Thursday, May 17, 2018

Blooms in the Serenity Garden in May

Vision of stillness
breathtakingly beautiful
peace, serenity.
Phyllis Babcock

The shade garden was not so serene two years ago when we removed the silver maple. The cutback in the amount of shade, the damage caused by fallen branches, and the resulting bareness of the beds made me very sad. Two springs later, serenity has returned to this favorite garden spot of mine. The plants have filled in the spaces and our serene lady once more dips her toes into a pool of blue grape hyacinths. The garden is enhanced by layers of foliage from dark green boxwoods and chartreuse spirea to climbing hydrangeas. Click on the pictures below to enlarge and see what I mean. You will notice the lacy ferns, the delicate white blossoms of lily-of-the valley, and a red bleeding heart, each adding its own beauty.

At the other end of Serenity the layered look is continued with mounds of hostas, a burgeoning turtle head, and an evergreen (the name of which I have forgotten) in front of the old cedar tree. The beautiful angel on the trunk of the cedar tree was gifted to me by my daughter more than ten years ago. The two plants in bloom in this area are lamium and calycanthus.

Tranquility of Nature's best
turns troubles to trivialities.
Joyce Johnson

I know I post pictures of the same flowers every year, but I never tire of May blooms: Jacob's ladder, lily-of-the-valley, bleeding heart, brunera, calycanthus, and violets -- all flowering in Serenity today. You've seen them before; here they are again:

Jacob's Ladder or Greek valerian (Polemonium caeruleum)
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost,' pink Lamium, and the faded flowers or Helleborus 'Ivory Prince.'

Clockwise from top left: Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), 
Miniature Hosta, Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus) 

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra sp.)

I planted numerous hostas in Serenity, with miniature ones in the fairy gardens. It was not so serene when I chased the deer out. I sprayed a deterrent, but with all the rain lately ...

Deer nibbled the hostas

There are violets all through Serenity ...

Violets (Viola sp.)
                                                                                             .... and more in the Cottage Garden:

Violet (Viola sororia 'Freckles')
In the Cottage Garden, violets and primroses, oh, my.

Also in the Cottage Garden the allium buds are ready to burst open.

Allium sp.

I am late for Garden's Bloggers' Bloom Day, celebrated on the 15th of each month, but I'm participating anyway. If you go to our host's blog, May Dreams Gardens, you will see that Carol's blooms are so much more advanced than mine even though her Indiana garden is the same zone 6 as here. Until fairly recently we were classified as zone 5 which I thought was much more accurate. Looking at Carol's columbine and clematis, I'm hopeful, however, as I feel the promise of blooms to come. Check it out!

The storms this week brought terrible devastation to much of the Northeast. We didn't lose power and my gardens were not impacted except for minor flooding. And I saw my first butterfly. I feel blessed! Wherever you live, I hope you are safe and enjoying your May garden.

Pamela x

Morning Cloak butterfly on Crabapple

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. How lovely. And serene. Serenity should be a goal for all our gardens, in my opinion. Happy belated Bloom Day!

    1. Thank you, Dorothy. Happy belated GBBD to you too.

  2. caerula, that exact sky blue is such a beautiful colour, and rare among flowers.

    1. I love blue flowers and Polemonium caeruleum is a favorite of mine.

  3. Your Serenity Garden is so beautiful and peaceful -- I especially love the violets. And very glad you didn't suffer major damage with the storms. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden with us! Best, -Beth

    1. Thank you, Beth. The violets spread all over the place and some gardeners don't like that. But I love them. When they finish blooming, I cut the leaves back and they make a new, small clump -- a nice ground cover.


  4. I like this statue very much, I have one here in the garden.
    Nice pictures

    1. I had a smaller one originally, but a skunk knocked it over and it broke. I love the bigger one!

  5. I love the flowers which bloom at this time of year and have many similar ones in my own garden. I lost my Jacob's Ladder and Pulmonaria though, they obviously didn't like my garden.

    1. It's hard to say why some plants survive in one garden and not in another. I have lost many (dare not think about the financial cost!). Gardening is so much trial and error, I think.

  6. Beautiful blooms and you have done such a wonderful job in your plant combinations & layering! I'm planting up a large area for the first time and am finding it challenging to envision what it will look like once the plantings fill in, so it's going to be a lot of trial and error. I just have to keep telling myself that this is half the fun and there really is no "mistake" that can't be corrected :)

    1. It was very much trial and error. My serenity garden is 12 years old now and has undergone lots of changes. You are right about mistakes. Hang in there!