Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden Debuts, Old and New Favourites

There's lots that new and blooming for the first time in the garden. First up is the epimedium that was added to the front-yard shade garden last spring. There were no blooms last year, so I was absolutely thrilled to see the flowers this morning.

The blooms of "Orange Konigin" are a delightful coppery-orange colour. They are so small that it was difficult to get a good photograph of the flower. Epimedium are great plants for dry shade (lucky for me, 'cause that's where I've planted them). As a bonus, they tolerate drought. In a few years, the sprays of flowers should create an orange haze above a good mound of foliage.

Sticking with the miniatures, daffodil "Minnow" is in bloom. At only about 10 inches tall, this is a diminutive daff. The bloom is only about the size of my thumb.

It is very possible that "Minnow" is in fact "New Baby" but I won't know for sure until "New Baby" blooms. Whatever it's name, I love it.

Tulipa Turkestanica is blooming for the first time. I am so glad I planted this species tulip. The squirrels haven't touched it and the blooms are spectacular in a carefree kind of way. It's a bloom that looks great without looking like it's trying to look great.

Sadly, Turkestanica's companions have yet to make an appearance and I'm beginning to think they might not bother. Tulipa Saxatilis and "Little Beauty" are nowhere in sight.

The smallest new bloom in the garden is Bishop's Cap or Mitrewort. I picked up some Mitella Diphylla at a native plant sale last spring and immediately divided it into six plants.

While it was difficult to get a good picture, these plants are really very charming. The flower stems stand tall with confidence.

The Tete-a-Tete daffodils are new to the garden and already a favourite. How could I not love these? They have been blooming for three weeks already! They look great on their own but next to a pulmonaria they look outstanding. I have grown pulmonaria for years and never give it enough credit. Now that I've seen it with miniature daffs, I think I have a new favourite combination.

The serviceberries are blossoming. Serviceberry has been a favourite for a few years now. At one time, it was one of the garden's earliest bloomers. Now, it has taken its place in line behind some of the flowers mentioned above. Still, I love it for its creamy white blooms that lead to a colourful June display and an even more colourful autumn display. In June, bright red berries against deep green leaves make me think of Christmas. And fiery orange fall colour make this shrub unforgettable in autumn. I love serviceberry.

Bloodroot is relatively new to the garden but a veteran compared to some of the bulbs debuting this spring. It has such a pretty bloom and the foliage is very impressive (sort of like an extremely large fig leaf). My only complaint is that I can't get enough of it. There have only been a handful of blooms this year. I want a colony. I think dry weather is certainly a factor.

I am happy to say that the garden has had something in bloom since the end of March. Just as one bloom is fading, another is taking up the slack. So, I've come to realize that "Succession Planting" is not a myth. You really can have plants bloom one after the other so that there is always something of interest. It has been a great start to spring, with old and new favourites making the garden come alive.


Helen said...

Hi, Irena, Don't you have a great selection of plants! So many, and all of them interesting species.

I believe 'Minnow' is one of the highly fragrant daffs, so if it smells particularly sweet, perhaps that's it.

How is it going with the newsletter?

Salix said...

Lovely photos.
The early bloomers and the appearance of leaves on trees and shrubs makes spring a favourite of mine. Looks like you are a couple of weeks ahead of us.

Garden Lily said...

Irena, I hope you are back to full health. What a delightful sampling from your garden. I too love the succession of blooms, it gives us an excuse to go out in the garden every couple of days looking for more surprises.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena - thanks for a lovely tour of your plants, you've got some gorgeous ones there! I've never come across Serviceberries before - but they are SO sweet!

I have lots of pulmonaria teamed up with daffodils and underplanting a yellow flowering shrub which I have completely forgotten the name of ...and I'm not going out to look because it's chucking it down! (must be my age!)