Late May in the Garden

Flowers in the garden have slowed down, with a couple of very late freezes in mid May turning all the azalea blooms brown.  It has slowed the emergence of the rhododendrons and mountain laurel too.  I missed going to the downtown Garden Jubilee festival this weekend, which was canceled and moved to individual garden centers.  In the past, we would spend a whole day there looking at the flowers and plants on offer in all the booths, buying some pretty things to plant, eating some festival food and enjoying the music.  But there is plenty going on, so get ready for a long and picture heavy post.  In the flower beds at home, I did get a few more purple iris blooms, but this year the gorgeous deep purple ones with the white throats didn’t bloom at all.  These are a medium purple, and good size blooms with multiples on the stalk.

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Last fall I put my dahlias in pots so I could take them inside over winter without having to dig them up.  This seems to have worked, and they are sprouting nicely now that they are back in sunlight and warmth.

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The hydrangea is budding out, and I can’t wait to see what color the blooms will be.  I’ve put lime on the soil a couple of times, hoping to turn the blooms pink.  I really love it when I get one that is pure clear lavendar, but those are few.  It needs the pH of the soil to be exactly at 7 for that to happen, and I am usually somewhere above or below that.  Sometimes I get a muddy pink with a lot of green, particularly at the end of the season.  Now, at the beginning of the blooming time, I have the best chance of the lighter clear colors.

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There have been many visitors to our woodlands and meadows recently.  I spotted this little guy on the brick wall below the veranda.  He is an Eastern Fence Lizard, the first one I’ve seen.  I hope he stays around as these guys eat a lot of bugs.

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We still have a family of skinks living under the steps. This big one is all orange.  I had to look him up, and found he is a Broadhead Skink.

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Smaller ones are Blue Tailed Skinks, and have stripes with bright blue tails. They skitter off when I am going up the steps, but come out again quickly to get back to sunning themselves.

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More blackberry flowers are showing, close enough to pick berries if they actually make some.  That is if I can get to them first.   The bear already got my peaches.  At least that is what I think, since I saw a big one last week, about 200 pounds.

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On the feeder, a grosbeak shared the bounty with a downy woodpecker.

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Eastern bluebirds are coming by more regularly.  We still have all the usual suspects here as well.  This guy, I found out later, is an Indigo Bunting!

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Amazingly, this impatiens survived the winter.  It is in a pot with a geranium, and I was surprised to see it bloom.

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Then, a rare treat.  A mother wild turkey with three little ones, called poults.  It is hard to see the third one, it is behind the little chick on the right, you can see its head below the head of the other one.

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Two ran a bit ahead, and I snapped off a few more quick shots to try to get them.  One in the sunlight shows its spotted feathers.

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Mom followed with the last one at her feet.  They were just adorable.

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This is the best year I have ever had for starting tomatoes. The plants are getting really big and strong in the sunlight and warmth of spring.  Some have the buds of flowers, and I am hoping for a lot of tomatoes this season.

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Oliver has gotten a bit more demanding, LOL. He got chased off with a broom when he pulled this trick.

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When he showed he could behave himself, he got his treat, a nice crust of oatmeal bread.

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The bleeding heart came through the winter just fine, and is putting out a lot of leaves.  I hope to have flowers this year.

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We got caught out in the rain at the garden center on Friday, but managed to get a flat of torenias for the hanging baskets.  Saturday was warm and humid, so I got busy at the planting bench.

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The veranda just doesn’t look right without them.  These were so big, I could once again get away with just two to a hanging pot, so I had a few left to fill some empty pots.

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I put two in my big teacup planter.

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Three yellow ones go in this rectangular planter every year, but this year I put it on a wire table instead of on upside down pots.  Now I have two more pots to hold more flowers.  On the rack below, more purple torenias and a geranium. The empty pot on the left will be filled with something else later.  Maybe a pretty white flower.

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The geraniums continue to flower well, with long lasting, deep pink blooms.

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I put the summer pillows out on the bench to freshen up the veranda for summer. These came from my internet buddy Jenna’s shop, Painted Apron. She is an amazing artist.

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Spending more time on the veranda than usual this year means it should be a garden paradise, right?  How is your garden doing?

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36 thoughts on “Late May in the Garden

  1. Rita C.

    Beautiful, Carole! Enjoy porch sitting on this Memorial weekend now that most of the initial heavy work is complete!

  2. Julie

    Ever wonder why bears are called bears? I always thought it was because they eat berries & I know it’s not the real reason, but it’s the one that makes sense to me.

  3. lynn bourgeois

    What I delightful visit this morning. Beauty abounds. Thanks for the pictures of what’s happening at your place.

  4. Kim Sharman

    You have beautiful flowers and amazing critters that visit your lovely place. Oh my, I cannot imagine a bear visiting your home, but it is a common occurrence in the US, isn’t it. It must be lovely to sit on your porch and see the gorgeous vista beyond.

  5. Linda B

    Lovely popping in to see your gardening efforts this morning, and so fun to see baby turkeys and all your wildlife living among you…co existing. I like that! I have not made it to a garden center yet. Bought a hanging plant at the grocery store, had overwintered scented geranium cuttings so have been planting them around, and I save the bottoms of celery and they resprout nicely…put those in pots with other things and they are fun to use for cuttings or for the chickens. But a beautiful spring for the perennials! Peonies and iris are gorgeous. Happy Memorial Day everyone!


    Beautiful post and the poults are so cute! Here in Texas Hill Country, my husband picked his first tomato Friday. We had a yummy bacon and tomato sandwich. Wish I knew how to attach a picture. We will have a great crop.

  7. karenfae

    I would love sitting on your veranda as much as I enjoy mine! I just love these long expanses of outside sitting areas I love seeing the lizards running around and hiding in between plants and rocks

  8. Love your flowers and tomatoes, Carole! The veranda looks quite lovely with the foliage, it will be gorgeous with the flowers. We only have the cantaloupe to transplant, and a tray of replacement strawberries we bought yesterday. DH promised me we will NOT touch them this year! We’ll finish today, then start on the duck’s mansion. It’s the girl’s old playhouse, so way more room than they need, but perfectly placed in the corner of the garden.

  9. Rosemaryflower

    Your pots and gardens are beautiful, I love the feeder with very pretty birds, and all of the creatures that reside by your homestead. This is going to be a very lovely summer at your place.

  10. Mary Stori

    Well you learn something every day! I never heard of skinks before…..I don’t view them as cute…..rather they look creepy but I’m guessing they are helpful to control bug population.

  11. What a lovely display you have at your home. You have been busy. I need to get busy. We could use some color around here. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

  12. Carol in Texas

    I love your garden photos, Carole. And I had never seen a skink! Live and learn! Your veranda is a lovely space. I know you must enjoy it. Yesterday I put two amaryllis into a bed for the summer. I have to cage everything for deer and cats! And I put out a poinsettia still pretty from Christmas! And a purple shamrock as well as mint. I have a higgilty-piggilty yard……a bit of this, a bit of that, hoping something will survive! Carol in Texas

  13. What a delightful place you have, Carole. Sheltering in all that beauty would be lovely. Our yard is beginning to come to life. I did a bit of weeding, and we planted our flowers on Friday. We didn’t get as many flowers this year, along with our herbs, and that’s okay with me. Although I do love a deck full of pretty flowers. Maybe I’ll acquire more as we go out more, whenever that will be. Do you follow The Daily James on Instagram? I think you would enjoy the antics of the creatures they entertain.

  14. Picture perfect! Thank you for labeling everything 🙂 Our Oliver has gotten quite bold too and I have had to shoo him off quite a few times. They certainly do become quite demanding!

  15. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    That Oliver is such a cutie!! And very bold! Glad he behaved and got his treat! Did you see on FaceBook that BluPrint is going to go away? I wonder what will happen with the classes we “forever” own? It’s a shame that it went downhill so badly when NBC bought Craftsy.

  16. So much beautiful eye candy to enjoy!
    I don’t have a single flower yet because they lines are just too long to wait.
    I wish I would have started some from seeds in the early spring, but I was too busy/preoccupied then. I just wasn’t thinking ahead to what else we wouldn’t be able to get as easily as before COVID.

  17. Joan Sheppard

    I show your pictures to my flowers and say “See this is what you will look like when you grow up (and it stops raining). Tomatoes are 3″ tall. Hydrangeas, about 6” tall. Bought the rest of the baskets and flowers from the Scouts and Humane Society Plant sale. So is this George’s family of poults? We have coyotes, skunks, chipmunks, saw a dog chasing 2 deer across the woods today, would love to see a bear – but from a distance or your photos – love these photos! Sad about Bluprint. Even with the “free trials” it’s hard to make money when there are so many free videos. Thanks for sharing your home with us.

  18. Jes

    Love all your photos! And that blue bird is not an eastern blue bird, but an indigo bunting. Positively gorgeous!

  19. Marcia in TX

    Blueprint is closing down. I don’t know if they will find a way for us to download our forever classes of which I have dozens.

  20. It’s so nice to see everything coming back to life again after the long winter. Those wee ones are adorable and that color of blue on the bird is gorgeous.

  21. You have so many lizards! They are kind of cute. Your garden looks great. We are spreading mulch this weekend, and I have a few impatiens to plant. I may choose more flowers later in the summer if it is safer to go out.

    I have a blueprint membership and am sad they will be closing. I hope they will continue to allow us to see the classes. I will print out the recipes for the food classes. Thanks for letting me know.

  22. farmquilter

    Your garden is so beautiful and thanks for sharing all the feathered friends that fill it.

  23. Mary

    Enjoyed the ‘tour’ of your plantings and your wildlife visitors. Love your cushions – so fresh looking and they look just right on the bench. Soon all the plants will be flourishing with beautiful blossoms.

  24. Hi Carole, lovely blog post – we are so enjoying discovering our yard – we never know what it going to bloom next since it was August when we moved here last year. Right now it’s Mountain Laurel. We have the first bear in the neighborhood – and yesterday sat on the porch and observed squirrel sex ! yep – we have two white squirrels, and one of them had quite a party yesterday afternoon, around 40 feet up in a tree. I would love to see some white squirrel babies ! take care, kathleen

  25. Felicia Hamlin

    Lovely flowers and critters, Carole! My iris are budding out snd hopefully I will have some blooms soon. Brought the geraniums that I overwinter and while shopping I found one clear red with a white edge. Stay healthy.

  26. Liz

    Lovely to see all your flowers and wildlife. Here in England we have had amazingly good spring weather and everything in my garden is coming on well. I cut some roses the other day and their perfume is quite delightful. My very best wishes to you and yours.

  27. Yikes, I couldn’t handle sharing with a bear! The poults are so sweet, did not know that word before…you have been really busy with your garden Carole, you will be enjoying beautiful blooms all summer! I love seeing my pillows on your bench, thank you so much for the kind words and the shout out!

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