Friday, 16 May 2008

Garden Bloom Day May 2008

My bloom day posts have finally come full circle and now this is where these postings will become interesting. May 2007 saw my first Bloom Day post and now I can compare the stages of flower in my garden month by month. I can confirm that, like Carol, my garden is further behind last year.

May is such a wonderful month and without a doubt my favourite month in the garden. The growth that the plants have put on in these last two weeks since we have had warmer weather has transformed the garden. Tonight it is raining so this will refresh the plants once more. My garden is mostly in partial shade and spring is a great time of year for plants that like shade.


My wisteria buds now have opened and the flower racemes are putting on strong growth. The flowers will grow approximately three times the length of the ones shown in the larger photo above before they will begin to open.

I am trying once again to grow sweet peas by sowing straight into the ground in my front garden. They are now starting to grow inside my obelisks so we will see how successful this will be. I have never really mastered growing this plant. If it comes up weedy looking with very few flowers I usually pull it out!

The borage seed I did not sow – well not this year any way. It was probably about three years ago when I did but they self seed quite freely so it comes back every year. I always let a few grow and pull the others out.

Some small stemmed tulips are coming into flower now too although I am not sure that I am going to like these ones. I found the bulbs about a month ago when tidying my shed. I now don't remember my thinking when I bought them! They had started to sprout so I decided I was as well putting them in the ground. I used baskets once again so I could move them if I didn’t like them there. Behind the bulbs you can see the fresh new growth of the hosta too.


There are lots of tiny delicate flowers in varying stages of growth in my garden at the moment. The alpine strawberry flowers are now going over and the fruits are beginning to grow. Geum, heuchera and astilbes are close to opening. London Pride flowers are opening and Brunnera Jack Frost and wild violas have been in flower for a few weeks now.


My magnolia is now in full swing of flower where the first buds of clematis are soon to open. Celmisa and cirsium are also showing sign of flower buds developing and it is always a delight to see the white flowers of the choisya. I love the scent of this plant. I am also guessing that the pea like flowers of the polygala have a scent too as the bees do seem to love it.


Ah… the alliums have buds near to opening now and I cannot wait to see the display they will give this year. The pink ‘bluebells’ hug the rock edges in my front garden – although I don’t really remember planting this colour. My single clump of chives look like it is about to flower now too. There really are so many plants I could ramble on about! However, now I'll just leave you with some of the bigger bursts of colour in my garden at the moment.



This posting was due on the 15th of the month and although my posting is a little late all photos were taken then. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is organised by Carol at May Dreams Gardens where she invites others to join her in a posting and asks that we leave a comment on her posting so we can all browse the gardens. My posting is going to be the 109th!

19 comments:

Zoë said...

Wonderful photographs, and some beautiful plants.

Although I haven't been blogging very long, so cant compare, I do keep a diary and can confirm everything has been much earlier here in Hampshire this year too. I just hope the summer is less wet than last years though, I lost so many plants and even a 20 year old tree.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love the way you can organize your photos to show so many beautiful flowers within one picture. I can see the plants in my minds eye so well how they might be arranged in your garden.

Chookie said...

Fascinating to see so many totally unfamiliar plants! Sweet peas like a poor soil, not too much water, and plenty of sun for good flowering. Perhaps your garden is too shady or your soil is too good!

shirl said...

Hi again Zoe, Lisa and Chookie :-D

Zoe – Thank-you! Ah… that is interesting that you are early in Hampshire when we are behind up here in Perthshire. That will make the differences even greater between us! Oh… sorry to hear you lost plants to rain last summer. That isn’t usually a problem here. It was an untypical summer for us too though. Gosh to lose at tree to rain – or was it the winds? Good for you to keep a diary I’ve never been good at that – I start with good intentions. This blog has become very interesting for me to look back on. Best wishes with blogging and have a great weekend :-D

Lisa – Thank-you! Sometimes, like this time, they take a lot of time deciding which ones to group together. I had planned just a few photos and a video for this posting to show them all in situ but my video camera broke. Ah well… it will be interesting to see the quality of the new one now! Have a great weekend :-D

Chookie – Glad you have enjoyed seeing them! Thanks for the info on the sweet pea. Yes, I have tried them in partial shade. I have also tried them in poor soil in sun in a container. This year they are in the sun but I decided to give them a helping hand with some fresh compost! Sounds like I could have it wrong again! Ah well… that’s thing about plants it is good to have a challenge isn’t it? Have a great weekend :-D

em said...

wow, beautiful photos, and beautifully laid out. what a lot of work this must be. i am just about to post allium pictures too!

Cinj said...

Wow, what unusual plants. I don't know most of them. That's what's so great about seeing all of these online garden, I love being exposed to all of these great plants.

Carol said...

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful pictures of your blooms. Your garden must be a wonderful place to visit right now. Thanks for joining us for bloom day and for the great display of the blooms in your garden.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Annie in Austin said...

Bloom Day needs a three day weekend instead of one day, doesn't it Shirl? It takes days to read them all!

Right now I have Cupani Sweet Peas in bloom after being planted in late January. At first I thought I'd finally achieved Sweet pea success, but we are now having a 95°F/35ºC heat wave so the success will be shortlived. I sure hope yours will have a long season! Like yours, mine grow on a obelisk - that coincidence made me smile.

More tropical bloggers have written about the scent of choysia - how cool that you can grow that plant!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Beautiful photographs! I especially love the tulip in the top left corner--any chance I can get you to ID that so I can look for it next year? It's as dark as my 'Queen of Night' but more of an interesting, dusky purple.

shirl said...

Hi there em, Cinj, Carol , Annie and Kim :-)

em – Thank-you, yes sometimes it does take more time than I expect. Deciding on how to group the photos when there are a few can sometimes be quite tricky. I have just had a peek at your blog. You have some stunning plant close-ups. I am looking forward to seeing your allium photos now :-D

Cinj – I’m glad you enjoyed them! I agree, I enjoy seeing plants I am never exposed to too :-D

Carol – Thank-you! My garden goes through many stages having a strong background of green foliage plants and this is one of my favourite times before they all merge into one big tapestry. I am delighted to start my second year of blooms – it is great to see changes too. Congrats once again on your five Mousies – well deserved :-D

Annie – I agree it does, although I haven’t got to the stage of browsing them all yet – so I'll see yours soon! Oh sorry to hear that your sweet peas were short lived. I have tried an obelisk in a pot but this year it is in the ground so we will see if this makes a difference. I will think of you when I look at it this year. Ah.. the scent of both leaf and flower are wonderful in the choisya. The one that is in flower at the moment is ternata but the second one I have, actec pearl is just exquisite. Yes, I am lucky to grow this plant and I have them in a sheltered spot so they do survive but a few years ago I nearly lost aztec pearl but I cut many stems to the ground and it is almost back to full health now :-D

Kim – Thank-you! Sorry I didn’t ID the tulip. I worked on this post over two days and in the end I was desperate to post it (very late at night) and took a few shortcuts. The tulip selection pack listed: single late queen of night; double late antracite and triumph paul scherer. I have never grown queen of night before. It isn’t anthracite so if you don’t recognise it that makes it triumph paul scherer. It is an absolute beauty and I plan to show video of it very soon. After never rating tulips for years I absolutely love these! Hope you manage to source some too :-D

Sylvia said...

Hi Shirl, it is interesting not only to compare your own garden year to year but all those around the world. It is surprising that the US gardeners are reporting trends as us this year. I wonder if this similarity will continue over the years.

I grow my sweetpeas in rich soil, like runner beans! But I haven't had any luck starting them from seed in the garden, I start mine on a windowsill in April, using deep pots, either paper or root-trainers. I don't get the early flowers but mine are in flower long after Autumn sown ones have finished. Lots of differing ways of growing them - you will have to keep trying and will find a way that works for you.

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Layanee said...

Great photo combinations and your garden must be beautiful!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Hi, Shirl - I've been so behind on making my way through Bloom Day posts. Your garden looks alive with color. Your Tulips in particular are so lovely.

Barbara said...

What can I say Shirl! It is beautiful as always and I also like the way you show all your treasures of your green paradise!

shirl said...

Hi there Sylvia, Layanee, Mr McGregor’s Daughter and Barbara :-)

Sylvia – I agree it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing how you grow your sweet peas. I guess as you say I will need to just keep on trying. It has to work sometime :-D

Layanee – Thank-you! As I’m sure you will now the camera can ’edit the garden’ and these are snapshots around my mostly green garden. However, colour in foliage and flower is creeping in :-D

Mr McGregor’s Daughter – Thanks for making it here – you’re way ahead of me! With the new plantings of tulips and B. Jack Frost added for this year it is the most colourful the garden has been at this time. Thanks, I really love the tulips too :-D

Barbara – Thank-you! I love doing the presentations for bloom day. I always try to give a flavour of areas this way too. A green paradise sounds wonderful :-D

Miranda Bell said...

These are just stunning - sorry I've not visited for a while - work has just been too busy and keeping up with this place too!! I can report that the first family of blue tits have flown the nest box but I've sadly not caught sight of any of them but I did see the family of great tits who've also flown the nest this week - aren't they gorgeous! We've got 1 more nest of each and the wrens to go yet!! Can't wait to see more on the hatching of your clutch of 8eggs - it's v. exciting.

I've done a couple of posts on my blog now - so do pop over when you get a minute... Miranda

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda :-)

Thank-you! Don’t worry, I am having trouble finding time to visit my favs too – including yours. Excellent news to hear about your blue tit brood!! Don’t know if ours will make it this year again. Ah well I could say that is nature for you but the thought of watching the chicks all get weaker and dying for a second year is awful.

Yes the great tit chicks are gorgeous we saw some visit last year. Wrens nesting, now I really envy you that. I cannot imagine how small these chicks will be! Good luck for all your broods. I a guessing as you’ve plenty of caterpillars they will all do well. Great to hear of success for birds nesting with you.

Have a great weekend :-D

Miranda Bell said...

Hi shirl - just sat at the computer as your message came in so thought I'd reply now!! I've been glued to Spring Watch - I'm betting you have too! Glad that I'm not the only one who has difficulty in getting to their favorite blogs - you're amazing in the quantity of material you have time to post on your blog though - I've even failed on this front until recently... and haven't stopped taking pictures so have plenty of stuff to post - just need some time.

Hope you have a good weekend and that you find some time for some R & R too! Miranda

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda :-)

I always smile when that happens :-D

I had surprise visitors (parents) tonght and I didn’t record it so I missed Springwatch for tonight. Don’t think it is on tomorrow night. Ah well.

Thank-you! I try to keep posting but sometimes, like tonight, the way I catch up is by doing so late at night. Either that or early morning.

Like you I keep taking pictures with thoughts to post but sometimes they don’t make their way here. However I always find a way to use them on a later post!

Have a great weekend! Thanks, wishing you some R&R too :-D