“Enough is abundance to the wise.” ~Euripides
By now most of you have heard about the abundance of Red Admiral butterflies all over the US. They moved North in record numbers and arrived here in the middle of April a bit early. Then they had to find shelter for 2 weeks as the crazy cold, wet days of April created a very inhospitable habitat. But once May was upon us, the warmth brought them out in incredible numbers daily. But alas there isn’t much in bloom here yet, so they have been sustained by the record numbers of dandelions. Good thing I didn’t weed.
It is time to report on my garden, add a bit a poetry for fun and join in with the many memes that are happening this time of the month: Walk in Garden@This Grandmother’s Garden, First View@Town Mouse & Country Mouse; Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog, Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.
So let’s start with the weather. May has been an amazing month so far, and the forecast is for much the same. Daytime temps are in the 60s and low 70s with night time temps in the 40s and 50s. Soft gentle breezes have been blowing carrying the sounds of wildlife indoors. As you can see from the picture below, we were deluged with rain for 36 hours. This is what an inch of rain can do with my clay soil. The rain gardens were both full and the back garden path flooded.. The garden looks messy still with plants putting on growth, but little bloom here except for the fading grape hyacinths, daffs and hellebores (many of which are still blooming).
Weeding is not happening still due to my healing knee. But I hope to start soon albeit slowly. This might be considered a Best in the garden although it looks like the Worst.
The native plants in the shady beds are still weeks ahead with loads of blooms. Trilliums continue to bloom especially my favorite the Trilium erectum (top left). Moving clockwise, many jack-in-the-pulpits went to seed last year, but this one is still growing strong. My stand of Mayapples is looking gorgeous. This plant reminds me of a prehistoric plant. I love the umbrellas as they unfold to eventually find a lovely white flower hiding underneath. Virginia bluebells continue to pop up all over the garden. The Canada anemones just started blooming, and the stand beneath the main trees is lovely as it seeds itself and fills in. The Shooting Stars have opened up more and are such a lovely flower when in full bloom. Tiarellas are also just opening with their dainty white flowers.
As you could see from the rain garden picture above, the back gardens are weedy, wet and still catching up. This tree peony came through the freezing April weather unscathed and ready to bloom. Others peonies around the garden also are setting flower buds.
The bleeding hearts did not fare so well and this is the only one I could find so far. Perhaps they will finally show themselves.
This tulip is finally blooming with a few more still waiting to bloom. It was planted in honor of my father-in-law and is aptly named Donna Bella. His last name is actually spelled, Donabella.
Half the hostas were left frozen, soggy and burnt by the freezing temps of April. Another Worst in the garden. I do hope they recover some.
The columbines are finally budding and this one began to flower Sunday. Although they seem a bit smaller this year, their flowers will be greatly welcome.
Dwarf bearded iris are in bloom. These are some of my favorite spring flowers. They create a beautiful clump of sturdy blooms in amazing colors. I love the iridescent purple and soft periwinkle blue of these two.
The pond has come to life finally starting to green up. I still need to clean up debris and weeds along the waters edge. And look we have frogs. At least 3 in the pond with a few more taking up residence in the rain gardens. But now that the rain gardens finally dried up Sunday, they will make their way to the pond. The amphibians in the area have been quite busy at night with their symphony of calls; peepers, toads, tree frogs and bull frogs to name a few.
I knew I was going to dread pulling back the row covers on the veg beds. Would I find dead seedlings? Would I need to replant? Well the weeds were horrible. The horsetail especially and even the raspberries tried to take up residence in the garlic bed.
As you can see it cleaned up quite nicely showing the radishes, collards, parsley, carrots, onions and garlic in this bed. There are lettuces and other greens like spinach and arugula in another bed growing and soon to be harvested.
And what a wonderful harvest of radishes. These were crisp and not hot. The peas are finally growing, and will soon be twining up their new trellis. I had to replant the pole beans on the other side of the trellis. They froze to death. This weekend I will plant okra, Brussel sprouts and some herbs like dill in the garden.
The meadow is in a lull right now waiting for the lupines (bottom) and daisies to grow more and flower. Of course the birds have been busy in the meadow. The activity and deafening noise was ramped up once the swallows returned this weekend. The sparrows took the bluebird houses before I could stop them. I don’t have the heart to oust them once the eggs are laid. The bluebirds took a lesser house, and the swallows were out of luck. The swallows were very upset and even tried to nest in heat exhaust pipes to no avail. They were dive bombing us to show their displeasure at not having any houses left for them.
I was finally able to transplant the tomatoes this weekend. I planted over 40 seeds (top right) and all of them grew nicely. I transplanted half that looked the strongest. There are 13 varieties. Seven varieties of marigolds (bottom middle) were also transplanted getting them ready to go out with the tomatoes in a couple of weeks. The peppers (top left) will be ready for transplant this weekend with the eggplant (top middle), and both will also go out in the garden with the tomatoes. The petunias (bottom left) were also transplanted. They did not grow very well, but it was my fault because I used too shallow a tray. Hopefully they will grow better roots now and be ready to go out in a few weeks.
I have learned a lot growing all the seeds this winter and spring. I will do a more in depth post soon going over the successes, failures and lessons learned.
Gardens Eye Verse
Thoughts of May
Of mothers, bees and bright bouquets
These are the images and thoughts of May.
Warm breezes, green fields and children at play
These are the sights and sounds of May.
Butterflies, frogs and birds twittering away
All of nature moves to the rhythm of May.
Fireflies brighten the lazy dusk of the day
Time slows in the evening in May.
And the indigo sky shows a sparkling display
As we rest and dream of tomorrow in May.
Next up on the blog: Next week I will have an early Garden Book Review for Holley @Roses and Other Gardening Joys. On the 14th it will be a GBBD post and I hope to parade lots more blooms. The 23rd will be time for another post in my Simply the Best series that ties in with Diana@Elephant’s Eye, and Gail@Clay and Limestone’s Wildflower Wednesday. I will be featuring my Goatsbeard. And lastly it will be time for another Word 4 Wednesday with Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday. So drop by to check out all the blooms this Friday. Also linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for my weekly posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.
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