Blooming in May
While the weather on Cape Cod has been cool and dreary, the native plants have more than made up for it. For the last 3 weeks I have been touring the garden, camera in hand, and this year the blooms are more abundant than ever. It has been a joy and I wanted to share!
Beach plum, Prunus maritimus. This is a grouping of three shrubs, which are the first shrubs to flower; the group always forms a striking picture against the dark evergreens. In the lawn are scattered non-native buttercups. That’s Rosa rugosa to the left, and the twisty tree to the right is winged sumac, Rhus copallimun, a native understory tree.
Redbud, Cercis canadensis. Redbud is really a mid-Atlantic native, but I planted one in a protected area just for the spring blooms. it gets regular compost as it likes rich soil, but I’m still not sure how long it will survive up north here. Usually the branches grow wide, but in this part-shade location they are growing quite tall. The oak next to it is just leafing out.
Mayapple, Polyphyllum peltatum. I planted 5 of these several years ago, and the population has been slowly increasing; this year there were 15 plants, 3 of which bore flowers. The blooms are under the 8″ high plants, so I was down on the ground to catch these flowers. Later, there will be round yellow fruits that are favorites of box turtles. Watch out, though, as all parts of the plant are toxic to pets and humans if ingested.
This grouping is in the full-sun South Border and appeared a week before I was expecting it. The plants (L-R) are Bluestar (Amsonia tabernamontana), Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis), Blue salvia, and Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata cultivar). There are also variegated iris, daylilies and an Eastern prickly pear cactus in the mix, and an Echinacea in the pot to thwart the rabbits.
Dogwood Rutgers Pink, which is a hybrid of the native Cornus florida and the non-native Cornus kousa. I grew up with a pink dogwood in the front yard, and it was my mother’s favorite flower. So, I had to plant a pink dogwood. I chose this one, even though it is a hybrid, because the cross with the Kousa dogwood protects it from the anthracnose disease that affects dogwoods.
Wild columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. Two years ago, I planted several columbines among the ferns and white wood aster in this 6’x8′ corner. They did well and seeded all over so this year there are a dozen stalks like this one. Such a treat!