New Perennials In Garden: May 2010

From left: Echinacea ‘Pink Poodle’, ‘Appleblossom’ Hollyhock, Echinacea ‘White Swan’, ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ Bugbane, Bergenia, and ‘Regal Red’ Lady Fern.

May is the month to plant perennials and shrubs in New England. I’ve been a little crazy buying plants the few last weeks. I feel a bit guilt. Plant shopping for me is like going to a really good sample sale. You buy everything you ‘like’ because your so freaked out all your favorites will be snatched up.

I planted a lot of perennials last year including Baptista, Peonies, Phlox, Lilies, and Sedum. I’m trying to fill in spots without going overboard. The plants do get big overtime so I need to be careful not to put in too much. Still on my list Bee Balm, more dwarf Delphinium, Lupine, and lots of different hostas and ferns for the back shady part of my border.

Last night, Greg had to break up about 400lbs of concrete and blacktop that was hidden under the end of my border for my new ‘Josee’ lilac—new variety that blooms multiple times in the summer. This one particular spot gets lots of sun which lilacs love. Next to it is shade where I have three Endless Summer Hydrangeas in a row. Thanks Greg for helping me with my vision.

My garden gets a lot of afternoon sun. Before noon it’s mostly in the shade. See photos below. By mid-summer the garden gets even more sun in the front part. The back stays shady with about 3 hours hours of hot afternoon sun.

This weekend I will be up in Maine for Mother’s Day. My mom and I are going to do some plant shopping. Hopefully we’ll find some nice healthy boxwoods for my front garden and more shade garden items.

Whef! All this planting buying and planting is exhausting. Below a list of plants I purchased so far this spring. I ordered a few plants via catalog/online—something I’ve never done before. My two shipments from Klemns’ Song Sparrow and White Flower Farm have been great. I’ll let you know how the plants do as the season progresses.

Full Sun
Echinacea purpurea ‘Pink Poodle’
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’
Delphinium Hybrid ‘Connecticut Yankee’
Alcea rosea ‘Appleblossom’ Hollyhock
Bachelor Button
Salvia pratensis ‘Pink Delight’ (Meadow Clary)
Double Rose Peony Poppy (from seed)
‘Provence’ Lavender
Syringa x ‘Josee’ Lilac

Sun to Part Shade
Actaea Ramosa ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ PP9,988 Bugbane or Snakeroot
Athyrium n. ‘Regal Red’ Lady Fern
Thalictrum sp. ‘Black Stockings’
Bergenia ‘Rotblum’
Campanula persicifolia ‘Blue’
Camelot Rose Foxglove Digitalis ‘Camelot Rose’

Eventually the backside of the house will become a patio. The hydrangeas will grow up and give us a little privacy from the street. Someday we are thinking about putting a fence all the way down the side. And yes, the house will get painted!

Related Posts:
Salem Garden Club Tour 2009
Ropes Mansion Gardens Salem, Ma
Garden Progress in Early June 2009

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  1. I love yur flower selections – you should try Hollyhocks and Loves Lies Bleeding – they would make a great background for your house.


  2. Katy,

    I’ve had some luck with pink Hollyhocks – but it’s the dark Watchman that I can’t get to bloom. We have some problem’s with rust but mainly – I think that it’s just been too warm here for them to really thrive. Maybe this year is the year. We’ve had enough snow and cold weather to feel the North part of the North Carolina! Crossing my fingers and making cow manure tea like the master Tasha Tudor – cheers!


  3. thanks for sharing all of this, katy. i wish i could invest in perennials, but i just have a fire escape garden at this point. (boo new york city). i really enjoying keeping up with your pretty house and garden. :)


  4. Sheesh!! I feel like weeping with envy! it’s still so cold over here in Northern Scotland most of the trees are still bare!!


  5. how lovely. I feel rather depressed though as all my flowers have just been planted out as little seedlings. I can’t wait for them to ‘grow up’ but having said that it’s also exciting watching them grow. M x


  6. Really you have a hard time with hollyhocks? Hmm they seem to grow in every spare crack in my neighborhood. I’ll let you know how mine do.


  7. I have to tell you – flower names get me every time – you’re making me consider “Connecticut Yankee” last year I planted an Earl Grey Delph.
    and even though I have never successfully gotten one to bloom – I try The Watchman Hollyhocks every year. Good luck!


  8. Wonderful! Sigh, don’t you just love gardening.

    What a beautiful hollyhock. Thanks for showing that one, I had no idea they could look like that. Maybe I’ll have to find a space for that in my garden next year.

    I know what you mean about exhausting. I have been getting up early to water and plant before work, have a lot of plants sitting around that I haven’t had time to get in the ground yet. Saturday. But if I could, I’d be in the garden every second.