Friday, May 20, 2016

Maytime in the Cottage Garden

Crabapple blossoms

I wish May would last forever, just go on and on. The garden feels so fresh and new in the early morning with its subtle verdant shades and its sweet spring flowers. It draws me outside each dawn to mark the daily changes with my camera. Here are the pictures I took on May 15, the day that garden bloggers around the world celebrate Bloom Day with Carol at May Dreams Gardens. I looked back at previous GBBD pictures and was amazed how many of my shrubs have filled out. That's one of the joys of blogging: every year is different.

Along Bluebell Creek the English bluebells are blooming, rekindling memories of springtime walks in the woods of my childhood.

English bluebell Hyacinthoides non scripta

Nearby, the pieris shrubs in my Woodland Walk provide color with their flaming May blooms. I recently learned that Pieris is sometimes called Lily-of-the-Valley plant. I think that name applies to those pieris with tiny white flowers -- I have that type too. I'm so happy some of the shrubs and flowers I planted here survived the winter and the deer.

The Woodland Walk

Speaking of Lily-of-the-Valley, I can see the sweet flower and smell its perfume in the Woodland Walk and several other shady areas.

Lily of the Valley, Ladies' Mantle and Sedum

Also, in the Woodland Walk, the newly planted brunnera survived some deer nibbles and put forth its forget-me-not blooms.

Brunnera macrophylla  -- can't remember which one.

I'm choosing Brunnera as my May plant for Diana's Dozen as I couldn't imagine a shade garden without its beautiful foliage. It's fun to compare my choices with those of Diana in her stunning South African garden.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

I'm naming the shade garden 'Serenity.' Serenity gardens are often associated with Japanese gardens, but it is the perfect word to describe the way I feel in this space.

My  Serenity Garden

The cottage garden and the pond are filled with spring beauty. The forget-me-nots are everywhere.

Blue and White Forget-me-nots in the Cottage Garden

Allium shoots up with buds full of promise.

Allium 'Globe Master' and some late daffodils

We planted the dwarf cutleaf maple to shade the waterfall from the harsh summer sun. It has reached its glory this year. I can't resist showing how it looked three years ago.

That was then ...

The Pond, May 2013

This is now ...

The dwarf maple May 2016

 Notice the yellow iris in bloom in the pond.

Dwarf cutleaf maple Acer palmatum

I've started adding annuals in pots to the garden; this hanging basket of calibrachoa was the first.
Dude and Billy, along Penny Lane, patiently wait for their breakfast as I continue with my photo shoot.

The kitchen garden is ready for me to finish planting. The cool weather crops: lettuce, snowpeas and onions are in. Notice the bottom-left of the picture: the rhubarb went to seed early. I wasn't vigilant and only noticed its blooms when I took this photograph. How did I miss it? No rhubarb pie this year! What a bummer.

In the herb garden on the patio I planted more lettuce, also spinach, flat-leaf parsley and Swiss chard. There are rosemary and sage from last year, too. Also, I thing the borage plant is coming back.

The seedlings under the grow lights in the potting shed, and those in the house, are doing well. A few plants are ready to go into the ground ...

Strawberries, fuschia and cosmos hardening off on the outside potting bench.

Finally, the May 15 view from the den window. I've decided to take a picture from this location on the 15th of every month to mark the changes in my garden.

The pond from the den window.

As I said, the pictures in this posting were taken several days ago.  I'll shoot more before the end of the month to observe the progress. Every day brings changes to my gardens. This is the BEST time of the year!

Happy Maytime,
Pamela x

Late daffodils frame one of the mini gardens

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  1. Love that view from the den window. All of your garden is an inspiration, a goal that I can only strive to achieve.

  2. I thoroughly enjoy strolling through your lovely gardens. It is all wonderful.


  3. Your crabapple shares its vibrant colour with my Nerine.

    Brunnera leaves are lovely in both shape and colour, the flowers a bonus!

    I wonder what my Japanese maple will look like in another 3 years. It is, beginning to tree up.

    1. It is said about plants: "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap." By that time, Diana,your Japanese maple should be leaping!

  4. Love that last view and look forward to seeing it monthly....and oh that maple shading the waterfall is stunning.

  5. Jack Frost brunnera is a favorite here too. Just make sure you don't mulch too heavily around them, because you'll get plenty of free plants from the seeds they drop everywhere!

  6. I can't believe your Rhubarb went to seed already! Mine (although transplanted last year) is just getting going. You must have a very healthy patch! I'm so impressed with your raised beds, and they look so attractive, too! Your gardens are looking great!

  7. What beautiful views of spring, I love all the healthy lushness of the fresh leaves and new flowers and I love the before and after pictures best of all! Nice how the woodland garden is filling in. This is the first year that I'm having a few nicer clumps of forget me nots, I think mulching with compost has made them a little happier.
    The bluebells look great already. They will be a fantastic show when they fill in further. I think they are the Spanish bluebells though, similar to the English, but much easier to grow in our climate.
    I have my fingers crossed these comments post, I've noticed none of my last few comments made it through and I am now on to a new operating system and hoping for better luck ;)

  8. Pam, your gardens look so beautiful during this lovely May! And how wonderful that you don't even have to leave your own backyard to find such a place of serenity. Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful late spring scenes with us! -Beth

  9. Hi Pam, You have a really lovely garden. It seems strange to me you talking about plants surviving deer damage as my only problems are slugs and snails. I love your flowers, especially the forget me nots and the calibrachoa they are just beautiful.

  10. Boy you've been busy. Now I have to go smell my Lily-of-the-Valley or Mary's Flower. Oh, I miss not having Forget Me Nots. Dam...I gotta get a landscaper/gardener place is perfect.

  11. Your garden is looking so lovely! I love your brunnera - it's one of the plants on my list to get someday. My oldest rhubarb plant went to seed as well. Since I've only been growing rhubarb since I moved up north, I didn't realize you had to cut the whole flower stalk off, not just the flower bud. I just realized today that I had a whole bunch of hollow rhubarb flower tubes and not too much actual rhubarb for pie! Ah, lesson learned... Next year!

  12. Pam, what lovely views from every direction. The maple is absolute perfection; I wish I could persuade one to survive our winters here, but so far, no luck. I'm always amazed at how gardens grow whenever you see pictures from years past. Your garden is stunning!