Here in my corner of the world between Gary and LaPorte, Indiana, it's been really, really rainy. I discovered a big, fat toad hiding out under the eves to get out of the rain this evening. Although the data's not in, I think we probably received close to 2 inches in the past 12 hours.
|Clematis 'Blue Angel'|
So not only is the ground really soggy, any blossom less substantial than plastic is going through its life cycle in fast forward. I have had to take photos between rain showers.
Two legs of the pergola are festooned with pale blue Clematis. One is 'Blue Angel', a vigorous grower with pale ice-blue flowers. Meanwhile, in the backyard, the yellow Eremurus are beginning to open from the bottom up. This year I bought the variety called 'Cleopatra', which is a yummy coral shade. The bee in this shot must be enjoying its pollen, too.
|Pseudata 'Phantom Island'|
crossing Iris pseudacorus with a Japanese iris (I. ensata). According to Ensata Gardens, which is where I purchased it, the pseudatas are ultra-hardy, possibly even to Zone 3. I wasn't expecting it to bloom in its first year, (I planted it last fall.) but it was a pleasant surprise to see it. It's even held up to the drenching.
I've started a new love affair with Pelargonium, especially those with unusually-colored leaves or flowers with a different shape. 'Pelargonium 'Peppermint Star' has chartreuse foliage and adorable bright pink and white flowers.
The plants that prefer it on the dry side are mostly quite the troopers, carrying on with no signs of fungal issues. And with the lack of sunlight, they're putting out a surprising number of flowers. Not a lot, but a surprising number, which in the case of the Pelargonium is two so far.
|Pelargonium 'Peppermint Star'|
|Bonnie Lassie 'Emma'|
I will keep my eye on both 'Emma' and 'Laura' as the season progresses, and watch for them to reappear next spring. The Bonnie Lassie series, which consists of four cultivars, was bred in Scotland, and claim a USDA Zone hardiness of 5-8.
Salvia Cathedral Sky Blue has achieved its bloom status finally, and it's a beauty. This annual Salvia is compact and bloomilicious - a term that to me means covered in blossoms.
It's just the right shade of blue to mix with just about any other color in your garden, and at just 18" tall, it doesn't overpower its neighbors. The Cathedral Series from Green Fuse Botanicals comes in other blue shades as well, with a cultivar called 'Shining Sea' their newest introduction.
|Salvia Cathedral 'Sky Blue'|
|Salvia Cathedral 'Shining Sea'|
I decided to leave Lewisia in a clay pot this season, and it's a good thing I did with all of this rain. Lewisia is native to western North America and is plenty hardy, but it requires excellent drainage. The plant I purchased this year is part of the Sunset series, which was developed in Scotland.
I've always loved these little guys and have killed several by planting them in regular garden soil, overwatering them, and scorching their tough little leaves.
I've grown it in pots before, last year combined with Lavender and sedum, but as the season wore on the Lewisia got tired of fighting for space with its more aggressive potmates, and disappeared altogether. So this year, I've given it its own pot with a mixture of light potting soil, Turface, and some fine bark mix commonly used for orchids. So far, so good.
Itsaul Plants sent me a sampling of Kniphofia from their Echo series to see how well they do in my Zone 6a garden. Most haven't stopped blooming since I planted them about a month ago. Echo Mango is probably my favorite so far, as it seems to be sending out the most flowers, but it's early yet, and I'm thinking that as summer comes on in earnest, they'll put on a bigger show. For now, though, they all are healthy and adorable, reaching just under 24 inches. Their listed height is around four feet, but like most perennials, don't achieve that in their first year.
And that is just one of the cool things about gardening. My garden's plants are characters in my own little soap opera. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is the Soap Opera Digest of the gardening world. It happens on the 15th of each month and was conceived by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
It's a virtual place to tune in to what's going on in colorful little pockets in your own zone or on the other side of the world. As they say in the TV world, Tune in!