May 7, 2012

Close Ups and Long Shots in May

For weeks the camass lilies, Camassi cusickii, have been threatening to bloom. They finally have started to open their icy blue stars.



From a distance they fade to a skim milk bluish white. They are so pale, and they get overwhelmed by all that strappy green foliage, but I love them and wait for them each May.

The forget me nots, Myosotis, are abundant and cute up close, a rich blue.


Stepping back, you see they form only a small edging along the dry creek bed, contrasting (clashing?) with orange geums on the other side.  They'll spread, I know that, but right now it's kind of a silly little arc.

The star of my early May garden, whether from close in or seen from down the street, is the Doublefile Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Shasta'.


From afar this viburnum looks like a wedding cake.  Or like shooting fireworks going off in all directions.  In last year's storm it lost many branches in the middle and there is an open gap on the right, and although I see that it's not as full as last year, who else could notice?  It looks fine all dressed in white.

Foamflower, Tiarella 'Candy Striper' forms a mini forest of pinky white spires.


The distance shot shows that my attempt to achieve a long sweep of tiarella, winding about under woodland trees is only twelve plants clumped under a young magnolia, but there is a design goal, and I can see it even if you can't yet.

Close up the sheer volume of maple seeds on the red maples, Acer rubrum, is alarming.  When a wind blows, they helicopter down on the swirling breezes.

There is no long shot of all the red maples that surround my yard and grow in the woods.  So imagine the air filled with twinkling, sunlit helicopters as the seeds blow off and twirl in showers to the ground.

It's an amazing thing to see, even if it means I'll be weeding maple seedlings out of my gardens forever.

 

32 comments:

  1. What a picture your garden is right now. The Lilies look fantastic to me. I rather like the icy blue colour. Those Forget-Me-Nots and Geums form a great looking pair on either side of your dry creek bed. I think they work very well together. Love, love that brilliant Viburnum! The drift of Tiarella draws the eye off into the distance. They are just gorgeous.

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    1. Bernie, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed all the new spring things here.

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  2. Your garden looks so fresh and lovely, Laurrie. I like the Camass lilies too. They're a great shape, like shooting stars. I don't think the forget-me-nots and the Geums clash, you just need more forget-me-nots, as you say. The dry creek bed is a wonderful design, by the way. Those falling maple seeds must make it look a bit like Autumn there, two seasons at once!

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    1. Lyn, thanks so much. This is the first year that I like the dry creek bed, as plants begin to soften the edges a little. I still need more of a natural look around it though.

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  3. Don't you just love May? It is such a beautiful month always full of those promising bursts of color and texture. I didn't know that camassi came in white. I have the blue ones. They are beauties but mine have long since bloomed. The weather forced them to bloom early. Tiarella is one I love but have not had luck growing it. It looks good in this mass planting.

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    1. Lisa, May is the opener, the season that really gets us ready for everything to come. My camassias are paler than yours I think. Probably a different type?

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  4. Hi Laurrie, Thank you! I was admiring a patch of camass lilies at Edwards Gardens here in Toronto, only I didn't know what they were. (I looked everywhere for the darn plant tag.) Now, I know!
    I have to say that yours in the most polite patch of forget-me-nots that I have seen in a while. My forget-me-nots are threatening to take over the place! I like the grouping of Foamflower, Tiarella 'Candy Striper'. I have a single plant that looks a bit lonely. Maybe I should introduce it to a few friends.

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    1. Jennifer, I'm glad you found out you were seeing camassias. They aren't very common, even though they grow much better than tulips or lilies (for me, at least, since the deer leave them alone.)

      Foamflowers must be in big swaths, that's what I think. One in a pot is ok, but one or two in the garden gets lost. At least a dozen or more are needed for the foamy effect!

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  5. I am shocked that maples haven't out competed every other tree, their seed pods are so prolific. Your tiarella sweep is gorgeous!

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    1. Heather, thanks for admiring my sweep! It needs to be so much bigger and sweepier still, but I am getting there. Tiarellas divide pretty easily.

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  6. Laurrie, your numerous, varied plantings, presented so artistically, mesmerize. This time of year, when they roll out their shows by the hour, you must have a hard time just enjoying all the views.

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    1. Lee, Thanks! This is the first year I am truly enjoying what is out there, and not running around to fix things. I do run around with the camera, but that's a form of enjoyment.

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  7. I liked the two different views of the garden. I have that in my GBBD post coming up where closeup and at certain angles, the small plants like the Myosotis look like huge drifts. Like you, in my garden, they are little patches. I like the dry bed garden and the Myosotis fits in well. Given the time, the Myosotis will take over my garden if I don't watch out for it.

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    1. Donna, I will want to see how you photograph the close ups and then show the different angles --- your shots are always great to learn from. It's fascinating how different the plants and the whole garden looks from different (or closer) views.

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  8. The camass lilies are new to me and they are so sweet! I love seeing all these varieties that we can't grow here. Well sometimes, I get a little jealous but mostly I love it!

    I'm compelled to show a few wider angles of my garden. Finally bought a wider angle lens to do so. I'm just so partial to the macro lens but I'm gonna give the wider shots a go sometimes.

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    1. Cat, I can't wait to see your wider angles. Your close ups are beautiful, and I would like to see how the whole garden looks!

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  9. I do love your big sweep of foam flowers. I really appreciate seeing the long shots of your garden. Thanks!

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    1. Zoey, thanks so much. The long shots are a gamble... don't the close ups look so much better? But we see the whole garden in real life, and we need to show that.

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  10. Laurrie, I've got the blue camassia quamash, the straight species, but I love your white ones. They need to be moved, as some idiot(me) planted them in a dry spot at the top of a hill, when they really like wet feet. Great idea for a post - I always wonder when someone posts only macro shots of plants.

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    1. Cyndy, the camassias do well in damp to soggy conditions. Mine are in the low part of the yard's drainage and they seem to like it. You could find a good spot for yours near the new pond, perhaps.

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  11. Looks beautiful! I love the river of tiarellas. :o) I think your geums and myosotis look happy.

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    1. Tammy, I am glad to hear someone else sees the "river" of tiarellas in my clumps of plants. That is the effect I am going for!

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  12. I love the ribbon of blue made by your forget-me-nots, Laurrie. I just planted a bunch of them near a shrub, and I hope mine eventually look as good as this--it's just the effect I want. I need to take notes, too, on planting in drifts--I tend to plant a tiarella here and there, but your mass planting looks so much better!

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    1. Rose, your newly planted Myosotis will spread easily, although I didn't get much effect until the second year. The tiarella divides easily too, so you can get lots over a few years from just a few plants. My tiarellas want a lot of shade.

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  13. Your foamflowers look lovely, a nice river of them already and they should spread more as well. What a sight that will be in a few years time as the tree grows and the tiarella fills in the whole space. Wonderful design.

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    1. Marguerite, thanks. I do love how frothy and foamy the tiarellas are in a group.

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  14. I can visualize your sweep of tiarella. It's a wonderful idea. I have a few small potted tiarella gracing a basket on the side porch. They are waiting for me to decide exactly where they will thrive and provide the best show. But, for now, they are adorable in the basket.

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    1. Joene, they are easy plants to grow, and I like the idea of tiarellas in a basket. I hope you find a somewhat shady spot for yours in the ground too.

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  15. What are the picture! Every picture really so nice. I think if I there I'll so happy. Thank you so so much for nice blog.

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    1. Two Steps, thanks for visiting and for your nice words!

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