The previous post dealt with mostly traditional, old-fashioned flowers. This one will cover the native ephemera and Iris cristata, which is native to the US, but not to Michigan, although it thrives here. Oh, yes—and a tiny volunteer rose—I have no idea where it came from. Continue reading “Mostly Native Spring Ephemera”
It may seem brutal, but one of the goals for this garden is minimal or no supplementary watering. I posted what I thought was an alarming picture of a beleaguered section of dwarf Japanese Solomon’s seal, wondering if the problem was too much sun or too little rain, in another post.
It got worse. We started the year with precipitation well below normal—we had relatively little snow last winter—and then we had periods of entrained rainstorms followed by several sunny, breezy days this spring. It was relentlessly breezy, and sometimes hot as well. Continue reading “Is the Dwarf Japanese Solomon’s Seal Dead?”
May is the showiest month in my garden. A lot of flowers bloom, including many natives. Which one is my favorite? The one I am standing in front of at that moment.
Take Dutchman’s breeches, for example. It’s in the same family as bleeding hearts, but far more ephemeral. They started breaking ground the first week of April, were blooming by the beginning of May, and completely gone by the end of May. That’s just two months of the year aboveground.
Somehow, it’s August. Not only that, l spent last week, one of two between-semester weeks off, cooking, paying bills, catching up with my accountant, weeding, mowing, rearranging a few plants, and having meetings with mixed success. I did get a few things done towards a drawing that is, so far, a year in the making.
I knew that my garden was fraying, but it really didn’t sink in fully until I realized that I had completely forgotten about an empty spot right by the back door that I
would have to deal should have dealt with in the spring—of 2020. Last week I realized that spot had taken care of itself. It’s not subtle in bloom.
The purple period marks the transition from spring, with its columbines and Baptisia, to early summer, with its roses and peonies, and irises bridge the seasons.
The planter box at the end of the driveway runs south to north; just north of it, the Alpine columbines are coming into bloom. Right behind them are the rather asparagus-looking Baptisia flower buds; the highly divided leaves to their right belong to the geranium Johnson’s Blue, which is just budding up. The last plant wraps around the outer edge of the entire bed; it’s crested iris, which was at its peak Saturday.
Neither wild ginger nor crested iris are your average groundcover, but both are reliable in shade that is not too dense. They cover the ground quite well, and don’t get too tall. Continue reading “Crested Iris and Wild Ginger as Groundcover”