“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”
Well May has been a brutal month at work and in the garden, but the flowers that showed up in May certainly have helped. Even though I only have about 8 weeks of work left, I am finding it the busiest time I have ever had with lots of long days and many headaches…like a mad dash to the finish and will I still be standing at the end. The garden feels the same way, or should I say weed beds…yuck! Oh well I will get the weeds in due time I suppose.
And the weather…holy cow it has been one of the worst I have seen. Hot and dry, then cold with a freeze, then hot and tropical with some of the worst thunderstorms we have seen in a long time. We had cold snap on the holiday weekend stifling my ability to get warm veggies and containers planted. We managed to do it all somehow, but did not have time to tackle weeds. I know I will look forward to my first few weeks of retirement, and maybe I will consider doing some weeding, maybe.
Of course keeping up with blogging: writing, commenting, reading, answering comments has been crazy. Although I am a bit late getting back to readers and reading blogs, I have been keeping up somehow. Blogging is such an obsession, like gardening. I seem to find time for it when the weather is not cooperating or in the evening after dinner. It’s that frenzied multi-tasker in me that allows it all to get done somehow, and I hope to put her to rest when I retire and slow my pace.
I will be checking in with other gardeners and their memes as I wrap up May in my garden: Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog on the 5th, Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. With so much going on in the garden, I apologize in advance for a long post with lots of collages.
The sky told an interesting story this May. The colors were lovely ranging from orange to pink. And the cloud formations were pretty intense with the dramatic changes in weather fronts. The last photo shows the very severe weather that started in Oklahoma with deadly tornadoes and moved across country ending here. Growing up with tornadoes, I know how to read the clouds and these were showing that telltale tornado circulation although not enough to really form any tornadoes here. But just across the lake there were tornado warnings. The thunderstorms in the area produced hail (again across the lake) and sheets of rain with wind gusts to 60 mph. May ended with very hot, humid weather and record setting temps in the mid 90s. I wonder what weather June will bring?
What’s growing is weeds, weeds, weeds especially in the more natural back gardens. Every year I fall behind with weeding, and then they set seed and get ahead of me. We did tackle the dandelions as they were overtaking everything, and of course we did not get them all…that’s impossible. The horsetail and grass are advancing and the gardens look more like a grassy meadow. But here are some of the blooms that were peaking through for May.
Top left clockwise: Mayapples are flowering like crazy, cinnamon fern, wild woodland phlox or Phlox divaricata, common milkweed, jack-in-the-pulpit, Jacob’s ladder, Golden Alexander, a surprise we found wild grapes on the ash tree in the meadow, honeysuckle, Green and Gold ground cover, Goatsbeard, Eastern Prickly Pear cactus putting on new growth and center the red-twig dogwood is blooming profusely.
The trees are in need of their first haircut.There are pinks in the front gardens and purple everywhere else in the garden. The purple ground cover in the foreground is Veronica ‘Waterperry Blue’ which is great for hot, sunny dry spots. There is a pink geranium ‘Bevan’s Variety’, pink columbines and sea thrift or Armeria maritima. Still to come are lavender, clematis, salvia, lilies, hydrangeas and iris.
The garden on the other side of the walk is just a bit in bloom here again due to the crazy weather. Normally there would be more flowering by now.
Well we did it…Phase 1 of the ash tree removal. Remember we have the Emerald Ash Borer bearing down on us. They currently are in the western part of our county, and it is advisable to take down healthy trees before they become infested. You can read more about it here. The first picture is how the garden looked earlier this spring with all the trees. We took 4 of the 8 trees down now, and are only replacing only 4 trees eventually. We left the stumps to decay naturally and maybe be planted with ferns or other woodland plants. We also left one tall snag as a birdhouse stand (bottom center). The tree leafing out is one of the replacements, American Linden. We are keeping the replacement trees in pots until fall when we will plant them. Other replacements are Eastern Redbud, Black Cherry and Pagoda Dogwood. For this portion of the post, I am linking in as part of Tree Following with Lucy@Loose and Leafy.
Alliums are everywhere and they really make a wonderful statement in the garden. I added loads more this past fall. Not sure if I will ever have enough.
Irises are just starting. They are late this year, and I can’t wait for more to bloom for weeks. The non-bearded iris is the second on the right that is on the edge of the pond. Not sure what variety it is.
Columbines just started in late May: ‘Blue Barlow’, Pleated variety unknown, ‘Black Barlow’, ‘Nora Barlow’ and ‘Pink Perfection’
The best of the rest clockwise top left: hardy geranium, sea thrift, Camassia leichtlinii caerulea, ajuga, geum, catmint, roses in bud, clematis buds, spiderwort or Tradescantia, the Veronica groundcover up close, verbascum, Spanish bells, Coral bells, Centaurea ‘Amethyst in Snow’, and in the center is the lone bloom on my tree peony. She needs to be moved to a sunnier spot this fall.
It has been crazy in the veg garden too. Top left are my potted herbs (I’ll get into more detail later this month). Next are the green tubs that this year are growing onions, beets and Brussel sprouts. ‘All Blue’ potatoes are growing nicely. Chives are amazing this year. The second row shows the weedy back garden with the lettuce bed under cover. The lettuce bed is still having an ant problem and most of the seeds were lost or moved around. So I am going to make that bed a strawberry/blueberry bed, and we are adding one more 4×8 ft bed for lettuce, carrots, spinach, chard, kale…well you get the idea. The garlic/onion bed is out of this world with so much growth already in May. The pea/bean bed was recently planted with cukes, bush and pole beans that have started to grow. The last picture in the row is all the seedlings being hardened off last week before we planted them. The last row shows the new bagged tomatoes in the cages that fold flat for storage. The covered bed has tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplant. Next are micro greens and green chiles. Last is the new experiment…our upside down tomato planters we made from buckets. They are top planted with basil and marigolds. Hope they do well.
The morning sun was shining through the blooms in the meadow: lupines, Golden Alexanders and daisies.
Lots of critter action already in May: Frogs have been busy in the pond laying their first batch of eggs. Our resident deer with a bad leg was slow enough for me to get a shot of her winter coat giving way to her summer coat. Snakes have been getting into the filter. This one had to be rescued. Grackles devoured the suet in one day. Second row shows the first dragonfly, the female goldfinch getting her summer bright colors and one of our very cool frogs just hanging out. Third row shows Cabbage White butterflies resting at dawn on the willow tree, papa bluebird taking a feeding break and the cedar waxwings that visit the pond every morning. The hummers finally showed in late May but they are still too elusive for photos.
Gardens Eye Verse
My only flowering azalea is just amazing in its flame colors. It embodies the bright spring colors that are now showing up in the garden. I hope you enjoy my May poem.
A-May-Zing Times in the GardenIt’s May, it’s May the bluebird sang, And robin echoed hooray with his glad refrain! The frog croaked with delight as he sprang from the pond, To welcome his friends to their new surrounds. And buzzing bees joined hummingbirds on the wing, This time in the garden is just a-may-zing!
Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time. I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether summer or winter or something else. Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words starting June 1st.
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of spring here in the North and fall in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the solstice (the 21st of June). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create). The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
Next up on the blog: In June the garden will be kicking into high gear..I hope. Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day should be full of garden flowers. I will have another Garden Book Review. And of course it is Seasonal Celebrations time so join in with your posts starting June 1st.
I am 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.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
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