Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Everything Fresh and New.... An Early May Garden Update

Welcome to my Indiana garden in early May.
This is my favorite month.
Our wedding was in May and it is just so beautiful.
The weather has been wonderful this week and it shows in the garden.
Today I am sharing the front gardens from the road to the side of our home.

First off is my lovely Snowball Bush.
This is an old, old variety... and I just love them.
Mine is three years old and just beginning to get the look of a mature shrub.
It has a nice leaf form and looks nice all year with some good fall color as well.
But the blooms in May are just spectacular.
It is my "early hydrangea" in the island bed.
Early irises are starting to bloom.
Mine are so healthy looking this year.
They will need divided again, some are pushing out of the borders.
Some lucky garden friends will get some loot when I get the energy this summer.
This is an unknown variety that was left over from the garden club sale and I stuck in the ground... many of my irises are named, but I love them all.  I will try very hard to get updated pictures as they bloom this season.  I grow over 50 varieties and you can see most of them on my Irises page.
Here is a pretty little "weed" in my garden this week.... it is hearty geranium.  Did you know there were perennial geraniums?  Well, it is different from the annual ones and just blooms in the spring with delicate purple/pink blooms.  It behaves like a ground cover with nice full leaves.  I would have it everywhere EXCEPT.... it tends to disappear in  the hot weather here and look like a ragged mess.  In the fall it takes on new foliage and trys to rebloom a bit.  I still love it, but it is an aggressive self seeder.  So I am trying to keep it to the back of the borders incase it poops out in a few weeks.  It is another old fashioned plant, not usually found in nurseries.  I got mine from the garden club sale.  I say that a bunch don't I?
This is a must have for me... Immortality Irises.  I know you say it is just a white bearded iris... but it is not.  It is a rebloomer and it is SCENTED!  Yes, it has this wonderful smell similar to honeysuckle.  Very sweet.  Most irises I do not notice a smell, but this one is unusual.  I have it all down the side of the house in my pink and white bed.
Here is a close up and it is so delicate, I love white blooms.
I think I have every white blooming plant I can grow here.
The magnolia is almost finished blooming and the weigelias are starting...
My crepe myrtles are the last to leaf out and look dead every year.... then finally they will start to show growth.  My big leaf hydrangeas are yet to left out as well.  It is still early although it feels like summer when it has been in the 80s this week.
I am happy with the lush look of this bed this year.
Even without the blooms it looks nice.
The soil here was not ammended and I have to tell you I regret that.
I have lost several plants in this area and only the strongest survive the harsh western sun.
This is the side of the house you see from the road and look out to from the house towards the big lake.  I want it to look healthy and it is a pain to water here, it is the farthest from the hose.
But finally after 8 years it is looking soooo much better.
Yesterday I picked up four bags of compost and topsoil to ammend the area where we dug out the rugosa roses.  Oh my word what a mess of a job it has been.  My husband took a pick ax and got as many of the deep roots as he could removed.  I fear there will still be shoots coming up, but I will get them.  We had two truckloads of thorny branches but they are gone now.
Here is the only picture I have of them recently and it was in 2013.
Last year they looked so bad, so much dead in them.
They were even bigger than this photo.
Five in all, and I must admit, it was a mistake to plant them.
I was just so rose crazy, I loved the idea of them
spilling over the wing wall onto the rose garden below.
They did for a time... but mostly they made it impossible to weed or mow near them
and they were so hard to maintain with the horrible thorns.
And they suckered so bad, kept coming farther and father out.
They would have that entire hill in a few years.
The front borders are north facing and slower to come up.
The Jap. Maples look wonderful this year.
Both of these were just twigs when I planted them...
I am sooo happy they are mature enough to be seen now.

What are my garden chores this week?
I have grass issues in the back gardens.
I will have to dig up two areas.
I just cannot get them out.
I have some annual seed I will add in the holes.
Dandelions are fierce this year.

I have decided country gardens just have weeds.
Maybe it is part of the charm.
I am just surrounded by so much open land
and so many self seeders that want to be in my garden.
Vetch, rye grass, wild mustard and thistle are so agressive.
I have groundcover and mulch to combat them,
but just a little patch of dirt and they make a run for it.

I guess it keeps me busy right?
Come back soon, I have buds on the roses!

Brooke Berry Kroeger writes at the Creative Country Mom blog. There she shares her photography and country lifestyle. She enjoys incorporating vintage finds and repurposed treasures in her Southern Indiana farmhouse and garden. She loves to talk about gardening and decorating and often lectures at local gardening education events and area organizations and clubs.  Brooke has started doing freelance photography work, contact her for your business or family photography needs.  She also provides social media training and services including graphic design work for other websites and area businesses.
I am linking to the parties found below this post on my page.
"Take my life and let me be, a living prayer, my God to thee."


  1. Every time I come by, I'm reminded of your wide open spaces. So pretty.

  2. I just love the enthousiasm you are talking about your garden which looks beautiful in spring. Your Japanese maples and snowball look so pretty but your bearded Irises are wonderful. And you have 50 different ones? Do you know most of them are fragrant and.....they all have a different smell. I have bearded Irises too, and they all have a lovely smell, especially in the morning.

  3. Hard work pays off! Beautiful garden. Those purple irises are amazing! God knew what he was doing... what a blessing to have flowers all around you. Thanks so much for taking part in Let's Talk Vintage today (and last week, too!)


  4. Everything looks so beautiful and full of inspiration! I recently planted a lot of 'starts' from my Mom and looking forward to lush plants in the future. Have a great week. Oh, I am following you now ;-)
    Lori from LL Farm

  5. What a pretty house and grounds....so wide open.

  6. You have a beautiful garden! Iris are one of my favorites and that purple one is beautiful. I also love the white Iris! I had one at my previous home and my son now lives there. I must get a start! Thanks for sharing with SYC.


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