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*Gardening Journal ~ May 2012*


After warm March, April was COLD. Everything burst forth and then sat still. Everything from shrubs to bulbs has been marking time. The days of April were bright and cold with a drying north or east wind but with the full moon at month’s end the temperature swings moderated and we have had rain.

Hope springs eternal (to fracture a quote) and the leaves which have been trying to emerge have clothed the forest in green again. And what a green! There is no colour more vibrant.
May has begun with overnight frosts but in the last two days has mellowed and the pent up force of burgeoning newness has exploded. The tulips and the daphs are blooming after sitting hunched in prolonged dormancy. It’s amazing what a little warm sunshine can do.
Suffering from the stops and starts the blossom on the lilac will be sparse and poor. The leaves are small and under-developed and the blossom looks stunted. The same is true for the Elderberry and the poor little rhodo makes me sad to look at it. I’ve given the rhodo a mulch of pine needles and decided that it looks too stressed to fertilize. I planted it by the book, so I hope to give it another growing season to improve. If not, I’m going to dig it up and take it south to my cousin.
The daphs are blooming…

Wake Robin Trilliums blooming in a sunny spot.

The ex-lawn is now looking more meadowlike…
The vetch is filling up the area and a tiny blue flowered weed (?) is making a lovely mat around it…will have to consult a page on local wildflowers to find it’s name, as well as a gray foliage plant which may (or may not) be a wild type of Artemisia. Looking for these plants can be a joy or a pain but for now, nature knows them and is sharing them with me “gratis”!

There are the lovely little violas (Johnny Jump Ups) that came via a bird, a mouse or perhaps the wind…and have established themselves. In the background you can see the seedlings of flax emerging.

Then there are the wild purple violets growing in the grass. gorgeous work…mother’s day gifts from Mother Nature.

I’m hoping for warmer days so that I can plant the dahlias and calla lilies waiting in suspension in peat filled cardboard boxes. The soil needs to warm a bit more…and I’m using the time to add some much needed compost to the sandy soil.
May is always the month of pestilence …the blackflies have hatched and with the bit of warmth so have the mosquitoes….I’m practicing deep breathing ONLY thro my nose, because it makes me wretch thinking about inhaling the devils thro an open mouth! gahhh!
I have a few more things to share in the coming days(white trilliums, erythronium, tiarella, claytonia, etc…blooming in the woods)…so May may have two blogs!

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It looks so beautiful I really love those trilliums they are very special.

14 May, 2012


I was just going to say the same Sticki/ Red ones, look fab. Enjoyed reading your blog Lori, its all so different over there.

14 May, 2012


Great to see your meadow emerging Lori. Your weather is the same as ours...cold and unpredictable. We had warm sun on Saturday, freezing cold rain and gales yesterday and today some sun again, but clouding over now. This is just 'usual' scottish weather, but I do wish it would stop coming from the Arctic. Everything is late and slow to get going and England has had a dreadful spring. I also have some lilies in waiting in the greenhouse. Mine are Zantedeschia 'Green Goddess'. I can't wait for them to geet going, but I think it will be about three years before I see a flower as they are so tiny right now. I love your little violas and violets. Hope it warms up for you soon. Agree also about the flies...we have tons of flies right now and I managed to spot a dreaded horse-fly latching on to my skin just in time on saturday. They give me nasty infections, but this time only a bit of an itchy hole in the skin.....horrid, horrid things! The only bad thing about May in my book is those dreadful beasties!

14 May, 2012


Those Trilliums look exotic to brave the rather hostile spring we have all had this year Lorilyn. At least some of our droughted areas have been released from drought orders....19 of them. So, perhaps worth all those dreary days of wishing the rain to stop. I like the meadow idea. I like the name 'Johny jump ups' for violas. They are so pretty and tough too. I had a hanging basket of them struggle through the winter, now 'jumping' with glee after some TLC.

14 May, 2012


Hi Sticki and Cinders... the trilliums are the hardiest of flowers and even our strange winter, and even stranger spring, couldn't deter them for long. The pictured flowers are growing on a North facing hillside, under a Black Walnut tree, in a patch of grass! That translates to: cold location, chemical warfare, and serious competition for resources (what little there are!) And to top it all off..they're gorgeous! Will have to blog the lovely white ones decking our hillside. It's sunny and quite warm out this a.m. so I'll brave the blackflies and mosquitoes to get their picture.
I'm excited about the meadow, Karen. It's a terrific opportunity to try something new. the violets are growing and the flax I've sown are coming up now...I have to carry many wateringcans of water to keep the seedlings moist for the first while. I'm hoping I receive according to the investment...Those cans are Heavy! I have tried the them they seem to be just a little less hardy than my old workhorse Callas. Sad to say in my garden the watch word. Speaking of hardy...we have a biting fly here which we call deer flies...they are smaller than horseflies with black bars on their wings and they like to wiggle under your cap or hat and excavate parts of your scalp. Pity the poor forest creatures that they usually feed on! They fly around your head droning and zooming...and when that aggravation ends be prepared for a nasty bite! Why do such things exist anyway? What purpose do they serve other than pain and aggravation? I use betadine lotion or a paste of baking soda to draw out the toxins and soothe the itch. 'Course, you look a little patchy...but the effect is comforting. We were hoping that the Arctic weather would delay or destroy some of the emerging such luck!
LOL... Dorjac. I can just see the Johnny's Jumping out of their container with spring fever. They spread so quickly and colonize places you wouldn't think would foster life! Glad you have had enough moisture..nothing worse than a dry spring. With weather as confused as we have had, I suppose we should just count the blossoms and chock the rest up to experience.

15 May, 2012


thanks lori, i would really love to see the white ones too please.

15 May, 2012


Sure you are, Sticki.

21 May, 2012


oh found them

thank you lori, they are really lovely.

i have a white one which has turned pink!!! have you ever had that happen?

21 May, 2012


Yes Sticki...they turn pink when they have set seed and are about to die down. have pic of the pinkies in the woods!

23 May, 2012


Oh, thanks for that lori, that's very interesting, I hope that means it will slowly increase?

23 May, 2012


It should, yes, if it`s happy. I think they like lots of OM in their soil...and perhaps a little on the acid side. They bloom in the early spring here...before any leaves are on the trees, when the sun can reach the forest floor. They rise through a thick blanket of leaves.

24 May, 2012


The soil here is acidic, so hopefully that will help?

What's OM?

24 May, 2012


just shorthand for organic matter!...Namaste! lol....
just a thought...they may not do as well in your balmy climate where spring comes very early (by comparison). Some wildflowers need the long cold spring and if it's too warm too soon they weaken. Your spring, this year, has been perfect for them! ? By the same reasoning, they may bloom very early in the year, in the UK?

24 May, 2012


Bit of an experiement then! Just have to hope they survive happily!

24 May, 2012


Amen to that! good luck!

24 May, 2012


thanks lori


24 May, 2012

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