May has been a good month for gardening. The weather has been cool and rains have been abundant. True, we had some down right cold days with more than enough rain to please the mildew and Botrytis in the rose garden, but most plants have done well and being in the garden has been a joy.

The beginning of May was marked by the bloom of the Styrax japonica trees in front of the house.

The fragrance is as pleasing as the sight of the small bells than dangle from the branches.

The hostas are filling in the bed with their various shades of green, chartreuse, yellow and white.

In the secret garden, the white astilbes were the first astilbes to show themselves.

It was followed by a pink one with darker pinks flowers of other astilbes still to come.

The rose ‘Belinda’ covers  the wall of the secret garden.

Most of the roses are over for a few weeks but ‘Ballerina’ persisted.

The pink clematis took over the spotlight from the earlier blooming blue one.

But Clematis jackmani took the prize for sheer abundance covering the lamppost entirely,

and climbing up into a cherry tree.

The large heads of peonies bloomed but without cages they flopped on the ground. The head gardener is going to get out the welding equipment and correct the problem for next year.

We went container shopping and found a pedestal container for the gazebo that we planted with red geraniums.

The kousa dogwoods frame the bench in the formal garden.

Fuzzy white spikes of Veronica bloom in the white bed.

Pink Veronica continues the fuzzy spikes in a nearby parterre.

Pink centranthus flowers tops gray green foliage.

A great mass of pale pink evening primroses flowers waves in front of a weeping redbud tree.

Yarrow’s flat heads provided bright color in the yellow border.

Sundrops bloom in profusion with Houttuynia ‘Chameleon’ at its feet.

In a neighboring parterre, yellow poker, golden spirea and Stella d’oro daylilies picked up the yellow color.

The flowers of butterflyweed blend yellow with orange touched with green.

An orange species lily begins the bloom of the true lilies.

The yellow Asiatic lily ‘London’ was not far behind.

‘Stella d’oro, of course, began the parade of daylilies.

‘Happy Returns’ was close behind.

An unidentified lemon yellow daylily began the bloom along the allee.

Some foxglove returned from last year to lend its soft pink to the shade interior of the allee.

Now that the German and Siberian iris are done, the Japanese iris are flowering.

The flowers are large and flat in lovely shades of purple and blue.

In the bog garden the Louisiana iris ‘Black Gamecock’ is blooming. I wish it would spread but so far I have just a small showing and fear it may be doomed.

The unusual flowers and leaves of the pitcher plants give a unique look to the bog garden.

The vegetable garden may not look unique but it is thriving and producing radishes and lettuce by the gallon. Unfortunately, the radishes are long, pink, and rather ugly. They taste good but with the abundant crop I have I am experimenting with cooking them as well as eating them in salads. So far, cooked quickly like in stir-fry has been successful. The warm weather is bringing an end to the radishes but has stimulated the squash eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes to great heights,

The squash are doing pretty well too.

The horseradish has gone crazy too but will probably calm down now that the heat is hear to tame it.

I am like the horseradish; I thrive in the cool weather and struggle in the heat.  If only the temperatures would not go above 90!

Garden Journal pointer

By Karen