April sighed, and stepped aside…

…and along came pretty little May. Guess it’s time to take a look around.

Tulipa ‘Rococo’

This Tulipa, ‘Rococo’ is a gift from Linda. Is it not spectacular?

Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’

I’m happy with the way this new bed is coming together. Right behind ‘Rococo’ is a bronze fennel, beyond that Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ blooms at the feet of Phygelius’ ‘Devil’s Tears’, beyond which you can just make out an Angelica from Ryan (sorry, I don’t have a link for him just now) in a blog swap, a herbaceous peony and some shrubby dogwoods.

long grass

We put off the first mow as long as possible, because I love the look of the long grass.

grass after mowing

Here it is after mowing, cut long (4″), but still looking a little burned.

apple blossoms

After the pears have dropped their petals, along come the apple blossoms. That blue sky really sets them off…well, it just about sets everything off to advantage.

Cardoon foliage

In it’s second year (grown from seed) the Cardoon foliage is spectacular.

Acaena inermis

Acid green ‘Persian Velvet’ and ground cover Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’ get a jolt of color as the red rhody gets underway.

Crape myrtle

Late to the party, the emerging leaf buds of the Crape myrtle capture the light.


My first time growing Lewisia, and it seems happy in a bed where not many things are. As you can see, I’ve been busy planting and have neglected weeding chores…must get to that next.

mystery plant

These little cuties are welcome mystery volunteers. Note the little white flower lower right, and please tell me if you know what this is. This just in from Peter: this lovely little wildflower is Trientalis latifolia, or Pacific starflower. Thanks, Peter!

Agave neomexicana

I finally gave up on having Agave neomexicana in the ground (that’s it…the disconsolate brown blob on the right). In the pot is the pup I separated from it at planting in 2010. Slow and steady, she has a pup of her own now. I see signs of life on the original, so I guess I’ll pot it up and see what happens.

Acer pseudoplantanus ‘Puget Pink’

Pretty as any flower, Acer pseudoplantanus ‘Puget Pink’ is at its very best when the fresh apricot-toned leaves are unfolding. In the background is R. sinogrande, having come through a winter unscathed for the first time.

Lecesteria ‘Alexander’

I spent some time, early on, trying to cut out all of the shoots of Lysimachia punctata ‘Alexander’ that had reverted to solid green, but finally gave up. Has anyone had luck waging this battle on something that begins life with lovely variegation but insists on returning to boring solid green?

Rhododendron ‘Newcomb’s Sweetheart’

Many of our many Rhododendrons are in full bloom now. I will resist dragging you through the whole catalog, instead letting ‘Newton’s Sweetheart’ stand in for all the others.

Saxifraga dentata

The shapes of these leaves are what rings my bell, but the dainty flowers on Saxifraga dentata from Loree (yep, another blog swap acquisition) are fine too.

small purple iris

The first of the iris to bloom, these small purple ones adapt to any situation, so I have them scattered about, where they contribute a brief punch of color, followed by long lasting sword shaped leaves.

R. Oreotrophes and Polygonum bistorta ‘Superbum’

Isn’t it fun when accidental combinations turn out pleasantly? In the foreground here is Rhododendron oreotrephes. The middle sports Polygonum bistorta ‘Superbum’ (I think the proper pronunciation is su PER bum, but it will always be super BUM to me). The green background is provided by Leycesteria formosa.

Happy May Day!

14 thoughts on “April sighed, and stepped aside…

  1. Happy May Day to you too, Ricki…and btw, thank you again for the Phlomis…I just love it beyond belief! I love the last pic, one of my faves…and I’m so jealous of your Acaena…I wish mine was as thick and lush!

  2. Happy May Day ! What a gorgeous day ! Rococo ! I have one of Ryan’s Angelica as well, It’s wonderful , I hope he bring’s more for the next swap…please . I love that ‘superbum / Rhody combo.

  3. Ryan’s Angelica is everywhere: I have one, too! Your mystery volunteers look a bit like Galium odoratum – sweet woodruff. It’s a ground cover I’ve always loved. I’m disappointed you’ve had to give up on Agave neomexicana in the ground as I recently got one from Joy Creek that I was planning to do the same with. Oh, well, I better find another pot!

  4. Fabulous, as always. That saxifraga dentata is so good! Do you have you leycesteria in shade or was this just a series of photos from the morning?

  5. Love that tulip! And everything else for that matter. Your mystery plant is a PNW native Trientalis latifolia I think. It makes a lovely groundcover and has those cute little white star shaped flowers that fade to pink. Happy May Day!!

  6. Scott~I planted three 4″ pots of the Acaena, all in different spots. This was the only one to take hold and take off. Do not lose heart: a little bit of luck, a little bit of magic is all you need.

    Cassidy~Thanks for stopping by and leaving a trail. I just signed up for your emails and look forward to a succulent education.

    Linda~I love that combo too, and it happened without premeditation. Sunday…yes! How early? We’re kind of lazy with the Sunday paper, but I could make an exception for you. Why don’t you give me a call: 503-248-9670.

    Jane~The look is similar, but I have a bunch of sweet woodruff and they don’t compare. Good guess, tho. All my Agaves are now in pots, even though I built a whole berm for them. Oh well, I like pots.

    Heather~That leycesteria is in dappled shade, but the one in town is in full sun. Both are thriving, so there you go.

    Loree~The leaves look the same, but the long flower stems blow that theory. Thanks for taking an educated guess. Sounds like you may have a Friday Surprise (don’t worry, my lips are sealed).

    Peter~*clang*…and the winner is…The Outlaw!

    Mark & Gaz~Thanks! The tulip was indeed a delightful surprise.

  7. Angie~We certainly have plenty of winter wet, but people grow Lewisia in rock gardens around here. I have a rocky berm where this one came through our exceptionally wet winter to perform as you see here.

  8. Lovely garden and lovely photos Ricki. Enjoyed the stroll looking at your current gems. Especially loved the photo of the pear blossom against that blue, blue sky >

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