Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying . . .
--Robert Herrick (from "To the Virgins ...")
Today is the first of the month of May and time for another Garden Muse Day. While there are no doubt many appropriate poems for the month of May, I couldn't think of any because Herrick's poem and similar quotes swirled around in my brain. How quickly the garden is changing right now! Mr. McGregor's Daughter and others have posted photos of ephemerals recently, but in some ways everything about spring seems ephemeral. The flowering crabapple blossoms above that appeared last week opened up and then were literally gone with the wind within two days' time.
And my beloved redbud tree that has been lighting up my yard with its shock of lavender blooms the past week is already sporting a few leaves. Soon the blooms will be gone, leaving the heart-shaped green leaves in their stead.
But even while many of the tulips are on their last legs, so to speak,
Careful planning went into deciding where each color and collection of bulbs would be planted last fall. A map was made to identify varieties for future reference. But as the warm days of November began to change into winter, I threw out the plans and quickly dug holes wherever I could and threw in the remaining bulbs. As a result, some strange combinations appeared like this unknown pink-tipped tulip next to an orange and yellow "Color Magic."
What I didn't expect, though, was that the blooms would be this big! When Beckie stopped by the other day to see my tulips, she commented that this looked like a peony blossom, and it does.
While there is a theme to this post, you may think this is a shameless excuse on my part to show off more of my tulips. You're right! I spent many hours late last fall planting over 200 tulips and daffodils, and my creaking knees groaned and complained the whole time. But it was worth every ache! I am enjoying the fruits of those labors so much this spring. This tulip is one of a collection called "Monet," which includes several different pastel shades of tulips.
I've enjoyed my tulips so much this year that I'm already making plans for next year. Photos of each flowerbed and planting are being taken to make it easier in the fall to remember where bare spots might be filled. In the roadside flowerbed above, the various shades of pink tulips in the foreground were planted a year or two ago and may need to be replenished. This collection I mistakenly identified as "Monet" last spring, but it's actually a collection of pinks called "Appleblossom." "Prince" tulips in purple, red, and yellow can be seen in the back right, while "Angeliques" are just opening up in the center front.
There's still room in the shade garden, too, even though many bulbs were added here. As much as I've enjoyed admiring these tulips every day, not everyone shares my enthusiasm, as you'll notice. (Do enlarge the photo to get Tarzan's full reaction.)