Friday, May 16, 2008

Bloom Day (a dollar short) May 16

No time for a dissertation today - just a few pics of what's happening in the garden right now. This is the first plant I'd rescue in the event of a catastrophe - Cypripedium kentuckiense, grown from a seedling I deflasked myself over 10 years ago. It's by far the most successful of the Cyps in this climate.

Clematis 'Ramona' (I think), climbing on Camellia japonica 'Jordan's Pride'.

Sarracenia x"Fledgeling", about to be engulfed by a stand of Saururus cernuus, Iris pseudacorus, and Lilium lancifolium.

This is the view across one of several small ponds (actually more like mudholes), with Sabal palmettos, various Miscanthus, Peonies, Roses, and not a few weeds adding to the mix. One serious mistake that needs to be rectified was the planting of Tetrapanax papyrifera at the edge of this pond. Barely visible in this picture from last week, its umbrella-like leaves are twice this size now, and threaten to entirely shade out the water lilies which already struggle to bloom in the shade of the grasses and Michelia branches. I can't grow Gunnera here, and this seems a likely substitute, but this is not the place...
An experiment I'm trying this year - combining grape tomatoes and some of the smaller Clematis in very large pots. This is C. 'Roguchi' blooming in tandem with "Sungold". My theory is that since this Clematis is completely herbaceous, it can be cut down when the tomato is pulled out in the fall. We'll see how it works out...

This is another of the lady's slippers, a hybrid called 'Gisela'; it's tiny in comparison to kentuckiense and reginae, but when one of your parents is named "parviflora" (the other is macranthos), you can't expect to compete with the big boys.
Calopogon tuberosus grows alongside the pitcher plants, enjoying the same wet soil conditions.

Lots of friends have been asking for more wide-angle shots of the garden, so here are a couple. The main reason I don't include more is that, while I have a pretty interesting plant collection, my garden, for the most part, is an overgrown, weedy, disorganized mess. I have to "choose my battles", since I work two fairly demanding jobs. Some scenes manage to be attractive for a week or two, anyway, like this arch covered with Rosa "Buff Beauty" and Trachelospermum jasminoides, faced down with a Weigela and balanced by palms (several species of Trachycarpus and Chaemerops, in this instance). Italian cypress trees form a wall along the left boundary of the garden, and are themselves becoming infested with Asian jasmine.

This is Trillium grandiflorum 'Plenum', blooming for the first time this year. This has been a relatively cool May, and that, coupled with the sterility of the double flowers, has made these flowers last a very long time. Well worth the wait - I bought a cheaper, smaller plant several years ago, since they're expensive to buy at this size.

Below is a Louisiana iris which I grew from seed a few years ago. The parent plant (one of them, anyway) is a deep salmon; this one's much paler (but more pink than the photo indicates). It's fun to see what happens when you plant a few seeds.

These roses, all hybrid musks, look great when they bloom together at this time of year. In the foreground is "Sally Holmes", backed up by a climbing hybrid (it's actually in my neighbor's yard, and was bred by a friend of hers) called "Mountain Mist". To the left is "Ballerina", which is a parent of each of the others.

Hippaestrum xJohnsonii, the "hardy" amaryllis (all of the common hybrids are pretty much hardy here anyway). These need to be divided, and they'd like more sun during the growing season than I can give them.

Bletia floridanum is not hardy, but it waits until May to begin blooming, so I consider it, along with B. purpurea and B. patula, a garden orchid. These are totally deciduous in the summer, so require almost no watering when the weather gets hot and dry. They make their foliar growth in the greenhouse during the fall and winter.


Shelly said...

I posted for Bloom Day even later the now you're not the last one! I'm having some serious jealousy issues over your lady slippers ;)

Carol said...

You do have a very interesting plant collection. I like the lady slippers, and those Louisiana irises. I would guess I am just a bit too far north for those irises...

Your post is a great addition to bloom day, thanks for joining in.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Zephyr said...

So cool! I need to make sure Ken reads this, particularly about the cyp you "deflasked"
i will want to know how the clematis and tomato pairing turns out!