Monday, May 9, 2011

May flowers

After a very wet and cold April and a late killing freeze last week, we finally had a warm, sunny, dry spell and I got to do some planting over the weekend.

This is a "Carnivale" begonia. I love begonias. I love flowers in pots and do a lot of container gardening.

The reason? We have a HUGE soft maple tree south of our house. It's an awesome tree and provides wonderful shade for the house . . . but . . . that huge tree is supported by an ENORMOUSLY MONSTROUSLY GIGANTIC root system that sucks water out of the ground like nobody's business. It has a very thick network of fine little roots like a mesh mat that come up within just a few inches of the soil surface around the house. Once I get perennial plants established, they do fine. But annuals really struggle to develop a root system that can compete with the tree. So I put most of my annual in containers where there's no competition for water.

These are the only tulips I have. They are pure white when they first bloom, then develop the color the longer they are open. I really want to plant more this fall.

Hosta. Sigh. I loves my hosta. A) You can't kill 'em. B) They're purty. C) You can't kill 'em. I love the interesting colors on the leaves as they come up in the spring.

And I love the different leaf textures, especially when they're so fresh and new.

This little guy is a surprise. Most hosta clumps expand by getting bigger and bigger. This one just popped up all by his independent little self. He's sort of growing out from under the side of the garage in the back of the flowerbed, behind the columbine and ferns. How did he get there?

More interesting leaf shape and color. I actually BOUGHT this hosta last fall. Most of mine are from friends and co-workers.

This is one of my all-time favorite hostas, August Moon. When the leaves first open in the spring, they are a vivid lime green. They get darker during the summer but always have a yellow-green tinge. Like a margarita.

Here's one of my hosta, fern, coralbell and columbine beds, all freshly mulched. Within a month, when the leaves all open, you won't be able to see the surface of the mulch at all. This is between the south end of the Belgians' outdoor kennel and the yard fence. It was an awkward place to mow but a lovely place for a shady garden.


  1. I am so jealous - we are a month behind in our season and I am just now seeing a few tiny buds on my tulips. I love your pink ones and well, you've inspired me to maybe try some hostas on the north (shady) side of my house to see if I can indeed kill them!

  2. Phoenix has embraced his inner doofus and you have embraced your inner gardner!! I planted a bunch this weekend - I want to plant some more over the next couple weeks - love the hostas!

  3. Wow your gardens are incredible! I am jealous of your garden, the only plants that survive at my house are IKEA ones. The live plants fom Ikea always come back to life no matter how badly I treat them.