May In The Garden is certainly one for the Lady Bugs. They are EVERYWHERE! I didn’t buy any this year, but I must have done something right last year because everywhere I look there are at least seven or eight on a plant. They have taken over the lavender, the passion vines, and definitely the foxglove
While the lady bugs are planning their takeover of the garden, the Loofah and Birdhouse gourds are coming in nicely. Hubby built a nice trellis out of a scrap of hog panel I bought from the junk yard for $5. They still have quite a bit of growing to do before they reach the bottom of the trellis, but all the seeds I had planted germinated. I had soaked the seeds in a hydrogen peroxide mix before planting them and it seems to have worked! If you would like more details on how I did that, click here.
I heard a friend of mine has about ten thousand tadpoles in their pool. Naturally my first instinct was GIMMEEE!!! To prepare for the little buggers I made this little pond out of material I already had around the garden. I took an large metal bucket and placed a few rocks and pavers in it to create a nice little waterfall. To keep the water moving I am using a solar pump. It isn’t my favorite way to go since it only pumps water when the panel is fully in the sun, but for a short lived set-up, it will be fine. I also added a little piece of bark to float on the water so when the tadpoles grow into frogs they will have a place to hang onto. Lastly I filled it with rain water to avoid all the chlorine you find in tap water. Now I wait for frogs from my friend.
While I am waiting for the frogs, I am also experimenting with plantings in footed bowls. I had picked up a cute little variegated plant called Silene u. Druett. It looked perfect for a bowl that I have had for years, but had not found the perfect use or spot for yet. You would think I could do so many things with it, but up until now I have been unsuccessful. It’s very big and heavy, so anytime I added something to it I had a hard time finding a permanent place for it. The plant and dirt are still a bit heavy, but not entirely unmanageable on the outdoor table. I felt like I was pretty successful with that bowl, so I also decided to try my luck with a succulent I got from a friend and a metal footed bowl I bought at a garage sale. I believe the plant is a String of Bananas.
The plant I am most excited about is the peony hubby gave me for Mother’s Day. It has huge yellow blooms that are almost the size of my hand. It is the Bartzella Itoh Peony, and I am extremely happy to have it, but I am a little iffy on the price. In one store the exact plant from the same grower cost $100 and in another $89. Not a huge difference, but a bit annoying. You can buy the exact same plant as a bulb for around $15, but then you have to wait three years before you see a bloom. That’s a hard call for me. I would not have bought the plant for myself, but I am thrilled to get it as a gift.
The rest of the garden is really coming alive. The lavender is small and cute right now with a few pretty blooms, A volunteer snap dragon is showing off, and the clematis is looking fantastic with its big purple blooms. The hydrangea garden is still a bit meh, but I will be patient.