Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bridging the Gap Between Spring Bulbs and Summer Perennials

Harmony: A pleasing combination of elements in a whole.

My garden is fresh and green at the moment, but I want more color. So on the weekend, I made a field trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton to do some "research". Here is a glimpse at not only what was in bloom, but also a look at color and plant combinations.

What did I find in flower? Early blooming peonies, irises, tree peonies and catmint to name but a few. Let's take a look:

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris, Iris 'Lillipinkput' +

Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, Iris 'Apricot Drops'

An aubergine columbine with a hosta and spirea in the foreground.

Columbine, Aquilegia 'Ancolie'

Yellow + aubergine

Clear sky blue + green 
Siberian Bugloss, Brunnera Macrophylla

Yellow + tangerine 
Intermediate Bearded Iris, Iris 'New Kid'

Soft pink + tangerine
Intermediate Bearded Iris, Iris 'Pink Kitten'

Eggplant + cream
Intermediate Bearded Iris, Iris 'Prince of Burgundy'

Milky white + Purple + yellow

Sorry, could not find an I.D. on this beauty

Mountain Bluet, Centaurea montana

Iris aphylla

No wonder Georgia O'Keefe loved irises so!

Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis

Some late spring flowers are like notes in a musical score 
or perhaps colorful beads strung on a fine cord.

At the feet of the Bleeding hearts were English Button daisies, Bellis perennis 'Bellissima White'

Solomon Seal, Polygonatum

These tiny white flowers are like a string of electric lights.

Each creamy bell glows in the fading light.

Catmint, Nepeta 'Dropmore Blue'

 A closer view of Catmint, Nepeta 'Dropmore Blue'

I have more to show you, but I will save them for a second post.

I am going to link this post to GardenWalk Garden Talk's W4W. Today's word is 'harmony', which I have chosen to define as 'A pleasing combination of elements in a whole'. To see other interesting interpretations of  the word harmony, please click the link.


  1. Beautiful! Oh, I must get some brunnera! It's really hard to have color in the garden at all times. But it's a fun goal to work toward!

  2. Wow! Just gorgeous. I was sighing all over this posting . LOL! All those lovely irises. Fantastic post Jennifer. Thanks for sharing all the beauties.

  3. All the blooms are so beautiful but I have to admit I am partial to the apricot irises. I may have to see if I can find any at our greenhouses for my garden :)

  4. Jennifer, your iris Eggplant and dicentra Bleeding heart are gorgeous!

  5. I've got my notebook out, Jennifer! Our garden has one or two things flowering, but it won't hurt to add some beautiful irises for this time next year. I recently added some Solomon's Seal, it hailed so hard last week one of them snapped! Looking forward to your next post.

  6. Where to begin? I've started a new cottage garden this spring and boy am I finding loads of ideas here. Love the 'Pink Kitten' iris and Brunera never fails to delight. Gorgeous photos of all!

  7. I hope you could make a choiche which perennials you bring in to your garden. I think I could not make a choice, I like them all.
    Have a nice evening Jennifer.

  8. What a gorgeous selection of Iris you found, thanks for sharing them with us. Really like the delicate colouring of blue/white on your un-named Iris really pretty. Such a lovely time of year with everything looking so fresh.

  9. You captured some real beauties! I especially liked the columbine.

  10. Delicious - I'm drooling!! LOVE the Iris photos especially.

  11. As always, very VERY pretty!

  12. Thanks for linking, you have a beautiful and colorful post. Iris are just coming into bloom and that is one of my favorite garden times.

  13. I just found your blog. Your garden looks so lovely, I'll definitely be back for a longer visit.

  14. You know what ? Your photos inspire me to paint them ! I love the way you take the photos of flora and fauna. I myself love photographing flowers and plants but I do not have a garden. So, I go to parks.
    The yellow/orange Iris is common in India. My father used to plant mountain bluet { we called them cornflowers} years ago.
    beautiful photos !
    take care,

  15. So beautiful! Awesome photography!

  16. WOW, those irises !!! Looove the yellow and the pink ones !!! Charming shots !!!

  17. I must say I have a soft spot for irises probably because they won't grow in my garden - all the better to admire the ones you have photographed.

  18. Jennifer girl you have captured such brilliant colours here ! I had no idea iris could come in such a pumpkiny colour !! I love that !
    I do find cat mint absolutely gorgeous too if you have just the right lighting .. the right time or cycle of the flower for optimum blue/purple tone on that blue green foliage .. it is amazing .. I think I have to post one of mine with a heuchera and a special geranium that reminds me of cat nip .. it even has a furry texture.
    The time between bulbs and flowers ... I find foliage is a bridge that smooths the transition out just right .. but then I am a foliage kind of gal.
    Loved these pictures girl !
    Joy ... it is too hot and we didn't have SPRING again !!! hahaha

  19. Beautiful! I love the colors on those bearded irises. I don't grow them because the foliage irritates me later in the summer, but I enjoy seeing everyone else's when they're blooming :-)

  20. Wspaniale by było mieć teraz te wszystkie piękne kwiaty w swoim ogrodzie. Pozdrawiam.
    Would be great to now have all those beautiful flowers in your garden. Yours.

  21. I have iris. A great flower for this time of year. I really need to plant some catmint. I have so many sterile plants in my landscape, I need to plant some special treats for the bees.

  22. Jennifer - wouldn't you know it? RBG is around the corner from me and I have yet to get there! Beautiful shots probably taken in the Laking Garden section? I will have to pop over and renew my membership. Such an opportunity for great photos! Your pictures are beautiful.

    1. Astrid, Yes, I believe that it was the Laking Garden. I am sure if you renew your membership, you will find lots of beautiful reasons to visit the RBG often over the summer.

  23. As much as I love my summer garden I loved going back to spring with you just as much. The color combinations are beautiful. I love those purple spurless columbine. :o)

  24. Such beautiful, rich colors! Seeing all these gorgeous irises makes me wonder what happened to mine this year. The purples bloomed well, but the others have tall fans with hardly a bloom. Love the columbine!

  25. Very beautiful garden , its really marvelous .

  26. Quite an inspiring place. I love orange irises.

  27. Love that orange iris and the purple columbine!

  28. Wow! Wow! Wow! So much beauty! :D
    Thanks for brightening my day!

  29. Dear Jennifer.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely Iris plants. The bluish ones are my favorite.
    And what lovely dogs you have. Smashing boys. I have 4 rascals myself, four ´girls´, three rough collies and a Sheltie. Always busy, curious, and always on the go. They do keep you on your toes, eh´...
    Best regards, Fie, Denmark.


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