Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Proverbial May Flowers

We've had the April showers, now we have the May flowers. Well, we've actually had May showers and flowers. It's a jungle out there! All this rain has made for some lush greenery. I spent all day trying to rein in the enthusiasm of some of my beauties. But it's a good problem to have.

I tend to "brag" that my plantings have filled in so much that weeds don't have much room to sneak in. Ha! Somehow they manage to find those few little bare spots. Isn't it funny how the weeds manage to hide themselves from us till they are a foot high? How do they do that? I'm trying to take it slow, and do just a bit at a time.

The good part is that the veggie garden weeds are much easier to pull. Hubby built new raised beds in the fall, so we just filled them with fresh soil this spring, so the dirt is light and fluffy yet. Weeds can be pulled with no effort at all. It's been cool and rainy this year, so the spring vegetables have been growing like crazy. I haven't had much luck growing spinach in the past, but this year, wow! Lettuce and radishes have done well too, so there has been plenty of fresh, crunchy salad to enjoy. For some reason, my sugar snap peas did not come up this year, so I replanted. They are finally starting to peek out, but now it's getting warm enough that they may not do as well. I did put in the summer heat lovers a few days ago. Now bring on the warmth!

The spring bulbs have all faded now, and the regular perennials are starting to pop. Every time I turn around, another one is starting its show. It's wonderful to see.

There are still a few flowering trees and shrubs to enjoy. Are you familiar with the Chinese Fringe tree? I just love this one! It smells like jasmine in bloom, has nice green glossy leaves all summer, and then the leaves turn a beautiful golden color in the fall.

It's also the start of rose season here in Ohio. These Zepherine Drouhin roses are thornless, and intensely fragrant. I think this must be what heaven smells like.

We had a late frost this year, but I didn't fall for it. I stuck with mid May for my planting of warm weather annuals, There were many people out covering up their tomato plants and things like that. All I had to do was tuck a few containers into the garage.

I've had a lot of bird visitors in the yard this year. I often say that I don't feed the birds. Well, I do feed the hummingbirds. And I like to put out a finch sock full of nyjer seeds, because the goldfinches are so cheerful and bright. And now I have bluebirds hanging around my garden, so I thought I should put out mealworms for those too. I have a birdbath, of course. And there are some kind of birds in my birdhouse for the first time. Maybe I should admit that I feed the birds, huh? After all, I'm named after a bird.

What does May look like in your neighborhood? Here in Robin's Nest, it's glorious!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tulip Time in Town

I'm a big fan of the Tulip Festival in Holland Michigan, and as a matter of fact, I'll be traveling there next week! But I discovered that I might not always have to travel so far to see a wonderful tulip display. Turns out that one of my usual local spots does up their tulips in almost the same way.

As a member of Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio, I often visit during the winter so that I can soak up a little false summer when all is cold and gray outside. In the early spring, they also have a butterfly display which I thoroughly enjoy. But somehow I never managed to visit during tulip season until this very year. That was a big mistake on my part!

It was actually a very gloomy day when I visited, but it didn't matter one bit. The tulips were so colorful that it was like having sunshine on the ground.

I did pop in to see the butterflies, but for once, my love of butterflies took a back seat to the tulips. I took a few hasty pictures, then wandered back outside.

Blue Morpho-closed 
Blue Morpho-open
Even the courtyards were packed with tulips. It was so lovely, everywhere I looked.

Perhaps this was a good way to get mentally prepared for the beauty that is the Tulip Time Festival in Holland Michigan. If you haven't been to it, you should. But you can always substitute the Franklin Park Conservatory here in Columbus, because it's pretty good too! One thing though, don't be surprised if you see more tulips here after I visit Holland...