Main focus of my post today is to continue along to list my favourite plants for 2008. Here are my favs for May based on my photo record:
A really reliable perennial geranium for dry shade. I like it best before it blooms - find that the leaf patterning is at its best before it does bloom. Flowers are maroony-purple - not bad - but there's so much else going on in the garden at that point, that it's certainly not a focal point. Not bothered by insects, and comes back a little stronger every year.
A new genus - Heuchera and Tiarella combined for this little winner. Again, good in the dry shade, keeps its bright leaf coloration throughout the summer and really does perk up a dark shady corner. A good little plant.
Hosta montana macrophylla
This is the tallest and biggest hosta (bigger than Sum and Substance), in my garden. It isn't the easiest to find in the trade, and for some strange reason if you do find it, it might not make it into its second year. Not bothered by slugs - is a real show stopper of a hosta. I've had perfect strangers motor across the lawn with their children in strollers to stand and stare at it. It is so big, the pale lavender flowers just barely appear above the leaves. And as you can see, at this time year, when the leaves are so brand new, it really is a lovely plant.
Mahonias are not especially easy plants for us to grow. I've seen presentations from people on the west coast that show that my meager offering isn't really that special. The reason why this is one of my favs is that it is another smallish plant (shrub) 30cm x 30cm (ftxft) and that given proper snow cover and even when we don't have proper snow cover, it is not decimated by the winter wind. And the fact that it puts out nice yellow flowers so early in the year is a reason it made it on to my fav list.
Mount Tacoma Tulips
From the top to the bottom - these tulips were absolutely dreamy. They lasted about 2-1/2 weeks, which was excellent.
The Old Coral Quince Bush
Sadly the buds have been eaten by squirrels this year. I guess they were hungry with all the snow we had. Long bloomer - almost 3-1/2 weeks - lovely coral colour. It came with our house - so it is probably about 50+ years old. It is tucked behind a old ash tree and I enjoy the ash tree bark as a background to these pretty blossoms.
Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby'
A saucy little plant with fine foliage and eye blinding chartreuse blossoms. Yes, it does spread. Yes it does self seed, but who cares. Takes dry shade and is a Euphorbia that comes back year after year - something that can't be counted on for many of the other varieties I've tried.
Dicentra 'King of Hearts'
Beautiful glaucus leaves and good true pink flowers that last almost all summer long. It could be a favourite for almost every month of the summer. Likes shade - handles it dry very well and with those leaves, a really easy one to combine with other little shade lovers. All in all, a great little plant.