Monday, May 15, 2017

The Marvelous Month of May

Clockwise from top left: bridal veil spirea, bleeding heart, lily of the valley, daffodil, allium.

My best-loved season is spring and May is my favorite month in the garden. Every day I discover a new bloom; the perpetual renewal never becomes boring. Today, I find bridal-veil spirea full of its delicate, lacy, white blossoms; there is more of Connie's sweet-scented lily of the valley among the lady's mantle; bleeding heart is stunning; and a few daffodils are clinging to the season. My biggest surprise is the purple allium in the butterfly garden: a surprise because I don't recall planting the bulbs last fall. Oh dear, my age is showing, but May always promises surprises.

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All seems possible in May."

--Edwin Way Teale
 As is often the case at this time of year, the weather has been very unpredictable. Mark Twain famously said, "In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." This is true of the past several weeks; heavy rains and high winds have not been unusual and some days have been too cold for me to venture outside. As a result, I am somewhat late in completing my spring tasks this year. But the garden didn't wait for me; it looks beautiful anyway especially since I gave all the beds a (late) mulching.

The Cottage Garden before I mulched with compost.
"The unmulched garden looks to me like some naked thing
which for one reason or another
would be better off with a few clothes on."
-- Ruth Stout

Weeping Japanes Maple by the waterfall is the star of Froggy Pond.

At the entrance to my Tranquility Garden, the viburnum is about to burst into bloom. This former shade garden is undergoing a transformation due to the felling of the large white maple. I removed the hostas, brunnera, hellebores and astilbes from the area because it now receives more sun. I've left similar plants, however, in spots that I think will continue to have enough shade.

I didn't remove plants from this side of Serenity Garden as it is still shady.
Can you see May apple behind the spirea
 A mixture of shade and sun plants. I'm waiting to see how Serenity fares this summer.

I doubled the size of the foundation bed across from the Serenity Garden and placed the shade-lovers there. I am hoping they will receive enough shade in the afternoon from the catalpa tree when its large leaves develop. If not, they must go to the Woodland Walk.

I added a recently acquired bloodroot.

Newly planted shade bed with bloodroot (top right.)

The Woodland Walk is looking lovely. To mark the path, H.H. placed branches from our beloved white birch that the wind blew down.

St. Francis on a carpet of sweet woodruff; wild ginger bottom right.

The kitchen garden displays all the promise of the new gardening season: peas are coming up, garlic and onions are green. All the beds are mulched with mushroom compost ready for planting.

Next time I'll write a Kitchen Garden update and tell you about my new coldframe extension on the potting shed. It is amazing; I can't wait to show you.

Today, it is very windy.

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May."
-- William Shakespear

The birds are busy. Top - Carolina wren. Bottom - scarlet tanager.

Forgive me for not giving botanical names but this is a late posting for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and I don't want to delay it further. (If you don't recognize a plant let me know in a comment.) If you haven't yet visited Carol's blog at May Dreams Gardens, please do pop by to see what is blooming around the world today. I'm off there now.

Happy May, dear gardening friends.

Pamela x

Yesterday, after the rain.

"Don't knock the weather: 
nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while."
--Kin Hubbard

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. What a wonderful garden you have. I do love that Japanese maple by the Froggy Pond. Happy Bloom Day!

  2. Hi Pam, I am always surprised at where the alliums get to. This week I must have dug out hundreds but do not worry there are hundreds left.

  3. Pam, would you mind sharing what exactly you mulch your gardens with? Your gardens are so beautiful.

    1. Thank you Erin. I've mulched them with a layer of mushroom compost first. Next month I will add cedar mulch. P. x

  4. I love that mulch quote! I am a great believer in a good mulch. Your garden is looking wonderful, Pam, although I have a suspicion that I might be very envious of your new cold frame extension!

  5. Flowers, a pond, veggie garden, birds, and a rainbow! You have it all! I enjoyed the quotes, too

  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful garden

  7. I love the month of May, too! I am definitely a spring garden planter--I struggle to plant things that will bloom when it's hot, but my spring garden shines! :)

    So lovely to get a glimpse of all you have growing right now. Also, I enjoyed the quotations scattered throughout. Happy May, my friend!

    1. There is something about the garden in May that spurs me to use quotations in my postings. Looking back, I see I did that last year too. P. x

  8. I'm with you Pam, May is my favorite month in the garden. Funny but I blogged nearly the same thing today!

  9. Everything is looking lovely in your gardens, Pam. Sorry it has been so cold and rainy, but soon enough there will be lots of sunshine to enjoy. Best, -Beth

  10. No one would know that you're late with your spring tasks as your garden is looking fantastic. My bleeding heart is dying back now and the daffodils are long gone but I do have alliums and lily of the valley blooming just now.

  11. Oh Pam-your gardens are looking so lush with that wonderful foliage and the Tranquility Garden does look so tranquil and inviting. We have been getting quite a number of rainy days as well, but remember May showers bring June flowers!!! (or something like that!) I enjoyed the views!

  12. I mulch with chipped garden prunings - and despite the drought - now it is cooler I need to prune exuberant shrubs.