May 14, 2013

What's new in your garden?

It's time for May Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up, just in time for the peak of color in most Midwestern gardens! I don't recall a year when Hellebores, Forsythias, Maples, spring bulbs, most spring ephemerals, Magnolias, and Crabapples (and many more) were all blooming at the same time, but it's happening this year.

Many are fading now with a welcome blast of warm air, but others are just starting, and it has been a spectacular spring so far!

Rather than posting about everything that's blooming and thriving in the garden this May, I thought I'd share some of the new plants I've added this year, some that I haven't photographed much in the past, and a few newly blooming standouts.

New this year are...

lantana

Lantana (L. camera 'Sunrise Rose Improved'): I fell in love with Lantanas during last year's trip to New Orleans, where I saw them growing all over the place. They only survive as annuals here in the north, but they're Monarch-attractors, and a perfect addition to my small veggie/flower sun garden.

curly

Umbrella Grass (Cyperus involucratus 'Baby Tut'): This plant was an impulse purchase that caught my eye at the garden center. I'm planning to add it to some potted arrangements.

milkweed1

monarchplanter

milkweed2

Milkweed: I have very little sun in my garden, but in my small attempt to help the Monarch butterflies, I planted two species of this plant. The Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is in a pot with Marigolds, and the Butterfly Weed (A. tuberosa) is planted in my potager garden. I've resisted planting Milkweed in the past because of the limited sunlight here, but the Monarchs really need our help. Their numbers are down by about 59% this year. Milkweed is the only plant the larvae eat.

clematis

Clematis 'Nelly Moser': I'm determined this year to bring back Clematis to my garden! During our first spring in this house, two trellises facing south on the back of the house were thick with Clematis. One year, I trimmed them too severely and they didn't survive the winter. I've tried a couple of times to bring them back, but rabbits nibbled them before they had a chance to bolt. This year, I placed tripled wire fencing around them and mounded mulch at the base. So far, so good.

hops

hopsobelisk

Golden Hops (Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'): Another entirely new plant for me, this beautiful climber has chartreuse foliage. We found the perfect ceramic pot for it, which matches some of our other garden decorations, and we added a wire obelisk for it to climb. The fishman is worried it will take over, but I'm planning to snake it up and down the obelisk and trim it before it becomes unruly. It does, indeed, grow very fast!

foxglove

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot Lavendar'): I don't have a lot of words for this plant, except that it's dreamy and it makes my heart beat faster (literally and figuratively).

New photos of old plants...

ginger

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadensis): While I've captured Wild Ginger a couple of times with the camera, I had trouble locating the flowers because of heavy leaf mulch on the forest floor. Then I read an article that suggested gently parting the paired heart-shaped leaves to find the flowers. Voila! I hope to write a little more about this fascinating plant in an upcoming post.

bloodroot

bloodroothand

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis): I've photographed this spring ephemeral quite a bit, but this year there are several very healthy patches of it in the woods. Yay! As you can see, the flowers have faded, but the foliage is bigger than my hand.

And then there are the favorite May bloomers, currently the standouts in my garden...

crabapples1

crabapple2

Crabapple (Malus spp.): If I could share the scent, I would. Its sweet perfume is second only to Lilacs for me (which are starting to bloom here in southern Wisconsin).

almond

almondant

Flowering Almond (Prunus landulosa): I'm embarrassed to show you the full shape of this sweet shrub, because it was pruned heavily last fall and is filling in now. But the flowers are...sorry, I can't think of an adequate adjective.

What's new and newly blooming in your garden?

For more posts about May bloomers and foliage from around the world, check out Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dream Gardens and Foliage Follow-Up at Digging. Enjoy!

52 comments:

  1. Such a nice collection of new plants, I would like several of them! The Asarum is a great plant, I have been looking into them, an online nursery here in UK have 49 varieties for sale!! Look up Asarum fauriei and Asarum heterotrophoides. Now that’s something not found in just about any garden – not here at least :-) And good luck with your clematis, hope your fencing will keep the rabbits out. Nelly Moser is such gorgeous clematis.

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    1. Thanks, Helene! Asarum canadensis grows wild in the woods here. I'm thinking about trying to transplant some to other parts of the garden. It makes a great ground cover, and apparently can help crowd out invasive non-native plants. Thanks for the good luck wishes--I need them, regarding the Clematis!

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  2. I'd say your ruffled almond is ruffled happiness! Love the blossom! I don't see many of those in gardens here! Will have to look for it!

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    1. That's a great way to describe it! I'm hoping it will fill in more this summer, and then I can show you what the shrub is supposed to look like. It's kind of scraggly now. :(

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  3. Pretty blooms, and some great new additions. I will be interested in hearing about your hops experience. I've heard they will take over, but I like how you have yours contained and as a focal point. Very pretty. I need to add some milkweed to my garden. I hadn't thought about putting it in a pot! Great idea!

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    1. Thanks, Holley! Both the Hops and the Milkweed in the pots are experiments for me. I can't believe how fast the Hops grows!

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  4. You might want to try purple milkweed, itis more tolerant of shade.

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    1. Yes, I thought about Purple Milkweed, but the two I planted were easier to find. Butterfly Milkweed, which prefers sun, is in a very sunny spot (I don't have many of those here). Swamp Milkweed, which apparently tolerates some shade, is in a partly sunny spot. If these don't work, I'll try harder to get Purple Milkweed next year.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I agree--the Foxglove is so old-fashioned and romantic.

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  6. That lantana looks good enough to eat. I will try to find it. I haven't planted annuals yet. There was a frost last night. Brrrr....Happy GBBD.

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    1. I know, right?! I'm still planting--potager veggies and flowers will go in this weekend. It will be nice to have everything in place...well, at least close to the plan.

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  7. I love, love, love those shots...they are like a real pick me up. Some of the plants I have, some I don't. I've had my golden hops forever, it is ages old, and I gave away the original plant because it outgrew the giagantic pot it was in, and kept a slip.

    That digitalis makes my heart beat faster too, wonder if they would live here.

    Jen

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    1. Thank you, Jen! I would think the Foxglove would grow just fine in your climate. Good to know the Golden Hops has staying power!

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  8. You have a few new ones for me. I never grew hops or Swamp Milkweed. Not much new here, the garden is pretty full as it is. The way the weather has been any annuals are on hold for now. Love your photos. Nice macro work.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! I think we've seen our last frost/freeze, so everything goes in now. The farmers are working frantically in the fields, too. Crazy, wonderful time of year!

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  9. You have added some very interesting plants. I am not familiar with the Golden Hops, but it sounds like a very beautiful plant.

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    1. The Golden Hops is fun--one tendril has already grown to the top of the obelisk, so I'll have to snake it down again. I have a feeling I'll be trimming...

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  10. You have wonderful blooms, but even if they are not growing here that Lantana and wild ginger are my choices. Our Lantana are species and not hybrids, i wonder if that one will grow in our hot tropics. And that ginger flower looks different from its cousins in the family.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. The Wild Ginger is native here, and grows naturally in the woods. If you have species Lantana, I would think the hybrids would work, but I'm not sure. One source I checked said that in the U.S., they're hardy in zones 7-10.

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  11. lovely !! you should have a lot of butterflies soon!

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    1. Thanks! I hope so. I've seen some butterflies and moths, but no Monarchs yet. But once I get everything planted, that should help. :)

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  12. Everything . . . so beautuful!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! It's so exciting to try some new plants!

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  13. Great to see the milkweed! I have planted quite a bit of it since I heard the news. Fortunately I collected tons of seed this past Fall.

    As for the limited sunlight, I have seen plenty of butterflyweed tolerating less than 1/2 a day of direct sunlight. I have several plants in my pine plantation that do fairly well despite never having a ton of sunlight.

    Great pictures!

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    1. Hi Nick: I'm glad to hear that the Butterfly Weed will be OK in sun or shade. Mine will get direct sun for most of the afternoon. And the Swamp Milkweed will get filtered sunlight. Thanks!

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  14. Some great new additions to your garden. I especially love wild ginger and bloodroot.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn. The Bloodroot and the Wild Ginger grow naturally in the woods here. I just haven't photographed them enough. ;-) They're among my favorites, too!

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  15. Some lovely plants and photos. It is hard to resist the old fashioned tried- and-true beauties like the foxglove, crabapples and flowering almond. They all look superb.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. Sadly, the Crabapples and Flowering Almond are now losing their petals. The display is fleeting once the weather gets warm. But now the Lilacs are blooming!

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  16. We always seem to think alike, Beth. Lantana has become one of the stalwarts of my summer garden; I plant it in containers and in a border in the lily bed. It's the one bloomer that wasn't fazed by the heat and drought the past two summers. I've also resisted planting milkweed, but I bought some seeds and plan to sneak them into the butterfly garden this year (my farming family members would be aghast!). Anything to bring back the Monarchs! By the way, totally off the subject, but have you read "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver? It's a great book, and I think you'd enjoy it, too.

    Love the crabapple and flowering almond blossoms!

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    1. Hi Rose: I saw someone buying Lantana at the garden center last year, but I stuck with old favorites instead. This year, I'm mixing in a lot of new plants, including the Lantana. I just love the bright colors! I really dislike the look of Common Milkweed, but so many other types of Milkweed (including the two I planted) are actually attractive. I'll check out that book. Thanks!

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  17. That wild ginger stole my heart. Wonder if it will grow here? Probably not... too hot and too cold.

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    1. Hi Carolyn: I would think we have similar extremes. We range from about -20F in winter to 95F in the summer. Occasionally we get colder or hotter, but that's the "normal" range. I just checked out the USDA Plants Database, and it looks like A. canadensis was native to the lower 48 states, but now only present in the Midwest and East.

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  18. Even though we've had such odd weather, this is a great year for plants. As you said, there are so many kinds blooming at the same time. I have quite a few clumps of butterfly weeds because I know the Monarchs need them. This is the first year I'm planting Lantana. Love all your photos!

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    1. We'll have to compare notes on the Lantana! It's always fun to try new plants and combinations. Annuals give us a little more flexibility, don't they? I'm hoping some Monarchs will show up. We had more when I lived on a sunny lot, but even if a few stop by and lay eggs, that will be fun.

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  19. I alway kind of wished I'd planted some Golden Hops when we still had room...oh well, maybe in the next garden, right?!

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    1. The Golden Hops is crazy! It must like our climate, because it has grown to the top of the obelisk already. I hope I haven't encouraged a monster. ;-)

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  20. Love the gorgeous displays from your garden, especially the bloodroot which have such beautiful, exquisite I have never seen before. Balsams and dwarf zinnias are new additions to my garden.

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    1. Thanks, Autumn Belle! Bloodroot is a spring ephemeral--it only lasts for a few days, which seems to make it extra special. Zinnias are great, and they're excellent cut flowers! I like Balsams, too, although I've never grown them myself. Enjoy!

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  21. Beth so many lovely new plants...I have that same obelisk. And that lantana is one of my favorites...we are still cool here...a few days of hot weather and it will cool again...I am patiently waiting for many blooms....the weeds are growing insanely this year as well.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. How funny that you have the same obelisk--we think alike more than we realize. :) It seems like summer here now, with highs in the 80s and severe weather warnings. But we're due for some slightly cooler weather this week, which is fine with me--cool, but not cold.

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  22. The rainbow gradation of the Lantanas is beautiful! And I have a definite soft spot for the Sanguinaria. Those leaves look almost like Podophyllums!

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    1. Yes, I'm smitten with the Lantana. It's so unique. I think the short, annual lifespan of the Bloodroot makes it especially magical. We have Mayapples here, too, although they stick around a little longer. They're flowering right now, and they're another favorite plant!

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  23. I buy lantana every year and grew Baby Tut last year. :o) This year I added a yellow raspberry and some lobelia siphlitica, a big native blue lobelia. Let your milkweed go to seed. I rarely get new plants from my swamp milkweed but the orange milkweed is an excellent reseeder for me. It can be late to come up in the spring and grows well in dry soil.

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    1. We think alike! Yellow Raspberry--that's unique! When do they set fruits? I love the look of Lobelia, but for some reason I haven't had much luck with it. I thought both Milkweeds shown here are perennials. But I suppose they multiply with reseeding, so I'll make sure I let them go to seed.

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  24. I love the view of your golden hops in its pot amidst the ferns, and wow! I am amazed at the size of your bloodroot. I planted some in my woodland garden in 2011. In 2012 it did not show itself at all, and i thought it had died. Then it reappeared this year, with a single bloom. The leaves are less then half the size of yours. Hard to establish? Or just not happy?

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I had to thin the Ferns this weekend--they were taking over! I was surprised about the large Bloodroot plants, too. The patches at the edge of the woods have the large leaves; some plants in the forest have much smaller leaves. I think it takes a while, too, for them to establish and mature. I'll bet next year you'll have more and larger plants. Nifty one, huh?!

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  25. I too love the photo showing the ferns and the bench in the backyard. So peaceful and lovely. Thanks for the reminder about planting for monarch butterflies. I adore A. tuberosa - such a gorgeous shade of orange. There's a couple of squares in my square foot veggie garden waiting to be filled in and I think that's the plant!

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    1. I think I need to add more Milkweed! I always have to pull a bunch of the Ferns because they take over the perennial bed! I tend to retain the ones at the back of the bed, but there are just too many! I can't wait to read more about your square-foot garden!

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  26. hi beth, what interesting plants you feature here! The Wild Ginger is amazing, and superbly photographed. The foxgloves and the almond photos are very dreamy - thanks - i love dreamy!

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    1. Thank you! I love dreamy, too. The plants are so photogenic--they make it easy! My next post is about the Wild Ginger--a fabulous plant!

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