May Flowers

Joyful May to you! I saw some cheery poppies yesterday that made me smile. I always think of poppies and peonies as my birthday flowers–they were always in full bloom at the end of May, making a pretty backdrop for my birthday photos.


The lilac bush we planted three years ago finally bloomed, to great rejoicing. The picture above is from last weekend; we cut the bloom stems today, to encourage further growth, and put them in a vase on the table–you can smell them all through the house! Ken and I both love lilacs and irises, and now we have both growing in our yard. The free irises we picked up in the neighborhood last fall are growing vigorously and have finally produced a hint as to their color: one purple bud, still tightly furled.

My Great-grandma Ridnour had a big patch of irises; to tiny me, walking up the path with irises towering over my head on both sides, it seemed the entire back yard was irises. I confess I’ve considered doing the same in our front yard: just giving it over to the flowers and letting them run riot.

I would like to get some lilies of the valley growing somewhere in the yard. These are my true birthday flowers, i.e., the flowers ‘assigned’ to May birthdays, and I love their fragrant daintiness. A few years ago, Ramona sent me some that had originally grown in Great-grandma Lynam’s yard, but they failed to take root. Still, try, try again. They’re supposed to be quite hardy, once established. Perhaps they’d do well in the same corner that the Arum italicum is flourishing in?

I also want to find a spot and get some huechera, or coral bells, going. I love the autumnal colors of the ‘Caramel’ and ‘Marmalade’ varieties; it would be nice to have a little autumn in the garden all year round. Perhaps I’ll do something like this container garden I saw on the Craftzine Blog. Pretty, isn’t it?

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2 Responses to May Flowers

  1. Ramona the (former) Gardner says:

    Oh, I’m so happy for you(r)lilac blooms. I looked all over last week for a place I could safely steal a bouquet, got them home and then couldn’t stand them in the house because they were TOO fragrant. (As they are some years.)
    And G’ma Ridnour’s entire back yard was irises with about a ten foot strip on the south of it given over to other flowers.
    I brought starts of Lily of the Valley when we moved here. They are doing well. Perhaps you could take some home with you and try again?
    As for the huechera – the one I bought last year (Dolce Peach Melba) after your recommend is doing great. But the Coral Bells of Mom’s I transplanted here is going crazy. Maybe you should take one of hers home with you, too.
    May!! Yay!!

  2. Tinky says:

    Our lilacs won’t be ready for a while yet so I’m pretending to smell yours now! I love all the old-fashioned flowers you’re talking about here.

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