Thursday, May 29, 2014

May Dreams

English Bluebell

May was especially beautiful this year. Perhaps because for me winter was so cold, so full of pain, so sad, so very long. Now all the promises and dreams of spring are realized in my garden. Every lovely bloom is a surprise of color and delight of perfume. The shade garden came to life first, with spikes of blue grape hyacinths between the greening shrubs.

English boxwood, grape hyacinths, and golden mound spirea.

Now the shade garden is lush with hostas, ferns, brunnera, Jacob's ladder, all pushing through beds of lamium and  sweet woodruff, against a backdrop of climbing hydrangeas.

The shade garden in May.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' grows bigger and better every year.

Jacob's ladder Polemonium caeruleum -- another native plant for shade

May saw the return of my morning ritual -- walking through the garden, coffee mug in hand, when the chorus of birds is at its symphonic best. I see that my dreams of England are realized in the thick clumps of English bluebells, more dense and starting to spread, along Bluebell Creek. 

Bluebell Creek

The native English bluebell can be a nuisance in gardens in England, spreading like weeds, but they are more restrained and therefor very welcome in my garden, bringing happy memories of my childhood.

English bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta

This morning, I am joined by an unexpected guest in the Woodland Walk. He, or she, sniffs the bluebells' heady scent but does not eat them.

Walking toward the cottage garden, I pass my favorite shrub (today) vibernum with its amazing array of blossoms.


In the cottage garden, foxgloves are in bloom and peonies are in bud. A pale blue iris is just unfurling its petals.

Foxgloves, and an iris by the sundial.

The first yellow water iris is blooming in the pond.

Unbelievably, there were some daffodils flowering as late as last week.

Daffodil Narcissus 'Pheasant's Eye'

'Pheasant's Eye' is a very fragrant daffodil.

Primrose Primula is beginning to fade.

On the front porch I placed a basket of flowers given to me by my dear friend, Janet, to remind me of my mother's garden. The warm color is dramatized by the contrasting white-on-white of the azalea and the bridal-veil spirea.

Azalea and Bridal-veil spirea

On the deck, a robin has built a nest on the pergola, under the grape vine. We are entering and leaving the house by the back porch as often as we can so as not to disturb her ...

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

-- Langston Hughes

 All the promises and dreams of spring are realized in my garden in May.

Pamela x

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's Spring: Better Late ...

Spring has arrived at last! I'm glad spring waited for me while I was out of the country. Perusing last year's blog postings I see she is about a month late to my Pennsylvania garden. But the cold temperatures, followed by a record rain, have ended, and I can enjoy some spring blooms and start the spring clean-up. 

First, let's see what is blooming. The forsythia is renowned for ushering in spring and the shrub along Bluebell Creek is magnificent again. That is a close-up of it's blooms in the picture above.

Forsythia, Forsythia

I found primroses that I don't remember planting in the shade garden. I love this particular blue -- a wonderful, spring surprise.

Primrose, Primula vulgaris

My yellow primroses are in bloom, too, but the daffodils by the front fence are quite faded, now.

My favorite double daffodil, however, is still in full glory. I show this on my blog every year because I love it so much.

Daffodil, Narcissus sp.

Another find -- this clump of hellebores in the Woodland Walk.

Hellebore Helleborus x hybridus

My old friend 'Ivory Prince' is strutting it's stuff in the shade garden.

Hellebore, Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'

H.H. opened the pond while I was away and the lovely weeping cherry nearby is in full bloom for the first time. I planted it last spring after we planted the cherry tree in England in honor of my mother. This tree is my American reminder of her.

Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'

I tend to show many of the same blooms every year, so it is refreshing to share the first pictures of my exquisite cherry blossom.

Cherry Blossom

 We are heading for blue skies ...

Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus

The birds are singing, calling me outside. I am so happy that Spring waited for me this year.

Pamela x

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