Monday, May 31, 2021

A Profusion of April and May Blossoms

Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Tiny Wine'®

"Blossom by blossom the spring begins."

-- Algernon Charles Swinburne

Spring-blooming trees and shrubs were more stunning than ever before in my garden this year. There were no frosts to mar their beauty. The flowers on the miniature cherry (that I featured in my last post) were followed by weeping redbud and crabapple blooms. The viburnums, then rhododendron, bridal-veil spirea, and mock orange were next to don their spring finery. The ninebark (above) and one of the red twig dogwoods bloomed for the first time. Even the ancient pear tree was loaded with blossoms. 

Clockwise from top left: Viburnum 'Molly Schoeder', Miniature redbud Lavender twist® Cercis canadensis 'Covey', Mock orange Philadelphus, Red twig dogwood Arctic Fire® Cornus stolonifera, Bridal veil spirea

The old pear tree, that we call Karl, is full of blossoms again


A spell of sunny, hot weather contributed to the profusion of blooms although, unfortunately, we had no rain for a long time. The storm hit this holiday weekend with nighttime temperatures of 43ºF and 4+ inches of rain. I was disappointed that it was too cold and wet to garden while Jonathan was here. Every Memorial Day weekend he helps me sow and plant the kitchen garden. We managed a trip to Edge of the Woods native plant nursery, however, and bought plants for the rain garden extension.

A cold, rainy end to the month of May

As I didn't write an April review, I didn't tell you about the tree work that was done that month. We had two of the big ash trees removed because they were decimated by the emerald ash borer. As there was no pathway wide enough to reach the trees, Duane removed a panel of picket fence and the 'spider' was remotely manouvered through the narrow opening. It then put out its 'legs' and extended upward; you can see why it is called a spider. 

The arborists used a 'spider' when removing two ash trees


We also had pruning and trimming work done.

Trimming the five maple trees at the side of the house and pruning the crabapple tree.

We made a table and stools from the ash-tree logs. Duane added a chiminea to the space. He nailed a deer skull that has a broken antler to a tree; giving the area a name, The Broken Antler Café.  It is a favorite spot for Pappy and Harry to enjoy their burgers and hotdogs. 

The Broken Antler Café


I weeded and composted during the month of April. I used mushroom compost.


Weeding and composting completed in all the borders and beds


We extended the rain garden and widened Abundance to make that garden more balanced. I planted a border of lavender at Jonathan's request. I think he wants to be reminded that we hope to reschedule our trip to Paris next year, since it was cancelled due to the Pandemic. While lavender grows well in France, it doesn't always survive in the Poconos, so I tried to replicate the conditions that it likes -- adding lime to the soil and a dressing of gravel. I chose 'Phenomenal' as they survive best in the Northeast. The plants are quite small -- actually they were even smaller when I purchased them (at a discounted price) so I grew them on under grow lights. If all goes as planned, they should fill that gravel garden and spill over the rock border in the next three years. Patience is a virtue of the gardener. 

Lavender 'Phenomenal' Lavandula x intermedia

Here is a review of some of May's blooms in my gardens. My English bluebells are not as magnificent as those in the pictures on Sarah's blog in England. I am linking with her HERE!


Bluebell Creek

Clockwise from top left: Bearded iris, Dwarf crested iris Iris cristata, Salvia Salvia nemorosa 'Cardonna', Yellow flag iris Iris pseudacorus, Alium Allium 'Purple sensation'


One of the highlights of the month of May was a Mother's Day trip to Longwood Gardens. My son-in-law, Scott, took some fabulous photographs. I will feature them in my next posting. . . .

Longwood Gardens Conservatory -- Photo by Scott Strunk

... And I will try not to leave it so long before I write again.

Happy Gardening!


Pamela x


Spring daffodils and azalea


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. It sounds like we've had opposite weather, it never stopped raining in May here, until this weekend that is, it was our hottest day of the year yesterday. It's been rather chilly too throughout May but I'm hoping it's on the turn now and that we continue with some nice sunny days for a while. I do like the Broken Antler Cafe, what a great idea.

  2. The blossom and spring flowering shrubs is beautiful and the huge pear tree is amazing, how old is it? It must have been such a job removing the ash trees, it's nice you have kept some part of them to make the woodland glade. Thank you so much for pointing out about the links on my blog - they are now working! Have a good month. Sarah

  3. Oh, just gorgeous! I love your pear tree...and everything else! Seeing the arborists pruning makes me nervous, but we definitely need to do some of that here. I love your Ninebark: I have a small cultivar that is taking its time to grow, but I love it. :)

  4. How lovely your early spring garden is. Happy June!

  5. Your garden looks so beautiful and I love the idea of making the stumps from the tree.

  6. Pear tree covered in blossom with bluebells underfoot - beautiful!

  7. You've been busy and it shows!
    If it makes you feel better, my kitchen garden also had to wait past Memorial day weekend, but I hope to get to it in the next few days. There's still some more planting which needs to happen!
    I'm sure you're happy the ash trees have been taken care of. That was quite a project. Hope to hear about Longwood soon!

  8. Love red twig dogwood. I look forward to some photos later and further away to appreciate its beauty in winter.

  9. I bet the hot dogs are extra tasty when eaten at The Broken Antler Cafe!