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!