Thursday, May 12, 2016

MY GARDEN, May 11, 2016

On April 9 and 23, I posted photos of my botanical garden. We are continuing to enjoy a beautiful springtime in the South. Now, in early May, the roses are in full bloom. They are the stars of the garden. Although they flower all the way until frost, usually in early November, they are never as full, lush, and colorful as in early May. I have numerous kinds of roses, but not many of the cultivated hybrid varieties. These require a great deal of care and really do not thrive otherwise in the hot and humid South where they are susceptible to all sorts of diseases, as black spot. In my opinion, the best rose garden in the world is in Portland, Oregon, the home of the American Rose Society. A couple of years ago, I spent five days on the train to get there. I enjoyed the ride (I am also a train enthusiast, also called a "foamer"--- one who foams at the mouth at the sight of a train), but was really blown away by the unbelievably spectacular and vast rose garden atop a high hill overlooking Portland. All gardeners should have it on their bucket lists. Take Amtrak's California Zephyr from Chicago to Sacramento, then Coast Starlight to Portland.

Here is some of what is in bloom in my garden now:

Red Knock Out Roses edge the central lawn. The two uprights are Italian Cypress. Behind them are two clumps of Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinesis condensatus "Cabaret'). The large tree is elm.

Red Knock Out Roses. Louisiana Palmetto. Grass on right is Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinesis 'Zebrinus').

Spirea is one of the best families of shrubs for the South. Right now they rival the roses in color. This one is Spirea japonica 'Anthony Waterer.' I have more than a dozen kinds of spirea placed around the garden.

In the smaller garden, looking toward the central lawn. Japanese Silver Grass. Tall uprights are Italian Cypress. Ground cover on left is Japanese Garden Juniper (Juniperus procumbers 'Nana').

A hidden refuge in the larger part of the garden. Delightful, especially in early morning and late afternoon.

 Along the edge of that seating area is Rose "Coral Drift," a shrub rose.

Along the lawn on the larger side of the garden. The uprights are Skyrocket Junipers.

A spreading groundcover rose, Each bloom is about an inch across.

Among the other plants in full flower now, the most eye-catching is Clematis 'Polish Spirit.'

Now is the time to enjoy the beauty of the living things all around you. March, April and May are the best months for gardens in the South. June and July will bring the intense sun, heat, and humidity that put so many plants to the test (not to mention people).