Monday, May 14, 2012

May showers, May flowers

Once again getting in a day early for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and will link tomorrow when it's live over at May Dreams Gardens.  May has not been a particularly dreamy month here; it's been a rainy month that we desperately needed and still are capable of cursing when we never get a chance to mow the lawn.  (However -- I was in Houston over the weekend for absolute floods of rain that did not in the end prevent the Rice graduation from happening outdoors as planned, although the chairs were practically floating in the quad.  So I am appreciating the gentle drizzle here much more.)

Anyway, the moisture and the continued mild temperatures have been great for flowers, and many have hung on much longer than usual.  I took some photos last week, but the same ones are still blooming.  The peony above I bought on sale without a name (feel free to tell me what it is).  It has done better than the other two planted near it.  I plan to create a new bed near the mock orange

(which is still blooming by the way; going on a month now)

to plant peonies under hopefully more suitable conditions.

This is the Sunny Knockout, which is about my speed as roses go.  New yellow blooms fade to cream as they age.

I also have two Bonica shrub roses, which are bigger and more spectacular every year.  They are right at the front so everyone sees them and thinks I can grow roses.

Also spectacular in the front: a purple ninebark four feet tall and weeping gracefully, that's just been in the ground two and a half years since I bought it for $10 at Lowe's.  I love bargain plants that work out (they make up for the expensive ones that die and leave aching holes in the wallet).

Here's one of the ninebark flowers close up.
Baptisia australis growing shrublike and gorgeous, also right on the street where everyone can see it.  (There are a good many weeds in the streetside beds, so I hope it's distracting.)

Maple-leaf viburnum: a modest and cheerful late-spring presence.

Aquilegia canadensis, one of the few I have left in a too-shady spot.

Some of my Siberian kale, gone to flower.  The flower buds are very tasty - true of all the brassicas, not just broccoli.

That's by no means all that's blooming, but that's all the decent photos.  Here's hoping your gardens are in full flower, with cloudy skies for photography but rain only at night.


  1. aloha,

    beautiful show this morning, thanks for sharing your garden today

  2. How do you use the kale flowers?

    1. Snacks in the garden mostly, but otherwise tossed into a salad.

  3. Everything is lovely - and your roses look so fresh. Mine are looking pretty ratty already. My baptisia was my absolute favorite, but this year, everything has grown so big (this is like the...maybe 4th year of the perennial garden?) that the gorgeous baptisia stems have been hidden and the foliage, which I loved, is just contributing to the wild jungle look (unintended). Actually, my baptisia bloomed for a very short period this year. I already have large seedpods on the plant.

    1. My roses started looking ratty as soon as we had the torrential rains. And my baptisia also has seedpods - it was a very short bloom, and I'm glad GBBD happened during it! In my patch, it's the baptisia that's dominating everything else - it must love the soil there.

  4. So very nice! And I had no idea about brassica flowers. Do you eat them fresh or do you cook with them?

    1. Either way, but I prefer them fresh.