Tulipalooza and other May Flowers
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! For those of you who don’t know, GBBD occurs on the 15th of every month, giving garden bloggers everywhere an opportunity to show off their best blooms of the moment. It is hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
The timing of May’s GBBD is very fortuitous as it occurs at the peak of the tulip season.
This seems to have been an excellent year for tulips and spring bulbs generally, due in part to the cool weather and generous rainfall.
Mid-season tulips are lasting later into the late season, and late season bulbs seem especially luscious.
‘Couleur Cardinal’ has been looking great for weeks.
The same is true for ‘Ballerina’.
And ‘Annie Schilder’.
‘Kingsblood’ is a later-season tulip that has more recently joined the party.
As for late season species tulips, I have discovered that my friends at John Scheeper’s have made an unusual (for them) shipping error. But I’m not complaining!
You may recall I ordered T. clusiana ‘Chrysantha’ and ‘Tubergen’s Gem’. However, it seems that instead of the latter, I received T. clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ instead.
It turns out, though, that ‘Chrysantha’ and ‘Lady Jane’ are excellent partners. ‘Lady Jane’ has a candy cane color scheme, with a creamy white interior that goes well with the rose and golden yellow of ‘Chrysantha’. ‘Lady Jane’ is also a bit taller and starts blooming a little later. Also taking part, though a bit faded, is T. batalinii ‘Red Gem’.
There are three Tulip varieties I wouldn’t try again: ‘Elegant Lady’, ‘Blushing Lady’, and ‘Salmon Pearl’ – all have colors that are too soft to mix with the powerful reds, oranges, and yellows that predominate among my tulip plantings. Also, ‘Elegant Lady’ has very long stems that seem to require staking.
If the tulips have a co-star, it is the Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis), pink and white.
But let’s tear ourselves away from the tulips and check out the other blooms at our place.
‘America’, our earliest Peony, has just started to bloom in the back garden.
Also in the back garden, the Red Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) has begun to flower as the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) begin to fade.
The dangling chartreuse flowers of Wild Currant (Ribes americanum) have made their appearance.
If they’re not full of tulips, the containers are full of pansies (Viola tricolor or V. x wittrockiana), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), and Stock (Matthiola incana).
In the front garden, the Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) continue blooming. The flowers are nice, but it’s the seedheads that are really special and give this plant its common name.
Sadly, we never got a picture of our ‘Donald Wyman’ crab at its peak this year, but there are still a few blossoms that have not been knocked off by the rain.
Finally, this has been a great year for blooms on the Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum), which I have placed right next to the sidewalk so anyone can enjoy its spicy-sweet scent.
What are your favorite blooms in the garden right now?