Blooms and Foliage – May 2015

This month, to make up for lack of time, I will post a blend of blooms and foliage for the two mid-month memes I like to take part in. Thanks for hosting, Carol at May Dreams Gardens and Pam Penick at Digging . I learned from Carol’s post yesterday, that both Clematis and Columbines are members of the same family – Ranunculaceae. Well, that might explain why I like both of them so much. To be perfectly honest, the Columbines drive me crazy with their constant seeding around, but I’m always reluctant to pull them out, because you just never know what you’re going to get. Had several astounding surprises this year, that I will feature in a separate post. But, let’s take a look at at least some of May’s bounty…

A white Japanese Columbine I fell in love with a few years ago. By now, there are ample examples of offspring in varying colors.

A white Japanese Columbine I fell in love with a few years ago. This one still looks like the one I bought.

Here are two rambling members of the Clematis sisterhood, climbing up a Crape Myrtle, and a fence. A blooming Black Lace elderberry in the background.

Here are two rambling members of the Clematis sisterhood, climbing up a Crape Myrtle, and a fence, showcasing their first flowers. A blooming Black Lace elderberry in the background. The awesome foliage of Indigofera kirilowii in the foreground – budding, but not yet in bloom.

Love the fluffy centers of Clematis 'Henryii'.

Love the fluffy centers of Clematis ‘Henryii’.

The exquisite drop shape of the Clematis 'Rocguchii' bud. One of my faves, for sure.

The exquisite drop shape of the Clematis ‘Rocguchii’ bud. One of my faves, for sure. It looks black in this photo, but, in actuality,  is a really, really dark purple.

A close-up of the Black Lace Elderberry flower. Kinda cute...

A close-up of the Black Lace Elderberry flower. Kinda cute…

... but I like them even more before they open.

… but I like them even more before they open.

Here is another bud I find absolutely adorable - my red Abutilon.

Here is another bud I find absolutely adorable – the red Abutilon I bought from Cistus earlier this year.

The only Azalea in my garden - Azalea 'Fireball'. It is deciduous, and has (I'm pretty sure) through my torturous neglect through a couple of seasons, developed some kind of virus-induced leaf variegation that  you can only see a hint of in this photo. It will be more pronounced as the leaves mature. Anyway, this will be the year when I'll see how it fares against the Azalea Lace bug assault. I'm hoping it will do okay, as it is deciduous, but I have my eye on it.

The only Azalea in my garden – Azalea ‘Fireball’. It is deciduous, and has (I’m pretty sure) through my torturous neglect  over a couple of seasons, developed some kind of really cool virus-induced leaf variegation that you can only see a hint of in this photo. It will be more pronounced as the leaves mature. Anyway, this will be the year when I’ll see how it fares against the Azalea Lace bug assault. I’m hoping it will do okay, as it is deciduous, and in quite a bit of shade, but I have my eye on it.

This adorable little shrub is probably the cutest thing in my garden right now. It is a Leptospermum, and was purchased from Xera last year. Other than lovely buds and blooms, I love its fragrant foliage.

This adorable little shrub is probably the cutest thing in my garden right now. It is a Leptospermum, and was purchased from Xera last year. Other than lovely buds and blooms, I love its fragrant foliage.

Elegant and dainty, like Empress Josephine's drop-shaped earrings, they dangle from  the branches of my Fuchsia magellanica.  This plant is a total workhorse marvel - once it blooms, it will go on non-stop, until the first hard frost puts an end to it. Total awesomeness!

Elegant and dainty, like Empress Josephine’s drop-shaped earrings, they dangle from the branches of my Fuchsia magellanica. This plant is a total workhorse marvel – once it blooms, it will go on non-stop, until the first hard frost puts an end to it. Total awesomeness!

Poor thing, I didn't exactly give it a lot of room to spread out...

Poor thing, I didn’t exactly give it a lot of room to spread out…

Another unfurling favorite  - the new leaves of Rubus lineatus. They never fail to draw me in...

Another unfurling favorite – the new leaves of Rubus lineatus. They never fail to draw me in…

Don't think I ever noticed how red the new growth is on the Buttercup winter hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora). I moved it out of its old home this past fall, and put it in a pot where I think I can remember to water it a little more generously.  It seems to like its new location...

Don’t think I ever noticed how red the new growth is on the Buttercup winter hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora). I moved it out of its old home this past fall, and put it in a pot where I think I can remember to water it a little more generously. It seems to like its new location…

... but the miniature narcissi that I planted with it are complaining about the light levels. They are kindly blooming, but are leaning terribly out toward the light. Supercute, though - the flowers are about an inch across.

… but the miniature narcissi that I planted with it are complaining about the light levels. They are kindly blooming, but are leaning terribly out toward the light. Supercute, though – the flowers are about an inch across.

To the right as you walk up to our front door, the white Dicentras are currently in full bloom. Last year, I moved my Polygonatum verticillatum  to where it would grow up between the Dicentra, thinking they would take over when the Bleeding hearts start looking ratty. It seems to work like a charm, even though I had a moment of panic before I saw their stalks poke through the Dicentra. I had totally forgotten that I moved it, and thought I had lost it! It is a supercool plant that develop bronze berries that turn a crimson red with the first hard frost. Super hardy too!

To the right as you walk up to our front door, the white Dicentras are currently in full bloom. Last year, I moved my Polygonatum verticillatum to where it would grow up between the Dicentra, thinking they would take over when the Bleeding hearts start looking ratty. It seems to work like a charm, even though I had a moment of panic before I saw their stalks poke through the Dicentra. I had totally forgotten that I moved it, and thought I had lost it! It is a supercool plant that develop bronze berries which turn a crimson red with the first hard frost. Super hardy too!

The seed heads of my Bloodgood maple have draped themselves over the branches of my variegated red twig Dogwood Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'. I like it!

The seed heads of my Bloodgood maple have draped themselves over the branches of my variegated red twig Dogwood Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’. I like it!

A fern making its way up through the Bronze fennel foliage. I like the mix of textures!

A fern making its way up through the Bronze fennel foliage. I like the mix of textures!

The buds of the Fox tail lilies (Eremurus) are poking through the twisty foliage.

The buds of the Fox tail lilies (Eremurus) are poking through the twisty foliage.

I get such a kick out of the pinstriped foliage of this little ground cover. Can't remember the name of it though...

I get such a kick out of the pinstriped foliage of this little ground cover. Can’t remember the name of it though…

Can't wait to see what this does - Eryngium agavifolium. I just hope I have enough sun to make it flourish!

Can’t wait to see what this does – Eryngium agavifolium. I just hope I have enough sun to make it flourish!

Same here - I rescued this Olearia (Daisy bush). We'll see how it fares in my sun deprived environment.

Same here – I rescued this Olearia (Daisy bush). We’ll see how it fares in my sun deprived environment.

Scored this black Pittosporum (along with the red Abutilon you saw earlier) from Cistus. It is a little bit on the tender side, so I stuck it on the west side of the house where it should be more protected. Here it is with Melica grass in bloom.

Scored this black Pittosporum (along with the red Abutilon you saw earlier) from Cistus earlier this spring. It is a little bit on the tender side, so I stuck it on the west side of the house where it should be more protected. Here it is with Melica grass in bloom.

Here is another treasure that I have searched for for a long time - Synelesis aconitifolia - or shredded umbrella plant. Found one at Hortlandia the other weekend - hooray! And look - it is shooting up a flower stalk!

Here is another treasure that I have searched for for a long time – Synelesis aconitifolia – or shredded umbrella plant. Found one at Hortlandia the other weekend – hooray! And look – it is shooting up a flower stalk! So excited!

A very dark purple Geranium. Could have sworn it was called 'Widow... something' but have misplaced the tag. Pretty cool, though.

A very dark purple Geranium. Could have sworn it was called ‘Widow… something’ but have misplaced the tag. Pretty cool, though.

Another rescue - native  Lewisia rediviva - showing its gratitude by bursting into bloom.

Another rescue – native Lewisia rediviva – showing its gratitude by bursting into bloom.

For a while I have been struggling with something that will make Allium christophii's color less wimpy, but last week I found it - Rosa floribunda 'Twilight Zone'. I'm quite excited about this combo, and looking forward to adorning it further with other embellishments.

For a while I have been struggling with something that will make Allium christophii’s color less wimpy, but last week I found something I consider a great option – Rosa floribunda ‘Twilight Zone’. I’m quite excited about this combo, and looking forward to adorning it further with other embellishments.

For as much as I love this plant, I have the same issues with the faded denim blue flowers of Amsonia hubrichtii. There has GOT to be something that makes them look less sappy...

For as much as I love this plant, I have the same issues with the faded denim blue flowers of Amsonia hubrichtii as I did with the A. christophii. There has GOT to be something that makes them look less sappy – I just have to find it!

I like the color of the flowers of its European equivalent- Rhazya orientalis - much better. Found this little one at Xera, and look forward to seeing what it will do.

I like the color of the flowers of its European equivalent- Rhazya orientalis – much better. Found this little one at Xera, and look forward to seeing what it will do.

Here is another Allium that is new for this year. (Thanks Emily Khan! )

Here is another Allium that is new for this year. (Thanks Emily Khan! )

I will end with my favorite Allium - 'Purple sensation'. Besides the color, my favorite part of it is how generously it seems to multiply.

I will end with my favorite Allium – ‘Purple sensation’. Besides the color, my favorite part of it is how generously it seems to multiply where I least expect it.

Wow – that was a bit excessive! Kudos to you if you are still with me. Have a great rest of May!

 

 

 

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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23 Responses to Blooms and Foliage – May 2015

  1. rickii says:

    So many things here to hunger for. Wouldn’t you know that the one I really want is the striped ground cover for which you have no name. The Melica grass is mighty fine too.

  2. Emily says:

    Hi Anna–thanks for the shout out! I’m enjoying the alliums in may garden, now, too. Could your geranium be G. phaeum which is called “mourning widow”?

    • annamadeit says:

      Emily – “Mourning Widow” sounds really familiar… I bet that’s it! I’m so glad you left a comment. I meant to link to your blog earlier, but was in a rush and forgot. Just went back and did it! 🙂

  3. Kris P says:

    Your garden is so packed with gorgeous plants I can hardly pick a favorite. The unnamed pinstriped groundcover is a heart-stealer, though!

  4. Pam/Digging says:

    So many lovely details in your garden right now, Anna. That white columbine is stunning. I’ve never seen a white one before. I’m waiting for my own Clematis ‘Rocguchii’ to bloom. Interesting that yours is farther along than mine — you must be having more sun than Austin!

    • annamadeit says:

      What – more sun than Austin??? I wouldn’t think that was possible…! Either way, I can’t wait for it to open – it is most definitely one of my faves. 🙂

  5. Mark and Gaz says:

    That photo of Rocguchii would make a great, large print!

  6. Evan says:

    So much to love in this post. The photo of Rocguchii and the dogwood with the maple seeds on it are great. Eremurus and Eryngium agavifolium are both on my wishlist.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Evan! If I can make it to our next plant swap, I would happily share some of the Eremurus with you – it is multiplying. (It is the yellow variety.)

  7. I have lots of ‘Purple Sensation’ in my back garden, it has spread to form a sizable drift. I had no idea there were white columbines, yours is really beautiful! And I really like those elderberry flowers and buds, mine are quite boring. But I will disagree with you about the blue of the Amsonia – it’s classy, not sappy!

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – even a sap can look fantastic in the right company! I’d say all its other attributes more than make up for its pale classiness. I guess the other way to see it is that maybe I’m just drawn to the loud and vulgar! 🙂

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    So many beauties in your garden, Anna! Love them all and now am thinking of planting an early blooming clematis (maybe Nellie Moser) at the base of my Black Lace elderberry.

  9. Rose says:

    I love your clematis and columbines! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pure white columbine before–gorgeous in its purity! You have so many interesting textures in your garden, Anna. A late Happy Bloom Day!

  10. b12alley says:

    The pinstriped ground cover looks like Jessop.

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