Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Hodegepodge

Here is a hodgepodge of what's been blooming here for the last couple of weeks.

The Polyantha 'Caldwell Pink'

A seedling; not tagged, so it could be a combination of anything: Gallica, Alba, Moss... maybe
I need to search harder for that label.. The seeds were sent by a lady with a zone 4 garden.

Louisiana iris 'Sinfonietta'

'Hippolyte', planted in the wild end of the big perennial bed.
'Hippolyte' starts with pink buds, opens to a vivid deep fuchsia color

and then darkens to shades of purple and slate as it ages.

A view of the neighbor's pasture and horses. Those brown skeletons
on the neighbor's side belong to some yellow-flowering legume.

Rosa palustris scandens, foxglove beardtongue, spiderworts
that just finished their first round of bloom, Japanese iris that
haven't bloomed yet, a Knockout rose, and behind that a witch hazel.

Carolina Bush Pea, now almost finished, was in its prime about 10 days ago.

A mecca for bees.

Larkspur next to the vegetable garden

Hardy amarylis, also next to the vegetable garden

Iris japonica by the hay shelter.

Bee resting on Penstemon 'Midnight'

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday ~ Carolina Rose

Carolina rose has been in full bloom for the last 2 weeks and it's lovely.

The bees love it. The whole shrub is abuzz with bumblebees.

While trying to focus on a flower

a bee would invariably appear. Even if you're not a bug person you have
to admit they're adorable. They were buzzing around so fast -- literally
rolling in the pollen -- that I could not get a sharp focus on them.

Rosa virginiana is a lot like Carolina Rose but the stems
are a deep burgundy and I can't detect the lemon-and-rose fragrance
that Carolina has. The fall color may turn out to be better though.

It's also time for Carolina Bush Pea (Thermopsis villosa). It's large, larger than the Baptisias, which gives it a stately quality. I've heard people complain about short bloom time but I haven't had that problem here. I love the yellow spires.

I'm trying to encourage Carolina Rose to stretch itself over the back part of the big perennial bed, as the only thing besides the rose that doesn't seem to mind the pine tree roots is the lush carpet of Bermudagrass that has established itself there. Carolina Rose likes to sucker.

Thank you gail for hosting Wildflower Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The big bed in May

The look of the big bed has changed a lot over the last month.

R. palustris scandens, on May 13th 2010

May 19th 2010

A beauty like this needs to be seen from all sides.

One of the very last bearded iris. Looks like 'Earl of Essex'.

In their place Iris virginica are blooming. Not the best display, since
it was very dry in April and the first half of May, but any are welcome.

Carolina rose

Another view of R. palustris with Carolina Bush Pea and Carolina rose in the foreground.

The Baptisia are finished and the spiderworts have started.

With 'Hansa' and R. rugosa alba

Monday, May 24, 2010

On the fence

There are two swamp roses (Rose palustris scandens) near the gate that guards the grass road which runs between the pastures and down to the creek. On the other side of the swamp roses is a ditch, then a long stretch of 3 rail fencing that runs to the woods.

View from the other side of the ditch. One of the swamp roses is tipped back, a result of swamp sunflowers growing next to the gate too and leaning all of their 8 foot height against them.

The rose fragrance is very strong, but on this rose the oils are very volatile and they soon burn off in the sun.

Next to the long stretch of fence are more roses: a white mystery climber that I started from cuttings from a rose behind Glen Lennox Shopping Center in Chapel Hill, a rose dubbed 'Seven Sisters' that may really be 'Dorothy Perkins', 'Mermaid', 'Lamarque', and a possible 'Dr. Huey'.

Possible 'Dorothy Perkins'

Frances of Fairegarden suggested that the Glen Lennox rose is 'Alberic Barbier' and I think she is right. It all fits: the glossy leaves, the yellow buds, the apple/ tea fragrance, the absurdly long canes. She nicknamed it Killer but I can't call it that, not with Mermaid nearby. You have to give the hellcat her due.

Looks like 'Alberic Barbier' to me. Thoughts?

Update: I posted a link to this post on the GardenWeb Antique Roses Forum and the consensus was that this is 'Alberic Barbier'. It's good to put a name to the face! Frances you have an excellent eye, and I have to say that I thought from the beginning that you were right.

I first saw this rose about 20 years ago when going to the drive-through window at the back of the State Employee's Credit Union. There must have been a series of them planted along the wall opposite the bank, as they stretch on for what seems like at least 100 feet, in the most romantic jumble of creamy white flowers.

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