Monday, May 15, 2017

May Miscellany

 A very bright double tulip. It doesn't have the elegant form of a single tulip but I have often found that the double tulips bloom for more years than the singles.
The little tarda tulips aren't much bigger than a crocus but they bloom after the crocuses are finished, filling in the time until the annuals go into the garden.  They come back reliably for many years.
Sometimes plants with very different leaf and plant forms have similar flower shapes.  The blue flowers on the left are variegated brunnera which makes a short bushy plant; the pinky blue blossoms on the right are forget-me-nots which have a more upright branching shape. The different leaves add variety, and the similar flowers add cohesion.
One of the problems I've had on our property is wild raspberry and blackberries growing up in cleared spaces.  It wouldn't be a problem if they produce any significant amounts of fruit but they don't.  They just make lots of prickly bushes. So I have learned to use tough plants that cover the ground well to shade out the brambles . The uvularia in the front makes a good sized clump of dense leaves later in the season. The pulmonaria makes a nice thick mat of spotty leaves. In the back, wild ginger also makes a very good mulch. Behind the pulmonaria, brunnera and hostas will do their job as they fill out.
Lamium is good short ground cover but it can get a little too enthusiastic. Later it will have magenta flowers.  I like it paired here with the variegated vinca that has a few purple flowers right now.
We have trilliums popping up in lots of places.  They are surprisingly easy to grow if you give them sun in the spring and shade in the summer (under deciduous trees), and plant them in fairly heavy soil. The windflowers mulch out some unwanted plants but I the rudbeckia and balloon flower planted in that spot will easily poke through  later on.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Really enjoyed all the flowers, especially the double tulip! A wonderful series of photos to drool over and think of spring.

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