By Kristen Smith
April Showers bring May flowers, though it seems May was much more like April this year, with lots of rain and some not as warm temperatures as we had in April. At least we were blessed with some absolutely gorgeous weekend weather – leaving all the rain to fall during the work week. There are so many blooms this month I don’t quite know where to begin.
How could I not begin with the Knock Out® Roses, of course! Pictured here is Double Knock Out® growing aside Pink Knock Out®. These have been in full color for a solid two weeks now and have received many nice compliments. The Drift® roses will be coming on very shortly. Red Drift® is already in bud and bloom and Peach and Coral Drift® soon to follow. I love these compact, mounding blooming machines for their applications along walkways and at the front of borders.
Double Knock Out® next to Pink Knock Out®. Drift® soon to follow.
It is true what they say –plants sleep their first year, creep their second year and leap their third year. Here is a picture of my Clematis ‘Belle of Woking’. I planted her almost exactly three years ago, and while she is not blooming profusely yet (this is the only flower so far), Her tendrils have leapt about 10’ in the air. I’m hoping she will reveal some more blooms next year. She is planted on one side of the trellis along the garage wall. On the other side is a climbing rose, Cancan. She is leaping indeed with high kicks – this is her third year in the ground. I hope next year they will begin to grow together and complement each other in color and bloom time.
Clematis “Belle of Woking”
Cancan is a climbing rose.
I love my shade areas and just wish I had some more established beds in the shade. Carolina allspice has been blooming almost a month now. I love the sweetly fragrant blooms that look somewhat artificial. I can’t say the plant habit is all that attractive and I wish it were in another location other than smack up against the Southwest corner of the house, but its location is close to the back door where its sweet fragrance wafts into the kitchen on a clear breezy day.
I love Hosta! I think if I had more shade I might become a Hosta collector. I have one that is absolutely stunning now. As good as I am with remembering names of all sorts of other plants, I never seem to remember Hosta names –they just don’t stick, maybe it is because of the zillions and billions of cultivars on the market. Ferns are looking good right now, too. I have many Autumn fern around the south side of the house. The area is so poorly cultivated and seldom visited, but one day I’d like to plant more ferns there.
The vegetable garden is coming along. The cherry tomato plant have been planted and staked – they are creeping along waiting for those hot, hot days of summer ahead. Alas, all the old seed I had of carrots, beets, spinach, and parsley did not make it! I waited weeks and weeks thinking that maybe something would emerge. Finally it was time to cut the loses and plant something else. Pepper plants and some herbs went in the ground this weekend. It appears the only successful sowing I had this year was lettuce. There will be plenty of evening salads on the menu soon.
I’m not looking forward to the sweltering days of summer ahead with blistering sunburns and biting insects. These are the days when gardening is saved for after dark when I can cover myself from head to toe with clothing and hope that my neighbors don’t call the cops because I’m rustling in the bushes trying to water, weed, or prune! I hope our last month of spring remains calm and mild.