Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – May 2016

A bright and sunny albeit wind-chilled day marks this season’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Spring has been wonderful on the Lot this year with transplants having made it through the winter, insects already busily buzzing about, and a few new feathered friends visiting the garden.

Currently the South bed is empty of blooms, the tulips having recently passed. The sweet william in the bed has not quite opened yet. Only a bit of carpet phlox is left behind in the Southwest bed. However, on the East side of the Lot, a pretty vignette has brightened up the corner of the house near the gate.

May Flowers in Gate Bed

The labrador violets are still going, now joined by the purple spear-shaped blooms of bugleweed (Ajuga x ‘Chocolate Chip’). The rock foil (Saxifraga) is blooming like the phlox, but this ground-hugging perennial holds its clusters of white flowers above its mat of foliage. Also blooming in the bottom left of the photo is the pasque flower (Anemone patens). Here is a close-up of the flowers.

Pasque Flower

Next are the white blooms of the foam flower, or Tiarella, accompanied by the neighbor’s escapee bluebells.

Blooms in Fence Bed

Further down the fence, the cranesbill has seeded into the backyard from the two plants near the compost bin. Tucked around the Lot everywhere are forget-me-nots.


Sharing the bed with the new cranesbill plant are the dwarf iris. I did some major shuffling around of this plant last season when I removed some tickseed. I’m glad to see the iris have seemed to adjust well.


And here’s a busy bee on one of the irises.


The brunnera is in bloom…


…as well as the Jack in the Pulpit. Jack invited along some friends this year.


The strawberries which ducked under the fence from the westside neighbor are blooming.


And the same bed brings our second year of blooms from the Geum triflorum ‘Prairie Smoke.’


Last season I divided the solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum Variegatum) in Loki’s bed. The plants seemed to have weathered the winter well and are currently blooming.


Here is the Mt Airy Fothergilla, looking quite stunning in the late afternoon light.


The lilac is blooming near the alley bed.


The Other Half is not the only one who enjoys sticking his nose in the lilacs.


And the last Bloom Day photo is a patch of violas we are not responsible for planting last season, but have been enjoying nonetheless. The violas are an annual in our Zone 6a garden, but reseed for the following season. I’ve let the generations of the little plants wander about the garden for several years now. The recent cold snaps (we had a frost last night) do not bother them.


That’s all for the Lot this month. Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens for links to many other May blooms.

Spring Weeds ID 2

As Spring progresses, the intentionally placed plants are not the only plants growing on the Lot. Here is another installment of Spring Weeds. I’d like to call the sequel The Creeps in honor of this first weed which can drive a gardener (or this gardener at least) to drink. I referenced the handy-dandy An IPM Pocket Guide for Weed Identification in Nurseries and Landscapes to identify these.

Ground Ivy

Known also as Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea L.), this perennial grows low along the ground and has approximately 1″ kidney-shaped to rounded leaves and long leave stems. The plant is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family.


If you can get ahold of the vining portion of the plant, it can be pulled up fairly easy in long strips. The multiple roots along the vine are shallow. Yes, that’s right, this plant has root nodes along the entire length of the vine. Here is a picture of one of said nodes and the root structure.


This ability creates large swathes of ground ivy. It also can spread by seed. The flowers are “purplish blue” and “funnel-shaped.” I usually find ground ivy along the Lot’s fence line, the house’s foundation, and the edges of beds as shown below. I’ve also seen ground ivy inundate a lawn in areas where the turf grasses do not grow well.


Common Mallow

The leaves on this next annual (or biennial) are “rounded with a heart-shaped base, palmately veined, hairy and found on long, slender, hairy petioles.” Common Mallow (Malva neglecta Wallr.) can reproduce by seeds or stem fragments. The flowers have “five white and purple-ringed petals.” This weed was found in a thin area of mulch.


Buckhorn Plantain

Leaves on Buckhorn Plantain are thin and spear-like with parallel veins. The leaves have a smooth margin and all grow from a central rosette. Plantago lanceolata L. has a tall stalk with cylindrical flowers. This simple perennial reproduces through seed and basal shoots. I usually find these on the Lot in bare areas of the lawn and in the dirt of the drives.


Yellow Rocket

This upright winter annual or biennial (Barbarea vulgaris R. Br.). belongs to the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. The weed can survive mowing, but is often found in areas where there is recently disturbed soil and little turf. It spreads by reseeding.


Here is a closer shot of the glossy leaves and distinctly lobed pattern on the more mature leaves.


And this is a shot of the flower head with an interested bee. So, the gardener is giving this weed a pass until the plant begins prepping seeds. I’ll hand pull it then.



This one I am not so sure of since I couldn’t find it yet.


Here is a close up of the hairy leaves.


This is a close up photo of the flower clusters.


If anyone has any guesses, please leave the name in the comments. Thanks!