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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Perennials - April through May

(Alchemilla mollis - Ladies mantle, Corydalis 'Blackberry Wine', Athyrium 'Pictum' - Japanese painted fern, Photo taken May 25, 2007 a very late spring)

It's Thursday, which means I teach my adult education gardening class tonight. I am so very excited because today's topic is "Perennials" which is my absolute favorite part of gardening.

Since I don't own a digital projector, my class can only see images from when I was shooting slide film. So just for fun, I thought I'd put some digital images of my favorite perennials up here for all to share. This batch of photos were all taken in the months of April and May.

It's interesting to see how different the blooms times are each spring.

(Unknown Epimedium, Photo taken May 25, 2007)

(Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold', Photo taken May 25, 2007)

(Geranium cantabrigiense 'Cambridge' - Photo taken May 28, 2007)

Calie the wonder-doodle almost decimated this clump last fall while digging out a chipmunk tunnel. I'll be starting over again this year with a tiny piece instead of this nice big clump. Bad dog.

(Iris germanica, unknown variety - Photo taken May 28, 2007)

(Nepeta mussinii - Photo taken May 28, 2007)

(Geranium sanguinium and Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biokova' - Photo taken May 28, 2007)

(Pulmonaria angustifolia 'Azurea' - has no markings! Photo taken May 28, 2007)

(Sanguinaria canadensis - Double bloodroot - Photo taken April 18, 2006 - a much earlier spring!)

(Primula - unknown variety from a neighbor - Photo taken May 2, 2006)

(Brunnera 'Jack Frost' - Photo taken May 17, 2006)

(A corner of the shade border - Photo taken May 5, 2006)

While I've been predicting that our spring isn't going to be as late as last years spring, I don't think it will be as early as the one we had in 2006. This morning we took a big hit with temperatures in the low 20's, that's -4 celsius. I just went out to check the various plant foliage since I plan on digging something to bring to the class tonight. Right now I'm not touching anything. This afternoon I can hopefully dig some Euphorbia and Hemerocallis - daylilies.


Gail said...


Really good plant combinations. I have a bed with almost all my daylilies and needed ideas for different foliage, you know all those pointed leaves...these photos are a big help.

What fun to talk about perennials!


garden girl said...

Melanie, you have such a great eye for foliage combinations. So pretty!

redrahde said...

I just love your photos. Maybe I can find a better assortment of plants this year now that I have a better idea of what they are and what they look like. You are a great inspiration.

Frances, said...

I have been wanting that Jack Frost but have found the price to stop me everywhere it is found. Has it been strong for you?

easygardener said...

Great pictures. Very interesting to see plants flowering together in a particular month.
I love sanguinaria - my single is flowering now and the double should be opening next week.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'd love to be able to sit in on your class, at least we get to enjoy the wonderful things you share with us on your blog.

SA said...

Thanks for some lovely photos Melanie, some great ides for my garden. I have Jack Frost and it is one of my favourite plants.

Frances Jack Frost is a strong plant here in England (but we don't get very hot summers or cold winters) and quickly grows big enough to split, I think it is worth the investment. Hopefully someone will send you a piece.

Sylvia (England)

Rees Cowden said...

It's hard to beat Geraniums for a wide variety of color and growth of my favorites
Rees Cowden

Melanie said...

Hi Gail, when I give a lecture to daylily clubs I always admit that I don't care much for that daylily foliage. That's the number one reason I began looking for other plants with amazing foliage.

Thanks Linda! Often when I shop I just look at the foliage of a plant, not the bloom.

Pauline, I just know your garden is going to be beautiful. Keep adding those perennials. Some will work and some won't. Don't forget to visit some local botanical gardens for ideas on plants that thrive in your zone.

Frances & Sylvia, That Brunnera 'Jack Frost' is wonderful here. A few years ago a fuel truck backed through the bed where it was. Last spring it was spread out a bit so I dug it up and replanted it as 5 different pieces. Each piece grew nicely and I'm looking forward to seeing if they came through the winter now. I really like Brunnera!

easygardener, I have to look around for the single form of bloodroot, I don't recall ever seeing it in bloom.

Robin, I really enjoyed last nights class, I brought in huge perennial clumps and cut them up with a very scary looking knife. It's one thing to look at slides and photos of plant division. It's another thing to have somebody attack a plant right in front of you (something I never saw done other than with daylilies). I even stayed calm when we found a big worm :-)

sisah said...

Pity I cannot take part in your gardening lessons, I reckon it is a bit too far away :-). But I enjoy very much having a look at some beautiful photos of your garden over the years. Perennials are my favorite subject, too!
I fell in love with that roofed gardening bench, with these lovely red climbing plants . Can I have a closer look? I mean you have somewhere in your blog more photos?
Viele Grüße aus Germany