Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blooming in the Rain.

Lately, I've focused on planting seeds and transplants in the new kitchen garden.

After all, if we want to eat delicious treats this summer, serious work needs to be accomplished in spring.

Our first peas barley made it into the kitchen. Really, is there anything tastier than eating peas straight from the vine? (Well, maybe snacking on just-picked strawberries while working in the garden might rival the peas...)

But spring also brings the best blooms, and once in awhile, you've got to get your nose out of the dirt and take a stroll around the garden to relish spring's visual bounty.

Many thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day each month on the 15th. It's the perfect reminder to slow down and take a few moments to enjoy all of the pretties that we so often take for granted.

We've had a rainy few days in Upstate SC, as you can tell from the general darkness of the photos...or the over amplified flash. Still, I'm so thankful for the rain. Our drought status tends to worsen earlier and earlier each year, and I hope the past two days of downpours helped fill the lakes and aquifers.

The hydrangeas, obviously, enjoyed the showers. When I was a new gardener and attempting to grow my first hydrangea, I didn't understand the concept that a plant with "hydra" in its name might, perhaps, flourish if well-watered.

Huh. What a novel idea. 

Sometimes, it's the blinding glimpse of the obvious that turns a novice into an expert, don't you think?

Today, hydrangeas happily thrive throughout the gardens. 

 "Blushing Bride"

Variegated Lacecap Hydrangea

 Oakleaf Hydrangea

 Pink Lacecap Hydrangea

Most of our gardens are in deep shade, which I used to curse mightily when we first moved to our forested property. Now, I've made peace with our shade, particularly when July's muggy high 90s hit. I've also learned that there are plenty of gorgeous plants for our shady spaces.


Coral Bells about to bloom

 Catmint, which is a flurry of purple blossom all summer...even in shade.

Gardenia...and shade loving friends. 

Variegated Potato Vine.

Confederate Jasmine, divine smelling vine...which survived even after several attempts of the pups to dig it out.

 Sweetshrub in the forest

Fraise des Bois...forest strawberries. Have you ever tried fraise des bois? These tiny jewels are sweeter than any candy, grow in the shade, and the evergreen plants bloom and produce fruit all summer--until the first hard freeze.

 Tangerine trumpet vine

The last hurrah of azaleas. I never appreciated Gumpo azaleas until I realized how quickly our others bloomed and vanished.

In our tiny patches of sun, a few blooms awaited their photo op:

Stella d'Oro

Gaura, weighted down with rain.

Buddleia, first bloom of the season. Come along, little butterflies, dinner is waiting!

Provence lavender, ready to burst.

Of course, the blooms in the kitchen garden and herb gardens foreshadow delicious meals to come...

 Common chives. 


A mystery squash plant, growing in the compost bin. Some sort of pumpkin, I believe, from the size.

German Chamomile.

 And, finally, tomatoes...lots and lots of tomato blossoms. I've planted more than 60 varieties this year...can't you just taste that first summer tomato?

So, while this Bloom Day is a bit gloomy and dark, I'm looking forward to meeting the many Garden Bloggers who participate in Bloom Day at the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Asheville this week!

Yes...can you believe it? I'm leaving the family for four days of garden tours, writing, and meeting fabulous gardeners, garden writers, and gardeners who write! Pure bliss!

Stay tuned--I'll be sharing my tours of really impressive gardens...that, hopefully, aren't too rain soaked!

Happy Gardening, friends!

XO ~



  1. Great blooms Julie! My hydrangeas are going well too. Had many plants get washed out (covered with soil washed over them) in the back garden. See you on Thursday.

  2. I like green beans straight from the vine! YUM!

  3. What a lovely garden you have! I see that we have some plants in common, including the oakleaf hydrangea. I've had difficulty keeping other kinds of hydrangea alive, but the oakleaf flourishes for me. We had a rainy Bloom Day here in Southeast Texas as well. It was most welcome.