Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Bloom Day: My Favorite Time of Year

It's May Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the time when most people's gardens in the Northern Hemisphere are bursting into bloom.  But you really should have been here a week ago . . .

A week ago, the red and pink crabapples lining the driveway (see header photo) were still in bloom, and the white crabapple, always the last to bloom, joined in to complete the show. This is why early May has become my new favorite time of year.

The white crab was loaded with blossoms this year, and full of bees buzzing about.

Usually the first to bloom, the redbud waited until the crabapples bloomed and quickly began to leaf out.  This redbud was a disappointment this year with sparse blooms, perhaps the result of the past two summers of drought.

The lilacs are still in bloom, but were also at their peak a week ago.  This old-fashioned lilac, now at least 10 feet tall, was covered with fragrant blossoms.

Thanks to strong winds and a few storms, the blossoms of the crabs and the old apple tree are now but a memory. The tulips featured on my last post have also been pretty much stripped of their blooms, but a few latecomers are still providing some color, like this 'Pink Sorbet.'  This late tulip was planted along with some 'Red Impression,' thinking the combination of white and red would look very striking.  But for the second year in a row, the 'Pink Sorbet' didn't start to bloom until the reds had dropped their petals.  Oh well, at least I planted these in front, so they are a distraction from the faded blooms behind them.

A more successful combo has been the dark 'Queen of the Night' with the pure white of 'Marguerite.'

'Marguerite' is another one of the doubles that I just love.  

 A new addition this year is another double, 'Orange Princess.'  It's another example of not planning very well during the frenzy of fall tulip planting.  It's such a beautiful tulip, but because it's a late bloomer and planted towards the back of the lily bed, it's hidden by the emerging lily foliage.   I think I'm the only one who noticed these tulips this year; you might say it's my secret tulip garden.

Another new addition this year were my first-ever species tulips.  'Lady Jane' is certainly not as showy or dramatic as the other tulips, but it's rather sweet nonetheless.

I'm usually pretty good about recording names of bulbs and a general idea of where I planted them each fall.  But this year, in addition to the bulbs I ordered, I purchased several different kinds at a local garden center and apparently forgot to write them down.  These pink and white are among several NOIDS this year.

Another new NOID are these red and yellow flamed tulips.  I really need to find out their names, because they are so tall and striking I'd love to have more in front of the house next year.

The mixture of Darwin tulips on "Daffodil Hill"--now "Tulip Hill"--is still going strong after a few weeks.

As the spring bulbs wind down, the rest of the garden is just getting started.  The shade garden is growing by leaps and bounds, reminding me that I missed the opportunity once again to divide and unclutter this crowded area--I'm going to blame it on all the rainy days we've had. Brunnera 'Jack Frost' is a mass of delicate blue blooms right now.

Other standouts in the shade garden right now: Bleeding Heart

Solomon's Seal 

'Sweet Tea' Tiarella

Elsewhere, the unnamed perennial geranium is looking the best I've ever seen it.

Also looking the best ever, 'Bloomerang,' the re-blooming lilac, is following in the footsteps of its old-fashioned cousin.  The blooms are also more fragrant than I remember in the past. Let's just ignore the weeds, shall we?   I'm trying, but sunny days to work in the garden have been limited this spring with rain and more rain.

While the early show of bulbs and flowering trees are fading away, new blooms are ready to take their place.  The allium--'Purple Sensation', maybe?--are brightening up the spots vacated by the bright blooms of tulips.  Spring is such an exciting time in the garden with new changes every day; I hope you are enjoying every moment of it, too.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you the 15th of every month by our hostess, Carol whose May Dreams have now become a reality!


  1. Rose, happy Blooming Day!
    I love your tulips, especially this one 'Marguerite.' I've never seen such white -snowy color. Will try to find it in fall. Also your brunnera is pretty, I purchased the same but is still small and has 2 leaves only.

  2. When I see your tulip extravaganza I always tell myself I am going to plant more tulips. They are so pretty. It seems like things are more prolific this year in our garden too. I wonder if they were all frightened by the drought last year or are they just thrilled with all of this rain we have had. Either way I am enjoying it. Weeds? What weeds. I don't see any weeds. When you have such beautiful flowers blooming they overshadow the weeds. Happy GBBD.

  3. All very pretty!
    Love the tulips!
    Lea's Menagerie

  4. That's funny you have some things in bloom that are in bloom right now in my garden but our crabapples finished a month ago. The sequence of blooms varies so much in the country. All lovely blooms!

  5. This year has been a strange one too for us. Our plum trees just finished blooming, and the daylilies were starting up just as the daffs were finishing. You know, that flaming NOID tulip with the yellow and red might be "Hot Lips." Sounds like a good one to me.

  6. Those crab apple blooms are gorgeous. I love the exuberance of the spring flowering trees. The white of 'Marguerite' really makes 'Queen of the Night' stand out more. I really like the double tulips, too. That soft yellow tulip is perfect with the soft blue of the Brunnera. I planted some double pink tulips with my Brunnera last fall, but they are not yet up.

  7. Beautiful blooms...spring is so great, isn't it...and that Lilac must have smelled amazing!

  8. Rose...your garden is just wonderful!!! All the blooms are so beautiful. Your driveway trees are amazing...what a beautiful way to greet visitors.

  9. Such lovelies! Your crabapples are breathtaking.

    My all time favorite tulip combination is Queen of Night with a white tulip, and I had a nice stand of both several years ago. But I can't keep tulips (deer, voles) and so I gave up. Your Queen of Night and Marguerite are just what I wanted to grow!!

  10. Nice to see your tulips again. Down here they have stopped and I am waiting for summer bloomers to give some color.

  11. Rose, I am delighted to see your weeds :) My lilacs look just the same so I don't feel so badly now. and a double white tulip named just for me! I'm flattered. here I thought it was just daisies with my moniker.

  12. I know, I wish the Crabapples would last longer. Ours were in full bloom on Wednesday, and already losing their blooms today! That's way too fast! Now the Lilacs are blooming, so that kind of makes up for it. You have such an amazing collection of Tulips, Rose! Thanks for your fun comments on my last post. I, too, think we have very similar gardening tastes. :)

  13. I love all those tree and other blooms you've had. I am not good at remembering the names of the bulbs I plant. Yes, it is fun seeing all of the changes that are taking place. I'm sad that some blooms are finished already, but love the anticipation of seeing what is coming on next.

    I'm glad you found some Prairie smoke geum. It's not the fastest grower, but it looks good, even when it's small.

  14. Look at all those blooms. Your garden looks lush! Thanks for sharing it with us for bloom day.

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  16. The driveway is luscious with blooms. What a wonderful sight on any arrival or departure. I can see why May is now one of your favorite months. Happy belated GBBD.

  17. My favourite time of the year too.
    Lovely photos......... that blossom! Exquisite!
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  18. It must be wonderful to drive by or walk by the crabapples. They look spectacular in your header Rose. I have planted 'Queen of the Night', but they haven't bloomed yet. Can't wait! I love the simple white 'Marguerite' too. I have a Boomerang lilac as well. Mine is relatively new and not as showy as your pretty one. Sadly, my 'Jack Frost' died over winter. Yours is so nice. I will have to get a replacement.

  19. Gosh, you're so far ahead of us!

    I adore the scent of lilac.

  20. Happy GBBD and Spring! It's my favorite time of year on your blog. I wish I had more free time to enjoy the blooms both outside and online but manuscript revisions call.

  21. We are where you were more than a week ago - in bloom. The welcome rains have washed some of the apple blossoms away, but the lilacs are heavenly.

  22. Thanks, all, for visiting! It's been a busy week in the garden, so my blogging time is limited, so I will return the visit instead of replying individually here. I know you are all busy, too, so thanks for taking the time to stop by!

  23. Love those Amsonias.

    In regards to the Swamp Milkweed question. I seeded the in February. I dont see any problem planting them now but they take stratification for 4 weeks. Link for info:

  24. Your crabapples are magnificent, even if they don't last all that long. Some things are so beautiful they seem to bloom much longer than they actually do. I love your tulips and Brunnera too!

  25. Well, it is indeed the best time and the time that we all are waiting for.


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