The nights have been warmer lately — in the 50s — and that plus plenty of rain has led to a burst of blooming in my yard. The cherry tree is past peak, but the apple blossoms are fluffy and the sweet woodruff planted around our ash tree as a groundcover is blooming and growing. I may need to pull some of this down the road; it really likes this spot.
The lilacs are opening up and the red twig dogwood are just about to bloom. In front, the tulips have faded, so things look a bit messy, but the blooms of the ‘Purple Sensation’ allium are enough to distract viewers from the mass of greenery below. (I hope!) Here are a few blooms I photographed this morning.
The sun is high enough in the sky so that even with the cool temperatures, plants are starting to bloom. It’s an exciting time of the year. Here are a few things blooming in my yard today. Except for the tulips, these are all larger photo files.
OK, the weather outside is frightful, but this fall was delightful, so before it decides to snow, here’s a fall flower slide show! (Clearly, I am not a poet.)
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?
While I’m not always — maybe, not ever — pleased with the big picture in my garden, there are tiny moments of beauty that surprise and delight me. Lately, more of those moments have occurred as spring is fading toward summer and more plants are blooming and growing. With the good weather we’ve had this past week — unlike friends and family in the Twin Cities, we had a decent shot of rain Sunday night — finding and appreciating those surprises has been pure joy.
Take, for instance, the bloom in the photo above. Last year, I bought a peony at the Dakota County Master Gardeners plant sale in May. Since peonies are best planted in the fall and I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to plant the peony, I put it in a big pot to hold it through the summer. For fun, I added some petunias and a vinca vine. When fall came, the roots were all entwined, so I just put the entire root ball — peony, petunias, and vinca — in the ground. Lo and behold, when the peony came up this spring, the vinca came with it and the vinca is now blooming.
This variegated plant appears to be a type of Vinca minor or common periwinkle. While it can be invasive in some parts of the country, it seems to be OK for Minnesota. The U of M even recommends it in its Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites book. In any case, discovering the flower — hiding under the peony foliage — provided a wake-up-and-look-around moment for me last week. And, we all need more moments like that.