What's Blooming on the Last Day of Spring!

This is the second year for this peony plant.  It was mislabeled as a 'Bowl of Beauty' so I don't know the name of them.  The flowers are doubles and the outer petals are just a slightly darker shade of pink. 

I love the Evening Primroses.  They were one of the first perennials that I had.  The next-door-neighbour at my first home gave me some.  I like the way the flowers close up at night.  They remind me of big buttercups.  They tend to get a little bit scraggly by the time they have finished blooming, but I read recently that you can trim the top third off the tops afterwards to make them look a little neater.  I'm going to try that this year. 

I planted this 'General McMahon' peony in the fall of 2007, the first year we were here.  This is actually the first time it has bloomed and I'm quite delighted with it.  The blooms seemed to be unusually slow to open.  It's funny how some peonies take longer to get established than others. 

This is one of the two hydrangeas I planted in the front bed this spring.  It's called 'Twist 'n Shout'.  (Great name, eh?)   It's supposed to bloom all season and is one that will be pink in alkaline soil and blue in acidic soil.  The soil in most of our yard is acidic, because we are surrounded by evergreens.   The soil where this is is a nice garden mix though.  I didn't know what to expect - but I love the pink!

Our former neighbours came for dinner last summer and brought some small perennials in a basket as a hostess gift.  One was these Peachleaf Bellflowers. They have come up wonderfully and are the most beautiful and delicate shade of blue.  I've never had these before and they are quite lovely.  They are in the bed by the limestone path, against the house. 

Ghost (Garden) Story

There is a sort of ghost town in my area. It was a large farm area in the early to mid part of the last century. The buildings have all been taken down now and the land is used as an animal sanctuary.

I was wandering around in there in the early part of April and I noticed some daffodils blooming. Nearby, I found some daylilies coming up in the middle of a grassy area. I realized that these perennials were from someone's long-abandoned garden.

I went back the other day, to see what else I might be able to discover and was quite pleased to find the perennials that are photographed below. All of them were just growing 'wild', in the grass, on rocky ledges, and in the case of the dianthus, just growing next to the road and into the gravel shoulder. You would never know where a garden had been.

Isn't it an amazing how incredibly tough these little plants are? I've already transplanted some of the dianthus to my own garden, where I will give it some tender loving care. I will transplant a bit of the other things as well.

I like to think that the gardener who planted these would like that.

What I have photographed, so far, from the top down is:

Dianthus (rockery pinks)
Chives ('Gone Wild')

Some Colour in the Backyard Border

June 9, 2010 - This is what my backyard border looks like today. The 'Brilliant' Oriental poppies, perrenial sage 'Caradonna', and two types of irises are blooming. I don't know the names of the irises, I just call them my 'periwinkle blue irises' and my 'purple edged' irises.

The blue irises and the 'Caradonna' Perennial Sage (Salvia nemorosa)are shown below.

Mystery Plant Identified (Puschkinia)

I noticed this little surprize blooming in a clump of fall asters in my back border this morning.  The wider leaves you can see in the picture belong to the fall asters, but the very skinny ones belong to my Mystery Plant. 

  I wonder if they are some kind of Puschkinia.  The leaves and flower shape are the same, but I've never heard of ones that are this colour.   And the other Puschkinias are long since past blooming in my garden. 

Pretty, though!


Update:  Thanks to Pam, who has a lovely garden blog at http://pamsenglishcottagegarden.blogspot.com/, who looked up Puschkinias and found out that they do, indeed, come in this colour, I'm sure that's what it is. 

It is exactly the same shape and size as the striped ones.  Thanks Pam!

Welcome 'Bowl of Beauty' Peony and Welcome June!

I bought my first book on perennial garden about twenty years ago and it had a 'Bowl of Beauty' peony on the cover.  I've wanted one of these ever since.  They were hard to come by back then, and when I first started seeing them in garden centres, they were about three times the price of the other peonies.

Last spring I treated myself to one, however it must have been mislabelled because it was a different peony.
I tried again this year and purchased this plant just about a month ago.  It is already blooming (a lovely surprize, as sometimes peonies can take a few years to get established) and it is definitely a 'Bowl of Beauty'. 

This is the one that was labelled 'Bowl of Beauty' at the garden centre.  You can notice that the outer pink petals are the same shade of pink as the one above.  It's a double (rather than the single 'Bowl of Beauty') and has a very slightly paler shade of pink in the centre.