Bulbs · Garden Musings · Perennials · Shrubs · Water Gardening

May Day Garden Walk

My mom shared stories of dancing around the maypole and choosing a May queen. My own kids planted baskets of flowers, put them on the doorsteps of neighbors, rang their doorbells and ran away before they could answer their doors.

Originally, May Day was a pagan holiday to celebrate the beginning of summer. It was believed that the first of May divided the year in half. Fires were set to give strength to the sun.

When Romans occupied the British Isles, a five-day-long feast to worship Flora, the goddess of flowers, was held April 28 to May 2.

By the Middle Ages, the maypole became a status symbol in English villages – the taller, the better. Some put them up for just one day; others erected permanent poles.

The Puritans tried to put an end to May Day traditions, but the maypole and some May Day festivities survived. Today in the United States, May Day is more about celebrating spring.

While I won’t be dancing around a maypole, I am giving everyone I work with a 4-pack of annual Dianthus wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a bow. And to celebrate with you, I will take you along on a walk through my spring garden. Happy May Day!

The earliest of spring-blooming bulbs are reaching the end of their spring performance.

Scilla siberica toward the end of blooming
The sea of blue created by thousands of Scilla siberica bulbs is coming to an end.
Chionodoxa coming to the end of its bloom period
The flowers of Chionodoxa will also be finished blooming in a week or so.

Other spring-blooming bulbs and the earliest-blooming perennials are at their peak. There is a lot of blooming going on in the rock garden.

Daffodils and…
Muscari - Grape Hyacinths
grape hyacinths and…
Pulsatilla vulgaris
Pulsatilla vulgaris offer color galore!

There are several bulbs and perennials that, given just a few more warm sunny days, will explode into bloom.

Daffodils in bud stage
The bright, sunny yellow flowers of these daffodils will be fabulous blooming by the large blue pot.
Phlox subulata
The first flowers of Phlox subulata hint at the color to come. Look at all those buds!
Magnolia Flower
Flowers are just beginning to open on the magnolia tree. I’ll be praying for no nighttime frosts.
Mertensia virginica - Virginia Bluebells
Mertensia virginica, commonly called Virginia bluebells, is one of my favorite spring-blooming wildflowers.

Although there are blooms in the gardens now, most of what is happening in the landscape now is new growth (and lots of it). I just love watching perennials emerge from the ground and leaves unfurling on branches.

Hosta emerging from the ground
Hostas are rising from the soil.
Mayapples are beginning their odd and glorious spring show.
The foliage of Alchemilla mollis, or lady’s mantle, is charming even as it emerges.
Clematis emerging from the ground.
Check out the colorful stems of a clematis.
Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'
The leaves of Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’ are cute and colorful as they unfurl.
Brunnera macrophylla early in spring
This will soon be a ground-covering, weed-choking mass of Brunnera macrophylla (false forget-me-nots).
What could be more majestic than the foliage of a tree peony expanding?

We put the pump and filters back in the pond and the sound of water is back in the garden.


I hope you enjoyed my May Day gift to you. How is your garden looking on this May Day? Garden with me!



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