Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Delights of May (even if April has only just begun)

Birch catkins hang so thickly in May that they remind me of spanish moss on the live oaks in the south

I'm sure everyone has their favorite times of the year. For me they would probably be May and early July... there is just so much happening in the gardens at those times.



Of course, there is no shortage of color in May... the gardens are full of that... but I also like the fresh lush foliage and textures that abound, as well as the subtle blooms of the ephemerals.



While certainly April is full of expectancy, it does often remind me of the Song of Solomon text... (my paraphrase here)... 'Arise o north wind, and come thou south... blow upon my gardens that the spices may flow out'... there is no shortage of wind in this corner of the world during the month of April and it can be tiring as well as concerning since all manner of strange weather may accompany it; additionally, garden fragrances frequently end up in the next county... it can really blow in farm country. May, on the other hand, generally settles down a bit which can have a calming effect on the gardener as well.




Both the Alberta spruces above and the Pinus densiflora below are badly burned from the winter... that's the beauty of photographs... if they don't recover, I will have these to remember them by at least... I am expecting a full recovery none the less, although it could easily take a couple of years... it's disappointing though that these marvelous textures will be overshadowed by winter damage but ita all a part of the process.



My favorite May weather involves gentle rain... the colors of the garden excel under these conditions and I sense the nourishment that days like these provide the plants... and me as well.



There are lots of 'wait and see'  moments to be fullfilled this year... hardy azaleas are among them.



It's a thrill when the delphiniums first poke through the ground, but even a bigger thrill is when I realize just how lush and full they will become with the promise of many blooms. Staking doesn't seem as much a chore when my eye is on the prize...



The colors of Tiger Eye sumac are subtle at this time of the year... the more I age, the more I appreciate quiet scenes such as this... perhaps it's all part of some great plan providing us a will that matches what has become of our abilities... allowing little things to become more meaningful when we can no longer provide the splash of our youth...



The Dodecatheons (shooting stars) in bloom here hold the promise of self-seeding... something I long to have happen in a wooded area such as this... it's all a part of giving up my controlling nature and learning to appreciate the design that is creation... maturing to a point where I can appreciate these gifts rather than trying to dominate them...


Gallium odoratum or Sweet Woodruff... I recall seeing a Victory Garden show once that featured a business called Annie's Perennials ...  the wooded gardens were carpeted in this and so beautiful. It's fairly easy to contain as it has a shallow root system and probably could be kept in place for the most part with some sort of barrier if desired... I really enjoy this plant, especially in spring. I have come to understand that gardening doesn't have to be unending work... wise and careful choices can allow for a landscape that to a great extent takes care of itself. I was asked only today just how much of my life goes into the process of gardening... I do occupy many hours making changes because I enjoy the aspect of designing and tweaking spaces. Were I to stick with what we have, the work would be fairly minimal overall with perhaps some extra effort is spring and fall... it's mainly a matter of gaining control and consistently maintaining that control. Much of this can be achieved with natural products such as compost and mulch, and carefully considered plant choices.



Textures,  shades of green and maroon, a pot or two of color... the joys of May...











Tulipa tarda



Pulmonaria



I displayed the above photo on facebook, saying that it reminded me of a very attentive gopher sticking its head from a burrow... or myself surveying the gardens for signs of life!

Here then are some more photos from the merry month of May,  2013... some have been shared on FB and others in the past, but it's ok to be reminded that garden life will renew itself once again, renewing with it the hearts and minds of gardeners as it has for decades past... Larry



































11 comments:

Garden Fancy said...

Lovely as usual, Larry. It's certainly nice to reminded of the glories of May during such a slow start to spring. Next month will be here soon. Thanks for sharing.

Mindy said...

So beautiful.

Aga Grabowska said...

Lovely trip around your garden :)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Beautiful gardens Larry. Your pictures are so lovely.
Mary

spurge said...

I can't wait for May either, Larry. Actually, at this point I'd be pretty happy if the weather would actually realize that it's April already! So much winter-burn on evergreens here as well. Do you shear off the brown foliage? I'm not sure yet, but I think some of mine are goners.

Alison said...

It won't be long until your garden looks like this again. You might have lost a few things to the awful winter you've had, but I'm sure plenty will still thrive. And if there are any open spots, that's just room for something new.

Larry said...

Hi Spurge... have you done thumbnail tests... scraping a tiny bit of bark will usually let you know what will probably live. I don't shear the conifers unless they are pines that I normally candle to maintain tightness or limit growth... usually the burned needles just drop of their own accord, although once they come off easily, you could pull them off with your hand. As I said... most will come through this but Andrea is quite right... whatever has died provides a spot for something new! I just have to accept that there will be some ugly in the gardens for a couple years because of this... or learn to love 'burnt umber'! Larry

Larry said...

Actually I meant to say that Alison is correct... sorry about that and thanks for visiting! L

Alistair said...

May is not so far off Larry. Thoroughly enjoyed your preview.

cartoonage said...

your garden looks great, Larry !

John Le Brasseur said...

Probably one of the best sites I have seen anywhere on the web.
Your pictures are just amazing.
Love the Irises.