My garden | 05.09.12

Our cool, wet spring continues here at Cherry Creek. Although we haven’t had the record-setting rainfall that areas south and north of us have endured, the ample moisture we have received has the garden looking as lush as ever.

One one side of the redbud (Cercis canadensis) in the northwest border, the cranberrybush viburnum (V. trilobum ‘Bailey Compact’) that I planted last fall has already doubled in size. Its trident-shaped, serrated leaves carry a blush of burgundy as they emerge, eventually settling into a yellow-green hue.

The redbud itself has finished flowering, but after many of the rain showers, its bark takes on dark, rich hues of brown, grey and black. Since most of the flowering branches have now been pruned above eye level, the bark of this tree is the true accent piece in this border.

Tiny yellow-green leaves that seem to have a bronze burnish have starting to grow near the ends of the branches. The redbud always loses several small branches over the winter, and this is the time of year where their demise becomes evident. Once the tree is leafed out a bit more, it will be time to get up into it’s canopy and thin the deadwood.

The ‘Blushing Bride’ hydrangea planted at the base of our Littleleaf Linden (Tilia americana) is slowly growing new foliage from its crown. This variety is a part of the Endless Summer® hydrangea collection, but its slow rate of growth has me wondering when the start of summer will arrive.

The second ‘Blushing Bride’ in the landscape, planted beneath a flowering crabapple in the driveway border, seems to have weathered our cold winter a bit better. Growing about twice the size of its compatriot in the back yard, this week it has been slowly sprinkled as the crabapple lost the last of its white petals in the rainstorms. Soon, the tulips and other bulbs planted around it will be finished, and it will be given more of a spotlight in this corner of the garden.

Across the driveway near the corner of the house, the Hylotelephium ‘Matrona’ stands nearly 15 inches tall and more than two feet wide. It’s a clump that is likely in need of division, but I’m going to wait until next spring so that this specimen can fill the space beneath the burning bush (Euonymous alatus) to anchor this garden bed for the rest of the growing season.

We’re now just over a third of the way through the year. The initial flush of spring blooms is near and end. A few lilacs and tulips are still holding their own, but the iris and peonies are waiting eagerly in the wings. The daily changes in the garden are more apparent as it morphs into its summer clothing. By next week, after several days of heat (80F+ forecast), the landscape will likely have a completely new character once again.

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