Garden Blogger's Bloom Day May 2018

It's been awhile since I did a Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post, and I may have chosen the worst month to jump back in. The garden is just exploding with blooms and it's turned into a monster of a GBBD post, even with a few shots taken to include multiple plants. I could have combined these photos into sets of collages, but I barely even have time to take the photos, pick which ones to use, and write this post. And I could have spent that time pulling weeds! How do people do this every month? Oh, maybe by not trying to photograph every single different plant blooming each month? I may try that next month, but for my re-entry into GBBD, hosted by May Dreams Gardens, I'm going all out. Sit back with a cup of coffee (or a beer or glass of wine, depending on when you're reading this) and enjoy.

Again, this is an absurdly long post. Wonders await, but proceed at your own risk.

Primulina 'Patina'

Phalaenopsis Orchid World 'Bonnie Vasquez' in front with a NOID white Phalaenopsis in front, which was my very first orchid.

'Frozen in Time' African violet. I love the green around the edges!

Hoya 'Minibelle'

Streptocarpus 'Purple Panda'. I am so enamored with this plant right now.

Epiphyllum hybrid.

I had to add a second photo of this plant, because the flowers are as big or bigger than the plant itself. That's a 6-inch pot it's in, for size reference. No wonder it dropped the other 20 or so flower buds it started to produce.

Tillandsia leonamiana

Bletilla ochracea

native Trientalis latifolia mingling with Alyssum spinosum.

Penstemon cardwellii

First of the Lupinus sericatus seedlings to open, and it's...white? Hmm, its parent was purple...

'Mount Saint Helens' deciduous azalea

Hutchinsia alpina

Lewisia cotyledon and the first of the Veronica (Parahebe) perfoliata flowers.

Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold'

Narcissus 'Baby Moon'

This shade area is absolutely amazing right now. Rhododendrons, a Kurume Red azalea, an heirloom peony, and volunteer Lupinus rivularis create a cacophony of blooms. I'm in love with the lupines. There are more in other areas of the garden and they are my new favorite filler.

Close-up of the family heirloom peony.

Rhododendron 'Medusa'

Saxifraga x urbium 'Aureopunctata'

First bloom on this Rhododendron decorum from the RSBG. It smells wonderful, though I'm at a loss to describe it. As excited as I am about the flowers, I think the red bud scales on the new growth are just as pretty.

Epimedium wushanense

An example of some genetic variation in the native Iris tenax.

Geranium macrorrhizum

Ajuga 'Black Scallop' amidst Carex comans

Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Girard's Rainbow'

Andromeda polifolia 'Blue Ice'

Primula bulleyana and native Tiarella trifoliata

Gallium odoratum

The sepals of Penny's Pink hellebore have deepened to dark purple since the actual flowers have faded. Primula veris Sunset Shades in the background is fading after the recent heat.

English daisies, Bellis perennis, are a sweet, benign little lawn weed that makes its way into some of the beds.

Saxifraga (London Pride Group) 'Dentata'

Rhododendron 'Golden Lights', a deciduous azalea

Finally got a good photo of Wulfenia x schwarzii. Only took me a dozen or so tries.

Iris japonica [small form]. Not many flowers this year. I don't think they liked that late freeze in February after such a mild winter. 

Rhododendron 'Fastuosum Flore Pleno'

Ribes speciosum

Crinodendron hookerianum, almost there!

Oxalis oregana 'Klamath Ruby' (I think)

Rhododendron 'Emma and May'

Native Sedum spathulifolium and a Saxifraga x arrendsii hybrid.

This is one of my favorite vignettes in the garden, along with the shade garden shown earlier. Here, red Rhododendron 'Carmen' complements the foliage of Corylus 'Red Dragon', blending into purple Rhododendron impeditum, a beautiful blue volunteer Aquilegia, grey-leaved Calceolaria arachnoidea, golden Hebe ochracea 'James Stirling' dotted with white flowers, Lego-blue Lithodora diffusa in the very back, and various shades of green. 

Close-up of those lovely little flowers on Hebe ochracea 'James Stirling'

Also in the vignette above, but only barely visible if you know where to look, the tiny yellow flowers of Corokia cotoneaster 'Devil's Smoke'

Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (Eternal Fragrance)

Veronica 'Christy'

Chiastophyllum oppositifolium in bud.

A wonderfully fragrant medium sized bearded iris.

tall bearded iris

Pacific Coast Iris

Oddball California poppy, unsure it it wants to be a flower or another plant atop a stem.

Choysia 'Aztec Pearl'

Achillea I forgot to record the name and now I have no idea

Potentilla fruticosa 'Summer Dawn' with Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine' in bud in the background.

Ceanothus dentatus 'Bluette' impressed me by surviving the terrible winter of 2016/2017 as a tiny plant, barely more than a cutting. I should really move it away from the path while it's still small. Definitely didn't leave room for a 6-foot spread!

Ceanothus gloriosus 'Emily Brown'

Lavandula stoechas with Euphorbia cyparissias 'Fen's Ruby' in the background.

Cercis canadensis

Ceanothus 'Midnight Magic', almost buried by seedlings of Gilia capitata.

Ceanothus 'Dark Star'

Linaria reticulata

Iris 'Multiplicity', a Pacific Coast hybrid
Helianthemum 'Cheviot'

Iris 'Wildberry Shortcake', or as friends of the breeder like to call it, Rizzleberry!

Leucothoe davisiae, an Oregon and northern California native.

Globularia cordifolia with Lithodora diffusa 'White Star' in the background.

Iris 'Burnt Sugar', another PCI.

Grevillea x gaudichaudii.

Sneaky Cistus 'Snowfire' started blooming on the side facing the wall.

First time I've managed to keep rosemary alive long enough to bloom. I've always had awful timing with bad winters before. This is a cultivar called 'Foxtail'

Siberian irises

Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant with another Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold' in the background.

Thymus 'Fragrantissimus'

And finally (FINALLY), the very first flowers on Glumicalyx gosseloides

Well, I don't know how you feel after looking at all that, but my brain is fried after putting it together.


  1. You're right , that is a lot of blooms ! Wonderful ! I didn't get around to posting my GBD photos , I was too busy trying to get all the plants I grew from seed in the ground while it's cooler out.

    1. I planted most things the week before the heat wave. I only have a few things to plant (for now) but oh, this took a lot of time!

  2. I've missed your posts and you've sure come back with a flourish! Wonders indeed. As for the beverage choice, it's five o'clock somewhere, right?

    1. And if you're a stickler for local time, you can always make your coffee Irish!

  3. As your collection is diverse and your garden is still in the process of developing, I think a long Bloom Day post is entirely appropriate. (Of course, you may wish to consider the source as I'm prone to excessively long GBBD posts myself even though my garden is somewhat more established.) I'm completely enamored with that Iris 'Multiplicity' and will be on the look out for it as I seek to expand my own collection of Pacific Coast Irises.

    1. I wanted to put my photos in collages the way you do to make this post shorter, but I just didn't have the time or energy to decide how to group and arrange them. 'Multiplicity' is really a gorgeous one. Hope you can find it!

  4. Go big, or go home! There are people who don't photograph every flower, but to that I say, what's the point? It's Bloomday for godsakes! The point is to document.

    Love the look of your Erica arborea in flower. I think mine's in too much shade to ever flower, but it's alive and that's all that matters to me. Glumicalyx gosseloides....hmmm, wonder where mine went?

  5. But I am home! Still, 76 photos is A LOT! And I actually left a few out. I feel like I'm in danger of losing my foliage gardener card. Must manage a Foliage Follow-up post this week to compensate! I love Erica arborea so much. The flowers smell like honey, too! They are also loaded with pollen. If you bump into one, it releases a cloud to put any plant to shame.

  6. I heeded your advice (warning?) and packed a lunch before I started watching :-D

    I love how you are still in the early stages of a young garden, so we can follow along as things will fill in with each passing year. May is the month to absorb this explosion of colors and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I love the look of the purple Iris along the dry creek bed, and am enamored by the deep burnt-yellow of 'Multiplicity'.

  7. I admit to being one of those that doesn't document every bloom! But the BD reports are great personal references, so I regret when I skimp or don't do them at all. What incredible botanic riches you've got going! I've always wanted to grow chiastophyllum. I see that 'James Stirling' hebe occasionally at local nurseries and am always tempted.

  8. This time of year is just so exciting for those with green thumbs. You've got some really great shots here. The purple panda is beautiful.


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