Of course, May is also Allium month, and Lilac month, and almost Iris month….but the end of May is when many coloured hybrid lupins (or Lupines…) suddenly appear, seemingly overnight, in my garden. I purchased a half dozen plants a good 10 or 12 years ago and have been collecting and scattering seeds ever since. They seem to like stony, heavy clay soil that gets really dry in the summer (I’ve dug some up with tremendously long tap roots…) and will generally spring up wherever I plant seeds, so I never need to start them indoors.
I took all these photos yesterday morning, before it started to rain. We were lucky – although it was chilly here, regions not too far away reported snow! It was the first bit of rain we’ve seen in about three weeks so all my newly planted seeds, veggies and annuals were quite happy, I expect. As was the Iris. This patch of white ones, I wouldn’t call them ‘tall,’ started to bloom late last week, but today is the first day for this most definitely Tall Bearded peachy/purple one.
Kale doesn’t mind chilly temps at all. In fact, this purple leaved variety (planted and harvested from last year) was left in the ground and survived our winter. It started producing leaves in April. It’s a biennial, I’ve discovered, and is now bolting, sending up these slender flower spires adorned with the cutest yellow flowers. I may collect seed, and I may start that seed indoors for fresh kale leaves to eat next year…
I try to think about colour combinations when I plant shrubs and perennials, as well as bloom times and form. I like how this lilac and bridlewreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia) look together.
The large Allium are just now starting to look stunning. The photo below right is a cluster of A. karataviense, which have large striped (in a muted way) leaves that remain looking great for quite a while (unlike the large, strappy leaves of the tall Allium that start to look ugly almost immediately when flowering starts). Below left is another planned combination – this time with four different Allium species. Can you see them? From left to right: A. karataviense, A. schoenoprasum (aka garden chives), A. hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ (with their characteristically ugly, ugly foliage that I REALLY need to figure out how to hide…) and, at the very end of the row, a solitary white A. Stipitatum ‘Mount Everest.’
My favourite photo from this week’s Six, which, unlike the rest, I processed using Photoshop, is this Bleeding Heart flower. The Latin name for it is now Lamprocapnos spectabilis (although when you look on the internet most sites still seem to call it a Dicentra, even though in botanical circles the name change was accepted more than a dozen years ago), with the ‘spectablis’ part referring to how spectacular the heart shaped flower is. They have long, tough, fleshy roots, like carrots or peonies, which accounts for how this particular plant has survived my transplanting it numerous times in the past 10 or so years.
Every Saturday, The Propagator encourages gardeners around the world to share just six things that are happening in their garden. Difficult to do in May!! Stay safe everyone, and enjoy the various levels of ‘getting back to normal’ your country, state or province may be in.