It’s been both cooler and wetter this month than previous years typically have been, bringing the bonus of longer blooms than in warmer Mays. The 13 year cicadas have dispersed, spread here and there throughout the yard. I can hear them anytime I venture outside. Their noise is continuous and loud. I’ve learned to ignore it though as just part of the background.
These are photos of my garden taken during the last week in May. My clematis called the “Duchess of Edinburgh” bloomed out nicely just as the last of the red azalea was fading.
Then the Knock-Out roses started blooming,
followed by the white peonies.
My other roses started blooming as well. My little Tamora is almost hidden by the lilies, but she bloomed out nicely and will repeat again soon. I really like this rose because it is short, lovely, reblooms, and smells nice.
Behind the Tamora is my Playboy. He is hot and gorgeous! Wish now I’d purchased more of both of these.
Further back in this bed is a short rose called Louise Clements. It is an own-root rose. I love the color and the multiple petals. I wish her stems were a little more sturdy. I use a plant cage to make sure the stems don’t flop over, staking it like a peony.
Last fall I moved the rose “Paul Shirville” so it would be more visible. I had to put lawn chairs over it to shade it when autumn temperatures turned unexpectedly hot. I was relieved to see that it made it through and that it even managed a couple small blooms.
Behind this rose is another called “Peter Mayo”. This rose is supposed to get rather tall, but its stems always die back too much in the winter to allow it much height. I think it must be a little tender for this zone 5. I have planted bell flowers around it. I love the combination of colors hot pink and lavender.
Beneath the Knock-out roses, I’ve planted 4 Green Ice roses (and 3 cabbages). Two of the roses are small and hard to see. The mass that is visible is mostly the result of the front two. I decided just this morning that they will need to be moved (the two in the back that is) when temperatures drop again this fall. I already have a place in mind for them. These are nice roses in that they are own-root, bushy and small. The roses are lovely when fresh but they turn brownish when they start to fade. I don’t like that look very much but they provide enough value the rest of the time that I plan keep them.
Behind the Knock-outs on the chain-link fence are three different varieties of clematis. The one closest to the gate has had some yellowing of its leaves. I did a search and found out that this is likely due to a mineral deficiency, specifically magnesium. The solution recommended trying tomato fertilizer which also includes magnesium. Turns out clematis and tomatoes have a lot of the same nutrient needs. I love tomatoes too, so I bought a box of fertilizer and applied it to my tomatoes and to this clematis. I will have to wait and see if it works or not. I’m betting it will. This is my clematis “Ville de Lyon”.
Just down the fence and on an arched trellis are two clematis, one on each side. They were both planted at the same time, but one has done better than the other. This view shows the best one. These are long blooming “Mrs. Cholmondeley” (pronounced Chumley).
I don’t know the name of the next clematis. It is lovely and blooms profusely. I thought I bought a “Comtesse de Bouchaud” but this clematis does not look like the pictures I’ve seen by that name. It has 5, 6, and sometimes 7 petals to a bloom. Its color seems to start with a rich pink then progress to a rich magenta. I put a trellis behind it to accomodate its vigorous vine. I think it would be happier if the trellis were a bit wider.
Closer to the house where they are protected by the shade, my hostas have now surrounded and are enclosing my pulmonarias.
Nearby my white astilbes have started blooming. They are the earliest of the astilbes. The red ones will be next, then the pink ones.
In the east bed between the stepping stones, my dianthis are blooming among the various sedums. I really love this combination of plants. Even when not blooming, the colors of the foliage make this an attractive look.
The large shrub rose that I had to cut back has survived the pruning and has bounced back quite well. It has started to produce its single petal blooms.
On the back patio more dianthis are blooming. I have two pots of rosemary (love it with beef ) and some green onions started. I am anxious for my daffodils to finally die back. I have alyssum planted and some yellow squash. I’m sure they will be much happier when they are no longer shaded by the daffodils.
The rose on the patio is my husband’s favorite. We looked through a rose book before we bought it. He found this one rated a 9.5 by the people who do that sort of thing. He was enamored by its beauty (and I think its rating). I let him have his pick for this location. He has forever labeled it his “Nicole”.
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