Six on Saturday – May 5, 2018

Spring/Summer has arrived on the mid-shore. Temperatures by the end of the week were in the high 80’s. I think we had five days of Spring. The gardens are popping now with azaleas and bearded iris. We always called them flags when I was growing up. I am going to use these posts to try and find — and possibly remember — the scientific names of some of my plants.

  1. Solomon Seal was planted several places around my garden last year. I marked the spots with a small landscape flag because I was given roots and needed to remember where I had planted them. These little plastic flags are available by the bunch at my local hardware store. You can see two splotches of pink in the upper right corner of the photo. I use these a lot for things that come up late or things I am watching. Supposedly the little bell shaped flowers on Solomon Seal are fragrant, but I’d have to lie on the ground to get a whiff.  I believe this is Polygonatum odoratum variegatum although photos from plant sources show two bells instead of one.

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2. New varieties of azaleas bloom every day. Lots of hostas emerging and the slugs have not attacked them….yet. You can see a pink flag where another Solomon Seal is emerging.

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3. One of my favorite hostas is Frances Williams. (Hosta sieboldiana ‘Frances Williams’) I bought a tiny plant thirty years ago at a stand by the side of the road and carried a clump it to our new house eleven years ago. It is suscepitble to sun scald and the slugs think I plant it just for them. For now it looks lovely.

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4. A repeat blooming yellow bearded iris (species – Iris germanica) was the first to open in the garden. I am a sucker for pops of yellow. Just behind the iris are some of those allium schubertii I planted last fall. Most are coming up, but not all of them have buds. Odd. At the top of the photo is soldago or golden rod. More yellow in the late summer garden against large clumps of miscanthus Morning Light. The wire cage is to protect a fall aster from the bunnies.

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5. The azaleas got thru the winter just fine but my one rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Roseum Elegans’) did not fare so well. It set lots of buds, but decided December was a fine time to bloom. So there are not many blooms and some are deformed because the bud began to open too early and then it got really cold. This was the best bloom I could find.

We have lots of pines in our area and the yellow pollen coats our cars, plants and eddies in the parking lots. You can see it on the rhodo leaves.

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6. The river birch (Betula nigra) in the middle of the picture below is leafing out. I top mine every two years so they stay in scale with my garden and take on a more weeping form. I didn’t do enough research when I planted them. They can grow to 70 feet which would be fine for a two story house but not next to my one story rancher. The tree on the left with the reddish leaves is a flowering cherry that is getting ready to bloom. It’s gorgeous briefly. The small leafed maple near the deck is from a 6″ seedling that someone gave me. I put it in a small pot, then a larger one, and finally in the garden about four years ago. I don’t want it to get much larger.

Seeing this view of the garden gives me pleasure. It doesn’t show the barren plot on the right, near the shed, that sorely needs my attention and is not, at the moment, a pleasure to look at. I’m in contemplative mode about that bed, thinking about what I should do with it. For the moment it is not under water.IMG_6036

That’s my Six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

21 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – May 5, 2018

  1. Pretty mix of colors in this Six. I also have some rabbits that have eaten my new tender leaves of roses .. and the young shoots of aster too. I can’t put a cage everywhere , so I hope my cat will do his job…

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  2. I know what you mean about Botanical names: I’ve never bothered with them in the past, and I’m learning them now( but not necessarily remembering!). I love the leafiness and shade in your garden.

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    • I have areas where it is sunny, but the river birches that I planted 10 years ago have given me dappled shade so I am able to have some shade loving plants. I’ll keep trying with the botanical names. Remembering is the trick. I am a visual person so I thought if I keep writing them out in my SoS’s, it might help. Of course, most of my plants were gifts or divisions from friends and I have no idea what they are if a special cultivar.

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  3. I’ve only been saying this week that I wish spring would last 6 months before summer set in, it is my favourite month, when anything is possible. I love those iris! What an amazing colour. The hosta is perfect, one to look out for. Lovely six. 🙂

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    • Several more kinds should bloom this week. I also realize that I can find the occasional odd iris in a bed of all blue, for example, and put it where it belongs. Once the bloom is gone, I can’t identify them any longer.

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    • I was responding to your blog name which included hayfever. In our area we have lots of pines and everything is coated with yellow pollen. I have to garden with a large handkerchief as my nose just runs and runs.

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      • When we lived in the country and had hay fields around us my eyes would itch until I wanted to scratch them out. But it was just for a couple of weeks. Here it is the pine pollen. I’ve learned not to wash the deck until the worst of the pollen is over.

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    • All our big trees are silver maples although one is slightly different because it leafs out a little later than the others. They are at least fifty years old, put in when the house was built. The damned whirlygigs are beginning to full, but I wouldn’t trade these lovey big trees. They are one of the reasons we bought the house.

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      • The different one could be a cultivar, or it could merely be exhibiting its unique genetic variability. Although I do not know how they are grown now, they used to be grown by seed. (Although, the cultivars must be grafted.) The last two I got were different from each other. I layered a single copy off of each one, so that I had four altogether. The copy of the more vigorous tree went into the front garden. The copy of the weaker tree did not survive; and the weaker tree eventually got cut down. So now, the two remaining trees are genetically identical. Sadly, they are not in good condition now. Although resilient to the aridity of the air, they do like to be watered through summer. They are happy in lawns, but without the lawn, they got quite crispy.

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