Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May GBBD: Planting Frenzy Month

There ought to be a law--no one can graduate in the month of May.  Or have a birthday. Or get married.  Or all the countless celebrations that have kept me out of the garden this month.  The weather is finally cooperating so that I can plant some of the many, many annuals I have purchased.  But I keep getting interrupted by things like graduations, confirmations, and t-ball games.  And to top it all off, my Texas grandbabies will be here for a visit in a few days, and I really, really need to clean my house.

Not that I'm complaining.  I've enjoyed every minute of celebrating so many milestones with my family (no weddings, though--I just threw that one in there), and I am so excited about seeing my littlest grandchildren again.  No, I am just explaining why this is not a good time to visit my garden.  The spring show of tulips and daffodils is over, and in their place are weeds . . . lots of weeds.  At the rate I'm going, some of those weeds are going to be there for awhile, so instead of showing any long views of the garden today, we'll just focus on close-ups of a few pretty blooms.


   After heavy rains at the beginning of the month that turned the garden into a swamp and a cold spell with the threat of frost, the weather finally settled down so that I could get back into the garden and plant whenever there are a few uninterrupted minutes.  Typical of Illinois weather, we've gone from coat weather to tank top weather in just a few days, and now I'm griping that it's too hot to work outside.


May is usually my planting-frenzy month.  There are annuals from all my shopping sprees the past few weeks covering my back porch, my front porch, and the patio.  Only a few containers have been planted so far, but I'm not in a big hurry to change this pot when the sweet little violas and alyssum from April are still looking so good.


Other than the annuals, May is usually a transition month here, though there are a few perennials blooming.  The peony bud shown earlier opened up early in the month, and I'm happy to see that 'Scarlett O'Hara' is sporting not just one bloom, as in earlier years, but five blooms this year.


Other peonies are still budding up--I usually think of Memorial Day when I think of peonies--but the NOID white peony has a few blooms already.  The Amsonia Hubrichtii makes a nice backdrop for them, though as is usually the case in my garden, this was a happy accident in planting, not a carefully thought-out design.  Other Amsonia are also blooming, though I find it hard to capture their blue blooms on camera.


The clematis 'Nelly Moser' also bloomed early and is covered with blooms.  I have a hard time catching this one at the right time in the spring to prune it, and last year I made the mistake of pruning it too hard and too late so there were very few blooms.  This year I was late again, so I just left it alone, and I'm glad.
 

Columbines blooming under the 'Limelight' hydrangea.  I transplanted some native columbines from my mother's garden last year, but I haven't seen any sign of them blooming yet.


Speaking of natives, there are a few early flowers in the butterfly garden as well.  Phlox pilosa, also known throughout the blogging world as Gail's PPPP, has happily spread itself around this area.


And I am thrilled to finally have some Golden Alexanders Zizia aurea blooming!  I've tried planting them from seed before with no luck, and last year I planted some seedlings from the local prairie plant sale, but never saw any signs of bloom.  But patience has paid off, and these look so robust, I have a feeling I will have even more in the future.


Irises are blooming in the Arbor Bed and the Lily Bed--white, pale lavender, and yellow.  But my favorite are these purple and white bearded irises, a passalong a couple of years ago from Beth of Plant Postings.  Notice how many blooms are on each plant!


They're especially beautiful to me because I once had several of these at my old house, given to me by my mother.  When we moved, I dug up a few plants, but forgot all about these.  When I look at them, I think not only of Beth, but also of my mother.


Finally, this is NOT my garden!  It's the MG garden at the county nursing home where I volunteer every summer.   This is another activity that has taken up much of my time in the past few weeks, since I am one of the co-chairs.  We are going to be on the annual Garden Walk this year, so we have spent more time than usual weeding and dividing to get everything spruced up for the walk, as well as hours planning and plant shopping.  But it's already a beautiful garden as you can see from just this one little corner, and it really is a joy to work there.

And now back to weeding and planting in my own garden . . . and maybe taking a few swipes at the layers of dust in my house:)

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens and author of Potted and Pruned.  Thanks, Carol, for helping me keep a monthly record of what is blooming in my garden!

28 comments:

  1. Oh Rose I think himself who has a birthday tomorrow would not agree with your sentiments :) I've managed to get special leave of absence to attend my reading group meeting so will count myself fortunate but greenhouse activities might be somewhat curtailed for the day. It's a lovely time of year though despite all the potting on, planting, weeding and trying to ignore the dust bunnies. You have some beautiful May blooms especially that white peony which has a most attractive luminous quality.

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    1. My husband's birthday is also this month, Anna; thankfully, he doesn't expect much celebration:) I agree it's a beautiful time of year--if only I could stretch another few hours into every day!

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  2. What lovely blooms you have - as always. I'm always envious of gardeners who grow peonies. They are so beautiful but turn up their toes and die in our heat and humidity. And kudos to you for volunteering at the nursing home. Such an important thing to do. I'm sure your efforts are appreciated.

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    1. Dorothy, I think we're always envious of what we can't grow, aren't we? Last year I was given a crape myrtle with the assurance that if I protected it over the winter, it could survive. But it looks pretty darned dead to me this spring:( I am just one of a good crew helping at the nursing home; it does make me feel good knowing we are providing a little oasis for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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  3. I like your pot of violas and alyssum. It is amazing how those flowers will await your attentions. You have had a busy May. It makes time fly by. Have fun.

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    1. I didn't realize until I downloaded the photos, Lisa, just how photogenic those little violas are. I just threw these pots together for Easter, and now I can't bear to swap them out. Yes, as rushed as I feel this month, it's a good kind of busy.

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  4. Beautiful flowers. I just purchased a clematis in that color. Hoping for some vertical blooms!

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    1. There are a couple clematis that look like this one, Gardener, and they're all lovely, so I don't think you can go wrong there.

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  5. Oh, I know what you mean about the plants on the front and back porch and everywhere in between. And not having enough time to tackle it all in this crazy, busy month. I'm sure your garden looks wonderful--other people don't even notice the weeds and the house mess. I love the Viola/Alyssum combo! It's interesting how you're way ahead of me with some plants (Peonies, Irises, Amsonias), and we're on about the same schedule with others (Columbine, Phlox, Clematis). This is a lovely post. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I do hope you're right about visitors not noticing weeds and dust, Beth. Besides, after the two-year-old has been here a few hours, the house is going to be cluttered with toys:) It does seem that some things are blooming early for me this year, especially the peonies. But I'm always glad to have something blooming right after the tulips so I'm not sad to see their yellowing foliage.

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  6. Everything looks terrific. I am with you on too much happening in May — in and out of the garden. Everything is growing like crazy (weeds too, of course) and plants are waiting to be put in. But I want to put them where I need to move something first .... and now, as you say, it's so hot!

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    1. I have that same problem, too, Linda. It's not just a matter of plopping plants in the ground--I either have to weed or move something to another place first. And now the rains have returned, so I may not be getting much digging done for awhile:(

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  7. Love the Iris! And the pot with the Violas is wonderful.
    Have a great day!

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    1. The purple and white iris is definitely my favorite, Lea. I think the pot with the violas is going to stay as is for awhile--I have enough other containers to plant anyway:)

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  8. Well done, Rose. You have time for all works- in your garden, in MG garden, preparing to your family members visits. I love your irises, very pretty. Funny to say that I have planted 'Nelly Moser' today in my garden. Hopefully it will bloom well and overwinter well too.
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Hope your 'Nelly Moser' does well for you, Nadezda!

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  9. Such a variety of colours and textures in your garden!

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    1. Thanks, Anca! I'm a plant collector, not a designer, so I have a little bit of everything:)

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  10. Your May garden is gorgeous Rose and I agree...we should all be able to have more time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Your photos are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Lee. May and early June is always the busiest time here when it comes to gardening. I'll sit back and just enjoy the blooms later when everything is planted:)

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  11. I love your Iris! They're gorgeous, and remind me a lot of one of my favorites, Jesse's Song. I love the clematis and the planter with the violas too. Amsonia and peonies make a beautiful combination!

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    1. I've always loved your 'Jesse's Song' iris, Sweetbay; this one does look very similar, doesn't it? I didn't realize till Beth reminded me that it has a wonderful grape scent as well.

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  12. What a lovely place to volunteer! I'm sure all that beauty helps the residents. I was thrilled to get a replay of spring when we left England for Maine, but you are right, I'm sorry to leave all the blooms for a graduation ceremony soon.

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    1. When my mother was in the nursing home before she passed, I realized how much these outdoor spaces mean to the residents, Sarah. This is not the same nursing home she was in, but I think of my time spent here as a way to give back and create a little oasis for the residents.

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  13. You sure have a lot of beautiful blooms considering that you say it is a bad time to visit your garden. Peonies, Clematis, Amsonia - all lovely. And I love that pot with the pansies and sweet alyssum. Enjoy all the family milestones and visits - your garden will still be there when they are done. Are the babies old enough to pull weeds?

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    1. I do enjoy all the blooms, Jason, but I keep seeing so many things that need to be done as I walk around the garden. I'm hoping to enlist some help from the older grandchildren as soon as school as out. The problem is there is a short window of time between the time they're too little to know the difference between a weed and a flower and the time when they're too busy with their own activities to help.

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  14. Your month sounds like mine - so much going on this time of year! You have some lovely flowers, though. Those irises are gorgeous! Enjoy the visits with your family!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Indie! I've been neglecting blogging for awhile, so I'm way behind on visiting everyone, but I suspect I'm not alone.

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