It has been a particularly lush Spring here on Whidbey Island, after what I’m told was a wetter-than-normal Winter, with enough cold spells to kill many nasty bugs and to energize most of the trees and shrubs. It’s a good week for a stroll around the garden, so I thought you’d like to come along with me.
Welcome. This is what we see as we come through the garden gate (which is crowned with masses of Dutch Honeysuckle not yet in bloom) ~
The primary feature of this garden, which takes up most of the half-acre lot, is foliage. Many colors, textures, shapes, and densities. It was planned to have as much four-season interest as possible, so there’s also the feature of beautiful bark and structure on many of the trees and some of the shrubs, as well as quite a lot of bamboo (about 40 species and cultivars) which in this climate is evergreen. At the left of the above photo is a tall green-stemmed timber bamboo called ‘Vivax’, and at the other end of the garden is a gold-stemmed one. Both are invasive and require vigilant control.
Now for a bit of floriferousness, at its best this time of year. I’ll give you names where I know them, but many things long since lost their tags, and I no longer fret about not knowing. The little rose above is one of a small collection of miniatures I’ve placed on the front steps; it’s the first to bloom, but the others are hot on its pretty heels.
That’s a cultivar of Iris confusa, an unusual species that prefers dryish part-shade. They’re a bit shy, and the foliage often looks rather ratty, but the flowers, though not showy, are beautifully marked and formed.
Clematis ‘Ville de Lyon’. I think. In the background, Baptisia ‘Twilight Prairie Blue’ almost ready to burst into bloom.
Clematis with forgotten name growing through a shrub rose.
It’s fragrant. All my roses are (except the miniatures), otherwise why have them?
This exquisite iris was a surprise when it showed up a few days ago. I don’t know what it’s called, and I can’t remember where or when I got it. And I love it.
This is the first hanging tender fuchsia I’ve had in over 30 years. Maybe more. It’s the sweetest thing, and the hummingbirds are frequent visitors.
The property is entirely (except for two fancy iron gates) surrounded by a six-foot fence composed of wire interwoven with bamboo poles. It’s a perfect support for scores of climbing viney plants, chief among them a number of Clematis, both species and hybrids.
This beauty is ‘Multi-Blue’; it blooms double like this early, and usually again late in the Summer as a single. Rarely heavy with flowers, but oh so special.
One of the Polish clematis hybrids. Very floriferous, very happy, with its feet in shade and its head in the sun.
A blowzy, fragrant, unnamed yellow tree peony reaching through the fence, accompanied by Clematis ‘Kiri Te Kanawa’.
Up close and personal with the tree peony. Luscious creature!
A look at the canopy in the northeast corner as we leave through the gate. The Dogwood grove is coming into full bloom, the Vivax towers in the rear, the golden leaves of Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’ glow to the right, and in the foreground a romp of wisteria and honeysuckle cover the fence almost completely, while a few Gingko leaves nudge their way into view on the left.
Thanks for coming along. In a few days, we’ll have a look at some of the work I’ve been doing during the Spring, while the garden has been burgeoning.