May 2010

May 1st we loaded up the car, twice, to stock a seller's table at the Alpine Garden Club's annual spring plant sale. While we did sell quite a few plants, we also came home with a number of new acquisitions, such as this delightful Bleeding Heart: Dicentra 'Burning Heart'. The rich ruby-red of the flowers contrast very nicely with the silvery foliage.

Cruising through Home Depot the other day I saw this particular pot you see here. It is labeled as being 'Paul's Glory', but what caught my eye is the seeming sport it developed, which seems an awful lot like 'Striptease' to me. I didn't have 'Paul's Glory' and the price was right, so why not buy it. The worst is you end up with 2 cultivars -as I suspect- and at best you have a new sport going on. I'll un-pot it soon as I have some time and examine the crown to determine if we have one or two varieties in this pot.

Early May is when we see both Rhododendrons in the front yard come into flower. This red one is always the earlier one of the two, and it is also the biggest one. We did some pruning last year and the year before and this year we'll do some more in order to bring some shape back into it. These two were planted the first summer we were in the house, that's 1977, so they're getting on and this one in particular was getting to be a little too gangly and leggy. I'm sure it came labeled at the time we bought it, but that's a long time ago, back when I wasn't overly concerned about the name of cultivars.

Iris of all kinds show their stuff in May. Here it is a nice looking Ducth Iris in one of the beds in the frontyard.

We have three different cultivars of Weigela in the yard, this variegated one is in the front and is easily the most vigorous grower of 'em.

It isn't often I throw in a picture of the resident canines, Neka and Ace. I couldn't resist this shot of the two of them having a tussle over a hard plastic ball. Ace is still controlling it at this point, but this is Neka's favourite one and it wouldn't be long before she had it. Doesn't seem to matter how hard the plastic is, her ladyship manages to puncture almost all of them and then gets the ball hooked on one of her canine teeth and proceeds to parade around in her mouth, preferably teasing Ace with it by sticking it in his face...

This is one of the other two Weigelas we have, this one is called 'Wine and Roses'. The leaves are a nice bronze colour and with the colour of the flowers it contrasts nicely with the Artemisia 'Silver Brocade' we have planted at its base in the planter it is in.

Unfortunately this picture doesn't do the real thing any justice. The flowers of this Iris 'Pagan Dance' area rich, dark, solid purple, and it was nice to see it back in bloom again this year. Problem with the Bearded Iris' is their flowers last such a short period.

I tried my hand again at germinating Hosta seeds this year. What you see here are a bunch of 'Sea Octopus' seedlings. 'Sea Octopus' was a terrific seed producer last year and as you can tell by the shear number of seedlings, they germinated very well. I saved seeds from about 5 different Hostas last year, all OP, and 4 of them have germinating seeds. This one, plus 'Blue Moon', 'Monashee Blue Cup' and a variegated NOID I no longer have. The latter's few germinations are all yellow ones by the looks of it, it'll be interesting to see what becomes of these.

Here it is, the last day of May, and the first of the lilies are starting to open up. Must admit I forget off-hand what this is.....and thank goodness my brother Chris helped me out with the ID. It's Lilium pyrenaicum. Haven't a clue how I obtained it, but suspect it came in as a misidentified/mislabeled bulb a number of years ago.