Susan Harris
All about gardening the eco-friendly way, by Susan Harris and 22 other garden writers and experts.

Blooming in May

May 15, 2010 · 8 comments

Happy Gardenblogger Bloom Day, and this time I’m going to play by the rules by showing you what’s actually blooming today in my actual garden.  Here we go.

Salvia ‘May Night’ (above left)  is super-common – because it does so well here.  On the right, the spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) may be considered an obnoxious weed by some, but with the right care it’s a winner.  The key to making this native plant garden-worthy is to whack back its foliage after the first bloom, when the foliage looks like crap.  Then new leaves appears and the gardener is happy once again.

Speaking of weeds, here are two more of my favorite garden plants that some consider a weed.  First, creeping Sedum acre is at its bright-yellow best.  It arrived here as a weed and does so well, I chose it as one of my top two lawn-replacement plants.  The Evening primrose blooming in pink is another volunteer.  It does seed freely and because I wanted it, that’s a good thing.  Free plants and plenty of ‘em!  Also shown here in the photo above are some lambs’ ears and the lovely ‘Ogon’ spirea in chartreuse.

Above in my adopted garden (next door) is a short-lived but stunning pairing of Siberian iris with peonies.

Above are two of the lawn-substitute groundcovers in my front yard at their bloomingest.  On the left is creeping cinquefoil and on the right, a Thyme – not sure which.  (Sorry – I moved them too many times to keep track.)

Also in the front yard, anchoring a corner quite nicely, is the Spirea nipponica ‘Snowmound’.  It blooms after the more common bridal wreath-type spirea and in a more angular, less fountainesque shape.  Both are do-ers and as close to no-maintenance as plants can be.

My Floral Carpet and Knockout roses are all blooming and they’ll keep it up til Thanksgiving or so.


1 Kathy J, Washington Gardener Mag May 15, 2010 at 5:52 am

Am surprised folks have a problem with Spiderwprt – afterall, no native can be an agressive weed. can it? ;-) I love the look of it though – the triangular flower-face is very charming.

2 Frosty May 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

A while back I believe you wrote about Baptisia being difficult to transplant. That had me worried because I had planted seeds collected from downtown Philly. I thought I was just going to move them once I had a spot picked out. After reading your article I decided to moved them which happen to be early winter or late fall All the foliage was dead. Right now the the plants look good. There only about 3 or 4 years old and not very large, but just like poppies should be moved in the fall I think if you move baptisia after it goes to sleep for the winter. Just thought I’d share.

3 Ron May 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

I love spiderwort! Spring mulching seems to have all-but-eliminated my evening primrose, however.

4 Lisa May 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I love spiderwort and evening primrose! Strangely, I associate them both with Alabama.

5 Jan Doble (Thanks For Today) May 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

Just wrote a couple of posts about my new Tradescantia virginiana, along with a yellow-foliaged variety, “Sweet Kate”. They were given to me by another garden blogger when we decided to ‘meet’ in person. What a nice way to connect with others. When Janet gave it to me I’m sure she wasn’t thinking about what an ‘obnoxious weed’ it is:-) But I can see how that could happen, in certain locations. Luckily I have just the right spots for it along the edges of my fence surrounding the yard., where it will help to be contained from the rest of the yard and garden by a stone border. So far I love it both varieties.

6 Kari Lønning May 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for posting the photo of the creeping cinquefoil. It is TAKING OVER my back lawn. Initially I thought it was sort of nice … it was growing the grass was having trouble. Well, it has overtaken the lawn and is overtaking the adjacent gardens. (Readers beware!)

7 Sylvana May 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I do have a problem with spiderwort. When I first moved to my house, I let it grow because I thought it looked pretty. Then it started to take over my garden. It seeds like crazy. And it is so hard to weed out, especially in my irises which it has nearly choked out a couple of times. It breaks so easily and just regrows from the base. And once it is old enough, the root ball gets so tough, I broke two trowels trying to get a clump of spiderwort out of my garden! I still think it is pretty, but I only enjoy it in other people’s gardens. Any I find in my own get dug out immediately.
I have tried a couple of times to get a patch of evening primroses growing, no deal. Yours are so beautiful in such a nice big clump.

8 Bonnie May 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hi where can I find evening primroses NC area haven’t seem them .

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