GBBD May 2011

May is probably the month when there is the most in flower on any one given day, so again I’ll let you see everything via a slideshow, rather than filling this up with everything.  This week the weather has thrown itself at the garden.  From bright sun with a cold north east wind which blew fragile stems horizontal to 2 hot days that felt more like mid-July with temperatures reaching 30°C to today, windy, dull with rain for about 3 hours over lunch time when I’d been hoping that my guests could have lunch in the garden.

Rosa Scepter'd Isle with Allium Rosem and opening Gaura

The above image and the following close ups are all taken of what I rather boringly call the Triangular Rose Bed (I do need to take advice about how to name the borders in a more descriptive, interesting way).

Erigeron never fails to be full of flower

R. Conrad F Meyer

Above pale pink Penstemon began flowering this week and will hopefully now continue until the autumn.

R. Stanwell Perpetual

R. Scepter'd Isle, a very good repeating rose, the plants are still new and small (planted last spring) but are full of flower!

Looking at the above colours, perhaps I should call it the “Pink, Frilly Knickers Bed”; all pastel pinks with just a hint of dark lace edging supplied by the dark purple cut-lace foliage of Sambucus.

Nearby on 2 pillars is R. Pierre di Ronsard – this has been slow to establish but given its NE facing location and the terrible soil its planted in, I think it’s not doing too badly.  It continues the pastel hues.

As I mentioned in earlier posts about roses, here and here my roses are about two weeks early flowering, even Veichenblu is half out and last year wasn’t fully flowering until I came home after the Chelsea flower show.  Irises have such a short season but some seem to flower for longer than others (I need to learn more about how they all perform as they are perfect for the conditions here and I do also like their leaves and the strong verticals to add to the show.

The hazy blue of Nepeta behind the strong yellow of Hemerocallis Sol d’Or with spikes of purple salvia in the foreground and yellow Phlomis all under a Melia tree (I forgot to photograph the blossom on that); you may recognise that it was in amongst these Hemerocallis that Tulips are planted.  This proved a great combination as the Hemerocallis foliage started to really grow just when I needed to hide the ugly dying foliage of the tulips.  I had chosen tulips for planting here that would have toned in colour with the Hemerocallis had they flowered together.  It is a combination I’ll repeat in future years.

Walking around after my guests had gone photographing all that you see here I became even more aware of the fact that while I love many of the individual flowers either for their colour or perfume what really made me happy were the general views; seeing how the plants related to each other – their colours blending or contrasting, their foliage texture adding depth and the blurring of colours together not just in the images but also in reality because of the movement caused by the wind.  Please click on the image below to see all the flowers in My Hesperides Garden this May GBBD.

Happy GBBD to everyone and enjoy this very special time of year; visit Carol at Maydreams, AND IT IS MAY so she doesn’t have to dream any more, to nose around what’s flowering in other parts of the
world.  Thanks for hosting GBBD again, Carol and I hope this May is all you dreamt of during the long winter.

&©Copyright 2011
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Content created by Christina for
My Hesperides Garden.

34 thoughts on “GBBD May 2011

  1. Looks wonderful. I think you are right about the relation of plants to one another. Nice to see penstemon.I like them but won’t be planting any more here. All except one Sour Grapes perished in the cold winter weather. Pierre De Ronsard is a lovely rose.

    • Thanks Linda, most of that pale pink Penstemon I took cuttings from grew into healthy small plants which I’ve already planted out. your ed ones didn’t all strike but the ones that did have made nice plants, I hope they’ll flower this year!

    • Which rose do you mean, Anthony? Most of my roses are perfumed but all different – People smell perfumes differently too, so my husband thinks the yellow rose (Rimosa) on the pillar smells really strong whereas I think its delicate!

  2. What lovely roses Christina, thank you for that May tour of your garden. It certainly must look beautiful, even though the month appears to be throwing all types of weather at you.

    • It is a good rose, delicately perfumed and it flowers and flowers. I think I’ll accept your suggestion for the nameof this bed. you’re so right about micro-climates too that you mentioned in your post. Christina

  3. Thanks for your May wishes. This May has turned out to be full of blooms…and foliage…probably due to the rain we have had this spring. Your blooms are gorgeous. I like a lot of your combinations…very nice. Happy GBBD Day!

  4. Just stunning! All of your roses are lovely – and I really like the combo you have in the first photo. Thanks for sharing and happy Bloom Day!

  5. Christina, I replied with info on the native US wisterias. In May I too love the way the plants look together instead of the individual plants. But what I love about February is focusing on the gift of each individual flower. I am not sure which I like better. Your gardens are like tapestries especially the grass with a few bright colors sprinkled in. My gardens have such creative names as “The Strip”, “The Production Beds”, and “The Meadow”. I have tried to change the names but it doesn’t stick. Carolyn

    • Thanks for the info, I looked them up and they seem to need cooler, wetter conditions than the Asian varieties so not so good for my garden but certainly something to keep in mind for clients with different situations. Christina

  6. I think that plants individually can be beautiful, but in combination, taking in to account flower colour, shape, leaf colour, shape etc, you can begin to create beautiful pictures that change as you move around the garden. I think that is the real magic of gardening – it is certainly what I am striving for more and more. So I love your pink frilly knickers border, despite not being a pink and frilly person, but I think it is the lacy dark foliage of the sambucus that really makes it sing. I also love the way you are combining roses with other perennials. And of course I particularly love that penultimate combination – can’t think why!

    What is the dark purple rose in the fourth picture in your slideshow? Its a beautiful colour. There again you have so many lovely plants, impossible to comment on them all!

    • Hi Janet, I’m not really a frilly pink person either but somehow it works in this border. The dark rose R. Tradescant. It has a wonderful perfume and ‘dies’ rather beautifully too. It never did well in my garden in England and there I bought the plant directly from David Austin. It may be a rose that likes the heat to harden its wood. I usually plant my roses in Three’s as D A advises. Christina

  7. Oh, so many lovelies you have blooming now! I can’t imagine any better combination than the Rosa Scepter’d Isle with the Allium Rosem and Gaura. Just perfectly beautiful. I am in love with your pale pink Penstemon and Stanwell Perpetual too.

  8. Sigh – beautiful… smellovision would be good for the rose, please will someone find a way of incorporating scents in blogs?

    I love individual flowers, but I’m with you – it’s the way they work with others, and against different backdrops as you move around. You can only do so much planning, I feel – there are always unexpected delights that you hadn’t anticipated. (And not-so-delights: I was given a japonica that really howls against a particular wall. Must move it..)

    • Thanks for your positive comments, Kate. You are so right that despite good planning (if we’re lucky) the joy of walking around the garden is to find the happy accidents and then copy or extend them and try to move quickly to irradicate the not so happy accidents. Christina

  9. What an amazing garden you have and with such a wonderful variety of plants growing in it. It must take a considerable amount of work? And I think that you should definitely go with the “Pink, Frilly Knickers” bed name!

    • Thanks Jason, it is quite a lot of work but getting easier as the garden establishes. My concept is that if you cover all the ground with plants there’s no space for weeds. Christina

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