When we came back from vacation I looked around the garden and thought that I hadn’t missed much, but this morning as I took my pictures I realized that quite a lot had happened. Of course the rain over the weekend probably helped the most. With the warm weather some of my plants are still blooming extremely early, while others are more or less on track. You can see that there are a lot of new things to show this week!
When we left a week and a half ago most of my alliums had barely come out of the ground. And yesterday I already saw the first of the flowers. Alliums are definitely in my top ten garden plants and this year I planted a bunch more of the Purple Sensation last fall. I had even forgotten all of the random places I planted the bulbs, so it is nice to see them in all different parts of the yard. They typically call for full sun but I put them in anything from full sun to part shade. The ones in full sun actually have burned leaves but the ones in the part sun to part shade seem just fine. I wonder if they put up with the part shade because the leaves are just filling out now, so they are really in more sun for most of their growing period.
I am also trying Allium Karataviense this year, which is much more petite but has beautiful leaves. Additionally I have a few allium schubertii from a few years ago. They were getting dwarfed by a bush in the front yard but I took that one out in the fall. Now they are partially obscured by the peonies, but at least they survived removing the old shrub and planting the new ones. After they bloom I will move them to in front of the peonies, where I think they will look fabulous. I think I will also add some to my fall bulb list.
The columbines in my yard are in full bloom. I have several colors and flower types. I bought the pinky/red one last year at HD and it is pretty but I think I prefer the more native blueish purple ones. I also really love the leaves, which look great most of the season. Mine have self seeded and I have replanted them in quite a few places in the year. It takes a little patience since they don’t tend to bloom until the second year, but my persistence is starting the pay off. This is another plant that I grow in a number of different locations, from hot sun to damp shade, and it seems to do fine in almost all locations, although the darker flowers tend to bleach out in the sun.
My native honeysuckle (not to be confused with Japanese Honeysuckle) is blooming quite early, at least a month. It grew gangbusters while we were gone even though I had already trimmed it once this season. But alas I do love it so and it should keep blooming all summer. When the weather warms up a little more I expect to see the hummingbirds again. Also in bloom is my lilac bush (I cut some blooms to bring inside so I could enjoy the lovely scent). The mountain laurel is also budding. I quite like the Mountain Laurel and think it is totally underused in gardens today. It is our state flower, which I why I first thought of using it. I favor its more polite flowers to most of the bright azaleas that I see around. Plus I like that they are a native choice.
Lastly my Carolina Phlox (or at least that is what I think it is) is blooming away. I picked up a few of these at the Scott Arboretum Plant Exchange a few years ago. It self seeds quite heavily but I just move the babies around. This variety bloom quite a bit earlier than regular garden phlox and is taller and more wild looking. It is fairly tall 2-3′ tall, so I have been moving it to the back sections of several of my planting beds. After they bloom I will cut them back aggressively and then I should get some additional blooms in late summer.
What is blooming in your yard this week?