Tuesday View (6th May) and a Blooming May!

We had lots of rain, lots of sunshine and a couple of cool nights last week, and the garden seems to be soaking up this wonderful mix and rewarding me with lush greens and blooms!

Today’s view:


The first of the early peonies opened on Friday…


This one isn’t scented and flowers about 2 or 3 weeks before the others. I think all the shades of green behind it (euphorbia, goldenrod foliage etc set it off well).


The irises also opened last week, one by one, despite the showers…



The Aquilegias are opening too…


Sometimes known as Granny’s Bonnets – wouldn’t you just love to have a hat like this! πŸ˜‰


You can see the large Centranthus buds on the left of this pink aquilegia too – again, much earlier than usual.


Β Dicentra Spectablis ‘Alba’

(The nursery where I order plants still calls it Dicentra!)


If the weather remains cool this dicentra will last well into summer, unlike the pink one I have in a shadier spot. If you grow dicentras, how long do they last in your climate?


Geranium phaeum gets better and better. If the ground dries up too much or if the sun is too hot it tends to flag and look untidy, but conditions have been ideal this spring. This one has variegated leaves and deep purple flowers, but some of mine have developed plain leaves somehow.


When they start going over I cut some right back and the foliage is good ground cover. Others produce a few flowers continuously through the summer. Is that normal? Some of these went into my vase yesterday, and I loved the effect…


Another geranium that started flowering a couple of weeks ago, providing excellent camouflage for wilting tulip and daffodil foliage, is Geranium macrorrhizum


This is a plant to take care with, as it can be a bit of a thug. In my dry spots it is such a valuable addition, and the pink flowers are lovely too. Janet at Plantalicious recently showed a picture of her white one – Geranium macrorrhizum β€˜Album’ – which I am quite taken with!


And the star is this poppy, which opened on Monday…


The colour is so incredibly intense in the sunshine!


The rain was good for the plants on the one hand, but as always wet weather also has its downsides…



What colour is there near you this week?

And do you have snails or slugs? Or both?!

48 thoughts on “Tuesday View (6th May) and a Blooming May!

  1. We have more snails than I would have thought possible this year – thousands of them it seems! Aquilegia are flowering here too, new plants I grew from seed two years ago, so I’m happy. Love that poppy!

    • I have tried growing aquilegias from seed and had no luck, so I will have to buy another to get some different colours mixed in! There are now two poppies open – I pulled so many out last year as they were starting to take over, but I’m hoping I still have a pink one somewhere too. Enjoy your aquilegias Christina! πŸ˜€

  2. Really like your purple iris Cathy and am glad to see how the Geranium phaeum grows. It was nice in your vase too. I didn’t know Dicentra had a new name (I feel like I had only recently learned Dicentra!).

    • Some types are still called dicentras, but mine (D. spectabilis ‘Alba’) is now called Lamprocapnos spectabilis, and since I cannot remember or pronounce that, partly out of pure stubbornness(!), I shall continue to call mine Dicentra! πŸ˜‰

  3. Its slugs rather than snails that are loving the damp weather here… My besetting sin with geraniums is never remembering to cut them hard back after flowering to get that fresh growth and possibly more fowers, but I have read that G. paheum can respond really well to that, so I will have to be more disciplined when I get mine. I am loving my aquilegias, and lusting after new ones too (pale lemon, had them in my last garden and miss them). I do like the way you can cram in aquilegias around late flowering perennials to keep the show going, but rarely find myself able to plant them all at the same time so the spacing goes all wrong. You have lovely spring colour bursting out all over, that peony is a stunning colour.My dicentra flowered until late June last year, it is the pink form, and in partial shade where it gets the run-off from any rain falling on the path that runs behind its bed.

    • I’m the same with cutting back Janet… I have to be brutal and it all looks horrible for a week or so, but then everything starts looking green again! A pale lemon aquilegia sounds nice – mine are all purple and pink, and I will have to try and find a new one too. I’m sure I’ll find a space somewhere! Your dicentra does well – I think they must like quite a bit of shade and then they last longer, but this Alba is in full sun and although a bit later than the pink one it lasts much longer, until early June perhaps.
      We’re getting more rain today. The weeding will have to wait!

  4. Everything is so beautiful, Cathy, but I just love the Peony and the Poppy! The intense color is just spectacular and I’m sure with the green backdrop they really pop! It’s the strangest thing about snails and slugs. We have been talking about that. When I was a child we always had tons of snails and slugs, but now, my granddaughters are just fascinated when they see one. They are rare in our garden and their disappearance was well before the current drought. I have no idea why they are so rare. I know they do damage in the garden, but I kind of miss them. How silly, huh? LOL!

    • The poppies and the peonies are two of the highlights in the rockery, and I just love them! And the snails leave them alone too! I’m really happy for you that you DON’T have slugs and snails Debra – If you really miss them, get yourself a little model one to put near your flowers! LOL! πŸ˜‰ I suppose the climate has just put them off. Do any ever show up when it rains? It’s pouring here right now, and when we do the garden “round” with the dogs we will have to be careful not to tread on them as they will be everywhere! I hate that crunching sound… πŸ˜‰

  5. I can’t say exactly but my Dicentra spectabilis lasted for ages this year but it is finished now. I have been putting in a lot of geraniums this year but they came from my daughter’s garden and I haven’t got up to speed with the different varieties. The bees do love them, like your Bombus pratorum in your photograph. Amelia

    • Thanks for identifying my bee Amelia. That’s something I love about the Geranium phaeum – the bees are on it as soon as it opens. The Geranium macrorrhizum is supposed to attract them too, but isn’t nearly as popular!

  6. Snails and slugs in abundance here, but the aquilegia and poppies are a wee bit behind yours – not flowering just yet. The colour of the moment is mainly apple blossom pink complemented by grey skies.

    • Most of the fruit trees here are over now – they were very short-lived due to a warm spell and then so many rainshowers. I have never had poppies open this early – we are still 2 or 3 weeks ahead of “normal”. I checked on the elderflower buds yesterday as they are a good measure for when other things will bloom, and I think they will be fairly early this year too. (Looking forward to their scent!)
      Hope your skies turn blue this week Sarah! πŸ˜€

  7. Such a wonderful post. I’m loving those stunning ‘flower portraits’ and I’d be up for an Aquilegia hat. We’re coming to Germany for two weddings later this month (one in Hessen one in Bavaria). A hat like that would come in handy πŸ˜‰

    • If only I was good at arts and crafts I’d make you one! LOL! There must be someone out there who designs hats to look like flowers…. will have to do some googling. It’s absolutely pouring out there, so I can’t do any gardening anyway! πŸ˜€

  8. Slugs and snails en masse here. I am caring for the plants for our village open gardens plant stall and its been very hard work to keep them free of munched holes and there are 6 more weeks to go! I love the white Dicentra, mine did not appear this year and now I think I inadvertently dug it up during one of my desperate digging out of ground elder days. Is that blue Iris ‘Shimmer’

    • Good luck with the snail defence startegies, and if you have any secret tips….. So you have ground elder too! I think we need some scientists to genetically modify a snail that lives solely on ground elder and the larva of other slugs and snails! πŸ˜‰ I have no idea what the irises are, as most of them were gifts from neighbours and friends… It does look very much like the “Shimmer” I found in google pictures, so you may be right!

  9. Love all the colourful photos but that first one is priceless when comparing with but a short time ago! I have a number of Camellia japonicas in my garden which flower here late autumn/early winter – so the reds and pinks are predominant at the moment. Snails and slugs – don’t talk about those: it’s costing me a fortune in beer to keep them under control πŸ™‚ !!!

    • You’re right, things have changed dramatically in the last 2 weeks. Camellias must be lovely and I bet they like your climate. I don’t even try to control the snails – it would be fighting a losing battle.I just plant what they don’t like or keep my fingers crossed. I planted some chocolate mint for the firts time last week – a big plant – and there is nothing left. 😦 They must have thought it was Christmas! πŸ˜‰

  10. Slugs here, but no snails. Last year was the first that they became pests, I suppose it was because of the tasty lettuce and cabbages we had growing!

    • Your cold winter my have reduced the numbers a bit this year. Apparently the snails eat the larva of slugs… if there’s nothing tastier on offer. An example is the chocolate mint I planted last week, which is just a stub now!

  11. Looks like summer in your garden :). Poppies are a sign of summer to me. At the moment we have no snails or slugs to see. We didnΒ΄t catch any rain and its too dry for anything. We are watering already.

    • Yes, the poppies are so early this year. πŸ˜€ I wonder if you will get any rain later – it is pouring here at the moment and the snails will be in heaven!

  12. ItΒ΄s a joy to see all the wonderful plants blooming in your May garden, the one more beautiful than the other. I agree that the bright orange poppy is the star! Yesterday one of the pink poppies you gave me has opened … very beautiful too!

    • I’m so glad it flowered for you! I’m waiting for my pink one to open still… hope it wasn’t one I weeded out in the early spring!

  13. Some lovely photos of some lovely flowers. You are about at the same stage as we are in the midlands in the UK, although my poppies have yet to bloom. May is just the best time ! You sound as if you have had a good mix of warmth and rain to give you good plant growth . It all looks lovely!

    • Thanks Jane! Nice of you to stop by. πŸ˜€ There are just two poppies open so far, and the others are lovely fat buds. There is so much to look at now, with more peonies to come soon. More rain and sunshine today – looks like May is bringing us more April showers!

  14. The Aquilegias are real stars in May. I try to grow a few different ones from seed each year. The trouble is you have to wait until the following year to get any flowers. I love your Iris, what a gorgeous colour and I like white Dicentras better than the pink ones. I can’ t get to grips with its new name. Maybe next year. I feel like Homer Simpson when he said ‘ the last time I learnt something new I forgot how to drive’.

    • LOL! I know the feeling! Apparently Dicentra is acceptable as a synonym, so I won’t bother trying to learn the new name. πŸ˜‰ I’m so happy with all the aquilegias that have spread all over the garden. They seem to like the rockery!

  15. Let’s see. Pink geraniums (Biokovo) and bleeding heart (Dicentra is a much better name, Lamprocapnos sounds kind of nasty). White bleeding heart. Red and yellow tulips. Yellow celandine poppy. Blue muscari and Virginia bluebells. Spring is finally getting colorful.

    • I bought three Biokovo geraniums last autumn after hearing how much you like them, and the one in full sun is just about to flower! The other two are in shade and partial shade and are large plants already. πŸ˜€

  16. Look how green!! That is really amazing, your garden looks so happy πŸ™‚ Do you have rabbits or any wild little critters that come by to nibble when things get lush like that?

    • We are extremely lucky not to have rabbits, but the slugs and snails do a lot of damage… and the odd mouse or two as well! πŸ˜‰ With the damp weather this spring the snails are having fun nibbling everything and completely consumed a new pot of chocolate mint! (Chocoholic snails – LOL!)

  17. I have aquilegias, geraniums and dicentra but am still waiting for peonies, poppies and my bearded iris. They are all close to flowering but the weather is so terrible tonight I am worried that they will be damaged before the buds open. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the garden is ok in the morning.

    • Most of my peonies are still in tight bud too, but this early one is always a good two or three weeks ahead. And the poppy buds are bursting to open all over the rockery now, but we are having the same sort of weather as you at the moment, so it may be a few days yet! I hope your flowers have survived the battering, and that your weather improves this week!

  18. Your May garden looks lovely. With our hard winter, everything is about a month behind normal. The pear trees are in bloom in our orchard in New Hampshire but the apple trees are probably a week off. At our gardens in Maine, plants are only up by several inches.

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