Garden Photo of the Day

What April Showers Bring

May flowers!

Here are some of the flowers that are blooming away in my garden in eastern Virginia. May in this part of the country marks the transition from spring to summer, and I’m enjoying everything looking lush and vigorous before the real heat of summer sets in and the weeds start getting away from me.

Roses are in full swing right now. This is ‘Marie Pavie’, a little rose that has really impressed me with its incredibly prolific flowers, stellar disease resistance, and even a nice scent! It is so loaded down with flowers that it is literally drooping under their weight, which, I think, gives it an appealing, slightly rumpled, romantic look.

Rosa laevigata is native to Asia but goes by the common name of Cherokee rose because it has naturalized around the warmer parts of North America. Only hardy to around Zone 7, it thrives in the heat and humidity of a Southeastern summer, producing huge numbers of the large, simple, white, fragrant flowers. Farther south it can spread into wild areas. I’ve never seen it become invasive around here, but just to be sure, I’ll deadhead it to prevent it from setting seeds.

My very small rock garden is looking good right now. I’ve built up this area with 6 to 8 inches of sand and gravel to provide good drainage, with cheap ceramic tiles inserted to create crevices that guide plants’ roots deep. It is a good habitat for plants that love good drainage and might resent the heat and humidity to come. This dianthus (‘Red Penny’, Zones 4–8) is doing much better than I had hoped.

Behind the dianthus, this tiny little Silene (‘Pink Surprise’, Zones 4–8) has thrilled me. A lot of these little plants in the genus Silene hate hot summers, but this one has done wonderfully, nearly covering itself with sweet pink flowers each year.

I got this little campanula (bellflower) from a friend and don’t know the name, which is a shame because I really love the sweet purple flowers that come multiple times over the summer. In typical campanula fashion, however, it is starting to spread. But I think it is too small to actually become a weedy problem.


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View Comments


  1. paiya 05/15/2019

    Thank you for the information about the rock garden-I have never thought of using tiles like you have. The roses look beautiful -do they bloom earlier than most roses, or is it usual fir your area of zone 7?

  2. cwalda 05/15/2019

    Love Blue flowers such joy to see the beautiful blooms.

  3. cheryl_c 05/15/2019

    All your pictures are delightful, but I was particularly taken with Dianthus Red Penny. I'd not seen that one, and love the color. Your gravel garden is looking VERY good! Congratulations on getting plants to grow there that would struggle elsewhere in your climate.

  4. User avater
    simplesue 05/15/2019

    Loved reading about your pretty garden, and learning some tips on the Dianthus in your rock garden, which I just planted this spring. I love the campanulas. So hard to ID since there are 100s listed. Roses in Pittsburgh have not opened any where I have seen, so it was nice to see a preview in your garden!

  5. btucker9675 05/15/2019

    Love your clever use of the tiles for the rock garden - purposeful and pretty!

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