Notes On May

Iris (from Kathleen)

May’s abundance of irises, peonies and roses exceeded my expectations.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Virgie’s Rose (possibly R. ‘Seven Sisters’)

Beyond these beauties this month has had other highlights. Hummingbirds arrived a couple of weeks ago. Too quick for this photographer, yesterday’s zipped by and headed straight for this red salvia.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Lamb’s Ear is overly plentiful and needs to be cut back, but bees love the flowers. There is more bee activity now that penstemon is in full bloom.

Reports suggest butterfly sightings are up this year in North Carolina, but few have stopped by here so far. I hope monarchs will be as excited by this asclepias as I am.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Verbena bonariensis is a popular flower for butterflies and American Goldfinches like the seeds.

Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

This month I’ve seen some interesting insects and lots of Carolina anoles and this week I was startled when trimming back some of the irises by a treefrog.

Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)

Stealing moments from another errand this week I bought tomato plants at Southern States, a nearby garden center I’ve frequented for decades. There was only time for a quick browse, but I managed to pick up English thyme, Italian oregano, angelonia and marigolds. I have seeds for marigolds but haven’t got them planted.

Tagetes ‘Durango Red’ (Durango Red French Marigold)

Angelonia for the Meditation Circle (after some weeding)

The tomatoes went in the garden yesterday but thunderstorms and heavy rains today have kept me from finishing the planting. No doubt the garden needs the rain.

Garden View Between Storms (looking west from the screened porch)

From a distance the garden seems subdued. Despite the open plan which appears to reveal everything at once, it manages to keep secrets to discover when wandering around the borders.

Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Diadem’ (Bachelor’s Buttons)

ClematisJ ‘Jackmanii’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’

There is more to see now and there is more to come,

Black and Blue Salvia, Chrysanthemums, Daylilies, Tansy

…but for now the first dahlia of the year has awakened.

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

19 thoughts on “Notes On May

  1. theshrubqueen

    Wonderful, I like Totally Tangerine, surprising myself! The butterflies have just starting showing up in force here. A very few Monarchs. I need to check the Butterfly Weed, I like yours better than the Tropical I grow here…I think that is tuberosa?

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It doesn’t seem as totally tangerine as the name implies but I was happy to see it came back. Yes, tuberosa. Glad you’re starting to see butterflies.

  2. Kris P

    Wow, you have a dahlia already! Your garden and flower collection look pretty fabulous to me. I love the sweet little tree frog. I haven’t seen a frog of any kind here in decades, although I do have legions of lizards here. I’ve seen an uptick in butterflies too.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Good that you’re seeing more butterflies! Yay! The little treefrog startled me but then it was kind of cute. I cut back most of the dahlias this week (losing a few buds in the process) in hopes of achieving longer stems. The first stems were so large and hollow I decided it would be worth it. Have a good weekend Kris.

  3. Pauline

    Your garden is so far ahead of ours over here, my peonies are still in tight bud! Your tree frog is gorgeous, what a lovely colour. I also like the colour of your Dahlia, to me it is the colours of a beautiful sunset.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. I enjoyed the peonies more than I could have imagined and now I look forward to watching yours unfold. “Sunset” would have been a better name for the dahlia than tangerine! Hope you’re doing well. Have a great week.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Judy, I hope the butterflies will be impressed. We had heavy, heavy storms throughout the day and last night. I had to go out and stake the butterfly weed yesterday afternoon–hope it can right itself as it dries out.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Its heartening that you’re getting some butterfly traffic. I love the hummingbirds. Haven’t had a feeder at this house, but they seem to find plenty of flowers to keep them coming back.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. The garden is looking better than in the past several years. Imagine–it seems to appreciate some attention! I’m back to trying to maintain it better.


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