Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Bursts Into Bloom!

Of all the months of the year in the garden, May is the most vibrant. Every day, new flowers burst into bloom. I can barely keep up. If I miss even one day of garden inspection, I might not see that one special bloom.
It's not just that all the perennials pop up in May, but other garden excitement is going on too. Well, I suppose the word "excitement" would only apply to garden nuts who get all worked up about flowers blooming. May means starting the vegetable garden, filling up the containers and window boxes, putting out my water garden full of fish, planting flower seeds, filling in the empty spaces left by winter, and the myriad tasks that need to be done.
 To say it's a busy time of year would be an understatement. In addition to all of the garden chores, there are graduations, first communions, concerts, recitals, and so many other activities. It can get a bit stressful.

 Luckily, the garden chores are actually relaxing to me. Yes, it can be physically taxing. But isn't it worth it?

I must admit that I'm not fond of the garden hose rodeo that I have to perform every day once the plants and seeds go in. It only takes a couple of weeks of daily watering till the plants "grab hold", and then I can ease off dragging that crazy hose around my yard. I've tried purchasing a lighter hose, and it does help a bit. But I still have to keep it from smashing all the plants, wrestle it around corners, wind the thing up and down, try to keep from it getting caught on something, hoping it doesn't kink, you name it! Is it any wonder that I pray for rain?
Despite the stresses involved, May is a beloved month to me, as it is to many gardeners here in the north. I do have a birthday in May, that makes it extra special! But mostly, it's about the flowers. I've waited all winter for them to show up, and I plan to enjoy each and every one.
If you need me, I'll be out wrestling with the hose. Again. And loving every minute of it. May only comes once a year, and I don't want to miss it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fast Forward

It's early May in Ohio, and today it got up to 89 degrees. What? Where did spring go? The funny thing is that it could just as easily be cold this time of year. We aren't even past our frost free date yet.
Winky Double Blue White columbine

Common columbine Red White
It's been so hot that my hardy hibiscus grew a foot in one week. Last week I thought it had died because of the frigid winter we suffered, this week it is thriving.
Cherry Cheesecake hibiscus
Now it may sound like I am complaining, but I'm trying not to. It's just that it happened too fast. I'm not prepared for heat already. I haven't even planted my vegetable garden or my containers. Now that I'm ready to plant them, it's too hot to be out working in the yard! Crazy weather. But this is not my crazy garden wall seen below, that would be the neighbor's. It falls over, they pick it up, every year.
Chinese Fringe Tree
Chinese Fringe Tree
This fast forward act has put my plants into rush mode. I don't think my purple coneflowers have ever bloomed in May before, but it won't be long now.
Purple coneflower about to bloom
The bad part about the fast forward act, is that the spring flowers come and go with lightning speed. I don't think my beloved crabapples were in bloom for more than three or four days. I wanted to take more pictures!
Crabapple row
Bee on crabapple blossoms
Same goes for my baby Forest Pansy redbud tree. It bloomed for such a short period of time, I feel like I barely saw it. You see, this tree is a replacement for when a storm took out my old redbud, which was a housewarming gift. That means it is particularly special to me. May it grow and bloom for many years to come.
Forest Pansy redbud
Forest Pansy redbud
Carpenter bees patrol my yard with fierce determination. Now the male carpenter does not sting, and the female rarely does. But these little fellas dive bomb my head when I'm out working, and it sure does make it hard to concentrate. Still, I'm glad that the carpenter bees, and every other critter, find my yard to be a safe haven.
Carpenter bee on guard duty
Forest Pansy redbud with friend
My herb garden has also been growing quickly, even though I haven't yet planted the tender varieties. Chamomile and chive flowers are favorites of mine, based solely on their looks.
Chamomile and Chive flowers

Chive flowers in herb garden

Chamomile and Chive flowers
I  consider alliums to be the exclamation points of my yard. Once their flowers fade, they dry into little fireworks, and I leave them standing as long as they will. But the purple stage is the best part.

Alliums with euonymus
So as spring speeds into summer, I'll just try to enjoy each blossom along the journey. But I sure wish it would slow down a little!

Princess Louise poppy
Best Bet iris