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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for May 2024

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  Such a bad blogger I've been for the last several months, but I'm hoping to ramp back up again. I have plenty of photos but since retirement I have taken a deeper dive than ever into the garden and it's hard to pull myself away .   May is one of my favorite months in my garden-no more frost, minimal rain and the horrible late summer decline is still a couple months off. So let's have a look at the blooms that are showing off this month.  I  was pretty certain I couldn't grow Leucospermums in my garden. They were not seen for sale in garden centers in my area, though I could drive for an hour and find them. Most of the hardiness ratings were about 25c and we do typically get below that a few times in the dead of winter. On a visit to the Ruth Bancroft garden for a members plant sale weekend I decided to give it a try. I bought a quart size of 'Helena' -pricey- and put it in a container. I was happy it didn't die the first winter and my goal was to get a

Aphid Nation

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 We gardeners can rarely control the challenges that seem to appear with every new season . Horrid plagues and pesky critters show up one year and disappear the next . Gophers,snails, spider mites, blackspot-they all come and go -though one wishes they would just go. Weedy afflictions such as oxalis and spotted  spurge are predictable and eradication proof-the only realistic outcome is reduction. There was a lot to like about my garden in 2023 but an unprecedented aphid invasion still leaves me a bit mystified .I fully expect aphids on the roses and sometimes on the hellebores and by June they are usually gone. This year they persisted well into fall . Cutting back the lilies in my front garden this past week I found still living aphids on the back side of foliage that was barely green.  Who gets aphids on Lilies ?? It was a first for me. Every Lily in the front garden was covered in them .   First came the aphids, followed by honeydew and then the sooty mold. I got my box of latex glo

A New Focal Point !

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A few years ago I expanded the footprint of my driveway garden bed . Since then I've been tweaking and revising the contents but the changes made this spring are a pivot from the plan I had in mind last fall. Those of us on small suburban lots are often at the mercy of our neighbors choices and thus far neighbor planted (or removed) trees have been my biggest challenge. It seems like I'm always bouncing around between a shade garden and a sun garden along my back fence line. At least I'm always open to any opportunity to buy more plants.   After close to 25 years with the same neighbors next door, I have newbies and when one has had excellent long term neighbors there's always a bit of anxiety about the unknown. What I didn't expect was a new rather obtrusive focal point/borrowed view for my driveway garden.  Needless to say, screening plants are on the agenda. The first has already gone in Leucodendron galpinii 'Silver Cone' which  was lucky to find at a nu

Bloomday for May 2023

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   After a cold and wet spring, it looks like the weather is settleing into a more normal pattern. We had rain as recently as May 6th and I still have about 75 gallons of collected rainwater that I am useing for containers and newly installed in ground plants. I will likely have to start watering the garden at large before this week is out and it's pretty much the latest I've been able to put off the irrigating for several years.  Here then are just a few of the bloomers in my garden this month.   Cistus 'Snowfire' is always a favorite. Purchased from Digging Dog during my Covid lockdown gardening projects it is a tough plant that has the extra bonus of a bit longer bloom time than others of the genus. Climbing rose 'Sombreuil' is a beast that got a very hard prune this winter , and I managed minimal wounds in the process-it has very robust thorns. David Austin rose 'Golden Celebration.' Topped out right now at about 7 feet, it's giving it's fenc