May Blooms Day in Toronto

Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ with Hosta ‘Pineapple Upside-Down Cake’ and
the glorious TulipaPrinses Irene’.

May has raced by so quickly, I forgot it was the 15th – the day when, every month, Carol of May Dreams Gardens invites garden bloggers to share what’s growing on. I might just make it under the wire.

After a torturous, drawn out, chilly spring (including last weekend’s frost warnings), it was surprising what my camera could find.

The orange and lime green combo on the left leaves me “frilled, just frilled.” The colours of the tulip flowers and heucherella foliage pick up each other strikingly. Pretend I did that on purpose. And the light green hosta is the ideal buffer. Oh, yes, yes. On purpose. Of course. (The well-trodden blank spot will be home to a stepping stone.)

Let’s not mention shhh! squirrels and tulips in the same breath. One of my lovely, orange ‘Prinses Irene’ tulips – planted with great hopes last year – has been beheaded. The beast had the gall to deposit the corpse on my front porch. On a cushion. Like a gift. Grrr. Off with its…. Oh.

Happy Blooms Day!


Okay, I do love these ‘Prinses Irene’ tulips so much, I want to marry them.
Another favourite, the lily-flowered Tulipa ‘White Triumphator’. She’s a fairly tough old gal, even in dry shade. Next year, perhaps she’ll have the company of another lily-flowered gem, in my new crush, orange: T. ‘Ballerina.’
Tucked here and there beside the new steps is Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’. I planted them together with white miniature Narcissus ‘Toto’ but sadly the latter was a “toto” disaster. Only a scant handful of narcissus bulbs bloomed.
A new addition last year, Epimedium x perralchicum ‘Fröhnleiten’. I think it will work out once they’re established, but this spring I had to excavate the young epimediums from some overly enthusiastic sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum).
Very happy with Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, which I’ve heard is one of the tougher cultivars. This was also an addition last year, placed in a fairly challenging dry shade spot (with soaker hose, though seldom used). I’ll be adding more.
An old reliable for me, variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum variegatum), which wanders hither and yon through the dry shade beds. I just yank it out where it’s not wanted.
Speaking of not wanted, here’s an example of a great flower that decided to plant itself in the wrong spot. It’s the vernal sweetpea (Lathyrus vernus). I’m going to let it do its thing this spring, then transplant it where I want it to be.
In the Microgarden in back, this large clump of an old-fashioned lungwort (Pulmonaria ‘Mrs. Moon’) has been blooming its head off for a couple of weeks. I just installed one of the newer cultivars, which I pray will be just as lusty.
This is another happy wanderer, the diminuative Ranunculus ‘Brazen Hussy’, which I got from Barry Parker a couple of years ago. It seeds itself around nicely. I’ll wait till it clumps up a bit before I move it to other spots in the garden.
Back in the front, my two-year-old Fothergilla gardenii ‘Mt. Airy’ has put on a good display of bottle brushes. They’re just beginning to open. I’d had my doubts about its hardiness in my garden. Glad I took the chance and gave it a try.



  1. Oh, also, the link that was up at May Dreams Gardens isn't working-I had to click on your "home" button to get here. Thought you'd want to know. 🙂

  2. The tulip and heuchera combo in the first image is just peachy, Helen. I have Lathyrus vernus, too. She's a proficient self-seeder and we may need to part ways.

  3. "Sweet Tea" is indeed sweet. I commiserate with you about the tulips and squirrels, they make it impossible for me to grow any.

    The barrenwort isn't too shabby either!

  4. The tulip and heucherella combination is really stunning! Sorry about your squirrel problem. I have woodchucks. My tulips grow inside the vegetable garden fence. I may have to try 'Prinses Irene' myself next year.

    All very pretty. Also, I was able to click the link from May Dreams Gardens to get here.

  5. Squirrels can definitely be trouble makers! I love the happy combination of the 'Prinses Irene' tulips and the similarly colored heuchera.

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