Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016- Happy May everyone

May 1. May Day. So many reasons to celebrate. It is Julia's birthday. Katie is visiting. We are almost past the frost free day.
We had a good steady rain yesterday that we needed. The mail order tadpoles and snails arrived and are settling in to their new zipcode.
Yesterday, with the temperatures barely getting to 50, we had another last fire in the fireplace. We had done that a week or two ago. At the time I thought that was the last fire.
The flowering trees have been better than I can ever remember. We have pink and white crabapples that have been with us for the 34 years we have lived here on College Street. The pink dogwood, which was a birthday present for Julia decades ago, now puts on a show out our second floor window. The white dogwoods in the neighborhood have occasioned some of those "I wont one of those too" moments.

May is also the time to visit the local nurseries for annuals  for summer. Sometimes there are even sales. I have a hard time resisting sales. I just need to remember all that empty space I do not have. In the rain we went to a greenhouse in the country yesterday, down by Kalona. We got some lantana. The colors were so great even in the small pots. We got a few hot peppers. I grow a few peppers each year, as a reminder if nothing else, of fond memories of the big vegetable garden we had when we lived on the farm, now 40 years ago.

The weeds are growing. I have this one weed, a bad form of campanula, that I really dislike. Getting it out from among the Louisiana Iris requires the attention of a surgeon. It is, I imagine, the only plant in the garden that will show up in a google search with the term "evil." Go ahead google "evil campanula". See.

This time of year is also that time when the bluebells are just about done. They were so great. You have to enjoy the moment and move on. The white bluebells have now fallen over, with all those little flowers being encouraged to make seeds and grow more plants.

The tree peonies are not quite ready. I think a few nice warm days will be what they need. I am still waiting to see what color is that seedling.

I do want to tell you about two favorite groups of spring flowers. First here are pulmonaria.

Here is a pulmonaria, probably raspberry splash, that grows between the hellebore and the bluebells. That gives you a good feel for the time when they look their best. Unlike the bluebells the foliage will last all year. In fact they do well in the heat and dry weather we can get in high summer. They look good when others do not.

The white pulmonaria make a great contrast to the bluebells. That is actually another pulmonaria next to the white one. They do spread.

In the bottom of this picture is a great little epimedium.
You can also see the speckled leaves on the pulmonaria.

Here is a nice blue pulmonaria. It is a little overshadowed by all the bluebells.

I also wanted to show you primroses. They have been putting on a show.

These first two pictures illustrate one feature of the group. Sometimes the flowers are compact. Sometimes they dangle of long stems.

There can be such vibrant colors. I should add that I believe the more vibrant the colors they more likely they will be to die over the winter. This one lived. Many others planted last year did not.

This one is actually named Wanda. What a great name for a plant/flower. This one is 5-6 years old. It does come back, and this year started making little ones around the edge. I will try to move a few to see how that works.

This is a new one this spring. What a wonderful pattern. What a wonderful group.

It is now 6 this Sunday morning. I should go pull some weeds. The sun would be about ready to come up, if it were not cloudy. What a funny weather pattern. The radar map almost mades a question mark. It started in Arkansas, went to Wisconsin, and then circled back to Nebraska and Colorado. At the end of that pattern there was blue. That was Colorado snow. I gather it was in the upper 20's in Estes Park. I hope they had not put out their tomato plants.

For now, here is this set of pictures. Enjoy the day. May Day. Happy workers day. Happy birthday Julia.


1 comment:

Linzee said...

So lovely to hear about your garden(s), present and past. Thanks for making a grey May Day cheerier. Happy Birthday, Julia.