May 15, 2015

Everything Happens in May Here

garden

Yes, it's a crazy busy time of year. In addition to weddings, graduations, proms, picnics, and gardening, all the plants in this part of the world seem to bloom and grow with ferocity in May.

There was a time, about a week ago, when some species of Magnolias, Crabapples, Redbuds, and Lilacs, and many spring ephemerals and perennials were all blooming at the same time. The temperatures had warmed, then cooled, and everything was in a holding pattern. Quite the stunning show in the community.

We've had just enough precipitation and sunshine and clouds to make the plants very happy. For this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up, here are a few highlights of what's currently blooming and thriving in my Southern Wisconsin garden:

Trillium erectum
Trillium erectum

The Red Trilliums are stunning, backlit by the dappled sunshine.

Trillium grandiflorum
Trillium grandiflorum

The Great White Trilliums seem to have multiplied this year--in many spots where there was a single last year, there are now multiples. Seems they're just now recovering from the 2012 drought.

Arisaema triphyllum
Arisaema tryphyllum

Same with the Jacks-in-the-Pulpit. I lost count of how many are in the woodland garden this year.

Aquilegia canadensis
Aquilegia canadensis

The Columbines I added to the garden last summer have returned and are just about to bloom.

Cercis canadensis
Cercis canadensis

Redbuds are blooming and starting to add their heart-shaped foliage.

Convallaria majalis
Convallaria majalis

Lilies-of-the-Valley are at peak, and the scent is magnificent.

Dicentra formosa
Dicentra formosa

Our native Bleeding Hearts seem healthier than last year.

Easter Bonnet
Alyssum 'Easter Bonnet Violet'

I added a new cultivar of Alyssum to some of my pots. Love the color and the scent!

Enemion biternatum
Enemion biternatum

False Rue Anemone is still blooming away, and the foliage is as pretty as the flowers.

Gleditsia triacanthos
Gleditsia Triacanthos

The Honey Locusts are opening their unique fans of foliage.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis
Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Tendrils of Bleeding Hearts are glistening everywhere.

Malus
Malus spp.

Most of the Crabapples have finished blooming, while a few old fruits remain and new fruits form.

Matteuccia struthiopteris
Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Ferns are nearly completely unfurled.

Vinca minor
Vinca minor

Vincas have added their periwinkle blue to the landscape.

Paeoniaceae
Paeniaceae 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Ants on the Peonies are preparing them to open.

Podophyllum peltatum
Podophyllum peltatum

Mayapples are in full bloom under their shady foliage.

Syringa vulgaris
Syringa vulgaris

Many Lilacs are in full glory (ah, the scent!).

Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'
Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'

While my favorites, Dwarf Korean Lilacs, are just about to burst.

Nelly Moser
Clematis 'Nelly Moser'

Same with the Clematis flowers.

Viola sororia
Viola sororia

And, finally, the state flower, Wood Violet, is popping up everywhere. The pollinators are loving it!

Happy GBBD. Happy Foliage Follow-Up. Happy May!

83 comments:

  1. Fabulous. You have some really choice woodlanders. I haven't tried Arisaema yet, I hope it multiplies for me too. :)

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    1. It's a small plot, but full of many woodland ephemerals. Some years are more plentiful with blooms than others. This appears to be a good year. The Arisaemas are fascinating plants!

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  2. Lovely plants, they all look so healthy and fresh, have seen Lilies-of-the Valley on other blogs, I really must get some for next year as they are such a pretty flower.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Lilies-of-the-Valley are so dear. I have fond memories of them from childhood. They aren't native here and can be a bit invasive, but I have them growing in a controlled area. The scent of them in a massed area is incredible.

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  3. Wow that's a lot of blooms. You are right, "it's a crazy busy time of the year". Everything is alive and giving a show, just the opposite of what we are now! If only we can manage the world's temperature to be always in moderation, then we are so happy.

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    1. I've wanted to spend a little more time enjoying the beauty of the season, but it's also the most hectic time of year for personal, societal, and gardening reasons. Feeling a need to slow down a bit to "stop and smell the roses." ;-)

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  4. So many beauties! I am envious of your very healthy Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants. I have (had) one plant but it didn't come up this year. I miss the lilac trees. They are heavenly. Enjoy your spring garden Beth. It looks lovely!

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    1. The Jacks are so prolific this year! Some are growing in places where I don't remember seeing them before. I would miss the Lilacs, too. I guess they make up for not being able to grow Crape Myrtles and Camellias here. Although in some parts of the country (Missouri? Kentucky? Tennessee?), they can probably grow all three. Thanks, Karin. I hope you're having a pleasant spring, too.

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  5. Dear Beth, looks like it is the most exciting time of the year in your garden. So many lovely blooming plants! I especially admire the Great White Trilliums. I miss the scent of the lilacs and the Lilly of the Valley, both plants that I know from Germany, but that don't grow very well here in Southern California. Enjoy May to the max as long as it lasts!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina: Yes, I think you're right--it's the most exciting time of year to watch the plants, anyway. It does get exciting later in the growing season, though, too--when more migratory birds visit and the butterflies are plentiful. It's funny--I always figure you can grow just about anything in S. California, but I guess there are limits? Enjoy your incredible roses!

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  6. Wow your garden is definitely ahead of mine and gorgeous...I am weed ridden right now. I especially love the lilacs and lily of the valley right now...and those wood violets are stunning. Enjoy those May blooms Beth!

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    1. Interesting. I think we had a milder winter here than the Eastern states did. It was cold in February, but somewhat milder than normal during the other winter months. Spring has been kind of weird this year, with stops and starts, but it's helping the blooming plants to have an extended show. Still not long enough to really savor, though. I need to get out and weed, too!

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  7. They are all so beautiful. Your spring blooms are special to watch as they unfurl and open their way through the season. The scent of lilacs is a wonderful way to welcome spring.

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    1. Hi Shirley: Yes, the Lilacs have a heavenly scent! Having Lilacs, Lilies-of-the-Valley, Crabapples, and many others blooming at the same time is overwhelming. I'm glad I don't have significant springtime allergies!

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  8. May is really wonderful this year in bloom, the lilacs are magnificent. You still have all the ephemeral plants, they have been gone here for a while. It is nice we had all the sun, but have not had rain in a good while, plants are bunching up in bloom. I am wondering what the Fling gardens will bring? Lovely GBBD plants Beth, I bet your glad the snow is gone to give way to all the beautiful plants in your gardens.

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    1. Yes, I did notice that you were having some extended warm weather. We've had a few "summery" days here and there, but then followed by very cool days. Weird spring, but it's keeping the spring show going a little longer. I hope you get some rain soon! Snow? What snow? ;-)

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  9. Wonderful!
    I love the fern unfurling photo!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Thank you, Lea. :) The ferns are inspiring. I should do another post just about ferns. It's been a while. Happy GBBD and Foliage Follow-Up!

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  10. Oh my, what a glorious garden of yours! Yes, spring looks gorgeous and I smell the scent of many of your flowers. Great!

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    1. We've had a great spring for plants, so I really can't complain. It's too short, but I guess that's a good excuse to take some time off to enjoy it while it lasts. ;-)

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  11. Beth, your garden is springing to life! It's beautiful and I'm a teensy jealous of your ability to grow peonies :) Glad your finding recovery from the drought too. Its been an amazing spring and I'm hopeful summer will be just as enjoyable!

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    1. Yes, I was thrilled to hear that Texas had a lovely, abundant spring, too! That means the migratory birds, butterflies, and other wildlife had a great headstart. Plus, it was pleasant for the human residents, too! :) It's incredible what an impact that terrible drought of 2012 had on our area. I'm praying that it doesn't happen again for a very long time. Here's to a great summer for all of us!

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  12. Your garden is full to bursting with blooms this May Beth - incredible! Some perfect foliage too. Lush, green and fresh, as it should be at this time of year. Good to read that many of your plants are now bulking out a bit and making much more impact.

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    1. Thanks, Angie! I guess I didn't realize how bad the damage was until we had a couple of seasons of adequate precipitation. We were starting to get a little dry around here, but then April and the first part of May have given us plenty of rain, and just enough sun. Sounds like you're having a lovely spring, too. Yay!

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  13. What a wonderful time of year! Thanks for the great photos. Our spring bounty hasn't arrived yet. I'm guessing by early June ... we'll see.

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    1. Wow--that seems late! But perhaps that's normal for the high plains? Yes, it is a wonderful time of year. I can't get enough of it. :)

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  14. The great outdoor bouquet that is May is certainly well represented in your garden.

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    1. Hi Ricki: Many of these plants grow wild in the woods, so I feel blessed to be able to enjoy without much work. May is amazing, isn't it?!

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  15. Beautiful shot of the fern! So much of gardening to do in May and so much to enjoy in the garden. I envy your Trilliums, the red one is magnificent.

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    1. Thanks! The ferns beg for attention this time of year (along with everything else). I think if the scenes were in black and white the ferns would seem even more spectacular, because they wouldn't have to compete with all the bright colors. Trilliums are special, indeed!

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  16. So many pretty things! I need to come back on a quieter day and look at everything again.

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    1. LOL. That's how I feel sometimes, too, Jean. Gosh, it would be great if they weren't all competing with each other for such a short period of time. ;-)

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  17. Such abundance. Everything is really lovely. Susie

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    1. Hi Susie: It's crazy how it all happens at once. I guess the plants have to make up for lost time. Just a tad overwhelming. ;-)

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  18. Looks beautiful!

    Wish we had some of that rain! 6 inches in April and then the taps turned off. Nothing for the past three weeks...

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    1. Oh dang! I'll do a rain dance for you! So frustrating to have a short supply of rain! We had a period back in late March when it suddenly got warm, but no rain. It had me worried. I don't want that to happen to anyone! Rain dance. Rain dance. Rain dance.

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  19. Our May has been similar to yours. Cool weather kept the spring flowers going and the early summer flowers at bay. You've got some really gorgeous close up photos on this post. Do you know how to tell the difference between Trillium erectum and recurvatum. I thought I had recurvatum but maybe I'm wrong.

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    1. Thanks, Jason. I believe T. recurvatum has mottled, spotted foliage, and the flowers sort of rest on the foliage, whereas T. erectum's flower has a longer stalk with a flower that nods. I don't have any T. recurvatum in the woods here--at least none that I've found. They're both stunning plants, with stunning flowers!

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  20. So beautiful! My neighbors used to have Jack in the Pulpits but I think the crew that came in to "fix" their landscaping to help get the house ready to sell tore them out. :( Those trilliums are incredible! I just love those.

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    1. Oh, what a shame. That's my worry about when we move from here. I hope we can sell to someone who appreciates native wildflowers--especially the spring ephemerals. If they start moving things around too much, they'll lose the woodland treasures!

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  21. I guess you are in the shade. Does the peony grow in the shady areas (and grow well) with your other woodland gems?
    Ray

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    1. Hi Ray: Yes, most of the lot is part shade to deep shade. The Peonies are in a spot that gets plenty of early to mid-spring sun. They seem to set their buds and then bloom a little later than some other neighbors' Peonies. But the flowers are full and healthy when they finally bloom. I suppose they would flourish more in a sunnier garden, but I'm happy with what I can get. Don't you just love Peonies?!

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  22. It looks like spring has exploded in your garden! It does seem as if everything happens at once, and what a beautiful time it is. You have so many lovely wildflowers, including the beautiful trilliums. Your photos are just gorgeous--if only we could hit a pause button and keep all these blooms for months!

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    1. "Exploded" is a good word for it! Thanks, Rose. Yes, I would like to hit the pause button for a couple of weeks! I love summer, but this part of the year is stunningly beautiful.

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  23. Stunning! You have some amazing plants and, as always, have the knack for showing off their beauty.

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    1. Thank you, Tim. The plants are inspiring. It seems like observing masterpieces of art in the garden or in nature. :)

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  24. Such a beautiful post, I enjoyed every photo--thank you for sharing your May!

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    1. Thank you, and you're welcome! It's a really good month to visit and observe gardens in the Midwest. :)

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  25. Amazing photos! I love how you captured the Lily of the Valley.

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    1. Thanks, Carla. I picked a few of the Lilies-of-the-Valley and put them in a small vase by the back door. Now every time I go in and out of the house, I get any extra whiff.

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  26. Everything looks glorious! May is the best isn't it? Beth, what is the common name for Lampocapnos? It is a stunning beauty, so delicate, like a bleeding heart, that is really bleeding, you know? Lots of delicate beauties in your yard. I always feel sad when my lilacs go, because I miss their fragrance so much around the house.

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    1. Yes, May is great! Lamprocapnos is the new name for what used to be Dicentra spectabilis, Bleeding Heart. Some people still refer to it by the old name. It's abundant here, even though it isn't native. Oh gosh, I feel the same way about Lilacs...and everything else that blooms and fades. I'm not sure the feelings would be so strong if I could garden year-round, but maybe so.

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  27. "Ferocious" is the perfect description for May here. You can see things growing and changing from day to day if not hour to hour!

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    1. It's overwhelming, isn't it? I agree--with some plants it's hour-to-hour. And the deciduous trees are filling in fast with foliage. Time to plant the vegetables and tender annuals! At least they last a little longer.

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  28. You took some really amazing photos! The Lily of the Valley is my favorite with the Bleeding Heart and unfurling Fern a close second.....I'm working on a woodland garden and you have some wonderful plants.....I've actually never seen Trillium growing around here....I'm sure it does....will have to do some research. Happy gardening!

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    1. Thank you! Oh, have fun with your new woodland garden! The first few years we lived here, I was hungry for more ideas of colorful shade plants. There are so many, but mostly I've taken the cue from the native plants that were here, and added some additional ones. You can order Trilliums from Prairie Nursery or Prarie Moon Nursery. Good luck!

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  29. What lovely plants! It's great to see what you've got blooming right now. I especially liked seeing the different varieties of dicentra. I've just got one (so far!) but I enjoy it.
    Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks, Linnae! The more dramatic ones have been renamed Lamprocapnos, although many individual gardeners and businesses still refer to them as Dicentra. The new name is not as pleasant to say or hear. But, anyway, all Bleeding Hearts are gorgeous! Enjoy!

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  30. your garden is glowing and vibrant - and the pics are wonderful, Beth. I can't pick out any that I love specially - I love them all.

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    1. Thank you, Sue. :) There's something special about these May plants--the fact that they bloom around the same time, they're usually lush and full from plentiful precipitation and cool temperatures, or because we haven't seen such a bountiful array of healthy plants for many months. It sort of makes up for the hard winters.

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  31. Oh my goodness, that's beauty in a blog post there isn't it? So many delightful beauties to peruse....

    I just wish that my 3 year old Cercis Canadensis would pick up the pace and bloom for once...

    Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen. Our Redbud was here when we moved in, so I'm not an expert on that tree as a younster. But I'm thinking you're due an impressive bloom very soon (next spring?). Redbuds are my favorite trees.

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    2. Honestly I can't wait...I keep going back and looking at your photos of your blooms. Darn thing of mine had better hurry up!

      Jen

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  32. I think I've seen everything pictured here except jack-in-the-pulpit. I was disappointed in not finding any at the Arboretum last Friday, and the red trillium were budding but not yet open. In Longenecker, the lilac trees were redolent with blossoms, and there were still some redbud (red and white), crabapple and magnolia, as well as buckeye in bloom. Also saw azalea, hairy broom, and rhododendron. On Curtis and Greene Prairies the eastern shooting stars and puccoons are starting to bloom, and I saw some lupine on the West Knoll of Grady Tract. Love the wooded portions of trails in both the Arb and along the Capital City Bike Trail, where tons of wild geranium are now in bloom.

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    1. Oh, I have so many Jacks here this year! It's crazy. Isn't it wonderful how the flowering trees have been blooming so long this year. I guess the up-and-down temperatures--while not pleasant for people--have helped the flowering tree show to be more dramatic and to last longer. We have Wild Geraniums blooming now, too. I love the shade of their purple/blue flowers.

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    2. At least something likes these yo-yo temperatures, right? I noticed this morning that the locust trees in my neighborhood all seemed to have bloomed overnight. Love those gorgeous fall of blossoms. I found several lady's-slippers on Greene Prairie (Grady Tract) last Friday. Tried to visit again Wednesday to see if they are still blooming, but the prairie has been temp. closed due to all the recent rain. Meanwhile, the Grady knoll is beautifully decked with pockets of wild lupine and puccoons, and I saw some large flowering beard-tongue starting to bud. Oh, and spiderwort is also blooming. Something new every few days!

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  33. Wow things are blowing up at your place! That first photo is awesome.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it has been crazy around here. Many of the plants shown on this post are now finished blooming. The Clematises and Columbines are in full glory now, though, and the Peonies are just about to explode

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  34. Everything is looking so beautiful in your garden! The picture of the Ostrich Fern frond unfurling is gorgeous. Of course, everyone loves how ferns unfurl. It's interesting how so many of your blooms happen at the same time. Here, with our long spring (starts in February most years) the blooms you show come and go on a different time schedule.

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    1. Thank you. I'm envious of your long spring! It's so dramatic here that it makes my heart leap a little. Stunning, but much too fast! Now, with summer, things slow down a little bit, which is a good thing.

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  35. Love your trilliums! Mine add just several flowers each year. I wish they spread faster.

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    1. Our Trillium display varies from year to year. After the drought, they didn't come back as well. But I think we're back to "normal" with Trilliums now. I suppose the seeds and rhyzomes remain in the soil during tough years, and then come back when conditions are better.

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  36. May is my favorite month - so many beauties are in bloom. You have treasures in your garden, Beth!

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    1. I love May, too, Tatyana. If only I could bottle it. It passes much too fast!

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  37. Oooo, gorgeous! Love all your woodland plants! I don't have a ton of spring bloomers other than daffodils in my new garden, but have been immensely enjoying the few that I do have. And I just enjoy seeing all that beautiful green color everywhere after this past winter!

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    1. Thank you, Indie. Yes, I know what you mean about the green after winter. It seems so intense. All the true ephemerals in this post were here when we moved in. In fact the only things shown here that I planted are Lilies-of-the-Valley, Clematises (replacing ones that were here), Columbines, and Alyssums.

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  38. Your have such a gorgeous garden and woodland plants! I love looking at your pictures! And I have many of the same plants you do ;) But not nearly as many varieties. I love the Lily-of-the-Valleys! And the lilacs! Lovely lovely photographs :)

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    1. Thanks, Diane! Don't you wish we could bottle this time of year in our northern gardens? It's such an amazing, overwhelming display of lushness. I do, however, enjoy summer, too. :)

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  39. Your trilliums are wonderful! The image of the Ostrich Fern is also fabulous. I love the stage when ferns are just unfurling. I really enjoyed this post. Our spring has given way to summer, so it is great to see the lovely spring plants in your garden. Happy spring to you!

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    1. Thank you, Deb! Summer is coming on strong here now, too. The ephemerals are just about done blooming. :( But the Peonies are about to pop!

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  40. My first time visiting your site. Thank you, I really enjoyed seeing your wild flowers. I wish I could grow all the lovely plants you do. I have very limited shade here except under my many maples where shade plants just don't do well. I have a few shade and wild plants under my lilac hedge. I will be sure to return regularly to see what is blooming in your gardens.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! You are fortunate to have a sunny garden! Frankly, I prefer a combination of the two. I considered shade gardening difficult when we first moved here, but I've learned that the shade can be a blessing in many ways. The spring ephemerals are examples of plants that prefer deciduous forests. They get plenty of sun in the early spring, and then go dormant when the tall trees leaf out. With that said, vegetables and butterfly-attracting plants grow much better in sun. Happy gardening!

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  41. What gorgeous things you have in bloom. I love those gorgeous trilliums. I didn' t know that about ants on the peony buds , I noticed them on mine today and I was worried they might be damaging it.

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