Friday, May 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, May 2015

Sweet Shrub, Calycanthus in the shade garden.
And then the day came
when the risk to remain
tight in a bud was
more painful than the 
risk to bloom. 
-- Anais Nin

We can learn so much from tending a garden: I have learned to take risks in my life, to try something new however painful. The poet Mark Nepo, in The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, gives numerous, inspiring examples from nature on 'how to stay vital and in love with this life.' A quiet walk through my garden soon after sunrise brings me into the present and sets the tone for my day. On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, come with me on that walk. Oh, and bring a sweater -- it's another cold morning.

Bordering the Stone Garden more lilac blossoms than usual shed their heady aroma. A canopy of shade provided by the tall maples tends to limit the number of lilac flowers. This year, however, not only the common purple is blooming but also the pale pink and the white one.

 The white and purple lilacs are in full bloom. The pale pink blossoms are nearly there,

I've lost the name of this white beauty.

In the Cottage Garden the crabapple tree, in full bloom, takes center stage. It is the star of my garden every May.

You can just make out the lilacs under the maple trees to the left of the crabapple.

Near the pond new growth, like fairy lights, adorn the miniature spruce.

Picea abies 'Pendula'

 Walking around the house to the front garden we find the first of the azaleas blooming bright red in the shade of the foundation planting.  The white one on the other side of the porch will be another week before its petals open.

Through the gate and into the shade garden we find more May blooms: brunnera, lamium, hellebore, Jacobs ladder, and lily of the valley. And, of course, lots of gorgeous foliage.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost,' pink lamium, and the faded flowers or helleborus 'Ivory Prince.'

The 'naked lady' statue is bathing in a foam of spirea 'Golden Mound.' Too early for blooms but beautiful chartreuse foliage.

I find blue flowers particularly gorgeous, and Jacob's ladder is no exception with its lavender blue cup-shaped blooms.

Jacob's-ladder or Greek valerian, polemonium caeruleum

Into the Woodland Walk now where lily-of-the-valley's clusters of fragrant white bells abound. Spreading by rhysomes, they make excellent ground cover for the Woodland Garden, but need too much space for the Cottage Garden. I have to remember they are very poisonous and keep them out of the nearby horse's pasture.

Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis

Sweet woodruff carpets the Woodland Walk. One of my favorite spring flowers, it is another native plant that I am happy to own. A small clump was given to me by my friend, Pat, many years ago. It's exuberent behavior is easy to control by simply tugging unwanted plants out. They are easy to remove but I rarely want to do so. This often forgotten herb is a valuable addition to shady areas.

Sweet Woodruff, Galium odoratum

I hope you enjoyed this short walk through my mid-May garden. I am linking to Carol at May Dreams Gardens where she graciously hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month. Now I'm going over to Carol's wonderful blog to see what is blooming in gardens all around the world.

Happy GBBD!

Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Lilacs were my father's favorite flower. They don't get enough chill here to produce blooms. I love seeing them on other blogs for Bloom Day. Thank you.

  2. that crabapple is a prima donna!

  3. Your garden looks wonderful in May. I tried that sweet shrub a few years ago, but I lost it. I'm not sure it likes my climate but I would love to try it again.

  4. Hi Pam, Your garden looks so pretty right now! I love to see the pretty flowers and shrubs in bloom, and I enjoy learning what the names are. Many of them I can identify, but others are new to me. Your crabapple tree is beautiful; we had one with flowers that exact same color at our house in Greensboro. I couldn't wait for it to bloom every spring. :) I also love lilacs, but they're hard to grow here in the south because our winters typically don't get cold enough. The Jacob's Ladder plant has lovely flowers; I've heard of it but to my knowledge haven't seen one before.

    Thanks for the tour through your garden, Pam. I hope you have a great weekend!



  5. The lilacs are so stunning! I have never seen the real here. I want to grow it on my garden. But I'm not sure that the weather is favorable.

  6. I noticed that quite a few bloggers are saying that their Lilacs are flowering well this year - perhaps 2015 is the year of the Lilac :)
    Your garden is looking great and so lush too, perfect for the time of year Pam.

  7. Your garden is looking beautiful, Pam! I love your garden statuary as well. Enjoy spring, my friend!

  8. Beautiful blooms.....and one of my favorite quotes!

  9. Pam, your gardens and your farm are looking so lovely at this wonderful time of year! The photo of the lady bathing in the golden foliage is beautiful, and I can almost smell those lilacs (mine are about finished now). Thanks so much for sharing these lovely images and flowers with us! -Beth

  10. Beautiful tour, Pam. I so admire your house, farm and gardens. No cute little ponies this post? My lilacs also bloomed quite well and are still in flower. It was a good year for them.

  11. Simply beautiful. Thank you for taking us on a walk with you through the garden. With your more temperate climate, you can grow so many things I cannot. It's fun to see yours.~~Dee

  12. I think the crabapple is the star of the show here, spectacular. My lilac is blooming at the moment too, it's a dark lilac colour, really pretty. I have a small amount of lily of the valley but it doesn't bulk up at all. I don't want it to become invasive as it does in some places but I'd like it to put on a bit of growth, I don't think it's going to though, I've had it for quite a few years now and I'm still waiting.

  13. Hi Pam,

    Lovely taking a walk around your garden with you. Lots of colour and your apple is wonderful!

  14. Love the area of the spirea - it's so lush!

  15. So many beautiful blossoms! I loved seeing them. Your spruce tree made me smile. I keep thinking I don't have room for evergreens, but I forget there's many dwarf varieties that can add another layer of interest. Lily-of-the-valley is on my list to plant someday, but it will have to wait until my kids are older (or until we move someplace with a lot more land!)
    Thanks for sharing your garden this month!

  16. Cold here again for the next several days...about 40, windy and feeling like the 30s...brrr! Pam your garden looks so lush and stunning....I hope I can get there one day. Right now I am a jungle of weeds and a garden not quite looking like a garden anymore.

  17. Goodness it's only been ten days since bloom day yet I can't even remember lilacs. Where has this spring gone!?
    It's so nice to see green again, and your shade garden looks so serene and calm. I once grew the sweet woodruff but voles devoured it one winter and I miss it.
    Have a great week!