Moments In The Garden: Late Spring Joy

DSCN4433 “Life is a garden not a road we enter and exit through the same gate wandering, where we go matters less than what we notice”



The last couple of weeks have been busy…trying to get all my seedlings planted in the veg garden, and watch over them so they are watered, fertilized and pruned as needed.  So much to report on soon from the veg garden.  Containers were also planted with seedlings that were started weeks ago.  But I am still not finished planting all of them.  I hope to finish this week.

I am dealing with heat, and dodging mosquitoes bent on relieving me of some blood.  And then humidity came with thunder and torrents of rain.  And with each of these, I plug away planting and weeding.  I have not had much time of late to continue my weeding, but will get back to it soon clearing the debris now choking my gardens.

I did take time out to observe my garden throughout the days, in May, as each glorious flower began to bloom, and another succeeded it.  So let me show you some of the joys I experienced in my garden!




nora barlow collage

Columbine or Aquilegia were spectacular.  At the top of the post is Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Christa Barlow’, and here is ‘Nora Barlow’, two of my absolute favorites.  Nora has succeeded in seeding herself all over the front gardens.




columbine collage

Also in the front gardens are (left) Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Dorothy Rose’ and what I think is lavender Aquilegia Flabellata.  In the side and back gardens I found Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ and this red-wine coloredBordeaux Barlow’.   The red columbine is growing under and through a bush, but I think it would look great in my red garden, so I will move it this fall.




allium collage

Of course alliums put on a grand show, and I will have many more flowering through summer.  White alliums are coming on now.  I can never have too many of these Flowers of the Year for 2016!





White violets finally have spread in the White Garden, and are making a fabulous ground cover.  I plan to move clumps to the back half of the White Garden so they can spread all over eventually.  What a stunning sight they were for all of May, as these violets lasted until the extreme May heat hit us unexpectedly late in the month.




mayapple collage

And of course my native ground cover, Mayapples spread, leafed out and bloomed in May.  I still plan to move some to the White Garden as well once I redesign it….that is on the calendar for 2017.




epimedium collage

Before the tall weeds took over, Epimedium flowers bloomed for weeks in May…delicate and such a surprise close up.  And the foliage that grows, is a treat that brings joy through to winter.

The red flowers are Epimedium rubrum.  The white, I think, are Epimedium versicolor ‘Suphureum’.




brunnera collage

Of course Brunneras were putting on a blue flower show above their silvery leaves.





Late in May, the Tradescantia or spiderwort were blooming profusely.  They have spread all around the pond making it an amazing purple paradise.





I thought my Deutzia was a goner after multiple freezes in April.  Much of it was not developing leaves, and I was sure it would not bloom.  But ‘Chardonnay Pearls ‘ did catch up with lots of its yellow-green leaves, and about a third flowered.





The best show in the shade garden was the Trillium luteum.  I love the yellow-green flower against the spotted leaves.




honey suckle collage

Another great yellow flower is Lonicera sempervirensJohn Clayton‘,  which grows in the Wall Garden.  I couldn’t believe how fast it grew and flowered in May.  This cultivar was discovered on the grounds of an old church in Gloucester, Virginia.  It blooms the earliest, and continues into late fall mostly because of its microclimate against the house.





I was so surprised at how big the Verbascum phoeniceum hybrids were growing in the Sidewalk Garden.  I love the white in the part shade area.




moss phlox collage

The Phlox subulata was another star throughout the gardens.  They would have lasted longer if we didn’t get a week of summer temps.  The top Phlox is ‘North Hills’.  I am not sure of the name of the light lavender Phlox.  I love how the Forget-Me-Nots and violets grow among them.




daisies collage

Ox-eye daisies seed throughout my garden from the meadow.  These can be found around the pond next to the waterfall.





And speaking of the pond…the waterlilies were blooming for my birthday in late May.  Aren’t they stunning against the early purple lily pads that will turn green as they mature.





Late May also brought the garden chive flowers (Allium schoenoprasum) out….and when the chive flowers bloom, we make vinegar and eat them.  You can see the vinegar we made below, along with a simple little vase.



So what has been bringing you joy in your garden lately?





In A Vase On Monday 




Now with June, I have irises blooming all over.  I have saved many of my iris pictures for a separate post.  There are bearded iris and Siberian iris in the vase.  I lost all the names years ago.  




iris vase 2 collage

I added Ox-eye daisies, Allium, Catmint (Nepeta) and one native Baptisia flower just about to open.




iris vase collage

I also cut Lady’s Mantle foliage, with native hardy geranium foliage to fill the vase.  The vase is another Belleek favorite….it is a limited edition, for St. Patrick’s Day 2005.  It is covered with shamrocks and violets.





Here is the simple vase with chive flowers…these are from my gardening buddy across the street.  We share flowers, seeds, plants and info….she is learning and I love teaching her because I learn more too!




chive collage

I picked the chive flowers, stuffed them in a bottle and poured warm vinegar over them.  After a few days it was a dark pink color and ready to use.  I actually stuffed too many flowers in the bottle, and will back off on the next batch.  I can’t wait to start using the chive vinegar.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016 



Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will have a special Vase post with another look at the meadow as it is really filling in now.  And as summer rolls in, I will update my garden chores completed, and what is in store for summer besides heat, humidity and mosquito bites.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2016.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

62 Replies to “Moments In The Garden: Late Spring Joy”

  1. You reminded me how much I like Verbascum phoeniceum; I must search for some seed for next year. When I saw them I thought you would use them in your vase. You now have so many lovely blooms to choose from. Good tip about the chive vinegar. Have a good week.

    1. Thanks Christina…I wanted to use it but I thought I didn’t have enough yet…One plume wouldn’t have mattered in retrospect….another time. I will be catching up with you soon.

  2. So many beautiful blooms! I’m so happy that despite all the busyness of this time of year, you take the time to ENJOY the fruits (flowers!) of your labors.
    Have a great week

  3. This is an amazing time for blooms, and you have so many gorgeous ones Donna. We finally had some much needed rain Saturday night and Sunday morning, probably not enough but at least it lasted a few hours. Enjoy this week in the garden.

    1. Rained here too Linda…it had been dry. Now it is cool and rainy with a couple of inches of needed rain…the garden is loving the weather.

  4. Your blossoms are spectacular, Donna! All of your hard work is paying off. I just love hearing about your color-themed garden beds. Your photos, as always, are just gorgeous! Just last week, I snipped off all of our chive blossoms. Next time, I must try your Chive Vinegar! Wishing you a nice week in the garden! ♡

  5. What a wonderful month for you Donna. I think I remember that chive vinegar from last year? I think I will make myself a batch – plenty of chive flowers! I wonder if dandelion vinegar would be in order? There’s so many this year. I love love love your lily! I left mine outside this winter – in the pot under my rain barrel – which of course, cracked. Not sure the lilies made it. Not seeing any new growth but not giving up hope for awhile yet. Beautiful, bountiful bouquet!

    1. Oh the weeds have been amazing in number this year Kathy! I will cross my fingers for your lily. Mine is left at the bottom of the pond and grows back every time.

    1. Spring is lasting a long time this year John especially with the crazy weather…Cool again up here in the 60s and 40s at night.

  6. So many wonderful things happening in your garden! Notably, the pure white violet (no purple throat like mine) and the waterlily. I really want to get some for my little pond. Love your sweet Belleek vase – it’s a beautiful spring arrangement that shouts, ‘June!’ 🙂
    And thanks for the chive vinegar idea. That’d make a nice Xmas gift for the folks I never know what to give. Happy Gardening!

    1. One plant is plenty for a small or medium pond eliza…they really grow big and spread after a few years. The white violet really spreads too and I love it in my shady white garden in mid spring. Glad you enjoyed the vinegar recipe and vase!

  7. Nice to see how vibrant and bounteous your garden is. Love those alliums Donna. And your vase of Irises is spectacular. Sounds like you’re working hard.

  8. Your May blooms are a sight for sore eyes Donna – such treasures! Particularly good to see more of the Barlow family. The irises in your vase, assisted by the other complementary blooms, look almost diaphanous, don’t they? Thanks for sharing Donna.

  9. You certainly enjoy your space in the world and make it a paradise. As a former gardener, your work is truly appreciated.

  10. I was oohing and ahing over the Aquilegia and then I saw the Alliums, and the flower pics just got better and better from there. So I wasn’t surprised to see the beautiful vases you created this week. I envy your Iris – mine were disappointing again this year and I can only think that they got too little water during the peak of their growth cycle.

    I hope the rain – and the heat – give you a break. We got some of the latter (and none of the former, of course) but in general skated through this last heatwave with a minimum of misery. Take care pulling those weeds!

    1. Oh I am sorry about your irises….but I am glad they like my climate. The weather shifted now to cool and rainy. Very strange. Glad there wasn’t too much damage from the heatwave Kris.

  11. Hi Donna, a belated Happy Birthday! How nice that the beautiful waterlilies bloomed in celebration! Columbine is one of my very favorite flowers, and I loved seeing your selection. Mine all finished blooming weeks ago. Summer has finally taken hold here, with temps up into the 90s and high humidity. Steamy.

    1. Thanks so much Deb…I love the end of May with critters and blooms as I think they are visiting just for me. I don’t envy you your weather…here it is barely 60 and 40s at night. i don’t think my tomatoes will like this cold snap.

  12. Your Trillium is beautiful Donna. Aren’t they fascinating plants! Thanks for the reminder to put my chive flowers in vinegar again. 🙂 Lovely vase – it contains many favourites of mine for the season.

  13. Happy belated birthday Donna. Hope you had a super time. Your garden flowers all look lovely but my favourite is Verbascum phoeniceum, I grow that at home on sandy soil, although the flowers do not last long I love the its fleeting presence. By the way, What do you put your chive vinegar on, that looks interesting.

    1. Julie,I pickle garlic scapes, cukes, beans and any other veggie I can. And I use it in salad dressings. I had a great birthday in the garden, thanks for the good wishes!

  14. yes here oohing and ahing too.
    So much and such unusual plants and varieties.
    You must be working your sox off to keep all of that in check.
    I love your presentation in those interesting mosaics. i wonder how you get those cut-outs on top of the pictures. Very striking.
    So enjoyable.

    1. Oh yes I am working my socks off Joanne, and barely keeping my head above the weeds. Glad you enjoyed the mosaics. I use software…it is fun and very creative.

  15. Oh my goodness, your vase is amazing–both the vase, itself, and the flowers in it! You have some lovely alliums and columbines, Donna. I always enjoy your opening photos with the quotes.

    1. Thanks so much Beth for these kind words! I do love that Belleek vase, and try to fill it with special flowers.

  16. Donna, Your gardens are SO beautiful! Love the verbascum, water lilies, and especially your trillium luteum (I have ordered some of those for my garden after seeing them in person at Biltmore – so gorgeous). Hope the busyness can decrease a bit….at any rate, be sure to take time to smell the roses! 😉

    1. Oh I doubt the busyness will decrease Beth…but I will take time to smell the roses. Enjoy your new flowers.

  17. I agree with you – you can never have too many Alliums! Your Lonicera and Tradescantia are much further along than mine. Love your Trilliums and the Verbascum.

    1. I was surprised by the Tradescantia and the yellow Lonicera too Jason… the Lonicera is up against the wall so I think that is why it grew so fast…the one in the back garden shows no sign of flowering yet.

    1. Thanks Diana…no our native honeysuckles are not scented sadly…but the flowers are amazing as are the critters they attract.

    1. My pleasure…glad you enjoyed the garden here…it has turned very cool and cold at night in the 40s.

  18. You are so far behind us here even though we have been having chilly weather too. Most of what you have shown is now gone from my garden. Usually we are at the same bloom time as you. Much is blooming, but at a more accelerated schedule. Garden Walk season is starting for us, so I guess I can say my joy starts then in hundreds of gardens to see.

  19. Some is gone but most is sticking around…spring has lingered this year with the crazy weather! Enjoy those gardens Donna!

  20. Oh, Donna, there’s almost an overwhelming amount of beauty in this post! Thank you especially for the photo of the vase with chive flowers… and your columbines are spectacular indeed. Can one pin your photos?
    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thanks so much…when I found the quote I knew I would have to use it as I felt so connected to its truth!

  21. Your Columbines are so frilly. I’ve never quite seen their like before, though I love the ones I have seen. Such a pretty flower! All your flowers are gorgeous Donna, always a joy to see and thank you so much for sharing once again with Today’s Flowers. Have a great weekend!

  22. Your late spring garden is stunning, Donna. How do you use the chive vinegar? I’m working hard, too and not getting enough time to visit blogs. I’m glad I stopped by yours to see your beautiful blooms. P. x

    1. I will catch up with you soon my friend….I am resting these days as I focus on other things. I use the chive vinegar for salads and in pickling garlic scapes, cukes, beans.

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