Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 2010

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

It always seems like there is nothing blooming in mid-May, but when I really look around, I realize there is a lot blooming but none of it is flashy, like the big yellow sheets of daffodils previous or the three Grandes Dames of June that will soon be here. The blooms of mid-May are modest and humble but well worth a careful look. Click on any photo for more detail.

Veronica growing in a stone wall

Centaurea montana Dot Purple, Veronica Waterperry, and an unknown creeping phlox.

Shady border in May

Virginia bluebells are finishing, globeflowers are beginning. There are also violas, Delphinium tricorne, marsh marigold, hellebore, and ajuga.

Narcissus poeticus is a family tradition. We have them growing in rows in a field, as my in-laws did at “the old place.” I also planted them to partner with an apple tree, but the apple bloomed early this year.
Poet's narcissus blooming at the foot of an apple tree

Poet's narcissus blooming at the base of an apple tree

A double narcissus

There are naturally occurring doubles amongst the narcissus.

Cluster of lilac blooms

The lilacs are blooming early this year. This is the common barnyard purple.

The lilacs are blooming early this year. The double white, the earliest, is past its peak. The dark purple, the latest, is just starting. I just realized I haven’t cut any for the house, and they will soon be gone. Their earliness caught me off guard.

Blooming But Not Pictured

  • Narcissus x medioluteus which I named ‘Irish Laddie’
  • ‘Victor Reiter’ armeria
  • forget-me-nots
  • ‘Bonfire’ euphorbia
  • species tulips
  • Celandine poppy – Stylophorum diphyllum
  • Trillium grandiflorum
  • ‘Looking Glass’ brunnera
  • Sweet white violet (Viola blanda) & another white one with flowers & leaves on the same stalks, perhaps Viola canadensis
  • primrose – yellow flowers on stalks
  • germander speedwell
  • the last of the dwarf flowering almond (which usually is just getting started)


No perennial flax. No seedlings, even. The jack-in-the-pulpits are toast, thanks to a couple of recent freezes. Many of the spring ephemerals bloomed a bit early, so they’re not missing, so much as already done.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Cindy, MCOK May 29, 2010, 1:48 am

I can’t sleep so I’m finally catching up on other gardeners’ blogs. I hope your June bloom day will more than make up for what didn’t bloom in May. That Poet’s Narcissus is lovely!

kate/high altitude gardening May 18, 2010, 11:44 am

For ‘nothing blooming’ you sure have a lot of pretty things to share! Your spring garden looks lush and lovely.

Ramble on Rose May 17, 2010, 9:06 pm

My lilacs bloomed early this year too, and then a strong rainstorm took them out. They were nice while they lasted but not enough.
.-= Ramble on Rose´s last blog ..Blurry Bloom Day =-.

Kathy May 17, 2010, 5:37 pm

Sigh…I wish I could grow Lilacs here in the midsouth. I lived in Ohio for a while and fell in love with them there! Fortunately, fragrant roses, jasmine, mock orange, magnolias and others grow here. But, oh the Lilac.
I need a spring vacation in the north!
Thanks for sharing!

commonweeder May 17, 2010, 11:33 am

Your blog was one of the first I found – the appeal being the title – because I also have a very cold climate. But what I have found fascinating over the past two years is that even two cold climate gardeners can have such differences in their bloom seasons. I love seeing this and comparing notes – and agree that so far the blooms are modest. But June! Just wait.
.-= commonweeder´s last blog ..Gardening There – and Here =-.

Kathy Purdy May 17, 2010, 11:47 am

Yes, and we are more similar in climate than say, here and northern Idaho. There are so many variables in gardening. Thank you for being a faithful reader–and commenter.

Irrigation Systems May 17, 2010, 3:45 am

I think Nancy hit the nail on the head there. Your garden seems to be bursting with blooms and by the sound of things you are just getting started. So far only my geraniums having anything noteworthy to show for themselves.

organic gardening May 16, 2010, 1:07 pm

Wow! Your garden is looking “Gorgeous”. My heart is bleeding after knowing that your “bleeding hearts” have faced hard frost and same thing happened to my garden too. Let’s hope for the next year’s bloom.

Nancy Bond May 16, 2010, 9:29 am

Compared to some of us (ahem!), you’ve got many wonderful blooms. 🙂 I can’t wait until it warms up just a little more for us…we had risk of frost last night, but I think the wind kept it at bay.
.-= Nancy Bond´s last blog ..Lust List: New for 2010 =-.

Kathy Purdy May 16, 2010, 12:46 pm

We could certainly still get frost ourselves. That doesn’t stop some plants from blooming, thank goodness. And just last year we had a freeze the third week of May. That was hair-pulling!

Heather @ Dusty Bay May 16, 2010, 8:04 am

Everything in your garden looks great, Kathy! I came from Garden Bloggers Blooms Day and had a nice visit on your blog.
.-= Heather @ Dusty Bay´s last blog ..iris =-.

Sheryl - Runningtrails May 16, 2010, 7:18 am

We have a lot blooming right now too, but you are right, its not the big showy stuff. Our common lilacs are just opening. I am excited aobut collecting the buds and blooms for lilac wine this year!
.-= Sheryl – Runningtrails´s last blog ..New Storage Space =-.

Christina May 16, 2010, 6:59 am

Sounds like your garden is about where mine is, here in central Maine – maybe just a week ahead. Ajuga is blooming here, and bleeding hearts, and forget me nots, and the primroses and the lilacs. Don’t have the perennial bachelor buttons yet, their buds are still closed. In another week or two there will be another big wave of flowers – poppies, bachelor buttons, allium, pinks etc. Thanks for sharing your pictures. I enjoy reading about another northern garden.

Kathy Purdy May 16, 2010, 12:44 pm

My bleeding hearts are looking poorly. They got cut down by several hard frosts, much to my dismay.

Annie in austin May 15, 2010, 11:43 pm

Those mertensias and Globeflowers and Centaurea look like such big satisfying clumps, Kathy, and I love the long bed of narcissus. Sometimes those plain old lilacs are the sweetest-smelling – hope you really did go cut some for the house!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
.-= Annie in austin´s last blog ..Bloom Day & Genealogy =-.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens May 15, 2010, 11:05 pm

I smiled when I saw your violas. They are just the happiest flowers. I could never lose my heart to their big showy cousins the pansies. Hurray for the “humble” little flowers
.-= mss @ Zanthan Gardens´s last blog ..GBBD 201005: May, 2010 =-.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter May 15, 2010, 10:44 pm

I love the river of daffodils. It looks so idyllic. Your garden seems to be running a bit behind mine, even though mine got slowed way down by the cool weather.

Gardener on Sherlock Street May 15, 2010, 10:35 pm

That’s a great family tradition. Beautiful even with out the apple blossoms.

Leslie May 15, 2010, 10:29 pm

I love those narcissus in the field! Even without the apple blossoms. As you say, plenty of blooms there today!
.-= Leslie´s last blog ..Happy Snails to You.. =-.