We missed the April showers, but we got a few in May, and now we have the flowers to prove it. At left, is a tree peony that is in its third season in my yard. It’s probably in too shady a spot to get maximum size, but the blooms are a lovely part of late spring-early summer. I believe this one is Paeonia ‘Kokuryunishiki’. I made the identification from a photo from the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College that looks very similar to the one I have. Unlike herbaceous peonies, which die to the ground each fall, tree peonies are more like a shrub. They are slow growing, but eventually reach 4 to 5 feet in height with dozens of blooms.
Another bloomer now is sweet woodruff, a groundcover I planted after reading an article about it by Terry Yockey. What a sweet plant! The foliage is bright green and the flowers really lighten up a shady spot. It is a bit of a spreader, but I planted it under a tree in hopes of getting a big swath of it over time.
Flowering shrubs are also in bloom now, including lilacs and one of my favorite shrubs, red-twig dogwood. This plant looks good all year long–from its bright red branches contrasting with winter snows to these dainty white flowers. My only beef about dogwood is you do have to prune out some branches almost every year to keep it looking nice.
What’s blooming in your May garden?