Bloom Day – May 2016

May showers are a featured menu item this weekend, and I love it! Except I opted to stay inside and do boring things like laundry instead of tackling my many overdue muddy outdoor tasks.  I did however manage to get some real-time photos, in addition to the few that are included from earlier in the month.

Melianthus major flower

In early May, the flower or Melianthus major looked like this.

Today, it towers over just about everything else, and it is three times as long as in the first photo.

Today, it towers over just about everything else, and it is probably three times as long as in the first photo.

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Love the red flowers of Podophyllum pleianthum! Have to get down on my knees to see them, though. They are hidden under the giant umbrella leaves.

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A seemingly endless variation on genetic representation, this Columbine is a cross between Black Barlow and a NOID purple. Looks like a miniature Dahlia!

Here it is in front of a Yucca.

Here it is in front of a Yucca.

This is one of the original Columbines I bought - a white Japanese one.

I started with a white, a blue, and Black Barlow. By now, I have a range of colors – all stemming from these three. This is pretty close to the original white, with a slight purple tint.

This one has more purple in it...

This one has more purple in it…

...but is nowhere near as crazy as this cross between the white Japanese variety and Black Barlow. I know there is one hybrid that looks just like that, and now I know how it came about. Columbines are fun in that they are like one of those  games - how many combinations can you make out of a given thing.

…but is nowhere near as crazy as this cross between the white Japanese variety and Black Barlow. I know there is one marketed hybrid called ‘Nora Barlow’ that looks just like this one, and now I know how it came about. Columbines are fun in that they are like one of those games – how many combinations can you make out of a given thing?

Rosa 'Twilight Zone and Santolina 'Lemon Fizz'

The fragrant dark purple of Rosa ‘Twilight Zone’ against the chartreuse foliage of Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ makes me happy!

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I’m being watched!

Rosa 'Twilight Zone'

Weighted down by rain, the heavy roses reflect beautifully against the purple striations of a Melianthus leaf. Not sure why they sometimes develop purple markings, but I think it has to do with heat stress. If you know, please enlighten me!

Weighted down by rain, the heavy roses echo beautifully against the purple striations of a Melianthus leaf. Not sure why they sometimes develop purple markings, but I think it has to do with heat stress. If you know, please enlighten me!

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I think this is some kind of Disporum. Last weekend, on Mother’s Day, I took a break from working in the garden, and laid down on a blanket behind this clump – thus the photo.

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Clematis henryii flowers

Clematis henrii. I was under the impression that Clematis flower once, with maybe a smaller flush later in the summer, but last year, this one kept sporadically putting on flowers until frost. I was more than a little impressed!

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Abutilon in bud. After I moved it out into more sun, it has started to bud. For some reason, I thought they were shade plants, but I guess not. At least not as much of a shade plant as I thought it was. 🙂

 

Of all the deciduous plants in my garden, I know of no other that has the staying power of Fuchsia magellanica. It blooms non-stop from April to frost. Total work horse plant!

Of all the deciduous plants in my garden, I know of no other that has the staying power of Fuchsia magellanica. It blooms non-stop from April to frost. Total work horse plant!

Lily formosanum seed head

I left the seed head of the Formosa lily I planted last year, more to mark the spot than anything else. Supposedly, they can send up new blooms from seed in only one year. Haven’t seen any signs yet, but we’ll see…

Allium christophii

Allium christophii, kissed by rain.

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Santolina ‘Lemon Queen’ in bud in front of yellow Alliums.

Callistemon viridiflora blooming with greenish yellow flowers. So cool...

Callistemon viridiflora blooming with greenish yellow flowers. So cool…

This plant covers almost the entire front of our house, to my husband's chagrin.

Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ covers almost the entire front of our house, to my husband’s chagrin. He is worried about the siding.

Acanthus spinosa

Acanthus spinosa about to flower.

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The Purple Sensation alliums are pretty much done, but the cool seed heads are still there.

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A Clematis rambling through a red twig dogwood.

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I like the Stewartia buds better than I like the flowers, which I think bloom for a pitifully short time. Other than the buds, I’m not sure it’s worth the space it takes up, but they look lovely here, so I’ll end with that.

That’s a few of the things adorning my garden right now. Head over to May Dreams Gardens to revel in whatever else grows in gardens around the world. Happy 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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31 Responses to Bloom Day – May 2016

  1. hoov says:

    So many beauties–rain drops no less than flowers and foliage. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. That shot of the up close allium is amazing! Fuchsia magellanica is a plant on my want list. I used to have a hardy fuchsia at our prior home and I miss it. Happy GBBD…rainy day and all 🙂

  3. linda says:

    Look at all those rain drops on everything , isn’t it wonderful ! We’ve hardly been out ( dogs) these last few days, everything is hanging so low with the weight of the rain, I can’t get through !
    Happy GBBD !

    • annamadeit says:

      I know – I love it! Like you, I spent most of today inside, but I am so thankful we got some rain. Every time it rains, I think it will be our last time for a l-o-n-g time. Very happy when Mother Nature proves me wrong! 🙂

  4. Oh yes, the Columbines ! I remember how excited I was a couple hundred years ago to find ‘Nora Barlow’ after seeing glossy photos in the White Flower Farm catalog. I still have oddball seedlings popping up . Your purple number is way better !

    • annamadeit says:

      Can’t help but love their carefree, fuzzy little faces… Even if they annoy me when they take root where I don’t want them, I’m still reluctant to pull them out. You just never know what you’re going to get!

  5. Renee says:

    I want one of those Callistemon viridiflora – it’s gorgeous! I also sighed at all the rain drops in your pictures… they are so pretty (both the rain and your pictures!)

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Renee! It was wonderful to have things cool off a bit, and get two whole days of rain. I agree – the Callistemon is a very cool plant! I like it a lot!

  6. lyart says:

    great selection of plants you have. and took good pics of them, too. Does barlow just mutate to different colours? I was surprised, how my three white flowers from last year went pink, blue and white this year.

    • annamadeit says:

      They crossbreed with any and every other columbine. All I ever planted was one blue, one white, and Black Barlow. The rest are all offspring from those three. I call the mixed ones love children, because… well, that’s essentially what they are. They differ in both shape and color, and it’s almost always a fun surprise. 🙂

  7. Mark and Gaz says:

    Those May showers are helping you get all those fab blooms 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      So true. All I have to do when feeling tired of rain, is to think about last summer. It will put it all back into proper perspective, and once again, I will be appreciative of it.We’re lucky to have it!

  8. Chloris says:

    What gorgeous blooms and amazing photos.

  9. Very beautiful all-round post

  10. Rose says:

    I love all your columbines! I think I need to plant more to see what they do each year–how fun! Gorgeous photos and lovely blooms, Anna.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Rose – they are always full of surprises, even if – like most kids – they can get a little unruly sometimes. I still love them though… 🙂

  11. Gillian says:

    Beautiful photos. Your garden is looking beautiful. I love Aquilegias too. Any plant that looks after itself and seeds around is a bonus in my view!

  12. Your blooms are just as impressive as your foliage! Flowers almost always look more glorious when decorated with raindrop diamonds. That purple columbine is beautiful in itself but especially impressive with the yucca backdrop – columbine doesn’t do well here, sadly. (I suspect it’s a rain thing.) That green-flowered Callistemon is the most envy-producing aspect of this post for me – I’m still waiting to see if my C. pinifolius blooms green or red.

  13. Pauline says:

    What a beautiful selection of flowers you have, all decorated by the rain! You have a lot of plants that wouldn’t survive here, thank you for sharing them with us.

  14. rickii says:

    I’m feeling annoyed at having too many indoor chores today but your post has soothed me a bit. In defense of the Stewartia, doesn’t the foliage turn shades of flame in fall?

  15. rusty duck says:

    Some wonderful blooms there. If I could find enough space for it I’d love an Acanthus. A real architectural plant!

    • annamadeit says:

      If you lived near me, I would dig you one up in a second. It’s one of those plants that you have to be dead sure you know where you want it before you plant it. Once in the ground, it will always remain! And yes, I learned this the hard way. 😉

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