May In the Garden

This has been the weirdest year, with temperatures too warm through the entire winter, then just about the time I should be planting, we get overnight freezes. And while my vegetable crops did well from seeds in the basement, they didn’t survive when transplanted. I did harden them off for several nights, then put them in the planter where I usually grow tomatoes. Then we went on our MINI adventure, and the rain we were supposed to have that week didn’t come. So, off to the garden center to get the annuals for all the pots, and a few tomato plants to replace what died.

The only thing blooming right now is this one, measly iris, after all the work I did to get their rhizomes clear! Ungrateful things. No buds are present either, which may mean I need to dig them up and divide them again. Yeah, right, with my knees, sure that is going to happen.

Ah well, back from the garden center with sticker shock. The veggie plants I got last year for $3.49 are now $5.49!! Holy cow. Flowers in general were more expensive as well, and the bargain rack was bare. But, I needed to have a few things to plant to make the veranda nice for our guests this week. So, I gritted my teeth and handed over the credit card.

Back home, My Sweet Babboo brought up my potting bench from the lower porch so I could dig in the dirt a bit. I moved the veggies over to the planter, and made space to begin putting the petunias into the hanging pots. Long time readers will be surprised I am not planting torenias in those pots, but the price of those plants were over the choke point. Hummingbirds like petunias, so I got dark purple ones to attract them.

This calibrachoa was perfect for the rooster teacup planter.

OK, this was a reasonable amount of money, as the plant was very good size. It is a good color for the planter, and I have it on the table where we planned to enjoy an outdoor meal.

The geraniums had two lovely flowers, but the plants themselves were pathetic. I cleaned them up and repotted two. A third one was just too far gone and was pulled up and thrown out.

Happily, my dahlias have come up again, so I staked the tall one and put it near the rail for partial sun.

The heartleaf brunnera isn’t doing as well as I think it should. It survived the winter easily, but it should be fuller by now. I hope it will come along with some fertilizer. I also added some potting soil to its pot.

I planted four hanging pots of purple petunias, with six plants in each one.

I got another calibrachoa in pink for another pot.

The long green fronds are toad lilies. They bloom in the fall. This time I have moved it to the door away from the rails to keep it out of the sunlight. It seems that even a mild amount of direct sun on the leaves will burn them brown. We will see if this location is more to its liking. I put a lobelia in the little pot inside the birdcage. I do love the intense purple-blue of those flowers.

In the pots in the tile topped tables, I put white begonias this year. I meant to buy impatiens as I usually do, but came home with a dark leaf begonia. Oh, well, they’ll do fine. I put the summer pillows on the park bench, and cleaned up the tea trolley for more pot space.

The orchid bloomed this week, and I am thrilled to see it fully open.

There is another bud on its stem, and I have hope that there may be two.

In the woods, the Mountain Laurel is blooming. Bushes heavy with flowers can be seen at the forest edge and deeper in shaded woods.

This is a native plant, and grows all over, with pretty white cupped flowers with red lines.

So, the veranda is looking nice, and I have a few pots left for more plants to come. I put the amaryllis out for sunlight again. It did not bloom this year so it may be done.

The day lilies are preparing to bloom in the flowerbeds. So the floral show continues.

What is happening in your garden this week?

19 thoughts on “May In the Garden

  1. Rheanna M.

    Lovely selections. It’s hard to go wrong with purple petunias. I am experiencing the same issues with my irises this year. Only one bloom with no other buds. Not looking forward to having to divide them all. We picked up some hanging baskets on Mother’s Day along with some coleus that I like to plant in pots by the front door. Unfortunately one of the matching planters I had was cracked beyond repair so I had to get new ones which aren’t cheap. Oh well, the price we pay to enjoy our summer flowers.

  2. Julie

    It seems that some plants must have a cold spell to properly bloom and as winter was warm they didn’t get the signal. The only seeds we started are milkweed – kept in the fridge over winter & potted indoors on the first day of spring. So far so good. They’re spending their days outside and coming indoors to sleep. If they survive planting, the real scare begins – too many foragers looking for fresh greens. I think they’re supposed to taste bad but somebody out there doesn’t mind.

  3. I found a stray iris yesterday when I was taking off the downspout extensions to mow. I pulled it out, and unceremoniously dropped it in the flower bed, with a small scratch of the dirt. Our purples bloomed early, and out by my mailbox I have one that is peach color currently in bloom. Hubby spent the last 3 days working on the riding mower to get it started for the season. One day was spent cleaning 18 years of grime off of the mower. He borrowed the Dawn power wash from the kitchen. He used the entire bottle on the fairly disassembled mower. Said it is the best degreaser he has ever used. Poor guy spent all of yesterday trying to catch up on the mowing. We battle bamboo every year, and he was a month behind due to surgery, so it has been a struggle. I’m not much help because of my allergies.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear your seedlings didn’t make it. I hope all the new plants thrive for you! The calibrachoa is pretty – that’s something I’ve never grown. The mountain laurel must be a pretty sight, too. It’s been cool and rainy here for the last week or so, but there has been a window for planting the last couple of days. I plant lots of petunias because they seem to do the best for me.

  5. Debbie Miller Meyer

    I love to see your gardens. I do love the petunias. Pricing of plants was astronomical this year, so I bought only two hanging baskets. I bought one hanger from the Amish with 4 kinds of plants in it for $20, it isn’t a very large but is certainly pretty. My other purchase was a Boston fern from Home Depot and it was $17.98. Hubby bought one cherry tomato plant at Walmart for $5.49. Really expensive for its size. That’s all I bought. Our family share all our perennials with each other so this year I got two different colors of daylilies and some pampas grass from an aunt and sister-in-law. Hubby planted all of these. Where I usually plant some annuals, I’m just going to divide and move some of the perennials I already have later on and then I won’t have to buy annuals. My purple and yellow primrose are doing well and the irises are budding. My purple and yellow primrose are spectacular this year and my columbine and lilies of The Valley are beautiful as usual. That’s it for my gardening efforts! Have a great weekend, Carole.

  6. Gretchen

    I dug up my iris bed and dived them too. Iris do not usually bloom the first year or two after transplanting so do not be discouraged or stress your body digging them up again. They put all the energy into reestablishing the roots. I got 4 small, short iris blooms out of about 75 transplants.
    Yes, I had a cold snap this week and it has been almost 2 weeks without rain. My transplants are slow this year and I keep tomatoes indoors until next week.
    Love the garden update. You always have interesting flowers and planters.
    My columbine and bee Balm did not survive the winter so I am replanting. I think voles or other varmints are eating roots. Gardening is unpredictable, just like life. But the rewards can surprise you months or years later.
    I agree flower and vegetable prices are high like everything else. That is why I am trying to divide established plants this year. Good luck with your gardening.

  7. I’ve heard of Mt. Laurel, but never seen it in person – it looks like tiny quilted coasters! Up here the rule is Plant AFTER Mother’s day so spent 3 days digging, got every thing in except the new bulbs for next year. (They were on sale – couldn’t resist) The tulips have come and gone, planted them 20 years ago! Mums are making a little headway, testing the weather before making a decision on whether to grow! Humane Soc and Garden club had plant sales so added somethings I’ve never heard of – we’ll see – if all goes well it should look like a crazy quilt!….Thanks for all the wonderful pictures!!!!

  8. thatfabricfeelingcom

    Those irises are just snobby. However, the orchid did come through and she’s a beauty. Some of my tomatoes were lazy last year and didn’t grow. I hope this year they all step up and we get a better product. The veggies were planted a bit late, on mother day, so we’ ll see how it goes. I keep thinking I can control mother nature…it’s always humbling.

  9. lois92346

    I so enjoyed the photos of your various planters. I’m afraid I haven’t even looked a nursery flowers. I know I’m going to regret my procrastination. I’m not alone in this; none of my neighbors are bothering with landscaping this year due to the rising costs and the water restrictions we have. It’s sad situation.

  10. Tina W in Oregon

    This year we’ve planted tomatoes, red peppers and lemon cucumbers. They all seem to be doing well although we’re having unseasonably hot weather in northeast Oregon so we’ll need to water a bunch. I’ve planted lots of annuals in pots for color around the front door so think I’m done for now.
    I’m wondering how your knees are since completing the injections. My sister-in-law needs knee surgery and is willing to try other options first.
    I really enjoy reading your blog.

  11. Late freezes zapped some of my hydrangeas. However, the cooler weather was great for peonies. Prices have really gone up on plants in our local garden centers. I love your iris and orchid!

  12. Mary

    Your Mountain Laurel is a picture. Must be lovely to look out at. Your Iris must have liked having a blanket of leaves over their feet. Maybe it helped mulch them.
    We have had days of rain, more flooding, so the ground is so wet. It is winter so you kind of expect it.
    Get yourself a little gardening stool for when you need to get down. I find now I can’t kneel on my new knees and the stool brings me close enough to plant and weed.
    The things we do to a bit of gardening. Sorry you lost your plants but your ‘mini away’ was good too. :))

  13. We had 4.5 inches of rain last week, so we are hopeful that the drought is over. We have some precip forecast next week, but now it’s looking like the usual tenth of an inch at a time. We are resting most of the garden this year, and moving things around and battling some nasty weeds, so not much planted. We will put out four tomato plants this year, for fresh eating. The cherry tree is blooming, but it looks like we lost our honey crisp apple tree😢 over the winter. My irises are budding, and the lilacs are blooming. The plum trees didn’t bloom much this year, likely stressed from the drought, but hopefully some of the blooms will produce some large plums. The box with sorrel and lettuce is doing well in the shade, and one giant asparagus popped up after the rain, so large I cut it up for a meal and we both had a small serving!
    My students gave me several flowers pots this spring, so one is hanging outside, and three are still inside. Two of them are bulbs, so ho hurry to get them out.

  14. You’re not the first person I’ve read who has had sticker shock at the garden center and I will probably be next. I think I’m going tomorrow or Monday to get cemetery geraniums and a few starter herbs, but probably not a lot else. I don’t do much at home and tend to buy things for up north when I get there, apart from taking pots of herbs I’ve started. But it looks great and I say three cheers –especially with funky knees!

  15. Diane

    Enjoy reading your blog. Your flowers are lovely and the Mountain Laurel I have never seen before. Looking at the pots of flowers on your deck it appears you may have a composite deck. We are replacing our deck and were going to have a composite one built but after researching and reading comments about how easily they scratch, how hot they can get and other negative comments not so sure composite is the way to go. What has been your experience? Scratching was a concern as we get a lot of snow and afraid pushing a shovel across it would damage the floor. Don’t know of anyone who has a composite deck so that is why I was asking.

  16. Barbara Winkler

    I bought a few plants ($125) that only filled in spots across the front of the house and part of the back yard and got them planted yesterday morning. Went back yesterday afternoon to get plants for the west side (sun) and the rest of the back northeast corner (shade). Yikes that was another $252!!! That will be the project this morning.

  17. Kathleen Cuilan

    It is said how expensive plants have become. Each time I go to the local garden shop or Home Depot, I get saddened by the prices. I guess transportation costs, labor, and I don’t know what else contributes to the price. I may start trying to propagate my plants.

  18. Sue Hoover

    Weeds, weeds, and more weeds is what is happening in my garden. Lol! I have spent several time-increments devoted to just pulling weeds. I did manage to go to the store this week in search of some annuals and I was appalled at the prices, like you! YOIKS! I was so happy to see and hear that your orchid is blooming! That’s a big YAY from me over here in IL! Have a great weekend!

  19. Rita C.

    Very pretty container plantings, Carole.
    Talk about sticker shock….I went to the garden center and saw lily-of-the-valley in 4″pots, two fronds each pot, for $8.99! I could’ve been a rich woman selling the nearly 30 bags of it away!
    I got my annuals planted yesterday (21st), and after two weeks and these cooler temps, I’ve got a good showing of grass in the new line I created in my north landscape.

Thank you for commenting, I answer every one via email.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s