Friday, May 15, 2015

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - May 2015

It's a very floriferous Bloom Day at Longview Ranch. After repeatedly telling myself I'm in it for the foliage, I find I am thrilled with all the blooms showing themselves this month. In fact, May may even be vying with September as one of my favorite garden months, at least this year.

So let's explore the sources of my pleasure!
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria' shines this month.
That perfect periwinkle blue!
Ceanothus 'Joan Mirov' graces the hell strip, backed by the tiny flowers of Thymus praecox.

A very different blue is offered by Corydalis flexuosa 'O'Byrne Blue', still going strong from last month.

The wispy magenta blossoms of Lewisia cotyledon var. howellii start off this month's Lewisia parade.

My several L. cotyledon 'Sunset Series' are heavy bloomers.
Typically there has been a nice selection of Lewisias for sale at the annual Rare Plant Research Open House. It's happening this weekend, May 16-17, so if you want some, you can buy them in bloom.

I bought a flowering L. longipetala 'Little Peach' in March from Little Prince, and after settling into the garden it's coming back with a few blossoms for May.

The last of the Cammassia quamash to bloom are these white ones.

I grow Astelia nervosa for its bullet-proof, shade-loving foliage, but then these cute white blooms show up each year in May. They're kind of a nice bonus.

More white: Cistus x obtusifolius.

Rosa 'Sally Holmes' is blooming her way up the chimney bricks. If you want a semi-climbing, soft pink-to-white rose that's pest resistant, easy care and even has a light fragrance, she's your girl.

The small flowers of Abutilon megapotamicum brighten up a shady area. 

Trachycarpus fortunei is in full flower. Too bad my other Trachy isn't old enough to flower yet, or I might get fruit from them - time will tell if they're different sexes.
Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is still green, but will soon sport its characteristic red bottlebrush flowers.

Closer to actual opening is Callistemon viridiflorus. It's apparently trying to make up for not flowering at all last year.

Acanthus spinosa asserts itself with these prickly flower spikes.

I tend to take the flowers of Gaultheria shallon for granted, since they bloom a lot of the year and we have a number of them in the Northwest Territory. But every now and again, a flower branch arranges itself so charmingly that I have to recognize and feature it.

In the hot, sunny bed, it's a challenge to photograph the flowers: either it's cloudy and the sun-lovers close up, or it's sunny and the exposure is burned out.

Here, the sun came out with predictable exposure issues for Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant', H. 'Cheviot', and Halmiocistus wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream'.

My mother would have dubbed this one "cheap and cheerful."

A closeup of the luscious flowers on H. wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream'.
Here's a literal cheap and cheerful finale to my Bloom Day post. Every year I get the perfect number of volunteers of this Escholzia californica to brighten up and fill in the holes in my garden without overwhelming it.

Bloom Day is sponsored monthly by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. This is her month, so check out the link for more May flowers from all over.

Happy Bloom Day!


  1. Every year I tell myself I'm going to plant some helianthemum after seeing yours. It's so, so good.

    1. Do it, Heather. It's a great ground cover especially for new beds that haven't grown in much.

  2. Lots and lots of flowers Jane! Your Trachycarpus fortunei is quite exuberant. Mine is celebrating with just a single blooming branch, it's first. And I had to read "Astelia nervosa" a few times and finally Google it to make sure I was really thinking of the right plant. As "bullet-proof, shade-loving foliage" are not words I associate with it. I've always planted mine in the sun (obviously you're doing the right thing though, to get to bloom) and lost them in a cold snap.

    1. Megan suggested the Astelia years ago and they've been troupers. Mine aren't particularly showy, but they tolerate a good bit of shade, get almost no water and fill the area under the big Ceanothus.

  3. You scored with that orange Lewisia. They are mostly pink...even the ones I thought would be orangeish. I am reminded again that your influence can be found in my garden.

    1. I confess to not liking the straight pink ones as much, but if they have orange stripes with the pink, I'm happy.

  4. I did find a Henfield Brilliant this spring, planted in your honor! Love it all, and esp. that ceanothus with what looks like a blue yucca in the background, that is so stunning.

    1. Yep, that's Yucca rostrata you spotted. I'm honored by the Henfield Brilliant planting - hope it does your garden proud!

  5. Bloom Day gives me a chance to visit places where I can see all those things that faint and fall over in our heat and humidity. Thank you for a wonderful collection.

    California Poppy is the only selection that thrives here. It starts early and leaves when summer is unbearable.

  6. Like Loree, I thought Astelia preferred full sun. I'll have to rethink where I was going to plant mine. I have a couple, so maybe I'll put one in shade and one in sun and see what happens. I bought an orange Helianthemum for the gravel garden recently, but it's not in the ground yet. Thanks for sharing what's blooming there, I enjoyed it, especially the Lewisias.

  7. ooo..I love H. wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream'. Such a pretty color. Like Alison, I really enjoy pics of your Lewisias. I think you are to blame for my need to acquire a few. Happy GBBD!

  8. Hey, someone else who loves fall possibly more than spring! Though this time of year I, too, am hard-pressed not to favor spring. I've been looking at foliage more lately, but I've still got so many flowers. It's that time of year. I love your ceanothus and lewisia. I'm planning on picking up a couple lewisia at RPR tomorrow. I'm hoping to add ceanothus to my garden sometime this year, too.

  9. I have 'Sally Holmes' and I'm very fond of her. However, each winter she gets nibbled to the ground by rabbits. Fortunately she springs back with new canes each spring. Love all your Ceanothus and blue Corydalis!


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