This month's "garden survey" photos were taken on the 4th of May.
The white and pale violet clematis are done for spring. There may still be a few straggling blooms of 'Fireflame', though. The annual coreopsis has come into full bloom, and the daylilies have picked up the pace. Many of these early-blooming daylilies are new (or newly-flowering) in our garden, this year. There have been a lot of reds/purple-reds and yellows, with what seems like a smaller number of peaches and pinks-- and at least one red-orange.
The roses have mostly finished their first wave of bloom. The KnockOut roses, the pink climber on the west side of the house, 'Joseph's Coat', and 'Peggy Martin' are all looking empty after last month's flurry of flowers. However, the shrub roses with clusters of tiny pink flowers (unknown cultivar) are now putting on their first show.
Though this photo was taken a bit before peak bloom, the 'Daisy' gardenia is currently blanketed in open flowers. 'Double Mint' (the two flanking bushes) have begun to bloom, too. Their flowers haven't opened all at once, and they also appear smaller than the flat, wide-open 'Daisy' blossoms. Both are pretty; it's just a different effect. (More detailed, close-up pictures, another time.)
I've moved some of the pots and jugs of seed-grown plants off the patio and into the flowerbed to make room for new seed trays and to start the process of hardening off the seedlings.
This area is recently mulched. The mulch makes such a big difference in how nice the beds look! Under all this mulch, there's still a lot of grass and weeds. Some of it is probably pretty effectively smothered by the heavy mulch (and some of it is assisted by a layer of cardboard, which the dogs find a little too interesting), but other places will still need some extra attention (more mulch, weeding, or herbicide) later on.
I've weeded this area just within the past week or so, and it needs mulch, next. There are two passion vines on the trellis to the left ('Lady Margaret', I think). One was especially late to emerge, and neither are very vigorous, at this point. I may plant some annual vines on these trellises to fill in where the perennial vines do not.
With the recent return of giant plume ginger (Curcuma elata), nearly all the gingers I planted last year have come back. I'm still waiting for Curcuma 'Scarlet Fever', hopeful that it's just a late starter... I see someone on Dave's Garden who notes that hers comes up in mid-May in her South Carolina garden, so there's still hope. If it ever does show up, I'll probably move it to a sunnier spot, somewhere along the brighter front of the semi-shade garden area.
The new flower bed in the front yard still needs more mulch, but the new plants at least seem to be getting settled in. The yarrow and leucanthemum in particular have bounced right back from their transplant blues.
Eventually, I'll try to edge all this with monkey grass, but that will probably be at least a year or two down the road. I'm not in any big hurry, anyway. Honestly, I'm having trouble keeping weeds out of the monkey grass borders I already have!
I was in the middle of planting the new foundation shrubs when I took these photos. I'll try to take more photos soon, of all the plants in place-- but in the meantime, the one furthest to the left (closest to the front door) is hydrangea 'Little Lime', then there are some Encore azaleas ('Autumn Sunburst'), then (not pictured) in the right-most spot I transplanted an 'Endless Summer' hydrangea from the semi-shade garden, where it was probably too shaded and a bit hidden from view.
The 'Golden Goddess' bamboo is doing well enough. It looks a little skimpy on the leaves, imho, but it's getting taller and wider. With time, it should fill in a little more and provide more screening.
Please ignore the water hose in the next photo. This is not the proposed layout for a new flower bed. (g) (Can you imagine?!) I think everything I planted along the fence last year (or was it early this year?) has come back. However, there are some white spider lilies that aren't doing too well, around the 'Little Gem' magnolia in the corner. I'll probably leave them and hope for the best. There are more, elsewhere in the garden, and I don't relish the thought of digging these up...
If you look closely, you'll see a daylily blooming in the next photo. That's the so-called "ugly duckling" daylily. It's actually had a much less mottled bloom, since last time. I think it will never be an amazingly beautiful flower, but it seems that it won't be downright hideous, either.
I shouldn't have praised the blanket flowers so profusely before. Evidently they heard me, and it went to their pretty little heads. They got drunk on adulation and promptly flopped! Drooped all over the path! Invaded the personal space of neighboring plants! It was embarrassing for all who witnessed the sad display. I tried tying them up with twine and a bamboo stake-- "Pull yourselves together, girls! You don't want the roses to see you like this; you'll never hear the end of it!"-- but that didn't last more than a day. Now I'm propping them up with a tiny trellis that came with a vine, but I'm not sure how long it will work...
The circular bed needs work, but it's pretty far down the list...
This bed looks like a total hodgepodge. I think it'll look better when the plants mature a little and fill out, fill in, fill up the space. That too-red rose is just so sad-looking... If it weren't for the flowers, I'd be tempted to put it out of its misery once and for all, but it's still blooming...
And to close, a photo of the vegetable beds. Or actually, just a photo of the tomatoes, since they're all you can see from this angle. There are squash seedlings and a few other things, but not much to look at, in the other beds. There's an empty spot in the middle bed that I'll probably fill with annual flowers. We'll see...
That concludes this month's garden tour!
We're starting to get a taste of summer, though we've been lucky the past week with cool, dry weather. This morning, though, the humidity was trying to sneak back in. It won't be long before it's serious summertime.