's Beard to my garden. Thank you. All of your photos are beautiful, as always, but I really like the iris shot this time around.

  21. What beautiful photos! Nice to "meet' you and your blog.

    I have GOT to get more heucherella! I think, like me you might prefer the bud to the actual blossom sometimes, right? How about that "Tequila Sunrise" bud?!

  22. Hey, just found your blog:) Enjoying your colorful macro photos and some of the links too. I love the white geranium and the iris. By the looks of things, you're getting some rain and grey weather like I am. At least we've got blooms!

  23. I think both your Oxalis varieties are beautiful. I remember once telling my California MIL that we were planting Oxalis and she was shocked. Apparently she only knew the weedy one we get here too. The oregana is the one to have! Also love that Bowles Mauve wallflower. Every year I tell myself I'm going to plant an Erisimum seed mix and every year I forget. Thanks for reminding me to put it on my calendar!

  24. Scott,
    Thanks for your visit & nice comment at WMG. Shirley is a beauty... lots of exciting transition.

    Your photography is wonderful. And your front boarder... just beautiful!

    I love how quickley G. macrorrhizum fills in. It has been great in newish garden & I love its smell too.

    Looking forward to reading more this season,

  25. Very nice post and photography. I love your verbena and Heuchera 'Marmalade'. They are coming out with so many new varieties of Heuchera now and pretty hardy too. I need to get more! Happy Gardening!

  26. Your blog is beautiful and your photos are magnificant! I'll come back to visit. Thanks for leaving a comment on mine!

    Cheers from Canada.

  27. Patricia: Definitely...they are so lovely in bloom (and bloom for quite a long time) unfortunately, they dissolve into a slimey mess as soon as they are done!

    Leavesnbloom: I use a 2.8 for the most part...saving up for a prime, though! Can't wait to see your Astrantia blooming...my little patch of them is just starting to form buds, so I should see some bloom action in the next week too!

    Joey: Thanks...it's a great plant!

    Denise: I agree...it's a bit overwhelming trying to get through them all at once! Spring is awesome for that reason...everything is fresh!

    Janet: Thanks!!!

    Ryan: Agreed...the white is a bit subtler and would work in far more situations...the pink is wonderful, of course, but a bit garish at times! I do have a propensity for cramming things into the garden ;-)

    Lona: Thanks...yeah, it's a long road, but once it hits April, it's showtime until the first frost!

    greggo: The best bet for a perennial Verbena (although it's slow to get going for me) is 'Annie' from High Country Gardens...all 3 of the ones I bought last spring have returned...which is pretty good for me!

    Janet: Isn't Sweet Tea lovely...especially in contrast to fresh green...love it!

    Abbey: Thanks so much, I do try !

    Lisa: I enjoyed the visit, glad you made it over here too! It's my first year with the Tiarella, so hopefully it's happy there!

    Alison: I'm betting you won't be far behind...I always forget just how far North of us you are...I love that shot too...sometimes plants have so much personality!

    Sage Butterfly: Aww, thanks! I love the Verbena too...it's my favorite color!

    Grace: I know, every spring, I fall in love with Tulips all over again, and I'm totally planning on planting more this fall (even though it's soooo hard when it wet and muddy)!

    Miss Kodee: Thanks so much...I hope you post photos of the backyard re-do!!!

    John: I bet the forest is beautiful, carpeted in Blubells!!! I'm really loving the Astrantias so far (this is their first spring in my garden...were planted last fall) and I'm hoping they fare well...such charming plants!

    Jenni: Thanks for stopping by! I'm happy any time to evangelize about flowers I love!!! I'm sending good gardening thoughts your way ;-)

    Shyrlene: Thanks so much!

    Ronniejt: Thanks for stopping by...I really enjoyed your blog as well!

    Kelly: Hahaha...glad you liked them...they really are a great plant, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any one!

    JGH: Same to you, I love finding new blogs and bloggers! The Heucherella is really lovely, I look forward to it every year :-)

    Kate: Totally...I don't mind the rain one bit, as long as the garden still grows! hahaha!

    MulchMaid: People still look at me with incredulity when I tell them about all the Oxalis I have planted...they are always like "on purpose?" hahaha. The Wallflower is a great plant...short-lived, but so easy to keep happy.

    WIfe, Mother, Gardener: Thanks for stopping by here too! I agree about the Geranium, I've been using it randomly in all my new garden areas...it's so lovely and the smell is great...especially whenever I happen to brush against it.

    Landscape Design by Lee: Thanks so much...yeah, I think now that the Heuchera breeders are settling down, they are focusing more on hardiness and color retention...which is so great for us gardeners.

    Diane: Thanks so much...I'm totally going to be visiting yours as well :-)