Half way through May already!

It is half way through May already and time for another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, kindly hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden where we can peek at all the lovely flowers all over the world!

Everything is growing so quickly, including the weeds, they are growing faster than I can pull them out, no sooner have I weeded a bed and started on another, they are up again. I must get more mulch and ground cover sorted to cut down the work.

I will start with a photo of Euphorbia palustris which is at the back of the bog garden behind one of my carvings. I’ve since read that this euphorbia can be planted in ordinary soil so maybe I will split the clump in the autumn.

Euphorbia palustris

Cowslips and bluebell

Most of the cowslips are almost over , but I managed to find a few under a rhododendron that were still looking rather nice with an accompanying bluebell, Hyacinthoides non scripta. I will save the seed from both of them and sprinkle them under various shrubs hoping they will form a carpet in a few years.

Narcissus Pheasant's Eye

A few late Narcissus are still flowering, Pheasant’s Eye with its lovely red rim to the tiny cup, N. Pipit are also still flowering but they are past their best.

Dwarf Iris

My lovely dwarf Iris is still flowering , it had so many buds that as soon as one flower was going over, others were opening to take its place. It will last a few more days hopefully.

Viburnum plicatum Maresii

At the moment, this is my favourite shrub, Viburnum plicatum Maresii, such a beautiful shrub with it’s horizontal layers and its lacecap type flowers.

Dwarf Rhododendron

A pretty, tiny rhododendron, the flowers are more yellow than the photograph shows. This is it’s first year so I hope that next year it doesn’t get hidden by the Forget me nots, it took me a while to find it!

Aquilegia semi aquilegia

A little Aquilegia on the alpine scree Aquilegia semi aquilegia. It only grows about 6 inches and is now starting to seed around, still coming up at 6 inches high. This photograph reminds me that I promised to take cuttings of the  Santolina Lemon Fizz behind it, the cuttings are now getting rather large, I think it was Cathy from Rambling in the Garden and Caro who asked for them, please tell me if it was, so that I can send them to you!


A pink Ranunculus, all the others in a mixed bag are white!

Solomon's Seal

There are lots of clumps of Solomon’s Seal in most of the shady borders.

Weigela, purple leaved

May is the month for lots of shrubs to flower, making the garden look pretty. This is a purple leaved Weigela which sets off the dark red peony next to it when it flowers.

Californian Iris

Iris is such a diverse family, so many colours, so many sizes and so many different conditions where there is always an iris to suit. This lovely one is a tiny Californian Iris which likes moisture, I have this one at the front of the bog garden, so it has been under water for most of the winter, but it revels in it!

Azalea Persil

In the border where we have the dead oak, we have a few deciduous Azaleas, this one is Persil and has a wonderful perfume. When this grows, it and another should fill the centre of the border.

Epimedium Pixie

Various Epimedium are flowering at the moment, this one which looks like a jester’s hat is called Pixie.

Azalea Homebush with Viburnum

Azalea Homebush has a beautiful perfume, here it is keeping company with Viburnum plicatum Maresii with it’s horizontal branches.

Candelabra Primula

The bog garden is waking up and soon it will have lots of flowers from all the candelabra primulas, this one is Apple Blossom.

Primula aurantiaca

Also just starting to flower is Primula aurantiaca with a variegated hosta behind it.

Primula Guinevere

Still flowering in the bog garden is Primula Guinivere, this has been flowering for months now, it certainly seems to appreciate the wet soil.

Primula Postford White with Meconopsis

In the front is the foliage of an astilbe with primula Postford White behind. Behind the primula is  the lovely blue of  Meconopsis Lingholm, yes, it’s Meconopsis time once more, but more of this in a later post!

Meconopsis cambrica

Another meconopsis, this time Meconopsis cambrica, I am still spreading the seed around in shady borders as I feel more shady places could be brightened up by them. I think they would prefer a soil which is better drained than mine, but then they would probably be a problem.

Choisysa ternata

A flowering shrub in the back garden is Choisya ternata which usually flowers twice during the year. The foliage has a lovely perfume if crushed.

Rosa Penelope

Roses are starting to flower, this is Rosa Penelope in the back garden, when it opens it fades to almost white ,so with lots of buds the bush has two colours while it is flowering.

Clematis Lasurstern

Climbing up the side of the conservatory is Clematis Lasurstern, or at least I think it is, because this was already here when we came. It flowers for a long time so is well worth it’s space.

Allium Globemaster

All the Alliums in the back garden, behind the alpine scree, are starting to open up, this one is Allium Globemaster.

Darmera peltata

In the same border is Darmera peltata, putting up a few flower stalks, the large leaves follow later. I have tried to move this plant to a more suitable place, it likes very damp soil, but the huge thick roots have wound their way round the rocks that are in the bed, it will have to stay!


This clump of chives has seeded into the paving round the house. They have been under water all winter when we had a bit of flooding, I thought chives needed well drained soil!


Still flowering in the front garden is a Camellia with no name. This has been flowering for months now, but it  has plenty of buds still to open.


Still in the front garden, in the Bee and Butterfly border, is this Argyranthemum which will now flower right through to the first frosts of the winter, a really super plant.


Just further down the border is a clump of Camassia, they are the opposite of the Argyranthemum, they don’t flower for very long at all, which is a shame, I won’t be buying any more.

Primula Inverewe

Primula Inverewe has just opened its first flower. This is a lovely candelabra primula with orange/ red flowers which needs division to increase it as it is sterile, it will take me longer to build up a little drift of these.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Zantedeschia aethiopica almost made it for GBBD, but not quite. Looking at the huge leaves means it will be included for GBFD in a weeks time so I will be able to show you the flower then.

English Iris

The English Iris, Iris latifolia has just started flowering in the Bee and Butterfly border in the front. The clump is getting rather large now and is covered in buds so I should have them for a good month or so. I think maybe it ought to be split and spread along the border.

Clematis montana

Clematis montana which is climbing up a large oak isn’t flowering as well as previous years. A couple of weeks ago we had dreadful gales which threatened to bring it down and I’m thinking that maybe it lost some of its flower buds, I think I will give it a handful of fertiliser so that hopefully it will be back on track next year.


Rhododendrons are now flowering in the border opposite the back door, some of the foliage got burnt in the winter with the gales, one or two of them don’t look very happy.

I think that’s it now for this month, flowers starting to bloom everywhere and I’m running out of time! One day I will catch up with the weeding, at the moment I just try not to notice them. Do pop over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what is flowering in other gardens at the moment.

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36 Responses to Half way through May already!

  1. pbmgarden says:

    It’s always a pleasure to travel through your garden with you Pauline, and instructive as you have such a nice variety of plants for every situation, arranged for successive blooming throughout the year. I zeroed right in on the lovely blue of your Meconopsis Lingholm. I admired some Camassia at a recent garden tour and thought I’d like to have it, but now will have to reconsider. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad Susie, you enjoyed wandering round with me! The Meconopsis started flowering last week, but I will do a separate post about them soon. Please don’t let me put you off getting some Camassias, I think some varieties last longer, I will have to find out which they are.

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    How beautiful are your darling buds of May! I especially like the picture of the euphorbia seen through your carving. So many gorgeous flowers! Happy GBBD!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Peter, everything is bursting into flower at the moment, there is something new to admire every day, it’s a wonderful time of year!

  3. Swimray says:

    An unbelievable selection. I did not care too much for primula until I saw your varieties – I have to reconsider. This is my first year for camassia (white) and I am enjoying it.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Swimray, thanks for stopping by and leaving a message. I’m glad you are changing your mind as far as primulas go, I think they are such a wonderful family of plants. The ones I showed all prefer boggy soil, we have an underground stream where I have planted them, so they are all very happy there. I think I might move my camassias, maybe it needs a better soil than where I have them now, maybe if they had more moisture, the flowers would last longer!

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely photos, and I’m very jealous of the Mecanopsis. Mine definitely haven’t come back. I suppose I ought to be glad I had them bloom for one year……………

    Hard to believe it’s May, let alone halfway through! It’s flying way too quickly for my liking at the moment. And it would seem it’s insect/bug season; just been outside and I’m now itching all over and it’s driving me mad. I don’t think I’ve been bitten, at least I can’t see any obvious bites but it’s very annoying. Now I have to stay away from the grass for a week or two then it will be OK.

    • Pauline says:

      So sorry Liz, that you’ve been got at by the insects, rather a problem for a gardener.
      The meconopsis you saw is one of 13 that survived the winter. My seedlings that I sowed this winter were an absolute disaster, I think I might have 4 if I’m lucky! My drift is taking quite a while to appear!
      I just wish the plants would slow down a bit this month, everything is racing away, including the weeds!

  5. Christina says:

    So many very beautiful blooms Pauline. I wish I had a bog garden so I could have the lovely Californian Iris, it is just the pink I am looking for in a bearded iris. I almost missed the Meconopsis Lingholm, I look forward to you showing them in many posts while they are is flower; they are such a wonderful blue, nothing else is quite like them.

    • Pauline says:

      Christina, the little Californian Iris is such a sweet plant, I was quite worried in the winter when I saw it standing in so much water, but it doesn’t seem to have done it any harm thank goodness. I agree, the blue of the Meconopsis is such an electric blue, unlike any other flower, there are quite a few more buds to open, they are what I go to see first thing each morning!

  6. Cathy says:

    There seems to be so much in bloom in your garden Pauline! It all looks wonderful and I wouldn’t worry about the weeds (I didn’t see a single one!). What really caught my eye was that beautiful lilac Californian iris, as well as the Epimedium and that pretty blue Aquilegia. I tend to focus on small plants as that’s what works best in my rockery, but I bet that Viburnum is quite a sight!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, there is so much opening their flowers at the moment, something new every day! The Viburnum is making quite a statement at the moment in that part of the garden, I love its horizontal layers which are covered in flowers at the moment.
      I can imagine the tiny Aquilegia in your rockery along with the epimedium, but the iris would have to be at the base because it wouldn’t like well drained soil. I have to admit, I tried really hard not to photograph any of my weeds!

  7. Angie says:

    Such an array of colour Pauline. I must do a bit of research on that Californian Iris. I hope it hardy, it’s a smasher!
    Meconopsis time… Wonderful. Was almost that time here too but my cat brought home a rabbit to play with and during their game of tig, my one and one plant was ruined!
    Happy Bloom Day Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, the Californian iris comes in many colours, but must never dry out, especially in the summer, that’s why I planted it in the bog garden!
      Oh, your poor Meconopsis! Cats are very good at keeping rabbits at bay, but what a price to pay!

  8. Alain says:

    What a profusion of blooms Pauline. As you know we are not as advanced as your are, especially with the very severe winter we had. We must be almost a month behind for most things. What always amazes me is that some things seem to bloom at the same time regardless of conditions. Your cowslips are almost over and ours are at their prime. But isn’t it surprising they would bloom more or less at the same time when a month ago here they were still under at least a foot of snow? It is as if they have been given a date to bloom and no matter where you grow them, no matter the climate, they will try to stick to that date!

    • Pauline says:

      Plants are amazing Alain, the way they cope with so many weather conditions. I know some of our plants depend on temperature before they come into growth whereas others depend on the length of daylight, no matter how cold it might be, I think cowslips must come into the latter category. It must be wonderful after your dreadful winter, to see all your flowers coming back once more.

  9. Anna says:

    Oh you have some fine May flowers Pauline. We were out garden visiting at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire yesterday where I spotted a couple of meconopsis in flower 🙂 You would have enjoyed it – a woodland walk, lots of rhododendrons, camellias and the most glorious handkerchief tree. Do you know the name of your dark leaved weigela?

    • Pauline says:

      Oh Anna, I would have loved the woodland walk you went on, it must have been beautiful with everything in flower and meconopsis too! Sorry , the Weigela was bought when I first started the garden, long before I knew how to use a computer or wanted to write a blog!

  10. Jane Scorer says:

    Just lovely ! Gorgeous flowers and there are solo many of them. Such a pleasure to see them ! I love that Viburnum Plicatum and it has been on my wish list for a long time !

    • Pauline says:

      Jane, the Viburnum has been a favourite of mine for a long time, the bush just gets better and better each year, autumn foliage is good too. Hesitate no longer!

  11. Chris Nicholson says:

    It’s so interesting to see flowers from so many different places. I was interested in the primula with Inverewe in its name. Many years ago–2000 I believe, my husband and I were traveling in Scotland, Isle of Skye, and Ireland after attending a conference in Birmingham. We visited the Garden at Inverewe. That’s the only place we’ve seen mencopsis –except in books. The mildness brought about by the Gulf Stream and the possible varieties of plants growing because of it were amazing to us who live in a place where winters (esp. this last one) are much harder. The thought of the establishment of that garden, needing first to build the beds to grow edibles for the workers who would be building the garden and the hauling in of dirt from Ireland. It was an amazing story to me, from limey mid USA.

    I responded emotionally to your Solomon’s Seal. We have an invasive weed, garlic mustard, in the Eastern US which I feel has come within my years as a gardener. It spreads rapidly in light shade and wood edges but fortunately is easily removed by hand weeding. I’ve worked hard eliminating it on our property and my reward has been that the first returning native has been Solomon’s Seal–in great quantities. This spring we also had a doubling of our areas of Bloodroot.

    I’ll look for your garden in further blooms day posts.. Thank you. Chris

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Chris, it’s always good to hear from someone new!
      Last time we had a holiday in Scotland we visited various gardens at Meconopsis time, including Inverewe, and they were so beautiful I had to try growing them here even though here in the SW corner of the UK we are a bit too warm for them. I think there are many gardens in Wales and the Lake District that grow them, anywhere that has lots of rain! I have mine in a bog garden which is in the shade, so they have the cooler conditions they like while having moisture at their roots all year. I am writing a post at the moment about our meconopsis, it should be published in a couple of days if you are interested!
      I was so pleased to read that your wild Solomon’s Seal and Bloodroot have returned since you cleared away the garlic mustard, they must just have been waiting for you to give them some space.

  12. Chloris says:

    I love your new header, it’ s stunning. I am very jealous of your lovely blue poppies, I wish I could grow them. You have so many lovely things in bloom. Lots of lovely Primulas and your dear little Iris is still going strong. I didn’t know that the Californian Iris liked damp conditions. Perhaps I’ d better move mine.
    Lovely May, isn’t it just the very best month?

    • Pauline says:

      Chloris, I think the Californian iris just doesn’t like to dry out in the summer, I hadn’t realised that it would be under water nearly all winter but it doesn’t seem to have done it any harm!
      The Meconopsis are a bit tricky, but I think they’re worth a bit of extra trouble as they’re so gorgeous!
      I agree, May is a fantastic month when the whole garden seems to come alive.

  13. Frank says:

    You really have so much coming along, I can’t wait for all the primulas to open! -and the blue poppy of course, but that will only inspire jealousy 🙂
    I should try and fit in a few rhododendron and azaleas, but the wind and lack of shade here just doesn’t keep them happy.

    • Pauline says:

      Frank, the Primulas get better and better each day, one day soon they will get a post all of their own!
      When we first moved here, the few rhododendrons that were here were very burnt by the wind, so I planted quite a few shelter belts, they have since been fine most winters. We did have a nice view across the fields but it was more important to keep my plants happy!

  14. Annette says:

    Hi Pauline, I also enjoy my rambles through your garden. There’s so much to see! I like the Viburnum plicatum – have planted one in my garden but it’ll be a while before it’ll make a real statement. Meconopsis cambrica grew abundantly in my Irish garden. Maybe I can get some seed at Chelsea as I’d love to have it again. Your primulas look stunning. I hope they’ll have some nice ones in Wisley when I go next week. I grow Camassia only in the long grass in the orchard as I think they’re not really suitable for a border.

    • Pauline says:

      Annette, I’m glad you enjoyed it! If you can’t find any seeds of Meconopsis cambrica, do let me know and I will send you some, it looks so lovely in shady borders, although I have seen it growing at the roadside in the Lake District in full sun! I love all the colourful primulas, lots of seed was saved and sown following Carol Kleins instructions, sow the seed while it is still green, bit fiddly, bit sticky, but it works and then you have lovely large plants to plant into the garden the following spring!

  15. You have lots of beautiful blooms worthy a Bloom Day post, Pauline. I really like the magenta colored Californian iris. The yellow Meconopsis cambrica poppies are pretty, but I they don’t quite top your amazing blue poppies.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Jennifer, everything seems to want to flower at the same time, I can’t keep up with it! I really like the Californian Iris, it is only small but has such beautiful markings on the petals. The blue Meconopsis are my favourites at the moment, I have to admit, but then, the whole of the bog garden is waking up and beginning to look very pretty.

  16. So pretty Pauline! I love all of your primula and the Meconopsis cambrica… a new delight to me. Thanks for posting!!

    • Pauline says:

      Julie, the primulas are just getting better and better each day, I’m so pleased as most of them I grew from seed, just buying one of each variety, the border is beginning to look as I imagined it would.
      The Meconopsis cambrica is lovely in the shade, shining brightly, it makes dark corners sparkle!

  17. I am very envious of all your primulas. My absolute favorite is Primula aurantiaca. How hard is that to grow? Does it like wet like P. japonica? Does it set seed and would you send me some to sprinkle? I am so busy at the nursery that I may forget to check here for your answer. I am taking advantage of a brief moment of calm to do my own post and catch up on some blogs.

    • Pauline says:

      I too love Primula aurantiaca Carolyn, it is so easy to grow in moist soil. Mine has an underground stream running underneath where the soil never dries out. I will certainly send you some seed if it forms any, I will make a note to have a look for you in a few weeks.. I can imagine that you are very busy at your nursery at the moment, it must your busiest time of year but you are certainly catching up with posts aren’t you!

  18. You have such wonderful plants flourishing in your bog garden – everywhere really, but I love the primulas. And that viburnum is spectacular.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Janet, primulas are one of my favourites at the moment, lots more are opening each day and the bog garden is looking so pretty. The viburnum certainly makes a statement at the moment while flowering and it also has another moment of glory in the autumn when the leaves turn dark purple.

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