Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Month of May

We have had hardly any rain this spring - almost nothing in April or throughout May. As a result, I set up the sprinkler system early and set the timer to water twice a day. The soil had been bone dry and the plants were suffering. After getting the sprinklers going, everything took off.

The garden is now doing well and I have had to do very little beside general clean up. Its nice to see that the long term plants that have survived over the last 5 years are self sustaining. As a result, I can enjoy the garden more than having to constantly maintain and replace plants.

I was very happy to see that the Sugar & Spice Foamflower (Tiarella 'Sugar & Spice') I planted last spring survived the winter and deep frost. It flowered early this spring and looks very nice adding some nice white flowers to the predominantly green garden (below, center-left).

I did add a couple of new plants to fill in some small gaps. 

Delosperma ('Mesa Verde' Ice Plant)

This is a full sun/part shade plant with star-like salmon-pink flowers that should bloom throughout the summer. As a ground cover for rock gardens, it should do well along the central steps in the small rocky-gravel area. I am concerned that the slugs will eat it up, so I am not sure how long it will last or if it will have a chance to get established. Only time will tell.

Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polyehroma)

This is a tall mounded plant that will produce small bright yellow flowers and then turn reddish in the fall. It does require full sun, so I am taking a chance placing it in the garden, but it is in a location that gets morning sunlight (same spot as last year's Variegated lily Turf Grass, which did not make it through the winter). Not sure if it will make it long term or not - again, the slugs like flowering plants, and there are lots of slugs in the rock garden.

Goldilocks Rocks (Bidens)

I decided to plant this annual along the side of the back garage door - I have had luck placing Bidens here before and they usually last all summer as long as I keep the slugs off.

Earth Angel Hosta (Hosta x'Earth Angel')

This year I am doing something different with the two large red pots. Every year I would spend almost $100 filling the pots with large flowering plants. Generally they looked great but often never survived past mid summer due to slugs liking the flowing plants. So, this year I decided to place two Hosta in the pots. 


These Earth Angel Hosta have large foliage with a blueish-great tint, somewhat different than most of the other variety of Hosta elsewhere in the garden. The large leaves do a good job of hiding the top of the pots. They will eventually bloom with a large pale lavender flower mid summer. So far I think they look nice. They should also last a while, even in buckets. Eventually, if they get to large, I can split them and plan the new potions elsewhere in the garden.

Overall, the garden is doing well. I will be going to Japan at the end of June to visit gardens and castles in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Himeji. As a result, I am not planning on any major changes until after that time. In the mean time, I am going to sit back and take in the view.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chippy Returns

Now that May is finally here, plants are blooming and staring to flower. In addition, my old nemesis has returned - Chippie the chipmunk. I awoke this morning to find him seated on top of the Yukimi lantern, daring me to try and catch him. 

 For now, I will let him go, but if he and his friends eat the roots of my plants, it will be war!