Spring’s end is close

Undoubtedly, May is this garden’s peak season, which is likely to be true in countless others where spring flowers predominate. There are interests in every other season, and June is also a delight, but in an unusually warm week and as several blooms fade the onset of summer seems very near. I am in no rush.

Flowers of a snowball viburnum, azaleas and Venus dogwood seen from the library window. All will soon fade.

On this hot afternoon shade is appreciated, from the forest, and from dozens of Japanese maples and smaller understory trees planted in three decades. The garden is protected from gusty winds, but today a cooling breeze filters through the trees as I stroll, stopping to observe the latest blooms of sweetshrubs (Calycanthus), and to pull a few of many thousands of maple seedlings that have begun to emerge.

Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’, with flowers considerably larger than the native sweetshrubs.
The path above the circle patio is bordered by Japanese Forest grass, hellebores, and hostas beneath a canopy of a large Mary Nell holly and a stewartia that will flower through much of June.
One of several clumps of terrestrial orchids (Bletilla striata) originating from a single clump that has been divided to move around the garden, but also to share with our sons.
Camassia growing up through Sun King aralia. Soon after the white flowers fade, Sun King will grow taller to hide the faded flowers and foliage.
‘Little Devil’ ninebark (Physocarpus) struggles in damp ground in the lower, rear garden, but there is no drier space available for a shrub, even this dwarf version of our native ninebark.
Siberian irises flourish in damp ground in the lower, rear garden. After flowering the upright foliage remains attractive.
A brightly colored contrast between this iris and the yellow Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’).
Gladiolus trisits ‘Buttery Cheeks’. Other glads are temporary occupants, but I hope this one stays around.
The first of several peonies to flower. Often, rain soaked flowers sag to the ground, but without rain all remain upright without staking.
Arrowwood viburnum
Palibin is the last of the lilacs in the garden. Others faded as shade increased, but Palibin survives beneath the canopy of a redbud at the rear corner of the garden where is rarely seen.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. The English Gardener says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for the tour. May is also a delight in my central Va garden. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you post a photo of a peony, one of my favorite flowers.

  2. Lovely. My Palbins flowered very early, but then they are in a very sunny location. Where can one source calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ please?

    1. Dave says:

      I see Hartlage Wine offered by growers only occasionally, so online sellers are the most reliable source.

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