Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bloom Day, May 2012

May is certainly the month Longview Ranch bursts into flower. In addition to some long-blooming shrubs, many perennials are now doing their spring thing, adding eclectic color and texture to the mix.

I love Ceanothus, but for space reasons I had only one for years. Recently, I found Ceanothus 'Joan Mirov', a lower-growing smaller-leaved variety with deep blue flowers. It's still in its nursery pot, but lovely in bloom!

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria' is much closer to bloom, but right now it still looks about like I showed it in April, with a couple of open blossoms sprinkled here and there.

Regular readers of this blog know I am not a big fan of the hybrid tea roses I inherited with the garden. But to document, and for the Mulch Man, who is quite fond of them, here are two just coming into bloom along our sidewalk.


I'm more enthusiastic about several other roses I actively grow.  A semi-climber, 'Sally Holmes' is just beginning to bloom across our wide brick chimney.

 I found a ladybug helping keep the aphids in check on 'Sally'.



My other sentimental rose is 'Perle d'Or', a polyantha rose given to us years ago as a cutting by Great Aunt Jenny. It's a pretty peachy-pink color, with slim, strappy center petals.


The story goes that Great Uncle Carleton would tuck one of its perfect little rosebuds in his lapel each morning on his way to work as a railway conductor.


We're awash in a sea of Helianthemum. The dark orange flowers are 'Henfield Brilliant' and the apricot-colored flowers are 'Cheviot'.

Trachycarpus fortunei has six blooms this year. Later, when they have completely unfolded, I'm planning a separate post on these strange and unearthly flowers.

Potentilla 'McKay's White has popped.



Lewisia cotyledon, a sweet PNW native.


Helianthemum 'Ben Nevis'.


Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco'.


Sedum spurium 'Tricolor'.


The inherited Camellia japonicas are still in bloom. This is their second Bloom Day appearance this year. They can't last much longer, especially with the hot, dry weather we have this week.


Enjoying an even longer run are Vaccinium ovatum 'Thunderbird', the evergreen huckleberries. This is their third consecutive Bloom Day in full flower.


The last few fresh flowers on the Cornus 'Eddies White Wonder'.

In the rain earlier this month, it was a frothy little wedding cake of blossoms.


I love the way the Calla lilies peek over the window so I can even see them when I'm sitting inside.

Penstemon subserratus (Fine-tooth Penstemon), a Pacific Northwest native adding welcome color to the mostly green "Northwest Territory" area of our garden.

Cistus x obtusifolius, loving the sun.

After four long years in the garden, I was getting a little cranky about lack of bloom on the Acanthus mollis. Finally this year, flower spikes! All is forgiven.

And last, in anticipation of fresh snap peas, I show some quiet but deliciously promising pea flowers.

Click over to visit our host Carol, at May Dreams Gardens, to see what else is blooming this lovely May day.

Happy Bloom Day!



23 comments:

  1. Gorgeous - can you show wider shots some time - just so we can see the bigger picture??

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    1. Deb, Carol at May Dreams Gardens has just begun to do a Bloom Day long shot from a particular place each month. I liked the idea, and have co-opted it for Longview Ranch, so you'll see at least my best wide shot from now on.

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  2. Wow! You have some really gorgeous flowers. I'm so curious about the Trachycarpus flowers. I had no idea that this cool tree had blooms, so now I'm really looking forward to your post on them. I just put two in the ground this spring, and they seem to be doing well, so I'm wondering what I have to look forward to with them. Your roses are beautiful, I wish roses were prettier, easier shrubs.

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    1. Alison, I don't think of roses as being difficult to grow...if you like them and have enough sun, there are some wonderful ones out there. And if you like to look at roses, check out Hoover Boo's Piece of Eden blog at http://pieceofeden.blogspot.com/. She takes gorgeous photos of her roses - and her other amazing California plants, too.

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  3. Wow! I could look at that picture of the Helianthemum and Y. rostrata all day long, simply gorgeous! And your little Lewisia, so pretty. Mine is just sitting there doing nothing.

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    1. Actually I need to cut the Helianthemums back from the Y. rostrata before they strangle it!

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  4. That is one amazing bloom day post for sure!!! I really love seeing pics of your garden!!! Ceanothus are some of my favorite plants. I too have only had one for years because of space issues. I'm not sure which variety it is but I know it's one of the more tender of the bunch. You just inspired me to get more!! You are soo right about the trachys, they warrant a definite shout out and a post of their own! This year I have three in bloom... I'm hoping one is female!!!

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    1. Please post photos when the Trachys fruit!!

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  5. I am scratching my head over how some examples of yours are way ahead of us, and others way behind...go figure. But mostly, I am just enjoying the glories of this post.

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    1. More and more, I think we all have a slew of microclimates in out gardens...it's part of the fun!

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  6. OMG, your helianthemum! (and I never use OMG) For me that first photo of ceanothus against an orange pot is the money shot. Gorgeous lewisia like exquisite primulas I just try to ignore -- it'd be torture making them happy in my garden. Wonderful bloom day post, Jane.

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    1. Denise, I would have thought your conditions would be fine for Lewisia - maybe your soil isn't as well-drained as I imagine?

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  7. I totally agree, May is the month that the garden just seems to get up enough steam to really take off! Even if they are simple...I just love the elegant beauty of the Sweet Peas :-)

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    1. The funny thing about the peas is I keep pulling seedlings of the sweet peas I grew last year that have sown themselves all over the place.

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  8. I've just planted Henfield brilliant very near my Rostrata . How long have you had yours? Great minds ...right ?

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    1. This is Henfield's third summer. Just watch it when it takes off: it wants to smother everything (in the the loveliest way, of course.)

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  9. Your garden is so beautiful. Your calla lillies! Your helianthemum! And why have I not put Lewisia in my yard yet? I've gotten so much inspiration from this post. :)

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    1. Happy to help! And I'll bring callas to our next plant exchange if you like - they grow like weeds.

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  10. The helianthemum looks amazing, and of course the blue Ceonothus against an orange pot. Just right! I was astonished to find my own baby Ceonothus blooming this week, too. Nice to see the Camellias as well, here they are long since finished.

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    1. I think Helianthemums are one of those workhorses in the summer garden. And even up here they are usually evergreen: perfect for our winters, too.

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  11. It's like the Fourth of July...

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    1. Yes, and I'm loving this early warm spell we had. But just wait: there's so much more to enjoy over the next four months!

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