Come, step into my garden and take a walk with me. Ah May, I’m so glad you’re here. It seemed like the weather would never get warm, and the rain would never stop falling.
I’m not complaining mind you, not about the rain anyway. Oklahomans never complain about rain. In some years, it can be so dry here that’s it’s all I can do to get things to live and grow.
Not this year!
Instead, I’m just trying to keep ahead of the weeds as they sprout and take off. Speaking of weeding, Carol Michel from May Dreams Gardens and I have a podcast episode to help you weed better and faster on the Gardenangelists. It’s one of our highest rated episodes. Look for a future episode on the summer vegetable garden in addition to our weekly podcast. Last week was all about daisies, squash and queen bees.
In my opinion, there’s no prettier insect than the shy queen bee. If you’d like to try your hand at queen spotting, check out Queen Spotting: Meet the Remarkable Queen Bee and Discover the Drama at the Heart of the Hive by Hilary Kearney. It has great information and 48 queen spotting challenges. A fun book for all ages.
In addition to weeds, I have many plants that become overachievers once a little rain falls. They try to muscle out their neighbors and become the only things growing. I’ve been yanking black-eyed Susans, gardens mums like the sheffies, autumn clematis–how I wish I’d never planted that one–obedient plant, and ageratum out by the handfuls. Little bullies, all.
However, enough belly aching. Let’s get on to the blooms. [Click on the galleries to make the photos within larger.]
I love roses still, and in the last two years, after not seeing Rose Rosette Disease for quite a while, I planted several new ones. ‘Desdemona’ is blooming for the first time this year, and she is luscious.
Most of the new roses in the garden are English or David Austin roses. I decided that if I was going to work hard on roses again–and roses do take work–I was going to plant the most beautiful ones I could find. I would then weed out those that are weak. Shovel pruning is difficult but necessary sometimes.
Only the strongest survive in my Little Cedar Garden. It is Oklahoma after all. ‘Boscobel’ waited to bloom until this year too. I am also really pleased with the beginnings of a hedge of ‘Harlow Carr.’
But, it’s not just about the roses in May this year. In fact, because it’s been so rainy and cold the iris are still blooming. Bill loves iris. His mother and grandmother grew them. Most of my iris are from Stout Gardens at Dancing Tree, and I think Bill and I are going to make a run up to there to buy a few more. Not sure where I’ll plant them, but I’ll make room, or he’ll make another bed. Horrors! No more beds, please!
Although I love iris and peonies, I wish they didn’t bloom right when spring storms are passing through. I’ve staked a lot of them this year to help them hold up their heads.
A plant I’ve been wowed by this spring is Salvia nemorosa ‘Rose Marvel.’ Darwin Perennials sent three plants to me to trial last year. This clump of three plants doubled in size in one year and has been blooming for a month. I kid you not. National Garden Bureau has named 2019 the Year of the Salvia. I couldn’t agree more. Salvias in all their forms provide so much wonderful nectar for wildlife, and bloom so long you’d think they were annuals. After blooming just cut them back by half to get another series of bloom later in the season. I love ‘Rose Marvel’ so much I ordered three more plants for the front of this border yesterday from Bluestone Perennials. I also ordered ‘Blue Marvel’ and will plant it at the front of the same border. ‘Rose Marvel’ stands about eighteen inches tall.
Another taller selection of meadow sage is S. nemorosa ‘Cardonna.’ It is truly the most magical color and stands about two feet tall. Bees love ‘Cardonna.’ For more subtle color, try S. nemorosa ‘Blue Hill.’
One more thing, we’re opening the garden on Saturday, May 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. I hope all my local friends will come visit! If you need directions to our home, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll set you up.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope your gardens are blooming with good health too.