When we left home two weeks ago for my daughter's wedding, the tulips were still reigning supreme over the garden. Coming home a week later, the scene had changed completely.
A late white tulip still looks elegant, but most of the tulips are either gone
or look like the faded blooms in the background.
This tulip may be past its prime, but I thought the remaining petals made an interesting image.
The biggest thrill for me when I arrived home was to see the first iris blooms. Quite a few irises were added to the lily bed last fall, and I really wasn't sure if they would bloom this first year here. All of the irises are passalongs, so I have no idea of their names; this lovely yellow one, which is full of blooms, was given to me by a fellow Master Gardener last spring.
Other passalongs came from my aunt and from my parents. I had no idea what color each of them was; this one is actually more of a rusty bronze than what it appears here in the fading sunlight. Another purple iris is just opening today, so hopefully I'll have even more surprises in the coming week.
Also fully in bloom when we arrived home was the Amsonia tabernaemontana. This plant was one of the near-freebies I got from the MG Idea Garden last spring and started as a tiny division last year. I love the light blue color of its blooms; I wish I could find more plants with this baby blue hue.
The reblooming lilac 'Bloomerang' is looking its best this year, too. Its fragrance is not quite as strong as the old-fashioned varieties, but it still has that definite sweet smell.
The butterfly garden seems to have had an obedient plant and aster population explosion this year . . . but that's a story for another post. A few stalwarts have refused to give in to those mobsters, however, including this Valerian, another near-freebie from the Idea Garden last year.
Still another division from last year's Idea Garden--Meadow Rue, Thalictrum aquilegiifolium.
The star of the butterfly garden right now--even though it's nearly obscured by what I hope are asters and not weeds--is Phlox pilosa, or as Gail calls it, PPPP. I wonder how many gardens across the country have some of Gail's offspring blooming this month?:)
Also oblivious to the native invaders is this Salvia 'Eveline', returning for its third year.
It was dark when we returned from our trip to Cancun, so I didn't notice for a few days some changes in the roadside garden as well. The giant alliums, 'Purple Sensation,' I think, bend, but don't bow to the strong winds.
The baptisia has settled in nicely and blooming its head off in this, its second year in the garden.
Even the vegetable garden has a few blooms. To my surprise, last year's kale overwintered and is full of blooms. Someone told me last fall that it only blooms in its second year, which must be true; still, I had no idea it would be able to stand our harsh winters. It must have been all the snow we had that protected it.
The chives are full of blooms, too.
And those small hosta and fern shoots I mentioned? The shade garden has made the biggest transformation of all. In a week it has gone from potential growth to its present state where hostas, ferns, and heucheras rub elbow to elbow, vying for space.
There, the blooms of old-fashioned coral bells replace the blooms of narcissus and tulips.
But the biggest thrill of all for me was this--my first ever columbine bloom from seeds I winter sowed a year ago. "Patience," she says, "All in good time."
They may not be as exotic or as precious as the blooms on my last post, but these are certainly making the daily routine these days of weeding and planting a delightful way to spend the month of May.
To see what else is blooming in mid-May, be sure to check out the list of other Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day participants at Carol's at May Dreams Gardens.