Oh, dear month of May – why such a hurry? I can’t keep up! Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up Day are both in the past – but hey, better late than never… right?
Anyway, when I was out snapping photos, I realized something. Not exactly being a lover of pink, I saw to my dismay that my May garden contains an awful lot of that color. And at this point, it is more of the soft, pastelly kind, and not as much of the bright, sweltering hot variety – which I actually like much better. I’m not really sure what my aversion to pink is, or at what point it began. At some point in my life, I know for sure I loved it’s pretty hue. It’s not that I really mind it, but it just doesn’t do much for me. Perhaps I somehow associate it with a weak and gentle disposition, and somewhere in my life’s journey I stocked up enough passion, piss, and vinegar to regard its passive, submissive sweetness with annoyed disdain… who knows?
What I do know, is that for some of the plants, I have an excuse. It wasn’t the flower that wowed me – it was the foliage!
Take the Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ for example. In exchange for its fine, dark foliage and shiny black berries, I will endure the pink.
The first time I laid eyes on Indogofera kirolowii – Chinese indigo – was in the fall when the leaves were a layered, airy mass of golden, buttery yellow. I was stunned! To see that show again, I will happily give it a spot in my garden.
Clematis ‘Nellie Moser’ was said to work well in relative shade, and is obediently snaking its way up the aforementioned Elderberry. They flowers brighten a dark spot, and from a distance look almost more white than pink. So, I’ve decided I’m willing to live with it!
Here is another pink Clematis – I think it’s ‘Piilu’ – its generous buds working their way up a Crape myrtle that was once a gift from the Arbor Day Foundation. As luck would have it it’s flowers were pink. I tried finding it another home, but there were no takers, so it remains in place. As for Piilu, it was a $4 bargain impulse buy from the grocery store at some point. I still haven’t figured out why I keep falling for that…
Here is a close-up of Piilu. Definitely better color than that timid Nelly Moser, but still…
This was supposed to be a smaller peony with sultry, dark pink petals and yellow stamens. Oh well, it was apparently mislabeled. It has a lovely fragrance, but I think it’s going to have to find a home with someone who knows how to appreciate it better. Funny – I always feel so guilty when I don’t like them more than I do. They can’t help they’re pink!!
My first brush with Allium shubertii was an encounter with its massive, dried seedhead. It was so cool, that of course I had to have one. I waited with excitement for this massive flower to emerge, only to be disappointed by its wimpy color. But, its form is so cool, it still more than earns its place in my garden.
This is a little more along the lines of my color preferences. The smoky orange of the ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose fades to a dusky pink as it ages. That range is really quite cool. Now, if it only had a better fragrance, I’d probably really like it!
Okay, so it’s not all pink. It is time for the annual dance of the Japanese Snowbell – Styrax japonica. Lovely, fragrant, and offers up hundreds of seedlings each year. This is one that I saved for a choice location behind our garage. I planted it in a raised bed, so when it gets a little taller, I’ll be able to sit on the wall underneath its fragrant bows, and just lose myself in its perfume. Nice!
A variegated Eryngium lighting up the night in the fading light of evening.
Mosey on over to our gracious hosts Carol and May Dreams Gardens, and Pam at Digging to see what else is growing in gardens across the nation and the world this month.