Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Day A Day Late

I went out into the garden yesterday morning with the camera and took almost 100 photos, fully intending to put together a May Day post. But after coming back inside, uploading the photos onto the computer and making a quick mental note that some of them were passable, I went right back outside and played in the dirt until the figurative streetlights came on.

So here are my pictures a day late. I really don't want to waste a single minute of our wonderfully abnormal sunny spring weather, so I'm going right back outside as soon as I finish this post.

My Grevillea 'Poorinda Leane' flowers have finally opened.

Aren't they lovely?

Armeria maritima is a favorite native perennial

I've pulled quite a few baby paperbark maples out of my front bed where the new tree was planted this past fall. I'm tempted to pot this one up and see what comes of it. That red is hard to resist.

Centaurea montana

Rodgersia foliage and the beginnings of a flower, against the out of focus blue-green foliage of a cardoon

Red fern and chocolate foliage of a Cimicifuga

Native Delphinium

One of my goals when I revamped the back bed was to get a self-sowing patch of foxgloves started. So I've planted some that will flower this year and drop their seeds...

...And also started some under home-made strawberry container plastic cloches, which will make rosettes this year and flower next year, and with any luck will keep the cycle going.

They've been sown all along the fence

Serviceberry is flowering profusely. I'm thinking this year I may pick them and try making jam, since the birds seem to ignore them.

More Trilliums are flowering

Some of the foliage is quite captivating too.

I thought my Devil's Club had died over the winter. I planted it about this time last year, and then neglected to water it. But it's definitely alive, there in the middle of all the weeds and Douglas fir debris.

You can see how it gets its common name with one look at the stem.

A self-sown Euphorbia along the edge of the stream

And a self-sown Corydalis also at the side of the stream

Rhododendron 'President Roosevelt' is new, bought during a weekend excursion with Peter, The Outlaw Gardener to Furney's Nursery. You can read Peter's post about that nursery trip here.

I love the opulent red flowers

The variegated foliage really makes this Rhodie special.

Last year the forget-me-nots were in the brown pot. Now they're all over the ground in front of it, which is fine with me.

Cerinthe retorta, bought a couple of years ago from Annie's Annuals, has self-sown modestly.

Lewisia, planted in a colander, has exactly the well-draining soil it likes. I thought last year when I bought it that it was flowering so well because it had been pumped up with ferts. But it's doing just as well this spring.

I moved my Podophyllum pleianthum last fall, and it's much happier in its new spot closer to the front of the bed.

Looks like it even has a flower starting

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit) is always a late comer. It has just popped up.

And Shhhh! My Primula viallii has apparently decided it isn't dead yet.


  1. You sure have a lot more in bloom than we do up here, everything looks great! I think my favorite of what you shared today is your new variety of Rhodie..just stunning !!

  2. It all looks really great! I am suffering from Alison withdrawal (sounds better than the other way around, right.) Anyway, Next Saturday, May 11 is the first Northwest Perennial Alliance group of three gardens in the south sound area. Rochester, Olympia area & we could also hit Bark & Garden while we're there. Hmmm. I've been really bad and have neglected the garden way too much this spirng. Oh well, Saturday is coming!

  3. The blooms are beautiful. I have nothing but a sea of it's nice of you to share yours!!
    Love the idea for using an old plastic berry container as a cloche. I'm stealing that idea.....thanks!

  4. OHMYGOSH, the garden looks fantastic. Beautiful collection of plant and photos.

  5. You have a nice selection of plants there! And glad to see another gardener with a Devil's club growing in their garden, a seriously spiky and lush plant at the same time!

  6. I so wish I'd left a little room somewhere for Centaurea montana...every time I see it in someone else's garden, or a nursery, I'm so smitten by it!

  7. Beautiful photos Alison! I know what you mean about the weather and neglecting everything else. I have been out in the garden everyday possible from early until's just so wonderful I can't waste a minute of the sunshine.

  8. Lots going on in your garden, the 'President Roosevelt' Rhodie is beautiful, I'm a sucker for variegated foliage, plus the shading on the blossom. I have a Cardoon that is coming up like gangbusters for the 3rd year. I didn't know they were that hardy. Did you eat any of yours? I tried some without blanching it and it had the usual artichoke kind of flavor but I didn't like the texture much. I haven't tried starting seeds outside under a little cloche, do you just do that for spring sowing or fall as well? Is it hard to transplant the little seedlings?

  9. Very surprised to hear that the birds ignore the serviceberries. That's definitely not the case here. Love that native delphinium.

  10. I can certainly see why you came away with 100+ pictures of your garden. Just wonderful babies emerging, pretty blooms taking front and center and tiny seedlings under the strawberry cloches (very clever) -- your garden is getting ready to explode!
    I have foxgloves reseeding, I like that they come up places that other plants just don't take hold.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.