Sunday, May 15, 2011

Forget-Me-Not Time at Smug Creek

forget-me-nots line the main path

At last the rain has stopped and the sun has begun to shine. When spring arrives she arrives quickly in these parts and the garden has suddenly burst into life and color.

For a couple of weeks at this time of year we have a dense carpet of blue and white forget-me-nots across much of the terrace garden. Many garden visitors and friends alarm and remind us what thugs these plants can be and how willfully they spread. While this might be true, they are easy to pull as soon as they have finished flowering and the provision of so much color early in the season allows us to forgive their rampageous nature. From this sea of forget-me-nots rise volcanoes of iris, hosta, peony and lily foliage that promise much for the future... and islands of hellebore flowers of many hues that are very nearly past their prime.

late daffodils
continue to bloom

Although the irises are late this year the hostas are beginning to unfurl and show their early season pristine beauty. The exposure of so many hosta leaves, although very striking, may yet cause us a problem. The tender new leaves are very susceptible to a late frost now that they have left the safety of the tight emerging shoot. There are too many of them now for us to have any hope of protecting them should a sudden drop in nighttime temperatures be forecast so we just have to keep our fingers crossed.

Over recent years Kathy has collected a large number of pretty and interesting small plants and our terraces have provided the ideal place to both grow and enjoy them. Many of these plants are spring ephemerals and often only bloom for a few days. Having them growing on the terrace walls brings them closer to the eye and gives us the ideal viewing point. Bloodroot, tiny trilliums, spidery epimediums, anemones, tight domes of saxifrage, small pastel hepatica, bright aubrieta, viola and various ranunculus are among those in flower at the moment and they are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame. Soon the ferns, hosta, daylilies, hydrangeas and iris will grow too big for us to see these small companions properly but for now they very nearly have the place to themselves and they are a joy.

Epimediums are small but fabulous
and shine in the terraces