Start of May

It’s already the second day of May and the iris are beginning to show up as if they mean it. Fading daffodils grow obscured by surging daylilies or, to a lesser degree, iris. Each day a new iris or two blossoms for the first time of the season, and it’s impossible to stay out of the garden, especially on those bright, cool, spring mornings.

Concertina’s aqua beards turn a pretty pink iris into a much more interesting feature.

Clematis have popped out of the ground and some show buds. Although it was not a kind year to hybrid tea roses and most that set foliage before May lost canes due to their impatience and tenderness, some of the hardier roses are showing buds, too. Mme Alfred Carriere is chief among them. The rugosas, David Austin Roses, and hybrid multifloras in the gulch are pretty happy right now, but there was a concern two weeks ago: blackspot from standing water and high humidity had ravaged a few plants until we applied Actinovate bacterial antifungal. One of two Dark Desire roses survives; the other was set back by drought and finished off by frost.

New roses from Heirloom Roses were supposed to go into pots; but we found so many empty spaces from dying roses that nearly all the new ones found spaces in the ground; and there is hope that a few of them will outshine or at least persist better than their predecessors. As gardeners, hope powers our activities. And right now my own garden is full of hopes and dreams.

How does your garden grow?

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