May Flowers


A promise kept by Mother Nature, these flowers linger into the lusty month of May. It is one of my favorite times of the year – when all is hope and promise – and the garden begins its first major flush of bloom. The featured photo is a small group of hyacinths. I planted these a few years ago. The first year of bloom is the spectacular one – with the full head of blooms, looking almost fake to be so perfect. The years that follow settle down into a more natural state, as seen here. I personally find that first year a little overbearing, at least in the plant world. This is the way it should be.

Next up is our cherry tree, a single-flowered variety (the Kwanzan explosion begins a bit later). While the blossoms are simple and small on their own, taken together they light up the sky with bright criss-crossing branches of blooms, presented before the onslaught of foliage, and all the more impressive for it. Examined closely, they reveal details that might otherwise go overlooked: as these age, they will turn the slightest bit pink at the center and edges. It’s a subtle change, usually missed for the quick duration of its stay, coming as it does near the tail end of the bloom’s life.

After the drawn-out winter we had, it’s not just the flowers that offer sweet relief, as evidenced by this stand of chives in the sun. One of the things I like best about this time in the gardening year is how bright the greens are, how fresh they look. For many people, gardening is all about the flowers – how to get the biggest, brightest, and most abundant. For me, it’s also about the foliage ~ the texture, the hues, the shape, the style. The endless variety of life, teeming with possibility, at one of the most beautiful months of the year…

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