What’s Blooming in late May in northern Ohio
One of the things I wished for most as a newbie when I started my cottage garden 18 years ago was for someone to tell me which perennials would bloom together. I’m still learning, but I’m not as particular about every part of the garden looking gorgeous at once, as I am about enjoying those singular miracles that happen each day. Sometimes they only last one day, if a wicked spring storm obliterates all the flowers from my cherished peonies as happened this year, or some other malady creates havoc in the garden. That’s why I do a garden walk each day if I can, so I don’t miss anything. If I have my camera in hand, I see more and I enjoy the tracking of what happens from year to year in the winter when the snow flies.
It’s my goal to share what’s blooming in my world each month so you get a peek at what tickles me in my garden and my gardening friends’ gardens. Some months I might post about what’s blooming weekly if there is enough going on of interest. I’ll even show you what the garden looks like in winter, occasionally, when I’m brave enough to stand out there long enough to take pictures. Winter and I do not get along so don’t get your hopes up for a variety of ice covered or drifted garden views. But, if I go south, I’ll be happy to share other people’s gardens where it’s warm.
So, without further delay, here are some of my favorites from what was blooming at the end of May in my northern Ohio cottage garden.
My wisteria is a show-stopper some years. This year was a so-so year but the leaf cover over the porch was massive and created a garden room that seemed more like the little shop of horrors. I joke that if my mailman stands still long enough, the wisteria will grab him or her and tie them up to the porch post. You can actually stand on the porch and see the tendrils reach for you some days. Scary thoughts! The racemes (see top photo) are very long and extremely fragrant so it’s a welcome spring bloom.
To keep this bad boy in control, we have to trim it back hard in June or July. It usually blooms again, but not in the rampant profusion as in spring. Yes, there is a rod iron porch post under that gnarled mess and it’s bolted to the cement. I actually think this plant has kept our porch roof from flying off during wind sheers. Definitely not a vine for the feint of heart!
I planted Baptisia alba (white false indigo) next to Baptisia australis (blue false indigo) but as you can see, the Baptisia alba has become the more prolific dominate one of the pair. My favorite characteristic of this plant is that it forms the most beautiful blue-green mound of foliage all summer long that’s shrub-like. In my opinion, you can’t find a more drought-tolerant, versatile large perennial for your Ohio garden. I rarely water this plant as it’s right next to my Yuccas and Boxwoods that never need water either. I also like the seed pods of the Baptisia, so I don’t cut those back right away.
Dictamnus albus, otherwise known as the Gas Plant, is one of my plants that gets commented on the most. It’s unusual enough that you don’t see it that often but it’s really easy to grow in Ohio. It does take a few years to flower this well, but it’s so worth the wait.
Don’t miss the intricacy of these spectacular blooms up close. The colors magnified by the camera’s lens makes the Gas Plant one that you’ll appreciate even more up close.
What’s blooming in your world?