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Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- May 2017

I visited Heronswood over the weekend, and briefly considered posting a few photos of flowers from that garden for Bloom Day, but reconsidered. One of the purposes of Bloom Day, after all, is to keep a chronicle of blooms and their differing bloom periods from year to year, and this has been quite a freaky year.

So, as Sammy J says in Jurassic Park, "Hold onto your butts."

Here are my blooms.

The first California poppy

Silene dioica 'Ray's Golden Campion' -- sown from seeds shared a few years ago by Nan Ondra

'Ray's Golden Campion'

Pacific Coast Iris -- one of the first plants ever put in the ground in my garden here, most of the tags have been lost

I do know this one is called 'Broadleigh Rose'

Planted too close to a Dasylirion wheeleri, which on a windy day does its best impression of a weed-whacker, this Pacific Iris's petals are a little chewed

Newly planted Berlandiera lyrata

Linum lewisii/Blue flax

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'

Centaurea montana (and lady's mantle foliage)

Dicentra 'Gold Heart' -- with one withered heart right smack in the middle, a metaphor for life?

Dicentra 'Gold Heart' -- ignore the humongous pile of gallon pots protruding from behind the shed

Pulsatilla vulgaris/Pasque flower

Vine maple flowers


Dicentra formosa/wild western bleeding heart


Weigela, just starting to flower -- a not very interesting or pretty shrub, but it has pretty flowers the hummingbirds love, which gains it a reprieve from being yanked every year

Geranium renardii -- one of the first plants I ever bought at Dig on Vashon Island

Geranium renardii

Most of my Epimediums are finished, but this little clump is still going

Self-sown patch of Anthriscus sylvestris makes an airy scrim

I don't remember the name of this gold-leafed Brunnera, but the blue flowers seem bluer than 'Jack Frost' -- but that might just be an optical illusion

True Forget-me-not Myosotis alpestris (Brunnera, pictured above, is sometimes called False forget-me-not)

Another airy flower, Saxifrage 'London Pride', flowering from rosettes that I cut off last fall from another clump and simply stuck into the soil to root

Euphorbia self sows all over, into the recycled concrete wall


Melica uniflora

Aquilegia 'Clementine Red'

Clematis blooming still in its pot -- I've already lost the tag, but I think it's Clematis montana

Saponaria ocymoides/Soapwort -- a sweet little perennial that self-sows and is wonderfully drought-tolerant for me

Lewisia, which I cannot keep alive in the ground, loves the great drainage of life in a colander

Interestingly, moss loves the colander too. Here, fruiting bodies called sporophytes protrude from the holes

Sorry -- you'll have to wait a little while to see my photos of Heronswood.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here, where you'll also find posts from other bloggers all over the world also celebrating their May flowers.


  1. I have two of your Pacific Coast Iris happily living in my garden …and 'Clementine Red' !

  2. Your Pacific Coast Iris are always gorgeous as are the rest of your blooms. I copied your Lewisia in a colander idea but need to add more gravel to the soil mix as mine is not very happy. Looking forward to seeing your pictures of Heronswood!

  3. Some great colours all round. Love the iris.

  4. I love the photo of Dicentra 'Gold Heart'. (Didn't see the pots till you pointed them out...). The Lewisia in a colander is a clever idea; it looks very cool.

  5. You've got quite the PCI collection! I guess I shouldn't be surprised though, since you've shared so many at our swaps over the years. You and Jenni both mentioned you're growing your Lewisia in a colander, coincidence or one of you learned from the other?

  6. Spring has most definitely arrived in your garden, Alison! Your post is another testimonial to the difference in our climates - my own California poppies are done, as are my Pacific Coast Iris. The rain drops on your blooms are another indicator - despite half-hearted promises of drizzle and possible showers from forecasters, our rain seems well and truly gone as we embark on our long summer slog. I love the Lewisia in the collander!

  7. So much blooming now in our PNW gardens!

  8. The Pacific Coast iris are absolutely stunning. I bought one at Adelman's Peony Garden last year. I do not think it is blooming yet but I need to check. It is being overwhelmed by a rose above it. The Dicentra is to die for. I need to get one of those. I love the golden campion too. I just planted my first lewisia yesterday.

  9. Wow! So many lovely flowers in bloom. I especially love your Ray's Golden Campion & Broadleigh Rose Iris. My plants are a bit behind this year, but am excited for the little bit that is blooming

  10. How casually you mentioned visiting Heronswood. I've only been once and it was during the awful Burpee era. Oh those Iris !

  11. Oh, I do envy all that spring freshness! I love Centaurea montana and understand it can be weedy where happy, which it most definitely is not here. It looks like it should be happy here, but no. And I'm amazed at the size of 'Gold Heart.' G. renardii is a beaut, another plant that never looked that happy in my garden.

  12. 'Broadleigh Rose' is a stunner! As always I love the California poppies.

  13. Lovely flowers! I especially like the colour of your geranium. Putting the Lewisia in the colander is a lovely idea. Looks so nice, especially with the bird inside it.
    Best wishes,


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