Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, May 15, 2017

Wood poppy
Wood poppy

This is my first Bloom Day post in quite a while. Here in my corner of western Massachusetts we are having quite a wet spring. Yesterday over 2 inches of rain fell, causing about the worst flooding in the backyard that we have had  so far. Even so, blooms are surviving.  The wood poppy is growing on our hugel so it is not flooded but has plenty of water to drink.

Barren strawberry
Barren strawberry or waldensteinia

There is quite a  golden look to the garden right now. Barren strawberry is a great ground cover and is making a great border at the edge of the hugel’s stone wall.

Trollius laxa
Trollius laxa

Trollius laxa is a paler gold. I am wondering if I planted Trollius europeanus which is a taller, more golden globeflower. I used to have it in my old garden.

Doronicum or leopard’s bane

This is the single survivor of a little patch I planted last spring.  More gold.

golden alexanders
Golden alexandaers

Golden alexanders even have gold in their name. I planted two clumps last year and they are spreading nicely on the bank of  the hugel.


I am not sure which geum this is, but it bloomed all summer last year and well into the fall. What a plant!

Geum trifolium
Geum trifolium

Geum trifolium is also called Prairie Smoke. The little blossoms will soon be surrounded by delicate haze of smoke – somewhat like the cotina smokebush but on a more delicate and linear scale. Photos will follow in season.

Fringed bleeding hearts
Fringed bleeding hearts also called Dutchman’s Breeches

These were left by the previous owners of our house, but after cleaning out the bed they have thrived. I  found a small clump of white fringed bleeding hearts which I think came in on the root of a purchased dappled willow.


Columbine is beginning to bloom.

Tiarella or foam flower

The tiarella is enjoying a long slow season of bloom this cool wet spring.

black chokeberry
Aronia, black chokeberry

This aronia, black chokeberry, is coming along very slowly, but I wanted to include it because I am trying  to keep track of bloom times.

Japanese primrose
Japanese primrose

Bloom is just starting, but there is a good spread of  these beautiful flowers in  the wettest part of the garden. They were planted last year – gifts from friends – and are thriving. Thank heaven for friends with different plants in their garden.

little irises - nameless
little irises – nameless

These nameless little irises are doing fine, even in all the wet. You can see the flood just behind the irises and I can tell you that I sink into the lawn when I come near. Because our garden is so wet I have a number of clumps of Siberian and Japanese irises.

Spring flood tide
Spring flood tide

When you look at the photo of the little irises you can see water behind them, but this is a view of the major part of the garden. Our garden is very wet  for a variety of reasons. Yards on either side of ours are paved and at a slightly higher level which means some water drains into our garden. Our soil is heavy clay and drains very slowly. The garden beds are all slightly raised to provide better  soil as well as a lift from standing water. There is also an underground stream that flows the length of our street. The water can take several days to infiltrate. You can see why I have included so many water loving/tolerant plants.

Thank you Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for giving us Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and the ability to see what is blooming all over our great land.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Steve

    It is always the same. We are crying out for some rain and you seem to have too much!

  2. Lea

    Very pretty!
    Using logs to absorb water in the rainy season – very interesting!
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

  3. Lisa Greenbow

    It is odd that I had never heard of hugel until you wrote about creating one. Lately I have heard two people I know talking about making one. Maybe it is all the rain places have been getting making people get more creative in how they protect their gardens??? Love seeing your early blooms. The plant you have labeled as Golden Alexander is not the same as the Golden Alexander I grow. Hmmm??? Happy GBBD.

  4. Pat

    Steve – It’s true. We gardeners are rarely fully satisfied, but we march on.
    Lea – Building a hugel is one of the permaculture techniques to have a sustainable garden, and keep water where it falls instead of letting it run off into the sewers.
    Lisa – I was working with a friend on our town ‘s Energy Park yesterday and she brought a plant to add to her bed. I called it a Golden Alexander because it was exactly like two plants I bought at a native plant nursery and she (who is extremely knowledgeable) said, oh no! and gave me another Latin name which of course I cannot remember now. I will go back to her and get that name pinned down. I guess even nurseries specializing in native plants can make a mistake. Thanks for the corroboration of her information.

  5. Wow, that’s a lot of water! That’s an interesting garden challenge to have. Your blooms are beautiful. Happy GBBD!

  6. Jean

    Oh, my, look at all that water! Until this week, we’ve been having cool, drizzly weather, but not as much heavy rain as you have had. It’s nice to see that your garden is thriving despite the flooding (clearly the right plants in the right place!). I love all those golden colors.

  7. Pat

    Jean – We had some drizzle on either side of the deluge – but the plantings were ready for it.

  8. Pat

    Beth – I am becoming an expert on water tolerant plants, but we still haven’t been able to figure out what to do with the area in front of the hugel which is the wettest part of the garden. One thought is a dry stream that would contain some of the seasonal flood – and be pretty the rest of the time.

  9. Rose

    Wow, that is a lot of water! We had flooding here a couple of weeks ago; my garden beds weren’t really affected, but the cornfields had ponds in them that took days to disappear. Many farmers are going to have to replant. I’m glad Lisa asked about the Golden Alexanders, because I finally have some blooming and they don’t look like yours either. I thought maybe I had misidentified mine:)

  10. Pat

    Rose – I did resist the idea that I didn’t really have golden alexanders because I like the name, but I will check with my friend who knows all the Latin names and found out the proper name for my plant. As for water, it is an irritation for me, but can be tragic for farmers. I really worry about what this climate disruption means for farmers and for our food supply.

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