Monthly Archives: May 2011

Blooming in May


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I went out this morning with the best intentions for doing some serious work in the garden, I found out very soon that it was too hot to work outside today!  so I took pictures instead and ducked in to enjoy the air conditioned house.  Here is what is blooming in my garden in  May!

Container Gardening

A garden in an old tree stump.

Driving around town I come across so many ‘commercial landscapes’ – wonderful clean edging, neatly trimmed shrubs,  impeccable lawns, –  It all feels so impersonal somehow.  But add a few container plantings to these landscapes and the entire scene is transformed!  Colorful containers are like a ray of sunshine that attracts the eye and brightens the garden.  The plant combinations are as limitless as the color schemes, even black flowered Petunias and Violas, more on  that here,  which are all the rage.

Petunias, Heliotrope 'Fragrant delight', Sutera 'Gold and pearls' .

Whatever your style, from formal plantings to creative or funky container combinations, now is the time to put them together!  Some of my favorite annuals:  Heliotrope, with its purple fragrant clusters, Calibrachoa in an amazing array of colors, Sutera, a trailing beauty available in pinks, purples and white.  Do you have a favorite annual for containers?

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.  ~John Ruskin

Late Spring

Going over my notes from the last few years, -I keep a gardening diary- made me aware of how late everything is this year.  For the most part, in May of previous years, I have completed all weeding, edging and mulching is under way. This year, with all the wet weather and unseasonal cold temperatures, I am still weeding beds and have not even finished dividing my perennials.

Weeds are prolific this year too!  they love a wet spring.  Nunber one in my “Weed Alert” list  is  garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).  For those of you who have come across it your garden, my advise is, get rid of it immediately!

I found some in an obscure corner of my garden.  As you can see, it has bloomed and has some seed pods which are formed but not mature yet.  Lucky me!  I still will not take any chances and dispose of the top of this plant in the trash!  It blooms the second year.  On the top of this picture you can see a rosette of a first year plant, I pulled that one too.

The next weed on this list is ground ivy or creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea).  Oh, it will go on even after I am gone.  I have come very close to abandoning my commitment to a complete organic lawn over this weed.  Once it takes hold, it goes on spreading and now it rules my lawn. I have done some research and some experts recommend applications of Borax an organic fabric detergent that will not harm the soil of its multitude of inhabitants.  Another thing to consider is that this type of weed is a red flag for an existing  soil imbalance.  Correcting the Ph of the soil by making it more alkaline will discourage most weeds.  I will let you know who wins.  Please let me know if you have had any luck eradicating this weed.

“But each spring…a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” –– Lewis Gantt