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Good old reliable...

Japanese Iris "Gusto." by Leenechan
Japanese Iris "Gusto.", a photo by Leenechan on Flickr.

Our Japanese iris "Gusto" bloomed for the first time this morning. I was surprised! We only planted it six weeks ago, but it was kind enough to give us a flower this year. When all else fails, you can usually count on the Japanese irises to bloom the first year.

Many of our garden plants are doing well this year so far. Unfortunately, we do have some that are struggling. The eggplants have not been happy at all with the wet weather. The clematis haven't been producing many flowers this spring, because they desperately need to be pruned. And then there's the poppies...it's always the poppies. I have to believe that "Imperial Pink" and "Lauren's Grape" will bloom eventually. They don't look like they're suffering much...they just haven't reached blooming size yet, and the weather keeps getting hotter. I should have planted them in early May instead of around the 15th. Poppies really don't like the hot weather. I'm hoping that if I keep them shaded until they flower they'll reseed themselves next year and come up at the proper time...

Sometimes I think I'm a real idiot for trying to grow something that isn't suited to our climate. We're zone 6a, which is apparently too hot for poppies. It's not like there aren't plants that thrive under our weather conditions...our floribunda rose "Moondance" looks fantastic. Even the miniature yellow rosebush that we got last year, which suffered serious insect damage and is finally starting to recover after being dosed regularly with insecticidal soap, is making a good go of it this year. Why do I keep fixating myself on poppies? I'm just like Moominmama in "Moominpapa at Sea," trying to grow rosebushes on the beach until she eventually learns to work with the native plants. Except that I can grow roses. I just can't grow poppies!