Friday, May 15, 2009

May Bloom Day

It's that wonderful day of the month in that wonderful month of the year, and the rabbits or whatever have been at their dastardly work, chewing buds and blooms off a few things you won't see in this Bloom Day Post.

They left some things alone though, especially stuff in hanging baskets, which have ventured outdoors after keeping an eye on the 10-day forecast. It's been at least a couple of weeks since our last frost.

They (rabbits) don't hop this high. At least not yet, so the baskets should be safe.

Our weather seems settled and very spring-like. Of course, in the Chicago area, you never know. May 15th is our last average frost date, but we've had frost after that the last two years.

These babies have been blooming for a month now. I love old-fashioned bleeding hearts.

The lone surviving Anemone sylvestris bloom. This one is surrounded by surprise lily foliage, otherwise the varmints probably would have gotten it too.

They can't reach this fuchsia though, ha ha! This year I will get a photo of a hummingbird. They tease me relentlessly when I have the camera outside. When I don't they linger at the fuchsia a good long while.

I've always had white columbines. These were planted the first year I lived here.

Lovely lavender, a gift from K, my oldest daughter, for Mother's Day.

Beautiful, tiny brunnera blooms. These are from Looking Glass.

This pansy came from the Garden Show. It seems like a long time since I was there.

The hellebore lost some blooms to critters, but some have survived. Last year this hellebore held on to its blooms until late fall. This spring two more hellebores were added to the garden.

Last but not least, the peas are budding!

Happy Bloom Day everyone, and thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, in her glory in the marvelous month of May. Just two short weeks from today, I'll meet Carol and about 50 more garden bloggers when we gather in Chicago for the 2nd annual Garden Blogger's Spring Fling.


  1. I can't believe it's the 15th again--totally distracted by prep for my plant swap tomorrow am. Love the bleeding heart, which I've not had luck with, and your solo anemone reminds me of my very few tulips (out of 100+). I just noticed the groundhog ate some heirloom Asiatic lilies, too! I have some photos for you in my latest entry! :)

  2. So glad those rabbits can't hop up high! That fuschia is gorgeous~!

  3. Just beautiful! I like the way the columbine photo came out, almost like a ghost flower.

  4. I know what you mean Monica - I can't believe SF is only two weeks away. Ravenous critters in the garden have been more of a problem this spring than any spring I can remember. They've been eating everything. I should get out there and spray some Liquid Fence, but with all the rain we've been having it seems like it would be an exercise in futility.

    Thanks Tina! I've had the same fuchsia variety for years - overwintered the last one indoors successfully for two years, but lost it last winter. It's a must-have here for all the hummingbirds it attracts to the patio.

    Thank you Cathy! I played with Picasa to get that ghostly look. I almost changed my mind, but Lawn Man saw it and liked it, so I went with it!

  5. Linda, Good morning. Those dastardly rabbits! The squirrels have been especially horrible this year...such damage and they emptied the suet feeder...I am liking the columbines romantic look and the white is a splendid form. I can't wait to see you...just a short two weeks! Gail

  6. Beautiful blooms, Linda! So sorry about the critters in your garden; thank heavens they can't get to the hanging baskets. I love fuschia, but haven't had one for awhile. Thanks for the reminder that hummingbirds love this plant. Like you and Frances, I am in search of the Holy Grail, too:)

  7. I have little peas budding up too. And your bleeding hearts are lovely! I keep seeing those in everyone's gardens, and I think I may have to plant some!

  8. Beautiful pictures! I love the fuschia--I think they're one of the best plants for baskets!

  9. Lovely pictures. Must get some white columinbes!

  10. That is so frustrating to have a rabbit attack. Squirrels go after the tulips in Maine. You still have a mighty fine garden nonetheless. I love your brunnera blooms especially – they don’t look real they are so perfect.

  11. Linda ... what pretty blooms you have for today !
    You have given me an idea about white columbines now .. I love having pockets of "white" in the garden and I hadn't thought of columbines .. thank you !

  12. Hi Gail, I kid about having my friend who enjoys squirrel and rabbit stew come for breakfast some morning and bring his bb gun with him! I love those white columbines. I hope to hit the local native plants sale tomorrow morning to see if they have the species. I've never met a columbine I didn't like, don't know why I've never had the natives.

    Can't wait to see you here in a couple of weeks!

    Thanks Rose! The fuchsia IS the hummingbird holy grail here! They like plenty of the blooms in the garden too, but that fuchsia is quite the hummingbird magnet, and brings them nice and close!

    Hi and welcome Meryl! I sure am looking forward to those peas - it's been too long since I've had a vegetable garden.

    I love those bleeding hearts. I'd like to try some Dutchman's breeches too - in the same family, similar foliage as bleeding hearts, and cute, curiously-shaped blooms too. Nature is amazing.

    Thank you Rose, I couldn't agree more about the fuchsias. I'm wishing I'd gotten another one or two. . . still could, but the rest of the baskets are already planted. . . still might and put the stuff in the baskets someplace else. We have the perfect shady conditions for fuchsias here.

    Thank you Emily! I think you'd like those columbines. I sure do! Columbines are big favorites of mine. The only problem with them is leaf miners, but they don't seem to hurt the plant. The columbines keep coming back every year.

    Hi Sarah, yep, it's frustrating alright! I gave up on tulips a long time ago. It was too sad finding shredded remnants of all the blooms just as they were getting ready to open. I guess that's the thanks I get for feeding them this winter!

    Thank you Joy! Those columbines are wonderful - large blooms, and lots of them! (and so far the critters are leaving them alone!)

  13. Hi Linda, oh those wascally wabbits! They are depriving me of the ripe strawberries here, waiting until the very day of ripe perfection to eat them. I am keeping score, Rabbits 19, Frances 1. Hooray for the peas, at least those are high up enough for them to out of reach. Your fuchsia is like a beautiful hummingbird feeder. Hope you get the shot. Two weeks, Yikes! Gotta get ready to pack, what to wear, what to wear?

  14. I can hardly conceive of a freeze in mid-May. It's already hot and humid here, in the mid-90s all week. Ugh.

    Your garden looks fresh and spring-y. Say, will there be any lilacs in bloom for Spring Fling? Some of us Southerners have never smelled one and would love to get a whiff.

  15. A lovley collection of flowers and plants growing in your May garden!
    The tiny brunnera blooms resemble forget-me- nots!Enjoy your weekend without any threat of frost!

  16. We have quite a few of the same things blooming. I love the bleeding hearts too. I sure hope the rabbits aren't able to hop to your baskets!

  17. Glorious blooms in your garden to celebrate Bloom Day. I do love the shot of the pea budding.

  18. Hi Linda,
    Read your comment on the Garden Coach Directory and would love to talk to you some more at CSF. Can't wait to see all those gardens there too!

    I'm especially taken with your brunnera blooms. Also the fuschia. I've seen them for sale here but really, the heat melts them before too long. Good luck on getting your hummer photo!

    Now if only I had time to do a GBBD post...

  19. Such pretty flowers! Especially the bleeding heart (mine always die) and the brunnera (never tried that one). Thanks for sharing.

  20. Sorry about your strawberries Frances! Nineteen to one seems so unfair - you do all the work, and they get all the fun!

    The fuchsia is a better hummingbird feeder than a hummingbird feeder - I had one but had to take it down, as the wasps kept the hummingbirds from the feeder and kept us from the yard!

    What to wear is a good question - all depends on the weather, and that's not easy to predict this far out. There's a link to a 10-day forecast for Chicago on the SF blog. You might want to wait to pack until it gets closer and the forecast gets more accurate. Typically it's nice and warm at the end of May - 70's or low 80's during the day. Could be 60's though too! Or who knows - it might be 60's Friday and 90 by Sunday! Sorry I can't give you a better idea, my best advice is watch the forecast and decide what to pack on that basis. Even if it's warm, bring a sweater!

    Hi Pam, hopefully we're out of the woods in the frost department. It seems that way, but you never know around here!

    Lilacs are in bloom in the south 'burbs now, and will probably be done by SF. It is possible there may still be some blooming further north, maybe at the Botanic Garden. I'm not sure if the northern suburbs would be as much as two weeks behind the south though - a week might be more like it.

    MMD could tell you what the lilacs are doing up north. That area would probably be the best hope for SF lilacs. (I'll cross my fingers you get to see and smell them!)

    Thank you NG! That's one of the things I really like about brunneras - the forget-me-not blooms! This is turning out to be a busy gardening weekend. Hope you're having a great weekend too.

    Hi Catherine, I noticed some blooms we have in common too!

    I hope there's no bunny hopping into the baskets!

    Thank you Layanee! I was very excited to see the peas budding. Today they're blooming!

    Hi Jean, I'm looking forward to meeting you! I'm sure we could have some interesting conversations!

    We have the perfect shady spots for fuchsias here, with just a bit of morning sun. They definitely don't like much sun, especially not as the temperatures climb.

    Thank you Melody! I didn't realize bleeding hearts were tricky until I moved here. I'm glad they've finally settled in and hope they continue to do well.

    The brunneras seem pretty easy. I just moved Looking Glass into more shade today - with its silvery foliage it doesn't seem to like much sun at all, and I noticed the foliage was starting to scorch a little. Jack Frost might handle a little more sun, and the all-green brunneras seem to be fine with more sun.

    My neighbor has a couple of nice large clumps of solid green brunneras. The foliage isn't as interesting as the variegated brunneras, but the blooms are just as pretty, and she has them where they get sun all morning long.

  21. Those rotten rabbits! You should try BunnyFence for some of your plants. The inventor lives in the western suburbs.
    I think you tempted fate when you mentioned frost. We had a touch of it here this morning.
    I hope you get a photo of a hummer, but even if you don't, the Fuschia looks great in photos by itself.

  22. The small creatures are very annoying this year--I've had the first problems with them that I have ever had.

    You can't beat a fuschia for hanging baskets. They seem to bloom without flagging all summer.

  23. Nice to compare notes with another Zone 5 gardener -- though, in "Canadian", we're Zone 6. Love the white columbine. Gotta get me some o' those (I have the alpine blues and some cute granny's bonnet form pinks).

    Just learning about Garden Blogger's Spring Fling. Sounds like heaven, and I do love Chicago.

  24. MMD, it would be hard to choose which plants to fence - there are too many being eaten. The bunny fence is a neat idea, but not practical or cost-effective for a garden the size I have.

    I'm determined to get some hummer photos this summer! I actually did snap a few last year, but they were too blurry and I deleted them.

    Elizabeth, I'm sorry they're going after your garden too. This has been the worst year I can remember for critters eating my garden. There are just too darned many of them! (Where are the coyotes when you need them!)

    Hi and welcome Helen! There's a bit of controversy in the US recently about hardiness zones. The Arbor Day foundation has gone with newly redrawn zone maps which put Chicago in zone 6, but USDA hasn't approved the new maps yet. Some say that will happen later this year. Some say the reason it didn't happen when the recommendation was initially made a couple of years ago was due to denial of a previous administration that global warning exists.

    I didn't realize the hardiness zones criterion weren't consistent between US and Canada - makes sense though, since ours are called USDA hardiness zones.

    I've never met a columbine I didn't like! I just picked up the red/yellow native at a native plant sale this weekend, and I have one Cardinal left. I love the blue ones, and the granny's bonnets too.

    Being on the SF organizing committee has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we're looking forward to seeing all our work come to fruition!

  25. Hi Linda, sorry about your pesky rabbits! I hope you can find a solution to the problem! My bleeding hearts have stopped least I think they have; it's getting quite warm now. (We have had some cool weather the past couple of days but it won't last). The Brunnera are so sweet...I don't have any but should try to remember to get some.

  26. Hi Jan, they have been very pesky this spring. I'm hearing the same thing from my gardening clients and from customers at the nursery the past few days. We're selling a lot of Liquid Fence! I haven't sprayed any yet since it's been raining so much.

    I've always loved forget-me-nots, and they bloom nicely here, but they don't reseed. I like having those little blooms on the brunneras, since I don't have bother replanting them all the time!


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