Tuesday, May 31, 2016

After the Rain

It rained heavily during the night and part of the garden flooded; the part where the water in the basement pumps out. It's a good thing the sump pump works well, but the high water level at the corner of Strawberry Fields reinforces the need to create a rain garden there. I made a start on this venture by researching plants for a rain garden and making a couple of purchases. Before I do too much more, I plan on attending some upcoming master gardener classes on the topic. That's one of the joys of gardening: there's always something new to learn. One thing I know, I must move the stand of phlox that doesn't like wet feet: No wonder powdery mildew attacks them every year.

Phlox in the flooded area needs moving

Joe Pye Weed is on my list of rain-garden plants. I tried growing it from seed but had no luck. I'm glad I purchased one of these 'native' beauties. Ironically, it's too wet to plant anything today.

Joe Pye Weed (in the blue pot) waiting to be planted in the rain garden.

Near the rain garden, in a less wet area, Goat's Beard is shooting up. I love this giant astilbe-like plant. In the bare earth that you can see in front of Goat's Beard I sowed wild lupine seeds that my friend, Katharine, gave me. I do hope they germinate, but it seems we have an enormous number of sparrows nesting here this year, and I suspect they are checking out all my seeds.

Goats Beard Arucus dioicus

I covered the beans and red beets with row covers to prevent the birds from eating the seeds. I'm glad to see some of the bush beans made it. I'm not so sure about the beets.

Bushbeans, snow peas and lettuce.

By June I've often harvested all the cool-season crops like lettuce, but I was late planting this year. In last week's extreme heat I shaded them from the hot sun for several hours each day. They are almost ready to harvest.

Some fresh healthy salads in the making.

Let's take a walk around the garden and see what else is blooming today.

Good Morning, Morning Glory!
I took a similar picture of Allium 'Globe Master' last May. I see there are more blooms this year.
Peach irises in bloom and red peonies about to pop.

The first roses.

The viburnum stole the May show. The flowers are arranged horizontally along the branches -- very striking. Must say this is one of my favorite shrubs.

Vibernum plicatum

As the vibermum blooms fade, the mock orange comes into its own. I featured it in the first picture of this posting, growing at the corner of the picket fence at the front of the house. Another favorite, I love it for its pretty flowers, but most of all for its fabulous scent.

Mock orange Philadelphus coronarius

Mock orange blossoms

 As always, I brought branches into the house.

Mock orange is my choice for June's Dozen for Diana. I'm participation early due to the early blooming of the shrub. Diana at Elephant's Eye on False Bay in South Africa asks that you choose a 'must have' plant in your garden each month. Do go to her wonderful blog -- her May garden is stunning -- and join in the fun!

Continuing our walk around my garden, let's see what other plants are in bloom ...

Spiderwort Tradescantia in the shade garden
Do you see the first bearded iris flower along Bluebell Creek?

The heavy rain filled the pond and turned the water to mud...

... but the frog doesn't mind

The rain dashed down a lot of plants including the rhododendrum at the front of the house. This is another shrub that bloomed early and its blossoms are fading already.

Rhododendron 'Roseum Elegans' blossoms dashed down by the rain.

While many parts of the US are being deluged by relentless, devastating storms with tornadoes and flooding, Pennsylvania welcomed the rain after an unusually hot, dry May. This morning was a little misty; the air felt good after the rain.

And in the morning when the sun returned
to claim the earth the mist surprises, rising
unabashed and clean again to grace the
nascent waiting skies after rain.

After the Rain by Ivan Donn Carswell

I enjoyed looking back at my May blog postings of the last several years to see how each year is different in some way: weather, temperature, plants blooming at different times. The difference, a yearly phenomenon, makes gardening so interesting.

I hope your May was wonderful!
Pamela x

Calibrachoa on the front porch.

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Beautiful gardens Pam! I was great to see you and Duane this weekend!

    1. Great to see you too. I'm thrilled your daughter is going to horticultural school! Hope you can all get up here to see my gardens this summer.
      P. x

  2. Our April and May were very wet, also, and June is starting the same way. Flooding continues. Your frog looks very happy!

  3. Everything looks so lovely in your gardens, Pam -- especially your rhododendrons, even rained on. I wish you luck with Joe Pye Weed; wet but sunny spots are rare here in the Midwest, especially after we've drained most of the wet spots in the open plains. And I'm impressed that you have morning glories already -- you must start them inside, as mine never seem to bloom until a short time before frost cuts them down in fall. Enjoy these wonderful June days! -Beth

  4. We're having lots of rain, not only that but it's still cool too. I do wish summer would hurry up and arrive. Glad to hear your alliums are multiplying, I lost all of mine so planted more last year and they're blooming away now.

  5. I always liked living in PA for how plants grow and thrive. You are lucky you got the rain after a dry May. The garden is beautiful and lush. The rain has missed us for too long to remember. Turf grass is going dormant already. I doubt after all the consecutive years of drought that a rain garden is in my future unless I move to a wetland area.

  6. Beautiful garden. The rain makes it so lush. No rain here though for too long to remember. No rain garden for me.

  7. Pam, your garden looks like a true English garden - warm, cozy, green and inviting. I'll be curious to watch your rain garden project's progress, because I also have a small part of my garden that gets flooded. Good luck!

  8. May was indeed fabulous in my garden, if I do say so myself! Everything was just so perfect, and in full bloom. Some things are starting to fade a bit, but new ones will soon come out to make June just as lovely. I'm envious of your rain, because we are so dry already. Much of Columbus was hit with heavy rain today, but as usual, it missed us. Darn it!

  9. Heavenly! Especially the flowers. I've never seen a peach iris before; how wonderful. And the pink rose! -- makes you wonder at nature, and of course our hybrid creation skills. Then the globe master and mock orange blossom -- words fail me

  10. Veggies are looking good ! Peach irises...never had any, very cool.

  11. My sister has a pump in her cellar, as a mountain stream flows under their house.
    Alliums are one of my virtual favourites.

    Having written my post I have come to include your link. Your mock orange will be happy to join my lemon tree!

  12. It's all so beautiful! Heavenly blue morning glories are one of my faves! Always had good luck with them and some success with moonflowers, too. No luck with the four o'clocks though... Have you ever tried them?