Monday, May 14, 2012

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day May 2012: Gardens in Bloom!

Welcome to my Long Island zone 7 northeastern  garden. Inspired by the quote, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” by Elizabeth Lawrence, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Blogger's Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Gardeners from all over the world walk out into their gardens to note what is currently blooming.

Due to our exceptionally mild winter many of the blooms are way ahead of schedule this year. In early April I was already venturing out into the garden and adding some new members to my woodland section.

The loss of an old maple tree that was ailing opened up a world of opportunity. I decided to give the  woodland section of the gardens a face lift. With more sunlight I was able to add some colorful goldmound spirea and nepeta along with the existing hosta, coral bells, ajuga and azalea (seen left).It has created the perfect combination and the new burst of spring color is such a joy while still being able to maintain a woodland type of setting where I can just venture out and get lost in my garden.

And then there is the iris garden all in bloom. There is a story behind this garden.  My husband and I reside in the home that I grew up in as a child and my mom planted this iris garden about forty five years ago. My mom only had a few gardens and this one still remains as it was long ago and I think of her everytime I look at its lovely blooms.

In one of the more recent gardens (1996) the Azalea are in bloom with our sixteen year old Weeping White Pine in the backdrop.
The Rhododendron are always a welcome sight in spring with their bright lavender blooms. These plants are also nearly twenty years old and very reliable.

In the evergreen and perennial garden the salvia are a bit ahead of schedule and are already very well into bloom. The peony are also forming large buds and are ready to open any day now.

The perennial garden is well into bloom with Lamb's Ear, Hosta, Salvia and Astilbe.  This particular garden changes constantly with every month of the year and there is always something to look forward to.

The miniature Butterfly Bush (center) is doing well in its second season.  Behind it are Gold Mop Cypress, Salvia Maynight, Coral Bells, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Barberry 'Rosy Glow'.

The Weeping Pussy Willow is now developing its foliage and the family of baby birds that reside in it and safe and secure. In the foreground is my globe blue spruce and coral bells.

Here is a close up of the blooms on my Maynight Salvia.  This is one of my favorite perennials.  It displays a purple color like no other and lasts throughout most of the summer.  I get so much enjoyment from it.

The roses are in bloom on this lovely May day.  I added Knock Out Roses to the garden after many years of not having them and they have become one of the most enjoyable aspects of my garden.  They make me smile every time I look at them.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the tour of my May gardens.  The gardens are always changing so there are sure to be more new additions as the season moves along.  Be sure to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for more blooms from around the world.

Happy Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and As Always...Happy Gardening!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese): Feature Spring Flowering Tree

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese)
I started this Chinese Wisteria about fifteen years ago as a series of narrow vines that I had woven together and staked until they grew into a significant  trunk that no longer needed support.  Today this beautiful Wisteria is a focal point in my backyard garden.  Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis 'Chinese') is a deciduous tree hardy in zones 5-10 that prefers full sun to partial shade.  It tolerates a variety of soil types from slightly acidic to slightly basic (pH 6.1 to 7.8) making it very versatile.  It prefers a moist yet well-drained soil and not too much water. Wisteria can be grown as a climbing vine on an arbor or trellis or can be trained into a free standing tree.  Either way it is just as magnificent.

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese)
Wisteria displays fragrant violet-lavender blooms in early spring (April-May) followed by wispy light green smooth foliage and purple-green fuzzy seed pods in late summer.  Wisteria range in height and size from about 15 to 20 feet in stature by 20 to 30 feet wide.  They can be trained to remain smaller like the one pictured here which is 8 feet tall by 10 feet in width or to any height as desired. 

Wisteria does not require much maintenance but should be regularly pruned to maintain its tree like appearance.  Seeds self sow freely or can be dried out and planted to start new plants.  Wisteria can also be propagated from woody stem cuttings.

If  you are looking for a fragrant and colorful spring bloomer then this is the tree for you.  I have enjoyed my Wisteria for may years and look forward to its outstanding spring blooms.

As always...Happy gardening!

Author:  Lee@ A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, copyright 2012.