Ajuga, Baptisia, and Columbine

April showers have brought May flowers and a lot of action from the spring perennials.  ABCs: Ajuga, Baptisia and Columbine.  I know I am mixing scientific and common names here, but that is pretty normal in my garden.  Whatever name I can remember is what I call the plants around me.

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I have ajuga reptans – bugleweed – growing along the north side of the house in the shade.  It is really vibrant now and the bees have been enjoying it.

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Baptisia australis – blue false indigo.  Both the blue flowers and the tender green leaves are so pretty now.  This is a native Midwest plant.

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Just before the thunderstorm last week I grabbed a three-legged, round stake and put it around the base of the baptisia to keep it from bending or breaking during the storm.    It held up well.  Last year I did not do that and it was messy after the storms.  In front is catmint – nepeta ‘walker’s low’, which should start blooming soon.

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Columbine has spread all over the northeast garden bed.  The large clumps are so cheery, but each spring I have to pull up a lot of baby columbine plants before they crowd out my other plants.

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Bee on Columbine.  I am not sure if this is a carpenter bee or a bumble bee.

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I have a few of these lavender colored columbine flowers blooming now.

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 A close-up of a chive flower that I planted under the American plum bushes.

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The lily of the valley are blooming now.

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During this long weekend I did not want to work too hard, but yesterday was a beautiful day, so I got out and pruned the dead flowers and branches off the lilac bushes, since this is the best time to year to trim them up.  Meanwhile, my daughter sat nearby and we discussed a term paper for her summer class.  What a beautiful weekend we are having!

In the background you can see the purple ajuga as well as the lily of the valley plants along the fence.

Mid-May Flowers, Birds, and a Salad

Welcome to my new blog!  I previously posted at pardonmygarden.wordpress.com.  Visit there if you want to know what happened in my garden between January 2010 and May 2014.

Here are a few things I took pictures of this week.

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Bulbs blooming in the garden.  I am not positive of the name, since I lost the package they came in.  They are so small I would miss them if I did not come close.

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Heuchera – plum pudding surrounded by fresh green leaves.  On the left are echinacea – cone flower leaves.  The grasses are korean feather reed grass – calamagrostis brachytricha.

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The lilacs have stayed looking good a long time this year.  In the background are common lilacs and they are the ones with the wonderful fragrance.  The darker lilacs are a french lilac called Charles Joly.

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There are so many beautiful leaves in the garden.  Here aruncus – goatsbeard – unfurls its leaves and flower stem.  The flowers will be white soon.

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Yesterday at sunrise I went to Lake Katherine.  I think this is a Great Egret, though I am not an expert.  The morning was cold and this bird seemed to be hunkered down, though looking for a meal, too.

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It looks like the great blue heron is building its nest here on this island in the lake.  Maybe this wooden support was put here for this purpose.

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Here is a shot with the egret and heron in the same picture.  I know that there is a white version of the great blue heron, but the great egret had black legs, so I concluded that it was the great egret.  Fun to see these birds in Florida and now here.

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The geese and goslings are less exotic, but fun to watch.

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I picked a variety of baby kale and lettuce from the garden and topped it with a pear, banana, strawberries and cashews.  I loved it!  The fruit was from the store, but I will have strawberries soon.