Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe that June starts tomorrow. It took so long for the month of May to get rolling enough to  actually feel like spring, but now it's over already. Once it truly warmed up, it was a banner month. You see, even though the winter tried to knock us down, the spring rains tried to build us right back up. Despite the losses, the surviving plants look better than ever.
Chinese Fringe Tree
As with most gardeners, I have been hard at work this month. I can't believe how many plants I have put into the ground! Some were replacements for those done in by winter, and some were new perennials. But most of the hard work involved the summer annuals and vegetables. I don't really mind all the work, really. It would just be so much easier if I could neglect all my other obligations when this was going on.
Amsonia Hubrichtii
Amsonia Blue Ice
And even though I enjoy the work, that doesn't mean that I'm not exhausted! I work and I work, but I never seem to get done. Plant, prune, fertilize, deadhead, water, mulch, weed, and on and on it goes. Funny, but most avid gardeners seem to be from the older generations, like me. But for the energy it takes, you'd think it would be more for the younger folks.
Columbine Winky Double
Cornus kousa Heart Throb
 And before you think that I don't take time to enjoy the fruits of my labors, I need to clarify. Every evening after dinner, I go out to sit on the "veranda" and admire it all. My camera is always close at hand, in case I see something that begs to be captured.
Dragonwing begonia
Shade container with Reiger begonias and other fillers
Container with begonias, fiber optic grass, and other fillers

Still, it will be nice when summer wears on, and I don't have so much work staring me in the face all the time. That's when I do more fun projects like making garden art, or less fun projects like cleaning out my garden mess in the garage.
Yarrow Tutti Frutti Apricot Delight
Bearded iris Blue Suede Shoes or Best Bet
Allium Mediterranean Bells
May is usually the month of the roses, but not quite this year. I'm just happy some of them showed up at all, even though it was May 28 by the time the first one bloomed. This is about a month behind schedule. I'm just glad they are here at all.
Sunny Knockout Rose
Funny Face rose
Zepherine Drouhin rose 
May also seems to be incredibly busy in the non garden world too. Graduations, proms, year end parties, Mother's Day, you name it, there's always a special occasion to celebrate. I say, let's celebrate the fact that it's time to garden again.
Moonshine Yarrow

Peony unknown
Sunny container featuring Petunia Crazytunia Pulse
Glamoflauge Grape petunia
Violet tubeflower
So onward to June, may it be just as lovely as the fair month of May!
Heuchera Circus
Heuchera Coral bells

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May, the Fairest of Them All

Every month has something to show in the garden. Even the winter months have interesting textures to show us. But I find May to be the fairest of them all.
Flowers bloom in earnest, the weather warms, and the garden grows.
 Excitement builds as vegetables are planted, containers are filled, and annuals go into beds.
Plants are generally green and fresh, and insect damage hasn't yet become a problem. You just have to love it! 

 The harsh, dry summer weather seems far away at this point.  It rains and rains, and everything is so green that it almost makes your eyes hurt. Maybe this will be a wet summer, it's hard to say at this point. But usually, the rains stop around June and from then on, it's a battle to keep things watered. 

 Now one of my usual favorite parts of May is when the roses begin to bloom. That first flush of blooms is always the finest. But the sad news is that our harsh winter really did a number on my rose garden, as it did in so many other areas. I'm not sure when I'll see any roses this year, if any. It's disappointing, but I'm trying to take it in stride. I've done a lot of tweaking to my rose garden, discarding the dead ones, and also those that are under performers. When my rose garden comes back to life, the theory is that it should look better than ever. In the mean time, here is what it looked like in years past.

Maybe one of the reasons that I like May so much is that it's my birthday month, and is followed quickly by Mother's Day. I can't say that I mind the attention. And it does tend to start out my favorite month with a bang.

I'm sure that others could make a strong case for their own favorites, but for me, it will be always be May, the fairest of them all.