Wednesday, May 29, 2013

little lilies

 Oh, I how I love these little lilies!

 And what a great name - Tiny Bell Lily.  Although she's not really so tiny. Each flower is 5 or 6 inches across.

 I put these bulbs in last fall and I've really been impressed with their show this spring.  The petals start off really pink and the color deepens as they age.

It is the beginning of lily season in my yard as I join others for Outdoor Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wildflowers in the sun

coreopsis beginning to bloom in sunny bed
Just because a plant has a wiry stem doesn't mean it won't make a good flowering garden plant. Plants like ox eye daisies and coreopsis (tickseed) can seed and spread and pop up just about anywhere without taking up too much space. They are both blooming now, and will continue for a while with dead heading of spent blooms.

My daisies and coreopsis share space with lilies, coneflowers, black-eyed susans (rudbeckia), liatris, phlox and monarda. All of these plants are sun lovers. Full sun is at a premium in my yard. So I require my sun-loving plants to get along and share space.  I really like the kind of crazy quilt flower bed that results.

Who can resist playing " loves me/loves me not" when you pick a daisy?  It's also a great way to teach odd and even numbers to kids.

 Blooms that have a round center with radiating petals are always referred to as "daisy-like".  But it's much harder to play "loves me/loves me not" when petals overlap.  You should stick with the daisies.

 This is "Jethro Tull" coreopsis I got last year.  I just couldn't resist.  Why the name?  Well, the petals are fluted and IT ROCKS!

As you probably noticed, the pink phlox pilosa is till blooming! It's happy to have the company of the daisies and coreopsis! 

Make the most of your sunny areas.  If you let those wildflowers spread, soon you will have a fiesta of flowers!

I am joining Gail at Clay and Limestone for Wildflower Wednesday. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcome Fairies!

Miniature gardening seems to be all the rage now.  I like to garden on a little bit grander scale, but felt I really needed to make a spot just for the garden fairies.  One never knows who might visit the garden!

Check out others in the world at Our World Tuesdays and Outdoor Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day May 2013

phlox pilosa

My gardens are still covered in the fabulous pink phlox.  I guess the cool spring has prolonged the bloom time, much to my delight.

Around the yard now I have clumps of purple with the siberian irises.  I just keep dividing and giving them away and moving them to new locations within the gardens.  They are really putting on a show this spring.

siberian iris

The ox eye daisies sway in the breeze intermingled with the phlox.

These red dianthus are supposed to be biennial, but this is their fourth year.  Every year they produce bigger clumps and more blooms.  This is my "mostly red" bed where the red honeysuckle is still blooming and encouraging the hummers to linger.

leucothoe fontanesiana "rainbow"
These tiny little blooms above on the leucothoe (commonly called "fetterbush") are a bonus.  I bought this last fall for the wonderful foliage, and now the little urn shaped flowers are peeking out from under the leaves.

My bearded iris have been a disappointment this year. I had to move most of them last summer and I'm hoping that's the reason.  I also find that every year I have less and less sunlight and I think that is also affecting the bearded iris.  Here is one that did bloom; I believe this is "Memphis".

 The pink flowering spirea are just beginning (princess, goldmound, goldflame, and anthony waterer).
anthony waterer spirea

goldmound spirea
  The mild spring weather has given us a longer bloom period.  April blooms have lasted well into May, and now everyday more buds appear. I am so enjoying the unfolding of Spring in the garden.

 What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

I am joining Carol at May Dreams Gardening for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! 
Check out  A Southern Day Dreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A bouquet for mom

Everybody knows Moms love flowers. One of my favorite memories of my mom revolves around flowers - wildflowers, to be exact.  As a small girl, I would roam our big yard and pick wildflowers like violets, henbit, spring beauties, fleabane and clover.  Once my little hands were full, I would present them to my mom who, of course, oohed and aahed over them and put them in a little blue and gold vase that seemed just perfect for the hand-picked flowers.  I never got tired of bringing her flowers and she never got tired of gushing over them.

What sweet memories!  When my mother died (36 years ago), I got the little blue vase and every spring I fill it with little flowers and think of her.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

playing well with others

phlox pilosa, soloman's seal, and azaleas
Do you label the plants in your garden?  No, I don't mean by their common or botanical name; I mean by their behavior.  Sure you do.  We all do. In our gardens, we have "late bloomers", thugs, plants with no sense of  'personal space', ones that need a lot of TLC, top performers, bullies, and true beauties. And there are plants that are dependable, shy, over-active, picky, easy-going, temperamental, and on and on.  Sounds like I'm describing a group of children.  As a retired kindergarten teacher, I know teachers should try hard not to label  children.  But, in every class, there's  always one that stands out.  Sometimes more than one.  And teachers always say longingly, "If I only had a classroom full of child's name"s!  This is the child who always gets a STAR by the designation "PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS".

 Close to 20 years ago, a friend gave me a clump of this pink woodland phlox.  Since then, it has spread on its own, but also with a little help.  Every time I thin out my perennial bed or move plants around, I seem to also have a little phlox moved as well.  Gail of Clay and Limestone calls it PPPP (practically perfect phlox pilosa).  Read here what she has to say about it.  I just say this is a plant that "PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS"!  And I have a garden full!

 Here is phlox pilosa playing with ox-eye daisies.

 Phlox pilosa also likes to play with red dianthus and goldmound spirea in a sunny bed.

Phlox pilosa likes to play with hosta "patriot" in a shady bed.
 Look at that phlox just jumping into the middle of the sedum.
 Phlox pilosa even plays well in an area where not too many other plants are happy - next to the mailbox.

Phlox pilosa snuck in with this group of soloman's seal.  But that's alright.  I'm happy with it wherever it is, especially during the "pink season".  And when it is finished blooming I can cut it back, pull some out, or ignore it.  The other plants will thrive around it.

This pilosa is also called downy phlox, prairie phlox, and fragrant phlox.  Their scent is wonderful.  When in bloom, I always keep a vase full inside.  Hope you have plants that "play well with others"!

                                        I am joining Susan at asoutherndaydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday and Tootsie Time for Friday Flaunt your Flowers.  Please go to these blogs for links to other posts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Outdoor Wednesday: Azaleas

If you're looking for me in May, look outdoors. I'll be with the azaleas!

I hope you have some azaleas to enjoy!

I am joining Susan at  a southerndaydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.  Please go to her blog for links to other Outdoor Wednesday posts.