Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - May 2013


Spring has beautifully emerged with a slow creep that has allowed each bloom, each leaf, to step out into the season with tender care and ultimate beauty. Vivid colors of blooms are lasting and fulfilling more than promised. The forest canopy has filled in the emptiness with an artist's hand, delicately painting in all the color and texture over time.

There have been moments when my impatience has gotten the best of me as I could not wait for a bud to splash into petals, but savoring all this beauty far outweighs any peeves I may have. The gradual dawning of each delicate petal, bud, leaf is a sight to behold, to luxuriate in the elegance of each stage as it ponders its next step. It is a lesson to slow down, to treasure, to relish this season of utter beauty and welcome surprises. After the resigned birth of this spring with its paused display of grace and artistry, I do not think I will ever experience spring the same way again.


stats

Gardening Zone: 7a
April High Temperature: 89 degrees F
April Low Temperature: 28 degrees F
Precipitation: 2.97 inches

wildlife

There has been a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk frequenting the backyard. I think it is hunting the backyard birds, but it may also be hunting voles. I have not been able to capture it with the camera yet.


Cooper's Hawk - image from www.birdsource.org by Gary Botello

Sharp-shinned Hawk - image from www.birdsource.org by Robin Solomon

While I was mulching the flower beds, I came across this little bunny who did not go very far after I frightened him. I think I have found the culprit who has been nibbling on my dill in the herb garden. It is only about five inches long. As much havoc as they wreak in my garden, I still find them very cute.





I often see the Pileated Woodpecker in the adjacent woods. They are easily frightened, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to get a somewhat decent photo of one of them.




The Mourning Doves always seem to be in pairs.




what's blooming, sprouting


The redbuds and cherry trees finally bloomed and the color was a welcome sight.


Redbud Trees in Bloom

Even as the new leaves come in, the tender and supple birth is full of color.


Redbud Tree - 'Forest Pansy'

In January and February I noticed several vole holes on the top of this protected tulip bed, and I thought the voles had finally found a way to nibble on the bulbs. They must have been deterred by my methods because the tulips came up beautifully. See The Vole in the Garden: Control Methods.


Mixed Tulips

The azaleas are budding. I am hoping those ants are controlling the aphids.


Red Azalea - Sherwood Forest

The Carolina Jessamine is always fragrant and golden.


Carolina Jessamine - Gelsemium sempervirens

We had problems with our trash container falling because of the winds on the side of the house and the slope on which it is perched. A few years ago, we erected a trellis on either side of it, and I planted Carolina Jessamine by each trellis. The plants have climbed up the trellis and created an arbor over the trash container. And now we have no more problems with it falling. Besides, the scent is very pleasant each time we walk near in the spring.


Carolina Jessamine - Gelsemium sempervirens

The pink dogwood is one of my favorite trees because the blooms seem to last and last with that lovely color.


Pink Dogwood - Cornus florida 'Rubra'

Pink Dogwood - Cornus florida 'Rubra'

These are the last daffodils to bloom.


Golden Bells Carpet Daffodils

The irises are budding.


Iris

The Japanese maples have such nice color when the leaves are out.


Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum 'Viridis' and Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum 'Sunset'

And they seem to glow when the sunlight caresses the leaves.


Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum 'Sunset'

After taking a long winter's nap, the hostas are ready to greet the light.


Hosta

in the vegetable garden

The vegetable garden beds are filling up for the season. I place the red tomato teepees around some of the smaller tomatoes to keep them warm on cool days and nights.


Vegetable Garden

In the garden...spinach


Spinach - 'Corvair'

...peas

Snowpeas - 'Avalanche'

...red cabbage


Red Cabbage - 'Cairo'

...strawberries


Strawberry - 'Tribute'

...lettuce

Red Leaf Lettuce - 'Red Sails'

The herb garden is filling up with annual herbs to sit beside the perennial herbs.



completed chores


cleared away plant debris and leaves in remaining plant beds
weeded remaining garden beds
spread compost in remaining beds
planted tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, red cabbage in vegetable garden
planted basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, carraway, Thai basil in herb garden
weeded vegetable garden paths
planted annuals in containers and garden beds
sowed squash seeds in planting trays
sheared boxwoods
planted Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) shrubs
spread beneficial nematodes to control Japanese Beetles

chores for May

plant remaining annuals in containers
plant gladioli
spread milky spore powder
complete mulching beds
sow green beans
plant bell pepper plants in vegetable garden beds


Tulip - 'Peach Passion'

What's in your Garden Notebook for May?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had some connectivity issues this last month. I hope things continue to go well for I plan to post more about composting.

I am joining in the following:

Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

And The Gardening Blog for Garden Bloggers Harvest Day, a monthly meme where bloggers can show off their gardens.


© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

55 comments:

  1. Michelle,
    you have such a big garden: flowers, vegetables and herbs.
    and you have lots of plans for May!
    how do you have time for all this?
    Excellent photos! I especially love maples - they are wonderful!

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    1. I really don't know how I fit it all in. I suppose that is why the last couple of months have been so busy. I fret a bit as I am working so hard, but once it is all done I am so happy with my garden. :) Thank you!

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  2. Długo czekaliśmy na wiosnę w tym roku, ale jest i to piękna. Śliczny masz ogród i bardzo ciekawy warzywny ogród. Ciekawe grządki. Różowy dereń mnie zachwycił. Pozdrawiam.
    Been waiting for spring this year, but it is and it's beautiful. Lovely garden and you have a very interesting vegetable garden. Interesting flowerbeds. Pink dogwood amazed me. Yours.

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    1. Thanks, Giga. The pink dogwood is a favorite. And I am glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  3. Wow, awesome gardens and beautiful flowers. Love the birdies too! Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. So glad the birds are part of it all.

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  4. Lovely post .thanks for sharing .Is that really your garden?...awesome:)

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  5. Glorious, your garden is certainly singing out the praises of Spring, well worth waiting for. I love the combination of your acers, and your trash can arbour is a wonderful idea, I am trying to work out if I could do something similar here. The hawk steals the show though, what a magnificent bird.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. The garbage solution was really a functional idea that turned into a beauty. :)

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  6. I loved seeing your birds, and flowers, and trees, and veggie garden!
    Very beautiful and so well organized.
    I must say that is the prettiest garbage can I've ever seen!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lea. The slope can be quite a challenge, but I am glad we found a solution.

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  7. I bet you have the best smelling trash in the neighborhood, LOL...what an clever way to solve your wind issue! You blooms and foliage look spectacular. I love the Japanese maples!

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    1. LOL! We have the best smelling trash for a few weeks anyway. :)

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  8. I liked hearing your perspective about this spring. Although I have wished every day that my roses would hurry up and bloom, I have actually enjoyed the cooler weather. As you say, each bloom is slowly revealed, allowing us to enjoy many moments of it instead of it being so rushed. Plus, I've enjoyed the cooler days when I'm outside working! I just love your vegetable garden. It is so pretty, and you have a lot growing there.

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    1. I have struggled with impatience as well, but I have been so much more comfortable working out there in this cooler weather. The heat will come soon enough.

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  9. When the weather turns for the better there is always so much to do isn't there. Your garden is blooming beautifully - I adore the first tulip picture - a tribute to your photography skills. And the flowering arbour is a clever way to disguise your refuse bin. Altogether a lovely post. E.

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    1. So kind of you to say, Elaine. Thank you!

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  10. I love the design of your vegetable garden. It is so unique and clever. The herb garden is lovely too. That really is a cute bunny photo. I have been seeing quite a few of them too. Must have been a good breeding year last year.

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    1. I saw several of them at the beginning of spring, but I have not seen any for the past couple weeks. I suppose they have scattered.

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  11. Your photos are wonderful! I LOVE the Dogwood photo..WOW!

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  12. Only a made up word will do - fantabulous!

    Don't you just love those pileated woodpeckers? We have them, too. They sound like something from the tropics and I smile every time I hear one.

    I always enjoy your lovely yard and gardens, and I'm looking forward to the posts you have planned on composting.

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    Replies
    1. Love that made up word! :)I do love the pileated woodpeckers. It is always a treat to see them. Thank you!

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  13. I am impressed by your pretty vegetable beds, a great idea. Your photos are gorgeous, I am particularly fond of the Gelsemium, Forest Pansy and the Pink Dogwood, that one is wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, Janneke. I really enjoy growing our own veggies.

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  14. What a great idea to grow plants on a trellis around the bin! I love to see the different plants you have... and that hawk is beautiful x

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    1. Thank you! The garden has evolved over the years.

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  15. Great monthly report. 89 degrees, really? Love the hawks and the pilleated woodpecker, plus the Carolina jesamine.

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    1. We did have one very hot day. More is coming soon.

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  16. What a thoroughly comprehensive blog. I can honestly say that I have never ever been impressed with vegetable beds in my entire life until I saw yours. They are brilliant!!
    I think too that it will be goodbye to the bungy rope that holds my bins in place during the windy months. Trellis shopping soon, I think.
    Your spring is way ahead of ours here in Scotland

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    1. Thanks very much, Angie. My husband was the one that did all the heavy lifting and building of those vegetable beds, and I am so grateful. We really get a nice harvest every year.

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  17. Those redbuds are astounding - what a sight! I particularly like the idea of the Carolina jessamine surrounding the trash bin, a lovely scent that covers up what could possibly be a smelly spot otherwise :)

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    1. Thank you, Marguerite. It turned out very nicely. I have Carolina jessamine in several other areas, but those bloom more profusely than the others.

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  18. I am so impressed with your vegetable beds! I don't think I have seen them in a photo like this before, all together, they look like a piece of art! And I am also impressed by your rubbish bin arbour, very good idea. I bet you never have to worry about smelly bins!

    Lovely photos, as always, great to see spring has arrived well and truly in your garden, and great to see you back here, I have been looking for you :-)

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    1. Thank you, Helene. I have been very busy, but I hope in another month things will get back to normal. So nice to see you as always!

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  19. You have a lovely collection of Japanese Maples! Wow! Everything looks perfect in your garden--including that impressive terraced vegetable garden! Very nice!

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    1. I always look forward to going into the veggie garden to see what it has in store. Thank you!

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  20. Your photos really capture the essence of each plant. I agree about the pink dogwoods and love your photo of the back of the flowers.

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. The pink dogwood just wows me every year.

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  21. What a beautiful garden you have! Gorgeous photos too xox

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    1. Thank you, Anne. It has come a long way over the years.

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  22. I love Carolina Jessamine - what a great way to make a pretty spot for your trash cans! Spring is such an exciting season seeing everything coming up. Your gardens are looking lovely! Good luck with the voles, one of my least favorite gardening enemies!

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    1. I am always struggling with the voles, but I think I have the upper hand now.

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  23. Fabulous photographs of some beautiful flowers. Wonderful to see the vegetables growing so well. I have mixed feelings about rabbits, too; they are a real nuisance with our flowers and vegetables, but, I agree, they're such a cute animal.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. The rabbits are often nibbling on something in the garden, so I do have a love/hate relationship with them. I could never hurt them, but I have tried to shoo them away. :)

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  24. I agree this spring has been slow so I can appreciate it...but April flew by. So much blooming and growing in your garden. Voles just keep wreaking havoc and I just love baby bunnies. My post reviewing April goes up on Monday....I love that herb garden.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I don't know what I did before I had the herb garden. It is very convenient.

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  25. Beautiful gardens! Love the vegetables as well as the tulips, dogwood, and jessamine. I enjoyed my visit today. Have a good wknd!

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    1. Thank you, Beth. I am very glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  26. Everything looks so lovely, Michelle! Spring is my favorite time of year, and I agree that each day, each moment must be savored because it goes by so quickly. Of all your blooms what really struck me was the Carolina Jessamine--you have the prettiest garbage area I've ever seen!

    I have a lot in my notebook to do for May--we've had so much rain here that it's been hard to get out into the garden.

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    1. We have had a good amount of rain...a few days a week. I am glad I have had a chance to get out there and get some things done. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  27. Your tulips are beautiful, and I love the little bunny. They are always hiding from us. The birds are very special. It's hard to get a good picture of the birds, as they fly away so quickly, but you managed to show us all of its beauty.

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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    1. Thank you, Sheri. The tulips have finished their blooming now. I will miss them until next year.

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  28. I really love the way you discuss this kind of topic.Lattice patio cover plans

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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