The temps rose yesterday to 90 degrees, but the heat isn’t unexpected. And, we are not experiencing a drought like last year. July blooms are on schedule and it seems like the whole garden is making up for last year. The cherry tree is still full of gorgeous red tart cherries. In fact, I picked 4 cups last night and made a cherry crisp. Last year I didn’t even bother with picking. The early warmth and subsequent freeze killed last years crop.
It’s pretty bleak in the garden, but there are signs of life. We’ve had a slow spring, and that’s just fine with me. A year ago the garden was seduced into early bloom. This spring the juncos are still around, but the robins have returned, and the cardinals are singing. And the hellebores are blooming!
Wow, it’s still hot. And the garden is baking. The day lilies that were in glorious bloom just a week ago are now fading. I’ve begun removing bare scapes and scraping at the lifeless brown leaves that seem more prevalent this year than seems normal. The garden gets watered daily thanks to the in-ground system. Michigan, surrounded by water, rarely gets water restrictions. But the heat is taking its toll, especially on the hydrangeas. In fact, I may lose a couple even though I give them extra water each day. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight. At best, we have a chance of thunderstorms this week. Weeks of 90 degree heat just isn’t what my garden is used to.
May is an anxious time for me in the garden. I haven’t gotten the annuals in yet. And, the 12 yards of shredded bark have not arrived. So, the gardens look good from a distance, but up close, they are messy and there are bare patches where the annuals will go. Mind you, a little anxiety is good. It goads us forward. And I have no excuses to move forward because the watering system guy came this afternoon to hook everything up and repair the damage the snow plow did to one of the lines this winter.
Everything, of course, is early. The McFarlane lilacs are out, and so is the mock orange.
The cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) are going crazy! I love how they brighten up this shady little nook under the old dogwood, especially since I haven’t shopped for annuals and baskets yet.
The old dogwood is host to birds, bees, and fuzzy clusters of tiny flowers. The kousa dogwood hasn’t quite arrived yet, but I suspect it will be gorgeous in a couple of days.
The Wild Spice Hansa roses have been blooming for a few weeks, though, they got nipped during a frost. Sill, nothing seems to deter them.
I was surprised to find a spiderwort (tradenscantia) blooming in one of the entrance gardens. I didn’t plant it. In fact, I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to get rid of the last vestiges left by the previous owner.
The heuchera and heucherella are looking really good. The entrance garden is further along than the heurchera in the Secret Garden, but the entrance garden gets full sun.
The tiny amsonia stars are blooming, too. These were a lucky find at a garden center a couple years ago. I think they were $1 per pot. I’ve certainly enjoyed them!
This little columbine kept coming back year after year, much as I tried to get rid of it. It, too, was left over from the previous owner, and now I’ve decided I quite like its pretty pink and white blossoms.
And how I wish that those saucers of clematis would bloom all summer! How can such delicate looking vines burst forth with such huge flowers. I remember the first time I ever saw a clematis blooming. I thought perhaps they were plastic flowers that someone had stuck on a piece of lattice. There are still a few bleeding hearts (dicentra) blooming.
After our unseasonably warm early spring, we returned to some frosty days (and nights). Some early risers got nipped. The Dutchman’s Pipe lost some new foliage, but it will bounce back with a vengeance. I’m not sure about the old cherry tree. It’s too soon to tell whether the frost killed a lot of “cherry hope.” But things are still ahead of schedule, so April’s Bloom Day is bountiful compared to last year’s. A year ago, only the heather and a few brave violets were blooming.
The heather still gets the early bloomer prize. But the brunnera macrophylla are blooming, too.
There are a few white daffodils, planted last fall, that are hanging on, but the early spring woke them up far sooner than I anticipated.
Also blooming are the Bleeding Heart. They look like little Christmas ornaments.
I’m not sure why I don’t have more Esther Staley French lilac blooms, but the three lilacs I planted in that area never seem to do as well as I would like them to. The President Grevy French Lilac only got one bloom last summer. It’s a later bloomer and I can’t tell yet whether it liked the pruning I gave it last summer. The Mme LeMoine French Lilic is doing ok, but I count only about 10 blooms. The James McFarlane lilacs continue to do great, though. And they are just starting to bud out.
The new trellis now stands at the entrance to the Secret Garden. I’m hoping the clematis bounces back and covers it by the end of the summer.