Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: May 2010

For weeks I've been watching my peonies begin to bud, and then to open slowly.

It's been such a lovely process and I've posted about it twice recently, Here and Here.

'Festivus Maximus' looks regal as she opens in all her glory:

The pink variety I just love, especially because she has increased her blooms to 3 after producing just 1 last year. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what her name is:

Lavendar has also been flowering near the peonies:

Friday was in the 90's with humidity and it felt like a furnace, so the peonies were a bit wilted by the afternoon.  But in the early evening we had a 20 degree temperature drop--in about 10 minutes--as a thunderstorm went through with high winds and hail.

I took some photos afterwards, and surprisingly, there was no damage to the peonies:

Now we move on to Clematis x. 'Nelly Moser' with Salvia Nemorosa 'May Night':

Below is Nelly's actual '1st' bloom--slightly muted compared to her 2nd bloom, above; and it has 8 petals. (I enjoy examining each individual bloom, especially when they are the first few to arrive!). This first one is long gone now.

Just yesterday another bloom arrived higher up on the arbor.  It was such a deep purple that I didn't think it was part of the same plant at first (I have several varieties planted together in some areas):

Today's photos show the bloom fully opened, though, and it clearly does belong to Nelly afterall.

Here is another 'unknown variety', growing on my mailbox.  It's developed just 1 bloom so far:

I have about 6 other clematis (one that I do know is Clematis x. 'Niobe'); all summer bloomers.  I was terrible about keeping records when I planted them several years ago, so don't have positive ID's for most of them.

Some of the Asiatic lily bulbs that I planted this spring have been blooming, and others are either in bud or well on their way:

There are some purples that will be opening shortly:

and whites (Lilium orientalis 'Casa Blanca') and orange tiger lilies (Lilium tigrinum) that haven't yet bloomed. Unfortunately there is some critter (or creature!) that has been gnawing the stems down on some of them, which I've written about in an earlier post. I've even used hot pepper wax spray to no avail:

Coral Red Honeysuckle 'Major Wheeler' (Lonicera sempervirens), which I've written about in an earlier post, is still doing well:

Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana), from my visit with dear garden blogging friend Janet (the Queen of Seaford) back in April, and which I've also posted about earlier, is going strong:

All 3 of the Geraniums (Johnson's Blue) survived the winter, (although Geranium 'Rozanne' did not make a reappearance):

Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum) spreads nicely while staying in large clumps,

while Lamium m. 'Anne Greenway' was just planted last year and is moving more slowly:

Dianthus, also known as 'Pinks':

'Victoria Blue' Forget Me Nots (Myosotis sylvatica):

'Blue Star' Creeper (Isotomoa fluviatilia):

'Techno-Heat' Lobelia (Lobelia erinus) thrives in the sun:

Pansies are still thriving in pots on my front porch:

*I would like to know the name of this perennial ground cover. I've had it for many years but like a lot of my earlier plantings (before garden-blogging), I didn't save tags.  It blooms in the spring but gets a bit leggy later so I cut it back. *A commenter suggested it might be Nepata, Walkers Low (Catmint) but I don't think that's what it is. If you click on the photos, then enlarge them, you can see the leaves and stems are light and wispy, and each of the tiny flowers have 5 delicate petals. Can anyone identify this for me?

**I am now CERTAIN that 'Anonymous' in Rehobeth Beach has correctly identified this as a variety of Veronica. Thank you!  I am thinking it fits the description for Veronica austriaca (Hungarian speedwell) based on photos I've just found. You garden bloggers (and readers!) are always so helpful:-)

Frances of Fairegarden has concurred that this is Veronica austriaca subsp. teucrium, and Frances is typically right on the mark. Thanks, Frances!

Similarly, this is a plant that grows into what looks like a bush. It goes dormant but blooms with these lovely yellow flowers in late spring and throughout the summer:

*Thanks so much, Rebecca @ In The Garden, for identifying this as Potentilla. I've always thought the flowers fell into the cinquefoil category but have never been certain of the what the genus is until now.

Creeping phlox is still hanging on but is almost ready to end its bloom cycle:

The 'Blackbird' Euphorbia plants have grown since I planted them a month or so ago, and the yellow flowers look even more pronounced:

Foam Flower (Tiarella):

and Lungwort (Pulmonaria 'Gaelic Spring') are both still blooming:

One of my varieties of Coral Bells (Heuchera) is displaying flower stalks:

Columbine is just barely hanging on now, and I expect it to stop blooming soon:

This aster (unknown variety) has just this one tiny bloom, a very soft, light blue:

Ajuga aka. Bugel Weed, is just about done flowering:

The Rhododendron's have pretty much finished flowering at this point, but here is 'Nova Zembla' before opening:

This spring we also planted 'Rocket':

'Royal Purple':

and 'Boursault':

Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) is the only currently flowering plant of the (12) native plants I bought last weekend at the Virginia Native Plant Society's (local chapter) plant sale:

In April I ordered some native plants on-line, and I just had to show the Trillium before it fades away:

Wildflower 'Johnny Jumpup'  was included with the goodies from blogging friend Janet, and is still blooming:

I'll write about the native plants I bought online, as well as the rest that Janet gave me, in future posts. Meanwhile, please take a moment to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, where bloggers from all over the world have posted what's blooming in their May gardens.

Today I am thankful for May, when everything is awake and alive in my garden.

Words and photos ©Thanks For Today, by Jan Huston Doble


  1. Wow! Mercy girl just look at all of those blooms in your garden. I am so glad to see hat white Peony open I knew it was going to be a beauty.
    I love your blue lobelia also. Gorgeous!Ugh. I cannot believe that hail. All those great images are just a feast for the eyes. I ewww and aahhh a lot. LOL!

  2. Wow Jan! Such a variety of blooms! I'm glad that the hail didn't damage the peonies. Those are so lovely, but I don't think I can grown them here in the Houston area, they would melt! And thanks - your post has answered a question I had about a plant that was growing in my previous house. I had liked it and wanted to get some for the house we live in now, but I didn't know what it was called. Judging from your photos, I'd say it was Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana). thanks for solving that mystery for me!

  3. So many beauties Jan, I love seeing your Festiva Maxima pics, I just planted one today and can't wait for it to get going. Could your pink one be Sarah Bernhardt? Your clematis is gorgeous and I love the colour of your geraniums. I'm pretty sure the shrub with the yellow flowers is a potentilla. I'm so sorry to hear about your lillies, I really hate when stalks are broken before they even have a chance to flower. I hope you find the culprit. My main garden menace is slugs, this year I'm going to take action sooner.

  4. Hi Jan, I think that unidentified plant might be cat mint, or Nepeta Walkers Low. Here's a link,

    See what you think. The Putterer

  5. Thanks so much for the preview of what's 2-3 weeks off here in Wisconsin... wonderful photos! Larry

  6. Wow is also the first word that came to my mind. Your garden is just beautiful!! We have a lot of the same plants, but many of yours are much further ahead. One of my 'Rozanne's' didn't come back either, which was surprising since I read so many good things about it.

  7. Wow, beautiful blooms! I love the time lapse of the peony. They are my favorite flower.

  8. What beautiful photos. The peonies are my favorite. And, I love that you got a photo with the ants. Saw your darling plant stake in there for chrysogonum virginianum. Nice. Thanks for sharing so many great flowers.

  9. I also believe your purple unknown is catmint. It comes back bigger every year and while it is not catnip, my cat likes to nibble on it. What a beautiful showing of your flowers.

  10. Thank you all for your great comments I'm glad you all took the time to stop by for a visit;-)

    Glad you enjoyed ooohing & ahhhing, Lona;-)

    Jane, glad you could identify a plant by my photos!

    Rebecca, thanks for the ID. I think that's right on the mark!

    Hi Putterer, and BonnieK...While I appreciate your input, and you might be correct, for some reason I am not certain it's catmint. It doesn't spread, it isn't thick, and it doesn't get tall. It is the same size year after year (I have 4 plants along the driveway). It is very delicate, and the flowers are tiny, individual florets. You can click on the photos, and then enlarge them by clicking again, and it doesn't resemble any of the catmint that I've seen before. In fact, I grew some years ago, and this isn't anything like it. If you find a photo that looks like mine though, please let me know!! Thank you for your help, though, and as I said, I could be incorrect in not recognizing it as catmint. Perhaps it's a variety that I just haven't seen.

    LC, thanks for stopping by. I'm sure you are encouraged that spring will indeed arrive to your area in a few weeks;-)

    Thanks, Catherine;-) I heard great things about Rozanne, too, but she didn't turn out to be hardy for me.

    Thanks Tammy! I think peonies are my all time favorite flower, too!

    Hi G on SS, thanks for visiting;-) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I actually got some ants on several of the buds. For some reason, they weren't as covered with ants this year as in years past! Glad you liked the stake; I need to get more as I've already run out!

  11. Very nice pictures! I love the progressive shots!

  12. I think your mystery plant is a veronica. Love your blog from a little bit north in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

  13. So many lovely blooms in your garden, Jan, it's hard to know where to begin! I don't have any peonies, but if I did, I would be watching each bud every day as you did. Their blossoms are worth waiting for. As for your mystery plant, it's not a nepeta, but I don't have a clue as to what it is. I'm glad you mentioned your 'Rozanne' didn't come back, because mine didn't either. I think I'll be looking for another variety of geranium this year.

  14. Hello Rehobeth Beach! Yay;-) You have solved my mystery!! That is EXACTLY what this is...thank you! I had forgotten and it didn't look like my other veronica, which has flowers that stick straight up and do not flow in the wind. This veronica tends to get leggy after the best of the blooms are gone, so I cut it back later. Thank you so much again...I think it might be Veronica austriaca (Shirley Blue Speedwell) after doing a little research. First I needed to have the 'category' identified. You win the prize;-)

  15. Hello HTPM, thank you for visiting, and glad you enjoyed the photos;-)

    Hi Rose! So good to have you visit me so often;-) I hadn't realized how gorgeous peonies really are until the past couple of years since I've been growing them. They are really quite easy, too! As you can see, mystery plant is actually 'veronica'. Isn't that something about Rozanne? Catherine in WA said hers didn't come back, either! Must be very picky. Johnson's Blue is a definite keeper!

  16. I'm glad you identified your mystery plant! I also have creeping veronica growing, and I love it. It is wonderful when it blooms, and mine is spreading nicely, though I plan to add more. You have a fabulous variety of flowers! I love, love the peonies!

  17. Where do I start. Your flowers are awesome. Our peonies and clematis just have buds. Maybe in a week or two. jim

  18. Hi Jan, Wow is right~You have a lot going on in your garden this May and it's all good! So sorry about the critter damage...I think they've found my garden, too. I guess they have to eat, too. Sigh. gail

  19. You're garden is popping with all of those blooms

    I adore peonies, especially those double pinks that pack more petals than you think a flower could hold. your peonies did well not to be beaten to the ground by the hail. Do you use supports for them?

    The Clematis and Salvia make a good looking duo, love the pink and blue together.

    It's too bad your Rozanne geranium did not survive the winter. I have and like both Johnson's Blue and Rozanne, but appreciate the longer bloom time of Rozanne.

    The pretty fringe on the petals of pinks make them look sweet, but most of all I love their scent.

  20. Great display of blooms! The lobelia is spectacular. I love the color. I'll be on the lookout for it at the garden center. We also had wind, rain and hail on Friday evening as it raced up the east coast. Unfortunately, my peonies took a beating. I'll have to tie them up today.

  21. So many lovely things, Jan, what a delight for the senses! The peonies are indeed regal, gorgeous shots of them and that clemmie part way open is divine! I have that same little veronica, it was finally ID'd by a comment last year to be Veronica austriaca subsp. teucrium ‘Crater Lake Blue’.
    Your garden is a true delight. My clemmies are mostly unknown as well, but we still love them. :-)

  22. Hi Deb, glad you enjoy the creeping veronica, too. I'm glad to finally know what it's called;-)

    Hi Jim, soon, it will be Ohio's time to bask in the colors of the garden. It's getting close!

    Gail, I know we both like critters and don't wish to hurt them but I do wish they had manners;-)

    Hi NS, yes, I do have supports for the peonies. Each year they come up just a bit fuller and larger so they definitely need them. I wish Rozanne had done well here, too. Perhaps it gets too hot in the summer for her? I just don't know. Maybe down the road I'll give her another try.

    Hi Marie, this is the 1st yr. I've planted this 'techno heat' lobelia and still don't know how well it will thrive over our hot summers, but hopefully it'll do well. So sorry your peonies have taken a beating with the rain/hail/wind. A support does help, although your storms may have been more intense than ours. Thanks for visiting;-)

    Dear Frances, thank you so much for adding a word of support in favor of the ID, even giving it a bit more detail by providing the sub-species;-) I'm not sure that mine is "Crater Lake Blue" as that color looks to be a deeper shade, at least on the photos I looked at online; but at least you've confirmed and narrowed down the identity for me. I'm glad to know that even you have unknown ID's in your garden...makes me feel better! Since I've been garden blogging I've learned so much, and actually WANT to know the ID's and Latin names, as well. But hey, no one is perfect, right? Some varieties look so much alike that it's almost impossible to ID them exactly, especially clematis;-) I'm getting a lot better at saving tags and trying to keep records. Thanks for your visit!

  23. Wow, Jan ... a stunning parade of May blooms! My peonies are yet to bloom but when they do, I can always count of a heavy (damaging) rain :(

  24. Hi Jan. What a lot of plants you have blooming. I cannot wait for my peonies. That is one of the high points for me.

    Nelly Moser is probably my favorite clematis. I lost mine a few years ago and should replace it.

    Love the yellow Asiatic lily with the dark speckles and the red honeysuckle.

  25. Your images are amazing! I'm truly looking forward to my peony bloom arrival. Bloom Day just wouldn't be 'bloom' day with out a share like this.

    Great Share!

  26. Beautiful blooms Jan. That peony looks like the pass alongs I got from one of Brian's coworkers, I don't know the name but they smell just as sweet.

  27. What beautiful flowers you have and so many. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Hi Jan~~ Things are alive and well in your gardens!

    Is the pink peony 'Sarah Barnhart'?

    I've gotten bad about keeping track of my Heucheras and hardy Fuchsias. Too many and I'm constantly moving them. I know I'll regret it eventually but....

    I'm glad you survived the temperature plummet and ensuing hailstorm. Weird weather here too.

  29. Hi, Jan, Your blooms are truly amazing! You have an enormous variety and each one is special in its own way, making it difficult to choose a favorite. However, I guess I am leaning toward the peonies. Heavy rain just dashed mine down, but the perfume is as potent as ever.

    I am glad you were able to identify your 'unknowns'. I must admit I started keeping good records only about 2 years ago.

    Jan, I still have not received the water barrel I won in your contest. Is there any way you can track where it got to? I am anxious to write a post about it when it arrives.

    Enjoy the rest of this wonderful May. Pam x

  30. Jan, I love the combo of salvia and clematis. Actually, I think you could pair almost anything with May Night and I'd love it. I'm excited that I found 'Marcus' salvia, supposedly a dwarf May Night, at WalMart of all places and brought 6 home. I just love that deep blue-violet color - it's wonderful in your gardens!

  31. Beautiful Jan! I've been searching for a vine that isn't too invasive- I need to look into that honeysuckle! The picture in your heading is absolutely gorgeous!

  32. Lovely garden tour, thank you so much. I especially like the photos of the spiderwort.

  33. Absolutely lovely garden & pictures. Especially intriguing to me are the peonies. I've never seen one in person. Last week, someone sent me some from a local florist. Now I see why they are so beloved! My pink ones in a vase in my office look just like yours & are so very fragrant.


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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