What’s blooming right now

– Posted in: What's up/blooming
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I took a stroll around the garden, and this is what I found . . .

  • Double pink columbine (Aquilegia hybrid). This sowed
    itself by our main door in a crack in the concrete where the steps meet the
    final pad. It must be very happy there because it comes back bigger and better
    every year despite getting trampled on every year. Truth be told, I don’t
    really care for the washed-out purply pink color, but I just can’t pull out a
    plant with so much gumption.

  • Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) Just starting in
    various locations. Love the evening perfume from this.

  • Pink arabis–almost done.

  • Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) various
    places. This crept in with some peony roots I was given.

  • Blue flax (Linum perenne) Just coming into its own.
    This is a gorgeous true-blue color. It tends to die out (for me, at least) but
    always sows enough seed. Usually blooms with the tulips but is starting a
    little late this year.

  • Dianthus ‘Tiny Rubies.’ Cute and fragrant. Lost it the
    first time I had it. Seem to be able to keep it since I amended the soil with

  • Coral bells. (Heuchera sp.) Got this from a friend back
    in the days before there were so many different kinds to choose from. This has
    scarlet-red flowers (i.e., leaning towards orange) that look great but clash
    with the purply-pink Tiny Rubies close by. Oh, well.

  • Lavender creeping phlox. From a friend.

  • A red columbine that I got from a friend. I think it is the
    wild Aquilegia canadensis. It is, as I hoped, blooming at the same time
    the purple-leaved smokebush is at its reddest, but there are so many weeds you
    can hardly see it. Sigh.

  • Perennial Bachelor’s Buttons aka Mountain Bluet (Centaurea
    ) A perennial garden standby. Blooms anywhere except where I want it
    to, which is right behind the armeria.

  • Sea pink (Armeria maritima) Grew this from seed. It
    looks nice but almost dies out on me every year. Lifted it last year and added
    grit. Looks like I need to add more grit if I want it to stay. It stands
    to reason that a plant that grows naturally near the sea would want a sandy
    soil, but it’s hard for me to judge how sandy. I unfortunately pulled a
    lot of seedlings when weeding around it. A real pity, because it is a nice
    spring bloomer and I would like to have more.

  • “Pot-luck” pinks. Dianthus seed I got from the
    now-defunct North American Cottage Gardening Society seed exchange. These
    two-year-old plants have mucho buds on them. The single flower blooming was
    redolent of cloves. Could be a very nice week coming up if it ever stops

  • Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) The only survivor of
    a “wild” seed mix.

  • Vinca minor

  • Narcissus poeticus

  • All the lilacs are on the wane but still fragrant. An
    especially long bloom time for them because the weather has been consistently
    cool but not cold.

  • Purple-leaved smokebush (Cotinus coggyria ‘Nordine
    Red’) This is just coming into leaf, not bloom, but I love the ruby-red color
    of the new leaves.

  • Johnny-jump-ups (Viola tricolor)

  • Joan Elliot bellflower (Campanula glomerata ‘Joan
    Elliot’) A great purple. If you have a longer growing season than I do, try
    deadheading this plant faithfully. It forms new buds in autumn, but the weather
    turns too cool for it to actually flower a second time. I think I read that
    certain Oriental cultures grow this as a food–they eat the root. (But please
    get confirmation of this before eating it yourself.

  • Globeflower (Trollius sp.) A beautiful buttercup
    yellow. I have two plants, both from my friend Bub Morse. One was a division or
    self-sown plant, the other was one she raised from seed. I have since read that
    globeflower is supposed to be difficult to start from seed, but Bub didn’t seem
    to have any trouble. She gave me 3 seedlings, only one of which has

  • White violets

  • Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) My sister Joanna
    bought this for me on impulse. It was on clearance at either Walmart or K-mart.
    I must have put it in a good spot, because every year it just gets better.
  • Solomon’s seal. From Bub. Not variegated, unfortunately.

  • Forget-me-nots. (Myosotis sylvatica) Some of it is
    ‘Victoria Blue,’ which is a deeper color but doesn’t seem as floriferous or
    multi-branching as the basic strain. Maybe it just needs a second year to do
    its best.

  • Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) In it blue-purple glory.
  • Aquilegia ‘jjh970746’ This is the columbine I just got from
    Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery. The blossoms are not as big as
    teacups, unless we’re talking children’s doll teacups. The blossoms look like
    my passalong granny’s bonnets columbines, though the foliage is smaller and
    more reddish in color. Regarding this, Judy says, “I’m sorry. I have had about 35% break to smaller size flowers in the ones I dug & potted for sales here as well. (So much for my thinking they were isolated enough). Refund/credit, your choice.” Of course I want to try again. Flowers as big as teacups! Oh my!

  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Just starting to flower.

  • Double narcissus poeticus. Sometimes called Plenus, or
    Gardenia narcissus. This sometimes has blasted buds, but when it does bloom it
    is spectacular.

  • Pulmonaria ‘Spilled Milk’ Near the end of its

Whew! I didn’t realize I had so much blooming right now!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Rumblefish June 13, 2003, 1:58 am

My tomatos are blooming.