May Bloom Day

May is a heady month for gardens. Check them out at Carol’s host site for Bloom Day, May Dreams Gardens.

The pale lavender heliotrope is responding to longer and warmer days, sprawling over Oxalis vulcanicola, both perennial in zone 10. The heliotrope looks ratty in winter, when the oxalis billows and flourishes, while the reverse takes place over the summer.


Nicotianas, Salvia chiapensis, and Lysimachia purpurea:


A bigger view, including the white-flowered rehmannia and some gaillardia leaning in. The S. chiapensis is a young rooted cutting and will need lots more space than available in this spot, but it blooms well enough when small and keeps the hummers happy. The dark orange flowers in pots are Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero.’ (Cover the autumnal, dark orange calceolaria with your hand and see how the other colors hold together better with just the lime green, burgundy and gold, but I do like that “kick” of orange. Does the orange go or stay?) The two dark-leaved shrubs are Lophomyrtus ralphii ‘Red Dragon’:


Miracle of Peru, Mirabilis jalapa, is self-sowing throughout the garden and comes true for the chartreuse leaf in the selection ‘Limelight.’


I’m not sure how much longer these Senecio stellata/cineraria will keep on going, but the cannas and castor bean plants are clamoring for elbow room.


And because there’s a big plant sale at the Huntington tomorrow, I’m sneaking in a “Foliage Followup,” the “shrubby” corner. Not very photogenic but some of my favorite plants are these tough, small-leaved shrubs and subshrubs. Potted agaves nearby add some needed heft, but I love the busy work, the fine patterns the small leaves give against the dark green, creeping fig-covered wall. Silvery Teucrium fruticans azureum and the furry, celadon leaves of Ballota pseudodictamnus make a nice backdrop for the cobaea to flaunt its blooms. A variegated solanum, Solanum rantonnetii, weaves through and is just starting to bloom quarter-size purple flowers, and the low-growing golden clump is Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold.’ Solanum pyracanthum is barely visible in this telescoped photo, but its orangey thorns are the blur just behind the potted sotol, next to the dark Canna ‘Intrigue,’ where orange arctotis pools at the base of its snail-chewed leaves. ‘Waverly’ salvia, just visible in the lower left corner, in bloom for months already, will probably need a rest by August. I’ll either cut it back or remove it after taking cuttings, since this plant is getting very woody at the base. But what a mainstay for the hummingbirds.


The Lespedeza thunbergii in the front garden is just beginning to bloom, always an early bloomer here rather than late summer. Gaura is waking up, one overwintering, plus two more bought blooming in their nursery pots. Verbascum, verbena, valerian, scabiosa, lavender, diascia, arctotis for pots and the garden, Calandrinia spectabilis still going strong. The climbing rose ‘Bouquet d’Or’ is in a second flush of blooms. Also in the front garden, the slackers dyckia and hesperaloe have bloomed this year for this first time. Now head over to Carol’s site and check out the amazing diversity of bloom in May.

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2 Responses to May Bloom Day

  1. What loveliness, flowers or not! And I think I like the Lophomyrtus bed without the orange. Sorry Kent.

  2. Denise says:

    I think you’re right about the orange there too. At least it’s in pots and portable.

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