Garden Diary - May 2023

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The Color Purple
Tuesday, 2 May 2023

April showers bring May flowers, or so it is said. We've certainly had the showers, and now come the flowers. Yes, I know there have already been flowers for months but they've been mostly white, snow white: early bulbs such as snowdrops and snowflakes. Even the woodies - just recall magnolias. Yellow too, winter aconites and daffodils, and forsythia. But now, when I drive around town it is the color purple that adorns the landscape.

Some are even named for the color, such as lilacs.

All azaleas are Rhododendron but not all rhododendrons
are azaleas. Size is a variable, evergreen or deciduous not it.
Basically, the difference depends on the number of stamens
in the flowers. Azaleas have five, rhododendrons have ten.

Wisteria is an escape artist. Their powerful vines climb tall trees, run
underground to seize more territory. But when in bloom - magnificent.

This specimen is constrained on a sturdy fence, hemmed in by two parking lots.

It's sinuous trunks weave about like anacondas

and trusses of flowers make a fragrant cascade.

Nor is it just trees, shrubs, vines that bring the color purple to the landscape.
Herbaceous perennials, from dainty violets (name that color!) to bearded iris.

Phlox is a genus of native North American perennials. Selection has
given us a pleasant variation of colors in Phlox subulata, a sturdy
creeping evergreen available in shades from purple through pink to white.


Bugleweed, Ajuga is happily spilling purple across the lawn, equally willing
to cope with the lawn mower. No-mow May, anyone? Accept the ajuga and
violets in your greensward. Our homes are not a herbicided putting green.

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