May is Bloomin’ Lovely


Crab Apple. Or it might be a cherry.

I’ve never known for sure. Tiny round fruits follow the blooms but they never mature sufficiently to identify. Any ideas? Whatever it is, from the beginning of May it makes my heart sing.

May. My favourite month. I guess most of us in the Northern Hemisphere would say the same. And we’re half way through already. How on earth did that happen then? On balance the weather has been good, even hot. As always after a hot spell I’m already craving rain, much as I complain about it when we have it in abundance. But working up on the bank yesterday I was having to hack the weeds out of the soil.



Convallaria majalis, Lily of the Valley

Everywhere I go right now I’m enveloped in scent. Lily of the Valley does so well here there are now several established patches as a result of my digging it up and moving it around. Given it thrives in shade it’s unlikely to run out of potential real estate anytime soon.



Another shade lover, Polygonatum x hybridum ‘Striatum’. The variegated Soloman’s Seal. It could look rather good with the Lily of the Valley now I come to think of it.



Back out in the low evening sunshine there’s a new cascade up on the bank: Geum ‘Flames of Passion’. Another plant which responds well to division and bulking up. Seen here with softening wisps of Stipa tenuissima.



It’s geum month: Geum ‘Eden Valley Angel’, picking up the red tints in the new foliage of the epimedium behind it.



Geum ‘Apricot Delight’

I’m loving this bit of the top terrace border at the moment. Alongside the geum, Ajuga, Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer) and a bronze leaved Carex.



Silene dioica

The bluebells from the last post have been joined by another wildflower this week.. red campion. Beautiful in the wilder areas but expires messily and seeds for England. It would fill your garden if you let it.



Pink we can do. Inherited peony, NoID.

It’s kinder on the eye when it’s faded a bit. Honest.



Also inherited, a NoID rhododendron but planted there by me.. back when it was small. I found it as a self layer when I rummaged through the soil underneath the parent plant. I’m contemplating banishing moving it into the woodland.



Azalea NoID



Enkianthus campanulatus

Now that’s better.. Another balance I struggle with. Brazen blooms create drama and draw one in from a distance but my preference tends toward the more delicate. Simple flowers that often need seeking out.



Corydalis temulifolia ‘Chocolate Stars’

A corydalis with a difference. The name comes from the foliage which turns bronzy in winter, becoming green again as the flowers emerge in late Spring. At up to 18″ tall it’s also larger than most.



Iris sibirica



Magnolia laevifolia

There was a plant fair at RHS Rosemoor last weekend. I went with good intentions, I really did. And I did purchase another Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ to turn an existing pair into a designery clump of three. Plus a Monarda to replace one that inconveniently succumbed to the Beast From The East. Or to the bunnies. But then there was this. Could I resist it? Well of course not. Where else was I going to find a choice magnolia for under a tenner? It will grow (hopefully) into a large shrub providing a significant presence on the bank and even better, it is strongly scented. What’s not to love?


And finally..



Itoh Peony ‘Pastel Splendor’

Itoh watch commences for a second year. There are eight buds in total. Three on this plant but five on another I got half price in a sale. Go figure.


Happy May!


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here), where you will find a host of May bloomers from around the world.