Abundance of Wildflowers in May

” If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created not just as it looked when we got through with it. ” 

~Lyndon B. Johnson


I love this quote, and it has significant meaning for me as I age into the autumn of my life.  It is one of the main reasons I wanted to garden with native plants….to leave the world maybe a little better than I found it. 

Over the years, my garden has become an oasis of natives that have seeded themselves, and volunteered much like a meadow especially in the back gardens.  And while I have not been able to do what I had wanted in designing gardens full of natives, I still have many prized wildflowers that bring me joy especially in May.  I especially wanted to highlight the wildflowers that bloom in May, for Wildflower Wednesday that is hosted by Gail@clay and limestone on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

You can read more about many of the native plants that bloom in my garden on my Favorite Native Plants page. 



Trilliums appear on forest floors around my area of New York in May.  Here is Trillium luteum, and at the top of the page is Trillium ovatum, which is technically a native of the western U.S. not the eastern U.S. where I live.



The leaves of Twinleaf are fully developed, while the white flowers I showcased last week have faded.  Interspersed between the leaves is Jack-in-the-Pulpit.



Here is a close-up of the amazing flowers of this native plant, Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  I have been in love with this plant and its name since I was a young child.  And am so happy to have it growing in my garden.



Another amazing foliage wildflower is Mayflower.  It has a sweet little flower that blooms under the leaves later.  But it is the foliage, that spreads and fills in at the edge of woods, that is beauty of this plant.



Solomon’s Seal is just starting to bloom.  I love the graceful long stems that bend and bow with these little flowers.



And more violets are blooming too.  And this time it is the native Common Blue Violet or Viola soraria.



Many native ferns are just starting to unfurl.  This is delicate Maidenhair Fern my absolute favorite fern.  



And it wouldn’t be May without Virginia bluebells.  It took several years to get these to flower, but now they have multiplied and volunteered all around my back shade garden.  What a delight they are. 

There will be many more natives blooming in the coming months, and I hope to highlight them monthly.


What are your favorite native or non-native May flowers?  Do you grow any native plants?


A Native Vase and A Surprise


First the surprise…..one sole tulip bloomed again this year.  I think it was spared from the deer because it was surrounded by alliums.  So of course I needed to cut it, and put it in a vase to preserve its beauty and watch it fade.



With all the natives plants blooming, I wanted to make a vase to showcase some of my favorites.  I only used 3 native wildflowers for this vase.  A few Mayflower leaves acted as chicken wire to separate the Trillium erectum luteum flowers and hold them upright. 



Then I tucked several Virginia bluebell flowers under the Mayflower leaves and all the way around.  I am so pleased with the result.  It is a vase that will last a long time, and can be viewed from all angles.  I think this may be my favorite native plant vase.


I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

30 Replies to “Abundance of Wildflowers in May”

  1. Lovely! With our terribly late spring, I’m especially thankful of all our May blooms this year. I do have a few wildflowers but most are summer blooming, like Echinacea, wild geranium and aster. The daffodils and now the tulips, however, have brought with them oodles of spring garden joy 🙂

    1. Yes I was surprised by some blooms and love every one especially the wildflowers given our late spring. Everything here is blooming at once especially my natives. They seem more on time this year than the non-natives. Here’s to more and more blooms bursting each day.

  2. The Maidenhair Fern is also my favorite fern Donna! You have a wonderful selection of wildflowers. I used to be of the strict mindset that I wanted only native plantings in my garden, but in reading A Post Wild World I loosened up a bit. At the lake I want to really strive to keep it native as I love the wildness there but I know a select few non-native species will sneak their way in. Once a plant addict, always a plant addict. Love love love that trillium – beautiful picture! Also I just scored some Jack-in-the-Pulpit from my mom which I will be planting at the lake tomorrow!

    1. Yes I think it is very realistic to have a mix in the garden especially because we are gardeners and plant addicts. Jack is an absolute fav and I am happy to hear you have some to plant at the lake.

  3. Love how you’ve twinned Jack in the pulpit with twin leaf! Also the tulip vase trio is a fabulous combination – my favourite is probably Solomon’s seal – less showy but akin to white bleeding hearts

  4. The ‘Virginia bluebell’ blooms look similar to pulmonaria but I can see from the leaves that this is not the same thing – it looks pretty with the trillium blooms. I too have a tulip just like this that keeps coming up each year all on its own, having been planted perhaps 10 or so years ago with its fellows 😉

    1. Yes VA bluebells can look like a few other flowers especially pulmonaria although I love how they hang more like a bell.

  5. I’m envious of the tulip and I love the vase containing the Virginia bluebells, Donna. I grow some California natives, although not all are true natives in my “coastal scrub” ecosystem. I struggle to get even California poppies to bloom here but I think that’s largely a drought issue as they bloomed well last year when the rains were heavier than usual while being almost no-existent after this winter’s paltry rain. However, Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy) is doing well on my back slope and in fact I featured it in one of today’s vases.

  6. Lovely post Donna. That is a great quote you used at the beginning. Love the vase of wildflowers, especially the Virginia bluebells.

    1. Thanks Susie. VA bluebells are a favorite of mine too and especially in a vase. And that quote is so special to me so I am happy you liked it too.

  7. I’ve always loved wildflowers ever since I was a kid. From my earliest memories, I’ve been picking them to put into jars and vases. As they encroach on my lawn, it gets harder for me to mow them down! Right now the front lawn is a riot of white and purple violets, blue ajuga, tiny white veronica, and buttercups with a few June asters starting. It’s like confetti and so pretty that I must wait ’til the show is over.

  8. Treading lightly, and leaving the world a better place (and definitely not a worse one) are my ambitions.
    And I am a big, big fan of native gardens. And indeed any garden which celebrates life and beauty.

  9. Gorgeous, Donna. Unsurprisingly, we share many of the same wildflowers in our areas. I would never think to use Trilliums in a vase–they look beautiful! The Lyndon Johnson quote is good. Last night we watched a documentary about E.O. Wilson, and of course much of his wisdom is based on this same philosophy…that we must choose if we want to destroy the earth in the pursuit of progress, or renew it, at the same time that we progress, in the pursuit of a better world.

    1. I will have to check out that documentary Beth. I have been experimenting with using wildflowers in vases….they seem perfect, but I hate to cut them so I only cut a few here and there.

  10. Isn’t May the best? There is so much to see and it’s changing every day. it’s good to have vase that will last and the dangling bells look so pretty.

  11. I should love to grow V. bluebells, but I think my garden would be too dry! They are very pretty in your vase Donna. 🙂

    1. Yes they do like medium to wet shade/partial shade Cathy. Which is why I love them in my garden. But if you have some shade that stays moist, consider planting them. They take a few years to show up.

  12. If you can only have one tulip, you certainly have a stunning one. I love the vase celebrating native plants. I’m a bit obsessed with trillium in general, and the bluebells are gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Terri….the small patch of tulips I planted years ago are usually eaten by deer so when one remains unscathed I cut it and love it more. I adore wildflowers and seeing trilliums far and wide in the woods is blissful so I can understand your obsession!

  13. Great photos! I just noticed that we have a jack-in-the-pulpit growing in the back garden. I didn’t plant it, wonder how it got there.

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