Friday, May 16, 2014

May Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring . . . why, Pilgrims, of course!  This old riddle may bring a smile to children's faces, but my question is what do May showers bring?  I certainly hope the answer is June flowers, because we have had our fair share of rain showers all this week, keeping me from completing garden chores and making me a day late for this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  Not that I'm complaining, because we've certainly needed the rain, and the garden is loving it.  I did manage to finally sneak out between cloudbursts yesterday to take a few photos.

Before I share what is blooming in my garden today, indulge me as I show what was in bloom just last week:

Tulip time has virtually come to an end, but what a glorious few weeks it was!  I shared many of my tulip blooms on Facebook with a "Today's Tulip" theme, including these 'Double Maureens.'

A popular post was this combo of  'Queen of the Night' with the pure white 'Marguerites.'   So often my plantings don't work as planned--for example, the purple tulips that appeared after all the pastels in my roadside garden had finished blooming.  But this combo had perfect timing this year, and I'm liking it more and more.  It's a nice contrast to all the pastel tulips I have planted elsewhere.

One tulip I didn't share on Facebook was this species tulip, 'Lady Jane.'  They're not as showy as the hybrids, but the outer reddish-pink petals that open up to these cheery white faces are still special.

After waiting for two years, I was excited to finally have lots of blooms from my namesake--'Rosalie.'

Also eagerly anticipated and new this year, a tribute to my mom--'Princess Irene.'  Interestingly, 'Irene' is shorter than 'Rosalie,' which is just as it should be--I inherited my height from my dad:)

I shared my favorite tulip of all, 'Akebono,' in my last post, but here it is fully opened.  What's interesting is that these are all new bulbs this year and look different from the older ones I had.

Unfortunately, the older bulbs were all decapitated by the pesky deer just before blooming, but this is a photo from last year.  Notice the difference in coloring; I'm wondering if this was due to the warm temperatures we had that faded out the new blossoms this year, or if it's because I ordered from a different supplier last fall.  I prefer the more yellow blooms, so just to be safe, I'm going to order these from the original company next time.

The redbuds are already leafing out and sport only a few of the eye-catching lavender blooms that I love every spring.  What is strange this year and rather sad for me is that my crabapple trees never bloomed.  I look forward to the week in May every year when my driveway is a beautiful mass of pink and red.  The lone white crabapple bloomed, but the strong winds of last week blew off all the blossoms before I could take a decent photo.  But the lack of blooms on the other crabs has me puzzled and a bit worried.  There have been years when storms blew off the blooms almost as quickly as they appeared, and perhaps that is what is happened this year and I just didn't notice.  I hope nothing is wrong with them, but I guess there's not much I can do other than wait another year to see if they bloom again.

While the early spring bloomers have faded, here is what is blooming this week:

Bleeding Heart has been blooming for a few weeks now.

As has the Brunnera 'Jack Frost,'  one of my favorite bloomers in the shade garden.

Not as obvious but still delightful are the blooms on the Solomon's Seal.  I've been working on dividing and moving some of the hostas in this crowded area, but everything has been growing so quickly that you can't tell I've removed a thing.  This is going to be an ongoing process this year, I'm afraid.

The old lilac bush was covered with fragrant flowers again this year, but they're quickly fading.  The 'Bloomerang' lilac, however, is just beginning to bloom.  I'm still trying to figure out how to prune a re-bloomer like this; so far, all I've done is snip off the old blooms in early spring and late summer.

In other garden areas, the unnamed perennial geranium is full of tiny blooms.

The first 'May Night' Salvia is blooming in the sidewalk garden.  They don't seem to like their location here nearly as well as in the arbor bed, where I have new seedlings popping up everywhere.

Amsonia 'Hubrichtii' is sporting its blue blooms in the arbor bed.

As are the Amsonia tabernaemontana, whose blooms are really much bluer than they appear here. A few years ago I dug up and divided this plant from its original spot in the lily bed, where it had grown too large for the location.  I noticed yesterday that there were new Amsonia seedlings blooming in the original spot in the lily bed again, so apparently I didn't get all the roots.  Digging up that plant was a job I don't care to do again, so I may just give in to its determination and leave it alone.  We'll see . . .

I'm always happy to see the Phlox pilosa, or PPPP as friend Gail calls it, once again!  It continues to spread slowly through the butterfly garden, which makes me even happier.

Giant Allium, 'Purple Sensation,' I think, are a great distraction from the fading foliage of the tulips in the arbor bed, and also a distraction from the weeds, I hope.  Did I mention I also have a bumper crop of dandelions this spring?

While the spring bulbs are becoming faded memories, the show is only just beginning.  Swollen buds promise there are new blooms just around the corner.  It's a great time to be in the garden!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you each month by Carol who aptly named her garden and blog "May Dreams Gardens."  You can check out the links there for a plethora of blooms this May.


  1. The local Bridge of Flowers just planted its first Boomerang lilac. I can't wait to see how it works. There is an excellent Head Gardener taking care of it - and the thousands of other plants - and I am watching her carefully.

  2. Your tulips have such lovely colors. Overhere the tulipfields are without colour for a long time.
    Your amsonias are so stunning. I going to look for one overhere.
    Have a wonderful weekend Rose

  3. Hi Rose,

    Now I wonder if there is a tulip called Cheryl :)
    How lovely to have one with your name attached Rose. It is a beautiful tulip.
    BTW love the black white combo.....I would definitely increase those each year.

    Your garden seems to be way ahead of mine. My Alliums are not in bloom yet and irises are very slow. I must say I cannot quite work my garden out this year .

    Hope you have a good weekend Rose.

  4. Rose, how wonderful the tulips are, the most I love is 'Princess Irene'. And others are pretty, especially black ones!
    Your vernal plants look healthy, blooming very well. Bleeding heart is always draws the eye, I wait for blooming of my dicentra.

  5. I love seeing your parade of tulips. You do have lots of beautiful blooms in your garden this month. I hope the trees are just pouting from such a severe winter. It might be they are just slow to recover. It seems that everything in my garden is slow. Next year will be better hopefully.

  6. Gorgeous colors! I am so envious of your tulips. I've given up trying to grow them here, but I do love them so.

  7. Your garden is fairly well ahead of mine! Are you in zone 6? My tulips are fading (and some got really shredded by some storms) but other things are mostly still in bud. My Jack Frost is blooming --I need more of that. And my amsonia, which I planted after hearing about it on your blog, is just putting out its leaves. This is its third year --I'm wondering if I might get some flowers.

    I thought our Redbud had died, because it didn't flower. Everyone elses around here has flowered, and I finally found one tiny bloom. I'm so relieved it's still alive, I can forgive it for not flowering after that terribly cold winter.

    We've had a really cold week (some snow yesterday!) so things were just kind of standing still. It's going to warm up starting today, though, so I'm hoping to see some iris soon :-)

  8. I love your selection of tulips, especially 'Princess Irene' and'Akibono'. I'll have to put those on the list for fall. I personally missed the snow on Friday as I was coming home from a work trip and didn't get there until about 5 pm. Your garden is a week or two ahead of mine, my lilac hasn't put out flower buds yet and the bluestar is not ready to bloom.

  9. Pat, if you find out the proper way to prune a 'Bloomerang,' let me know!

    Marijke, Amsonia does very well here, and is a native to parts of the U.S. I've been surprised to find some volunteers this spring.

    Cheryl, I will have to look for a tulip with your name:) I'm thinking I need one for each of my daughters and granddaughters as well. We had a couple of weeks of very warm weather, which seemed to speed up some of the blooms. But so many other plants have been delayed because of our long winter--certainly a different spring.

    Nadezda, I've had more comments on the dark tulips; I think I need to add more of these!

    Lisa, I am hoping, too, that the strange weather we've had kept the crabs from blooming. They've leafed out nicely, but I'm worried they're getting old. So many of the perennials are late this year--my beautyberry is just now starting to green up; I thought it was dead.

  10. Dorothy, I'd like to say I have a green thumb when it comes to tulips, but I think I'm just lucky. Our climate is right for them here, and until this year, I hadn't been bothered by pests like deer.

    Cassi, We are now on the northern edge of zone 6, after the maps changed. But I don't believe it--we're out in the open here, so I stick with zone 5b guidelines. I hope you have blooms on your Amsonia--it does take about 3 years to get it established. I saw the snow on the news--how depressing!

    Jason, Glad you enjoyed the tulips. Snow in May is pretty weird!

  11. It's all just beautiful, Rose! Love those tulips. I have to plant mine behind a fence to protect them from deer and other pesky predators. I have Brunnera Jack Frost for the first time this year, and it is darling! Odd that the same variety of tulip is so different; I'd go back to your original vendor as well! I wonder if it's a result of the soil in which the tulip bulb was originally cultivated. Again, it's all so lovely!--Kimberley

  12. Lovely to see your May garden, thanks for the tour!
    I can see we have a similar taste in tulips – although I have now started to treat them as annuals and just throw them away after they are finished flowering. Makes sense and is so much easier, I was always disappointed with all the bulbs coming up blind.
    Love your lilac, the scent of lilacs says Spring to me!
    Have a good week :-)

  13. I wish I could sink my nose in your lilacs. They are the one shrub I miss most in my garden because while they will grow down here, they don't grow all that well for me. Love all your tulips!

  14. You've captured some wonderful blooms in those photos. As good as anything you would see in a catalogue........ well better in fact.

    Over here the Chelsea Flower Show is taking place in London. I would love to go one day though it is possible to follow it all on TV and probably see more.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  15. Rose, your tulips almost make me drool! We can't grow them down here so I'll just have to look upon yours. I can grow the species tulips and have come to love them. Thanks for the info on moving amsonia. I need to do that, hmm.

  16. Glorious tulips! Seems like months since my forced tulips bloomed and I guess it was.

  17. Curious about the unexpected tulip color and the crabapples lack of flowers. I hope the crabapples don't have a problem. Your redbuds and tulips more than make up for it though. I have a Boomerang lilac as well. This is the first spring for it to flower and I am looking forward to seeing how it does.

  18. Kimberley, I hadn't thought of different soil producing different results in the tulips. That's definitely a possibility, although I suspect the vendors had bulbs that were a little different.

    Helene, I'm never quite sure how the color scheme is going to turn out or where the tulips are going to come up, especially when I run out of room and plant the last few just willy-nilly:)

    Tina, I always pick lilac sprigs to bring in the house; I love their scent, too! The old-fashioned one didn't last too long, though, because of the heat.

    Maggie, I've heard so much about the Chelsea Flower Show; seeing it on TV, though, would be the next best thing!

  19. Jean, We are lucky to have good growing conditions for tulips, though we also have our share of pests who like them, too. I think amsonia can be moved more easily when it's still young, so I need to get busy!

    Jean Campbell, I still have a few late tulips blooming, but most have faded now. They really don't like the warmer temperatures.

    Jennifer, I'm worried about the crabapples, too; a friend mentioned her redbud didn't bloom, either. We had so much winter damage, I'm hoping this was just a one-time occurrence. I've been very happy with my 'Bloomerang.'

  20. Rose that is a gorgeous selection of tulips. Your double maureens almost looked like peonies at first. I had to read that twice to be sure. Princess Irene was a favourite of mine several years ago. I just love that orange, pair it with some purple foliage and it's pure heaven. Akebono caught my eye though, now those are something. I may need to go looking for those in future.

  21. OH my goodness Rose! All these pretties in your garden! You are way ahead of us. Peonies already! Here in my garden they are just about a foot high..lots yet to grow before budding out.
    The Brunnera resembles
    forget me nots...I must plant some! Shade is all I have living in the woods!Happy gardening season finally!

  22. Such eye candy, Rose. Beautiful. I especially like the low to the ground images across the plants. I do that often too and it is tough on the knees, so I appreciate you getting those shots. Your garden must be lovely at this time of year, colorful yet peaceful.

  23. All lovely as always. I do think that lilac is greatly under-valued. it has such a beautiful scent.

  24. Your spring flowers are beautiful, I especially like the parrot tulips, but can't grow regular tulips because of the voles and squirrels. Your flowers are mostly behind mine but I'm surprised to see your Amsonia blooming. Mine was just planted last year and was very slow to emerge and still small, I don't know if it will go on to bloom this year or not, I want to see the pale blue blooms up close.


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