The garden in May was lovely, and at the same time, a bit of a disaster. At the front of the house, the white picket fence was taken down and is still sitting in the driveway waiting to be painted.
We live on a busy street corner, so the garden always feels a bit exposed, but with the fence down, it feels more so.
Salvia 'Caradonna' with its deep purple stems.
Last winter the city's sidewalk plow removed about a foot of soil off the front of the garden along with the snow. With their roots exposed, many of my roses perished.
But as you can see from the picture above, many other plants held their ground and continue to flourish.
In May and early June, Blue Star makes a great companion plant for Gas Plant, Dictamnus albus and the indigo colored flowers of Baptisia australis.
Blue Star, Amsonia tabernaemontana has green willow-like leaves and clusters of sky-blue flowers. Full sun or light shade. Average soil is fine and it will tolerate dry to moist conditions. Height: 60-90 cm (23-35 inches), Spread: 75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
Gas plant, Dictamnus albus forms a bushy, upright clump of bright green leaves and has tall spires of white flowers in late May/early June. The plant gets its common name from the tiny amount of methane gas its flowers produce. A lighted match will flair if held near the flowers.
This plant is very slow to establish. Average soil is fine. Height: 60-90 cm ( 23-35 inches), Spread 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.
At the far end of the front garden, Baptisia australis just coming into flower. Blue Star, Amsonia tabernaemontana is in the foreground.
This Dwarf Korean Lilac smells absolutely divine!
Duetzia "Yuki Cherry Blossom' is a relatively new addition to the garden.
Deutzia 'Yuki Cherry Blossom' preforms best in moist, well-drained soil. Prune in spring after it flowers. Height: 30-36 cm (12-14 inches), Spread: 30-36 cm (12-14 inches). USDA Zones: 5-8.
Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow' has shaggy white flowers with a deep magenta centre. The foliage has a downy texture and a silver-grey-green color. Full sun and average garden soil. The plant reference I found suggests this plant likes moist soil, but mine seems happy enough in a fairly dry sunny spot. The front of a border is the perfect spot for this plant. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
The backyard is in a state of upheaval. The area just inside the gate has been dug up to address concerns with our septic system. A temporary shed is half-down and a new replacement shed is half-built. Everywhere there are tools, piles of wood and other building materials.
Despite the mess, there are pockets of pretty.
All my Bleeding Hearts were fabulous this year.
Self-seeded Sweet Rocket
We went for weeks without rain in May, so the garden hose has had to come out earlier than usual.
Already this spring there have been a few days of 30 degree weather.
The vet surprised me the other day when he told me Scrap was 10 years old. I was fully convinced he was 8!
He is still pretty spry for an old dog.
Buddy is 15.
He still likes to follow me out into the garden, but unlike Scarp who always wants to play, Buddy plunks himself down in a comfortable spot in the shade and takes a nap.
This poor neglected clematis is growing up through a tomato cage. I meant to move it this spring to its final home, but never got around to it. Now the move will have to wait for fall.
The white flowers are huge!
In spring Clematis 'Hyde Hall' has nearly white flowers that are 5-7 inches in size. It reaches a height of only 5-6 ft. Prune all top growth by one third in late winter/early spring. USDA zones: 4-9.
I have been growing Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' in my nursery bed. I'll move it to its final home in the front garden next spring.
Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' forms a vase-shaped mound of bright green foliage with canary-yellow flowers mid-spring. This plant prefers moist, slightly acidic soil. Full sun to light shade. Height: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches), Spread:75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9
Euphorbia epithymodies 'First Blush'
Euphorbia epithymodies 'First Blush' tolerates hot dry conditions and yet pulled through a very cold Canadian winter. It likes light, well-drained soil. Full sun. Height: 30 cm (12 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-24 inches). USDA Zones 4-9.
Cushion Spurge, Euphorbia Polychroma has become one of my spring favourites. It has fresh green foliage and bright yellow flowers. Full sun. Average to sandy soil work best for this plant. Once established it likes dry conditions. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 45-60 (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.
Geum triflorum will grow in most soils, but like many perennials, it will be happiest in well-drained soil that has been enriched with some organic matter. Full sun is best. Once established Geum triflorum is pretty low maintenance and is very drought tolerant. Height: 30 cm, Spread: 40-60 cm. USDA Zone: 3-9
There is a sea of plum Geraniums at the back of the garden. There are a mix of two varieties of geranium: Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' and Geranium phaeum 'Mourning Widow'.
I have learned the hard way that it really pays to cut these prolific self-seeders to the ground the moment the flowers start to go over. Not only do you eliminate unwanted seedlings, you get a fresh flush of new growth that keeps the plants looking attractive all summer.
Geranium maculatum 'Chatto'
What a pretty geranium this is! The color is so light and delicate.
The weather has been more unpredictable than ever.
I wonder what June will bring?