Friday, May 16, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - May 2014

GBBD May 2014
It's Bloom Day once again...and it's springtime in Portland...which is pretty glorious...aside from the past few days of unbearable heat. Luckily, we are back to more comfortable temps today and should even get some rain this weekend (YES)!

Allium Early Emperor
I thought originally that I wouldn't have much to show this months, but then, as always, the garden surprised me...I had forgotten that the very merry month of May is the time for Alliums and Allium 'Early Emperor' above.

PC Iris Little Survivor
I added a few delightful Pacific Coast Iris (PCI) hybrids to my garden last year and adore them...this is 'Little Survivor'

PCI Sea Admiral
PCI 'Sea Admiral'

Alison PCI Opening
This PCI is an unnamed hybrid from fellow blogger Alison...the blooms start out this warm, honey color...

Alison PCI Faded
...and fade to an almost-white, bleached pink color...very cute!

Iris Come Away With Me Sunset 2
I added half a dozen new Iris to my garden after my annual trip to Schreiners Iris last year...and I love them. This is the oddly-colored 'Come Away With Me'.

Iris Come Away With Me
Here it is again, in slightly overcast light, you can see the rich combination of warm apricot and rich it!

Iris Sultans Pride
Iris 'Sultan's Pride' was one that Norm actually picked out. Not sure I'd ever have chosen this color...but I do like how it contrast with the subtler blooms in the garden right now...and it's stunning when backlit by the rising sun each morning.

Iris Ominous Stranger Sunrise
Iris 'Ominous Stranger' is another slightly off color...but I really like the sublte shading of lavender and yellow...even the buds are striking.

Iris My Ginny Sunset 2
Another new Iris, 'My Ginny'...I can't help but love charming and romantic...sigh.

Iris My Ginny 3
I do seem to have been attracted to Iris with purple edges last year, didn't I!

Iris - Girly Girl evening
If you buy a certain amount of Iris at Schreiners, they let you choose a free bonus Iris from a list of 6 or so choices, and if memory serves, this was our Bonus Iris, which Norm picked's called 'Girly Girl'...which makes me laugh whenever I think about it.

Picotee Iris
'Girly Girl' again in morning sure is pretty!

Very Dark Iris
This extremely dark, almost black, Iris, actually came with our it!

Iris Devonshire Cream Sunny
One of my goals last year was to find a nice, substantial yellow Iris. The one I originally wanted was $65 per rhizome...which was a bit too rich for my I settled on this one, 'Devonshire Cream'...which I adore.

Iris Devonshire Cream SHadows
It really is like cream...almost white at first glance...but with the barest hints of warm yellow blushing across the petals.

Iris Draculas Kiss
This one surprised me and I had to look back through my photo records to discover what it was...'Dracula's Kiss'!

Iris Italic Ice
This one has the baffling name 'Italic Ice'...not sure what that means...but I like it, all the same :-)

Iris bicolor
Another inherited Iris...and a winner...chances are you've seen this in at least a few gardens in your neighborhood...I see them everywhere here in Portland...totally reliable, blooms for weeks, and has a heavenly fragrance.

I think all the Columbine I planted years ago are long gone...but their mixed progeny continue to grown, bloom and re-seed.

Geranium Ann FOlkard SUnny
I was surprised last weekend that Geranium 'Ann Folkard' is already starting to bloom!

Geranium Rozanne
And 'Rozanne' was not far behind!

Gillenia trifoliata
A new plant for my garden, but one that I've wanted for years, Gillenia trifoliata...which I know has recently been renamed something awful...but it's still Gillenia to me :-)

Astrantia Roma
And, of course, May means the Astrantias are blooming, here we have the wonderful, silvery-pink, 'Roma'

Astrantia Roma
'Roma' again, in the sun.

Astrantia Star of Fire H
Astrantia 'Star of Fire' is my favorite of the dark reds.

Astrantia star of fire sunny
The flowers are marvels...and so much fun to photograph.

Monarda bradburiana
Another spring favorite, Monarda bradburiana...the best Monarda ever!

Knautia Melton Pastels Pink
One of the few plants I grew from seed, Knautia macedonica 'Melton Pastels'. Oddly, these always bloom earlier than regular Knautia macedonica...and have really varied sizes/ the variation in colors...from this soft pink...

Knautia Melton Pastels Red the more familiar rich, berry red.

The Rodgersia grow and bloom so fast, it seems I blink and they go from nubbins poking out of the earth to full bloom in a matter of days.

Rodgersia blooms
Have you ever looked closely at them...they are so elegant!

Even common Chives are lovely in bloom now.

Gladiolus byzantinus
A perennial Gladioulus...the small-bloomed Gladiolus byzantinus pokes out of the lush dome of Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy'.

Clematis recta purpurea
Clematis recta purpurea, grown mostly for it's rich, velvety purple spring foliage, is just starting to bloom as well.

Baptisia and Fountain Evening
My Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' is finally starting to look respectable...and is GLORIOUS in bloom right now...I wish I'd planted it in the front where everyone can enjoy it!

Amsonia hubrchtii
Another tough-as-nails garden star, Amsonia hubrichtii, is blooming it's heart out. After 4 years (I think), they are really starting to form handsome worth the wait!

Allium nigrum
Of course, we can't have a May Bloom Day post without the Alliums, can we?

Allium Purple Sensation
'Purple Sensation' was the first Allium I ever planted...and I still love those rich purple spheres.

Allium bulgaricum 3
Allium bulgaricum (also called nectoscor-somthing-or-other-icum) are so cool...not particularly colorful, but their pendulous blooms are so graceful.

Allium bulgaricum 2
Love them!

Alliums in sideyard
This was the first year I had planted some of the really big Alliums, like 'Globemaster' and it's been so fun watching them grow taller and taller...and recently, erupt in flower!

White ALlium
I can't for the life of me remember what this large, white Allium is...but it was the first of the large ones to bloom, and is actually just finishing up.

Allium Globemaster
'Globemaster' is absolutely stunning right now...and I can't wait for those big, beautiful seedheads!

Allium christophii
Allium christophii is actually my favorite Allium of all...there is something utterly amazing about those blooms.

Allium Graceful
While the foliage of Allium 'Graceful' is anything but, the flowers make up for it...and even before blooming, they amuse dozens of alien eye-balls on stalks bouncing in the garden.

Allium purpureum
One of the Alliums that I keep planting and hoping it will come back (although they rarely do for me) is Allium purpureum...which is the most wonderful deep, rich purple.

Sleepy Punnky
As we wrap up this post, I couldn't help but share some cate photos too...during our recent heatwave, they were quite beside themselves. Our house seems to have become the meeting place for the neighborhood cat gang. This is our semi-feral adopted cat, Punky Cat (aka, Mr. Bates).

Sleepy Tiger Lily
The neighbor's sweet-as-pie cat, Tiger Lily.

Boots & Barrel
Of course...our baby, Boots.

Sleppy kitties 1
Boots sleeping near his friend, a cat who is always around...we have no idea who his owners are.

Sunny Front Garden
And to finish things off...a few wide shots of the garden. The front garden from the North.

Front Garden From South
The front garden from the South.

Side Garden From East
The side garden from the East.

North Garden Sunrise
The side garden from the West.

Iris My Ginny Sunset
I hope you're having a great spring so far...and that you're not too busy with projects that you can't sit for a bit and enjoy your garden. For more Bloom Day posts, check out May Dreams Garden!


  1. Beautiful, Scott--both the photos and the flowers!

  2. Thanks, Emily :-)

  3. Wow, Boots is pretty laid back to allow all those friends to visit. Evie chases everybody out of the garden. I've already pulled one of my two irises, leaving just the orange. I like Norm's choice, 'Sultan's Pride' ;)

  4. He's a total softie, Denise...the least territorial cat I've ever seen!

  5. Too much to comment on, so I'll limit myself... 'Sultan's Pride' looks so rich -- Norm made a good choice there! Do most of the Allium come back (particularly the bulgaricum and christophii) or do you plant each fall? Where are they located -- mixed in with everything else, or in special beds? I only ask because you seem to move stuff around so much you surely must cut into some Allium bulbs once in a while. Finally: what makes Monarda bradburiana so great? It's been on my "get this" list for a while but I can't remember why. :)

  6. As always, wonder images of your garden. Especially enjoyed the cat pictures.

  7. Your garden is looking amazing right now - I just love your iris selections. I think the color of Sultan's Pride is fabulous, and it must look great with the other colors in your garden. Had never heard of Pacific Coast Iris -f rom the name I'm guessing not something that would grow in my (northern midwest) garden - too bad, they look awesome. That first one is such a rich shade of purple. Happy gbbd

  8. Jenni @ RainyDayGardenerMay 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I dub you 'King of Irises' this month, Scott! All of your photos are so inspiring and delightful. May is truly a beautiful month for blooms. Happy GBBD!

  9. You know, Alliums are weird...'Purple Sensation' isn't the most reliable...but A. christophii seems to come back each year, as do the smaller "Drumstick" Alliums. Then again, I don't think my heavy clay is conducive to keeping them happy. That Monarda (although quite short) is just so great...never gets mildew, blooms early and forms the most wonderful seed heads that last until spring...great texture.

  10. Aren't they the best (the cats)!

  11. The Pacific Coast Iris don't do that well in most other areas of the country...mostly along the west coast...but they are pretty easy if they are happy :-)

  12. Haha...I accept the crown gladly, Jenni ;-)

  13. Beth @ PlantPostingsMay 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Great kitty shots! That 'Roma' Astrantia--and in particular, the way you captured the light through its petals--is magical! And you have a marvelous collection of Irises.

  14. All those Irises are gorgeous ! All mine were found in an abandoned Iris farm . I think I want all new ones like yours !

  15. Oh Scott, your photos are nice to see! I love the alliums, you have me wanting to plant some myself. Nice!

  16. Your garden is so ahead of mine, as usual. My one iris isn't even close to blooming nor are my rodgersia. Also, as others have said, Norm choose well, I love that color!

  17. Your irises are gorgeous! I can't imagine spending $65 on a single iris; 'Devonshire Cream' looks like a million bucks anyway. Your photos are fantastic as always; nice to see all your cat neighbors enjoying the Portland spring.

  18. tammi@northoftaborMay 17, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Ahh! I've missed seeing your garden. I didn't even know that rodgersia bloom - so glad I planted one last year! Your photos are so great and detailed - may I use them for sketching?

  19. You have so many wonderful blooms, and so far ahead of mine! I love the PCI 'Sea Admiral'. Another rare ruffled flower that won me over. I also really like colors like 'Sultan'. Gillenia trifoliata was one of my favorite plants that I learned about in Massachusetts. I love the subtle, graceful flowers of Allium bulgaricum and the giant starbursts of christophii. Mine aren't quite open yet. Do your bulgaricums flop? Mine always flop and then arch back up. I have an iris similar to the second inherited one. It has a fragrance, but to me it's a bit odd and almost musky. Have you ever tried Allium caeruleum? I find it short-lived where I've tried it before, though I think I have a couple clumps of it, still.

  20. Gorgeous blooms, your iris collection is impressive! I see I can add many more and not have too many. Love the dark ones especially. The variety of blooms in your garden is just amazing.

  21. You were worried you wouldn't have much to show?! Your Iris collection makes me drool, especially as mine appear to reluctant to bloom this year (maybe due to too little rain/irrigation). I was contemplating 'Dracula's Kiss' in a catalog - after seeing yours, I think I have to take the plunge. The cats, as always, are the best garden decorations.

  22. Scott, your irises are just beautiful. What a great bunch of photos, with beautiful light. I also really enjoy seeing overall shots of people's gardens. And thanks for including the cats, they are always lovely to see. By the way, we are having the opposite of your weather here in the mid-north Ontario. Lots of rain and very cool.

  23. I can't believe how many different irisis you have! I started collecting them too but I don't know the names as I normally "steal" them...I have one similar to the burgundy Sultan's pride, it bloomed this year for the first time so it was a nice surprise as I had forgotten I bought it years ago.

    I love your photos, the back light flowers are stunning.

  24. Wow...Your Iris and Allium are amazing. Beautiful blooms for Bloom Day!

  25. Blooms AND kittehs? Happy bloom day to us! If you could start doing a "Caturdays with Boots" segment I would be thrilled.

  26. Kittys make everything better...and it's funny you mentioned it...I was thinking the other day that I would start doing a regular Caturday post...I certainly have enough material ;-)

  27. Hahaha...neither can I, Laura...but I do love them :-)

  28. The cats are the icing on the cake, aren't they, Diane! We actually had torrential rain this weekend...when it rains, it pours...literally!

  29. The cats are the icing on the cake, aren't they, Diane! We actually had torrential rain this weekend...when it rains, it pours...literally ;-)

  30. Oh yes, Kris...I think you'll Love 'Dracula's Kiss''s so beautiful...and a really heavy bloomer!

  31. can definitely add more, Shirley...and the dark ones are my mysterious!

  32. It's so funny you mention the flopping Alliums, Alan...I thought that was just me...they all sort of flopped over at one point, but then grew up's so weird!

  33. The Rodgersia aren't the most reliable bloomers for me, Tammi...this year was about the most blooms I've gotten out of them (I think 3 stalks total). Feel free to sketch away :-)

  34. It's it crazy, Rose...I couldn't bring myself to drop that kind of cash on one either...even though it was REALLY pretty ;-)

  35. I think the recent heat really accelerated the blooms in my garden, Loree...a few weeks ago, I would never have guessed they would be blooming already.

  36. I kind of forget about them too, Alison...since they kind of just disappear into the garden later in summer!

  37. You should totally plant some, Tamara...they would look so good in your garden!

  38. Hahahaha...quite a few of mine are from our house's previous owners...and I do have a sentimental attachment to them...but some of the new hybrids are SO AMAZING!

  39. I absolutely adore Astrantia, Beth...they are SO FUN to take pictures of!

  40. Your neighbors are so lucky. I took a few iris blooming too, but not as many as you do.~~Dee

  41. We made the trip to Schreiner's for the first time on Mother's Day. It was spectacular. I already have quite a few, but can't do them justice as you do.

  42. Thanks, Dee...I hope they feel that way today, since I have a yard of mulch sitting in the street!

  43. It's probably a good thing I don't have as much room as you sometimes, Ricki...I'd have WAY too many Iris :-D

  44. Mine do the same thing. It's quirky, and I like a bit of quirk, but sometimes I'd like them to stand up straight. By the way, I'm not sure where you're getting "Alan" from. My name is Evan.

  45. White allium....Mt Everest? At least that's what my white ones are called.

  46. I'm with Norm on Sultan's Pride, love the color. The Rodgersias are indeed elegant - how come I'm not growing any? Great selection of Alliums - I grow 'Globemaster' and they make a slowly expanding patch that is a real conversation starter.

  47. Donna@Gardens Eye ViewJune 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Your May blooms are now my June blooms as we are delayed this year...gorgeous irises Scott.

  48. Donna@Garden Walk Garden TalkJune 5, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Just love your iris and cute kitties.