Blessed be gardens and weddings in May

It’s the beginning of May. Sorry I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. You must forgive me. Like the garden, I am gathering my strength, girding my loins, and getting ready to launch myself and the garden into June. We are facing the calendar and weather with courage, the kind that’s said its prayers.

We have weddings and graduations in May and a regional daylily garden tour in June. We are fixing fences, building beds and borders, and weeding, always weeding. Anything we can’t fix, we will cover with mulch and call it good. We are fluffing with abandon.

This is the back garden from atop a side border. I am standing on top of the retaining wall about five feet in the air. No bulb foliage here, but you can see the great, greenness that is early May.
This is the back garden from atop a side border. I am standing on top of the retaining wall about five feet in the air. No bulb foliage here, but you can see the great, greenness that is early May.

Most of the garden is in its green phase between the last of the fall-planted/spring-blooming bulbs and the daylilies. It is my least favorite time because I find all that bulb foliage very distracting and messy. Still, I let it do its thing so I’ll have more flowers next spring. Ignore the bulb foliage and let it die a natural death before removing. Don’t cut it back no matter how much it irritates you.

Ignore the bulb foliage and let it die a natural death before removing. Don't cut it back no… Click To Tweet
Byzantine glads in the back garden. I need more of these little beauties.
Byzantine glads in the back garden. I need more of these little beauties.

One of the few plants blooming with abandon are the Byzantine glads, Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus. They are unabashedly hot pink and wave their petals in the air like they just don’t care. If you live in Zone 6 or further south, you should grow these lovelies. I’m making a note to buy more from Old House Gardens this fall.

Garden gathers its strength. Apricot mystery rose with 'Niobe' clematis.
Apricot mystery rose with ‘Niobe’ clematis. What a sweet dichotomy I planted here. Occasionally, a plan works as you want it. I planted these about twenty years ago. Hard to believe they are still going. Like marriage, gardening is a mystery.

My daughter, Megan, known here as the Diva, is getting married tomorrow. I am thrilled for her and Robert, her fiance. Lots of changes in our family this year. A May wedding is a splendid thing. I married my sweetheart twenty-eight years ago on May 12.

May is a beautiful time even if the Oklahoma weather is acting like Seattle or merry old England this year. It’s been cold, wet and rainy for days, but I see that blue skies are forecast for tomorrow and the week ahead. What a happy occasion it will be!

Spirea Double Play Red is the most beautiful color and is blooming at the moment.
Spirea Double Play Red is the most beautiful color and is blooming at the moment. It has splendid pink and red blooms.

The garden senses the change in weather too. Right now, it’s a garden in waiting. The tropical plants which began so strong in late April are looking for wool coats, but as I said, next week is supposed to be better. At my house, we’ve had copious amounts of rain, six inches one week and three inches the next. I think we got another inch two days ago.

Click on the photos in the gallery to make them larger and see the captions better.

It’s been cold for May, from 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit with cloudy skies. Where are you oh Death Star, ahem, Mr. Sun?

The roses and clematis have no complaints except some mummified blooms on the multipetaled roses. They have trouble opening in cold and rainy weather, and thrips don’t help matters. Clematis clamber and climb through the roses as if they’re never faced a hot and brutal sun before. I must laugh at the vagrancies of an Oklahoma spring and at the positive outlook plants seem to have.

I must laugh at the vagrancies of an Oklahoma spring and at the positive outlook plants seem to… Click To Tweet

Ahhhh, an Oklahoma spring . . . gardeners just never know what they’re going to get. This year, Seattle and London, next year, maybe Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Like the proverbial Boy Scout, a gardener must always be prepared.

Hint: you should also learn to go with the flow.

Raised beds after eleven inches of rain. I'll dig up the tomato plants and the decorative cotton, put in more soil and plant more seeds.
Raised beds after eleven inches of rain. I’ll dig up the tomato plants and the decorative black cotton plants, put in more soil and plant more seeds. Stuff happens. Rain happens.

Remember how I was going to share the building of my raised beds? I still will, but well, my sweet son worked so hard on getting the soil just right, and then tempestuous rains came. Six inches in a few hours compacted the soil where I’d planted cut-flower seeds like zinnias, cosmos, celosia, amaranth and bells of Ireland. Some seeds washed away, while tomato plants shivered. I’m just glad we lined the beds with landscape cloth, or it would have all washed away, down the hill and into the lower pasture.

There was a time when I would be dismayed, but I’ve learned to shrug my shoulders and go on. The rains come. The rains go. We can’t control the rain

Instead, let us be happy come what may. Also, blessed be gardens and weddings in May.


17 Replies to “Blessed be gardens and weddings in May”

  1. So happy the wedding was fabulous, Dee. Best wishes to the happy couple! Your garden pictures are stunning. I agree with your reply to Robin’s comment — I have cut back bulb foliage when I can’t stand it any more and sometimes when I have a tour coming up. The daffodils, so far, have come back, but I try to wait. I love that apricot rose. My roses bloom in late June and July — that’s when the Japanese beetles move in and I dread them. Like you, though, I am really trying to go with the flow. BTW — I read your last posting on problem plants and my two thugs right now are lamium and vinca. They are trying to take over my world. I enjoyed this visit to your garden. P. x

  2. Congratulations to your daughter! May is my favorite time of the year for gardening! Watching everything come back to vibrant life after months of laying dormant! It’s so exciting to see new life everyday!

  3. Blessings for you and your family. 🙂 I’m glad you had such perfect weather for the wedding. Your garden is looking great! Your roses and clematises are stunning, as always!

  4. Bless the happy couple. We are now getting the rain you got last week. Lots of it. More than I remember for a long, long, time. Good advise in your post today. You are a wise gardener!

  5. Hi Dee, Congratulations on your daughters marriage. Your gardens are beautiful in spite of the deluge. I love your attitude about the weather. Do me a favor and don’t read my whiny April posts! Haha There’s something so special about Clematis and Roses blooming together. Rosa Peggy Martin nearly made my heart stand still….that trellis is gorgeous.

    1. Hi Sally and thank you! You know, my post just before this one was pretty whiny. Haha. Roses and clematis are perfect partners I think. They make my heart sing. The trellis with ‘Peggy Martin’ came from one of those online catalogs. It wasn’t expensive. 😀

  6. Your garden looks just perfect for a cool May. The heat will come as you know. I will wish for a warm but not ‘death star’ sunlight for your wedding and graduation day. Changes are afoot in the garden and in life. Namaste.

    1. Hi Layanee! Ah, yes. The heat came yesterday and was quite a surprise really. Hit me in the face, and I thought, oh yeah, this is Oklahoma. Haha! The wedding was fab. I’ll have pictures up soon.~~Dee

  7. I have been reading through my May blog posts from previous years, and it seems like every year for May there was a post complaining about the weather. Maybe “typical” weather is a figment of our faulty memories. But yes, go with the flow. Shrug and move on. Find something in the garden to enjoy every day. May your daughter’s wedding day be full of blessings for her, her beloved, and all of her family.

    1. Thank you so much Kathy, and yes, I think perfect weather is a figment of our imaginations. We had a lovely wedding full of blessings. I think your prayers were part of it.~~Dee

  8. This has been the craziest year. Spring has been no different. Your garden looks lush. I hope the sun comes out to encourage the blooms you would like to see. I also hope that your daughter’s wedding is a big success and the younger gets graduated with you still in your zen mood. I am sure I have seen your brick walk before but you being up high really shows off what an elegant path those bricks make. I always admire your roses. Bloom on…

    1. Hi Lisa, the garden is very, very lush. So lush that it’s crowded this year. Ah well…. Oh the wedding was fabulous. We had the best time. Thank you for your good wishes. About the brick walk, I thought the very same thing. I’d like to have one of those aerial drone photos of the house and gardens.

  9. I married my husband in May too, 27 years ago. It IS a good month for a wedding — and a’weeding! Your garden looks very beautiful and flowery even without much sun (soon to be Death Star). Best wishes to your family on the happy occasion of your daughter’s marriage!

    1. Thank you Pam! Also, may you and your husband have the happiest of anniversaries. I think the years get sweeter as they go by.

      1. Well I certainly hope you had a lovely wedding day there today! Our weather has been much the same, but more expected here. Rain, cool, drizzle, day after day. I do get quite annoyed at dying bulb foliage, and try desperately to leave it alone. Sometimes I fail, and braid it down. Yes, I know I shouldn’t. But the daffs keep coming back and coming back, so apparently they aren’t much bothered by it. I actually think that resurrection lily foliage is even more annoying, and it gets the same treatment. Still blooms!

        1. Hi Robin, the wedding day was perfect in weather and otherwise. Just lovely. I’ll be honest about the bulb foliage. Occasionally, when it makes me too crazy, I cut it back a little. Otherwise, sometimes, it smothers its neighboring plants. I’ve never noticed my daffodils not coming back either. They are pretty tough, aren’t they? I don’t notice the resurrection lily foliage much. I think I have many, many more daffs.

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