Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Flowers – Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

 It has been a few months since I last participated in Carol’s monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (GBBD), but I’m glad to finally be back! It’s not that I haven't wanted to participate, its just after moving into a new home 5 years ago with virtually no landscaping in place, its been tough coming up with blooms to show off each and every month. As many gardeners know, the challenges of adjusting to a new place can be overwhelming at times.

I have to admit that most of the struggles have been with myself, trying to figure out what goes where, what combinations work best, and what plants do best in semi-sandy topsoil in mostly full sun. I've spend the last couple years amending the soil in my garden beds by adding various organic matter to it. After some success’s and a few failures here and there, the garden is finally starting to come together. I still have a long ways to go and a lot to accomplish yet but that’s the fun part about gardening; right?

With that said, here are a few of my favorite blooms in the garden right now:

First is the ever so hardy native Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata). A hardy, drought tolerant perennial. It thrives in full sun in well-drained areas (perfect for my landscape). This plant will spread by reseeding if you allow the seed heads to completely dry prior to trimming.


Not far away is another care-free easy perennial to grow – Yarrow (Achillea millifolium).


Combined with the yarrow is some Dianthus (Dianthus caryophyllus) ‘carnation’.


This next one is quickly becoming a favorite ground cover of mine – ‘Cranesbill’. I’m not sure of the cultivar. I dug up a clump of it from my dad’s house a little over a year ago and it has begun to spread nicely in my garden bed.


One of my favorite combinations in my front-yard flower bed is the ‘Gold Mound’ Spirea mixed with my Knock-out roses.


Another view…similar shaded blooms with contrasting foliage.


Here’s a nice, easy to grow native shrub, Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) 'Henry's Garnet'.


Below are the blooms of ‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint (2007 Perennial Plant of the Year).


This ‘Michael Dodge’ viburnum below was planted two years as a young 5” plant. This is the first year it has  bloomed. It produces bright golden berries in late summer. Mix this in the garden with the purple berries of the American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and you’ll have a show-stopper for sure.


Lets not forget the blooms in the vegetable garden. Below are the blooms of my sugar snap peas. My daughter and I check these plants daily for the sweet edible pods they produce and usually eat them before they ever make it to the house.


Thanks for stopping by to view some of the blooms in my garden. If you want to see more be sure to visit Mays Dreams Gardens blog for this month’s Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Also, be sure to participate in my giveaway (see May 6th post below) for a chance to win any one product from Wild Birds Unlimited up to $50!!! Runs through May 20th!


BernieH said...

You have shared some beautiful blooms and it looks like your garden is coming along very nicely. The Spirea and the Knockout Roses really do make a fantastic pairing and that Sweetspire is gorgeous. It was great fun visiting today.

Anonymous said...

Great photo of the spirea and roses! I like the way you've mixed in so many native plants.

Lydia said...

LOL. I read your post opening and laughed because I expected so little- and you have so much in bloom.

I have diantus like yours at our front door. It is like walking out into a perfumery.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog said...

Hi Alan - my first visit to your blog & I love your blooms!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

So fun to see what is to come in my southeastern PA garden. You are so far ahead.

Bloomin'Chick Jo said...

Beautiful blooms!!! Happy GBBD!

N8trGirl April said...

Gorgeous! You're doing great, Alan! It's fun gardening, isn't it? :-D

Nell Jean said...

It's the time of year that Carol dreams of, when the flowers bloom in May. Your gaillardia is stunning. Reminds me to plant some seeds.

The Sage Butterfly said...

The dianthus with the yarrow is a nice pairing...texture and color. I have catmint all over the garden for the butterflies. I like it, too. Happy GBBD Day!

Larry said...

I love your header... reminds me of my career as a choir director... such enthusiasm! I've enjoyed my foirst visit to your site! Larry

Darla said...

Reads as if you are being too hard on yourself. Your plants and flowers look delish, you are doing something right!

Shirley said...

Just love that blanket of Gaillardia. As you say, part of the fun of gardening is experimenting with planting combos and locations. My plants shiver at this time of year... I'm always moving things around ;-)

Ah... Walker's Low. In my book it deserves its awards! I part chop mine back just before the flowers go over to get a second flush of flowers then complete the hard pruning for the rest when new growth begins. It works for me. My fav plant for the bees :-)

Happy Bloom Day from Scotland :-)

Les said...

Your Viburnum/Callicarpa combo will be a real draw for the birds, but you knew that. Happy GBBD!