Is it tougher to write a Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up post when you don't have much happening in your garden or when there's way too much to cover in one post?
I'm not quite sure how to answer that question, but I do know there's lots of blooming and growing going on in my USDA zone 5 Southern Wisconsin garden lately. Temporarily cooler weather is "holding" some the blooms--a little consolation of still needing a jacket into mid-May.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Both the common pink and the 'Alba' Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) seem more plentiful and lush than ever. It's amazing that this fragile-looking plant (among others) can survive and even thrive after the bitter cold winter we had this year. But it is hardy to zone 3.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has finished blooming and the seed pods have formed. I'm watching them closely because I'd like to scatter a few seeds in other parts of the garden.
Likewise, the Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) are forming seed pods. I've never collected the seeds or tried to cross-breed them, but maybe I will someday.
I'm pretty sure this is a Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica), growing where I planted seeds last fall. I've heard it might take a couple of years for them to bloom.
The two Clematis 'Nelly Moser' plants are back again, after I re-established them last spring. The bases are double protected against rabbits.
The Barrenworts (Epimedium spp.) that I planted last spring survived, too.
E. x warleyense stayed evergreen all winter--or at least the lower foliage was still green when the snow receded. I was thrilled to see the first blooms and new growth.
I thought E. 'Creeping Yellow' had died because there was a bare spot in its place ... until new growth emerged. And now it's blooming, too.
The semi-succulent foliage and bracts of Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma) are filling up their bright, little spot in the garden.
It appears to be a good year for Great White Trilliums (T. grandiflorum) and Red Trilliums (T. erectum), as their numbers have increased this year. We don't have great swaths of them in the garden--they simply dot the landscape amongst the other spring ephemerals, ferns, and ground covers.
It's also a banner year for Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). I don't recall seeing this many on the property before. They, too, seem incredibly healthy this year.
Unfortunately, a banner year for Trilliums and Jacks also seems to be a banner year for Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), which is extremely invasive in much of North America. We barely had any last year, but we're pulling it like crazy this spring--before it flowers and goes to seed.
The Chokecherry tree (Prunus virginiana), growing in the shade of our large, old Oak trees, is just about to bloom.
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) is filling a bigger swath of the garden, and seems to be gaining ground on some non-native ground covers (yay!). I so enjoy its blooms, which nod close to the ground and hide under the foliage.
Speaking of swaths, the Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) seem happy on their northwest-facing slope of the forest.
They'll be blooming any day now.
Likewise with Lilies-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis), planted in a more cultivated section of the garden.
The Vincas (V. minor) are filling their little garden plot with my favorite periwinkle shade of blue.
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) is a little too prolific for my taste. It's native here, but it's taking over a few spots where I'd prefer to see Bluebells and Trilliums. I think I'll transplant some of these.
Wild Violets (Viola papilionacea) are popping up everywhere. I know I'm not supposed to like them in my lawn and garden, but they're mainly concentrated in the "wild" sections. Plus, they're so pretty.
Finally, the Crabapples (Malus spp.) are holding their blooms for record time because of the cool weather. Don't laugh, but I didn't even realize they were blooming the other day until I walked around the corner and caught the scent ... and looked up!
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Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. Head on over to their blogs to see what's blooming and growing around the world this May.