The month of May is Iris month in our yard, but, before we get to those, how about a quick peek at how our yard has been transformed into this impromptu nursery. It all started out in February with the purchase of our "greenhouse" and things have gotten out of hand since then:)
We are looking after (actually is mostly Waita) a friend's ground level patio garden and in order to supply the needed perenials for her small garden we needed to purchase some plants and we took cuttings and divisions of a few of our own plants. We kept a few of the excess roots and bulbs for our own use and initially planted them into whatever size plant container we could recycle. Most of them of course did quite nice and by late March we already had quite the selection going. Early April there was a multi-family garage/yard sale in the court we live on and we were both amazed at how well we did with the plants we put out. So much so that we decided to buy some additional packages of perennials and prepare them and a few more of our own cuttings and roots for a plant sale on the May long weekend.
One of the things we got repeatedly asked for in the first sale was dahlias, so, we bought some packages of dahlias, as well as some more lilies:), and put them all into either 1 gallon or 5½ " pots depending on the size of the tubers or bulbs. The dahlias have done quite nicely, they're all coming along with plenty of green growth, but the lilies are developing in the most peculiar fashion.Undoubtedly this is because of being in the package at a temperature conducive to growth and they all started to sprout, grow leaves (mostly white of course since there was no sunlight exposure) and some had already developed small buds. Most of them have come around and started to show normal coloured leaves, but all of them look extremely stunted and would be unsuitable for resale in the state they're in. All we can really do is let them grow and rebuild the bulb's strength for next year and then we'll try again. We had hoped to be able to sell them in the May garage sale but that's a definite no-go. This will give you an idea of what we're talking about here, the whole plant is no more than 3 inches tall.These pityful things are Asiatics, one variety is called 'Red Bull', a maroon red one, the other 'Polyanna', a yellow one. Amazingly some of them actually did flower towards the end of the month.
And, surprise, surprise, the pictures we have seen on various sites of 'Polyanna' do NOT look like what we have shown here:) Most of them show a hint of orange in the center of the petals around the nectaries. But, who knows, maybe we'll see one or two next year that really look more like what we see elsewhere.
The garden box at the south end of the backyard is mostly empty and has now become the receptacle for a wide variety of plants waiting for the May sale. There are a few Hostas, assorted mints, Rudbeckia, Echinecea, Honeysuckle, Weigela, Tiger lilies, Columbine, Bleeding Heart, Ferns, if it grows in our yard, odds are it's in there!
One of the tables in the backyard is a convenient horizontal surface for a few dahlias as well as a couple of herb gardens. Yes, we cheated, the geraniums were bought, not home grown.
While the greenhouse is still in use, it is mostly because it provides a convenient plant rack for all our trays and pots. Removing the rack and just putting it in the yard would be just another thing for Keats to pee on, yet even though he easily could with the greenhouse front being open 24/7 he only bothers watering the back and sides, so, why tempt fate. The bottom shelf has dahlias and lilies, the top has lavender seedlings galore, as well as petunias and lobelia and the middle has columbine-a-plenty, transplanted petunias, marigolds and snapdragons.
One of the earliest of Iris this year was this little cutie called 'Making Eyes'. It was new for us this year and first year Iris usually don't flower, but, both this one and a small yellow bearded did and were indeed a pleasant surprise. This is a small bearded Iris, only about 6" this time around, we can expect double that for next year and we look forward to more than just the one flower.
Another new Iris for us this year is one Waita got from "the home" last year. We're still trying to figure out what it is called, but we can all agree it is a beauty.
There was so much more happening in the yard in the month of May that this page would have become too big, so here's page 2 of May 2004.