Six On Saturday — May 18

This is my first Six on Saturday in May, and as expected, there have been loads of garden developments since April. I’ve enjoyed stopping in to read and to view other gardens, which is the point of this entire Saturday exercise begun by The Propagator in the U.K.

ONE – We had a week of truly hot, summery temps, and Coppertop burst into color. Hundreds of potted tulips had been awaiting the warmth, and they exploded. Some folks are surprised our tulips last well into May, but keep in mind we live about as far north as one can go in the United States. Today, the last of the tulips are still looking good. I especially enjoyed the ‘French Blend’ series shown by our front entry, and the purple and white ‘Alaska’ series, both issued by Colorblends. Double white ‘Mt. Tacoma’ remain a favorite. Huge parrot tulips were a fun addition.

TWO – I added a couple of ‘Mai Tai’ geums to a perennial bed last fall, and they are pretty glorious right now.

THREE – Along the same peachy lines is my new, favorite rhododendron, ‘Horizon Jubilee.’ I couldn’t be happier with this beauty on the edge of an area we call the Rhodie Grove. It’s one of the first to bloom this year.

FOUR – Moving over to the pinker tones, we have the first clematis, C. Montana, in bloom. This easy, single clematis is near the top of my list due to its simple beauty.

FIVE – And ranging from pink and lilac to white, our lilac bushes are just beginning to open up. Their fragrance wafts throughout the garden in a sensational way — or “scent”sational way.

SIX – I’ll end with a certain sign of hope. Because of our many feet of snow this winter, I was certain I lost about half of my 150 dahlias — the ones I’d left in beds. Others I dug and divided, but I left five 4×4′ raised beds planted with tubers in my cutting garden. In November I did cover each tuber with a flipped-over gallon pot packed with shredded leaves, then I piled about two feet of shredded leaves on each bed. (We have acres of valuable leaves!) Well, those extra measures worked. Dahlias are more resilient then I’d imagined, and I’m eager for the blooms ahead!