Sunday, May 31, 2020

Lovely May, and Still at Home in the Nest

Well, here we are in May, and still staying home for the most part. When the pandemic first started out, it didn't seem that it would last this long. Well, we soon came to realize that we don't really know when this all will end. Meanwhile, home is the place to be.

Home is an easy choice for a gardener. It feels like someone sent me to my room for punishment, not knowing that my room is my favorite place on earth. Only my room is my garden!

May is always a busy planting month here in Ohio. It's also a banner month for flowers. Frosts come to an end, warm weather returns and new blooms are almost a daily event. However, we've had a chilly, wet spring, and we're about a week or so behind in everything despite the recent heat wave. I don't think the weather knows what it wants!

Hubs is working from home these days, allowing him plenty of time to fuss over his vegetable garden. I don't think it has ever been quite this perfect before. I know it won't stay that way, no matter how much we wish it so. Insects will munch, and diseases will arrive, it always happens that way. But for time being, it's nice to have it be well behaved. I even made these cute little plant markers to dress it up.

Despite some delays, I finally did get my planters finished. Of course we had a deluge afterwards, and a few plants actually drowned. But I quickly replaced the weak spots, and the heat caused them to perk up quickly. My color theme this year is magenta and lime, which is a little outside my comfort zone. But why not? The containers you see here that are not in that color theme are from the back patio where wilder colors reign. I especially like the green theme planting I did in my favorite mosaic pot.

One of the interesting aspects of May in the garden is watching the transition from spring to summer flowers. In early May, I still had a few tulips, while pansies were the garden stars. By month's end, the roses are popping out and summer flowers are blooming, while my pansies have faded enough to get tucked away in the corner somewhere. Soon they'll go in the compost tumbler.

Our yard is a favorite of the local birds. However, Mama Mallard from last month's post is long gone. We have no idea if her ducklings hatched, or if her nest was raided by pests. One morning, we found two empty eggshells in the yard, an empty nest, and no other clues. One shell even appeared to be pecked open, but all other signs point to bad news. We now have a small house finch nest in the planter on the porch, but I haven't seen any sign of the mother. I'm not thinking these eggs are going to hatch without her. And we're always glad to have Petey the hummingbird back. I don't know why my husband has named all the hummingbirds Petey, but it's become our tradition now. They are so difficult to photograph. My shots are never as clear and focused as I would like, but I'll take what I can get.

One of my May favorites are these Princess Victoria poppies. This bunch started out as five tiny little plants, and have grown considerably, spreading out comfortably nearby. After the bloom, and the seed heads dry out, the whole plant will fade into nothing, leaving a big blank space behind. But by then, the other plants nearby have begun to shine, so it's okay.

Another favorite is my Chinese Fringe Tree. In bloom, this plant is a real showstopper. And did I mention that it's fragrant? I highly recommend this one.

Sometimes I grow things that I haven't grown in years, and it makes me wonder why I stopped growing it. Why did I stop growing Sweet William? It's so darned pretty!

On those rainy days, I'm still crafting. I haven't been crocheting as much, because it just gets too warm to have those blankets on my lap. But I have been painting. You already saw the paint stick plant markers I did. But this welcome mat project really delighted me. I bought this monarch butterfly mat last year, and it wasn't as cheap as the plain coir mats, of course. It took a beating, and I was about to discard it when I decided to try to refresh it instead. I have a lot of outdoor craft paints on hand, so I simply did this paint-by-number style. I think it came out great! And for some reason, I decided that I needed to channel my inner Girl Scout, and make these old school potholders. It was pretty fun, mostly because the colors were so bold.

Columbines are one of my favorite spring flowers, but something got at them this year and
had a munching festival. What's strange is that they only ate the leaves, and left me the flowers. I suspect rabbits. Actually, there are far fewer flowers than usual, so they must have nibbled those too. Ugh.

Being the sunset lover that I am, I just love when the sun swings around a bit in the summer, and the sunsets can be seen right from my front porch. Not only that, but I can see them forming from my easy chair, so I can pop out to snap pictures in a flash.

And so May comes to an end. Who knows what another month will bring for this pandemic. But I know that I'm okay here at home, safe and sound, and enjoying life in my nest. Thanks for visiting with me.