We’ve reached the point in the year where the windows are open more often than not, sunscreen has taken up permanent residence on top of the dresser, and it’s been possible to go without sleeves.  The patio umbrella is out, and eating meals outside can be a regular occurrence.  Basically, it’s all the stuff I dream about longingly in January!  And the garden has responded to the long days and increasingly warm weather by exploding into growth.  We’re past the tulip phase and into irises and alliums.  There are buds on the roses.  And less and less soil is exposed seemingly minute-by-minute, which is wonderful.

Here’s what’s happening in our garden right now…

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

We’ll start with the hellstrip, which is quite narrow, but I’ve packed as much interest into it as I can without creating too much of a hazard.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

One of my favorite combos in the hellstrip is the Stachys with the Callistemon.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

Here we have the battle of the hellstrip ground covers, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

I moved this variegated Hypericum to the hellstrip last fall and it struggled at first, but it seems to have rallied and is putting on a good show.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

We’ve moved from the hellstrip to the front garden, and this Agave ovatifolia rising up out of a sea of mixed ground covers is making me really happy.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

The Silene uniflora is having its moment with a profusion of white flowers.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

Moving over towards the north side of the house we start to get the dappled evening light on a mixture of shrubs and perennials, plus the just-emerging allium flowers.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

Here we get the magical evening light as captured by my phone.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

The Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ is still going strong with its best flower display yet in our garden. I just love it.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

This tiny Asplenium is steadily increasing in size, but is still dwarfed by its neighbors. I’ll be excited when it can hold its own over here.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

Long ago I saw a story on one of Martha Stewart’s gardens where she had a series of climbing hydrangea clamoring up the trunks of a collection of trees. Ever since I wanted to grow a climbing hydrangea up a giant tree, and our neighbor’s cherry makes a perfect host for this Hydrangea anomala petiolaris ‘Miranda’.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

We also acquired a new garden fountain with the loveliest sound. It’s below one of our kitchen windows so we can hear it from inside too.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

This Aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’ is a favorite and I’ve been able to create a series of new plants from it to spread around the garden.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

You may start to sense my love for all things deep purple, and this Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ has been a staple in our back garden for years. I’m going to let it seed around to see if I’ll get some new plants.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

In a bed in our back garden that was created last year we’re enjoying some self-seeded Nicotiana from last year’s display, and also a white-flowered salvia and a threadleaf Nandina. I’m enjoying the combo.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

And, of course, the series of things I have yet to plant. Most are headed for the front garden next to the driveway in full sun.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

This Pacific Coast Iris from Xera Plants is just finishing up its lovely blooms.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

The Rosa glauca is sprouting its stunning new foliage, which I just can’t get enough of.

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

This is one of the short irises I’m trying out, and I think it’s a keeper. I mean, just look at it!

Portland Oregon Garden Designer

The one and only rhodie I grow is for the foliage (Ebony Pearl) and these flowers are just too much. Honestly I look at it and think to myself, “how dare you?!” But it’s not long for this world as I’m unwilling to use chemicals to combat the lace bug. C’est la vie!

And that wraps up our garden for early May. So many things happening simultaneously that I spend a little time each day just wandering around noticing everything new!

Kate McMillan

Author Kate McMillan

More posts by Kate McMillan

Join the discussion 2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?