Wow – what a difference a month makes – remember the peonies?

peony hoops

This is what they look like now:


This is why I always put in the peony hoops. These divas are just about to burst open and the rings will keep them from drooping to the ground and crushing their gorgeous blooms. In fact, next year I’ll install taller hoops as they’ve outgrown these.

peony buds

And the allium? Just petite little buds and stalks a month ago:

allium buds

Now in full bloom:

alliums in bloom

allium close-up

The butterfly bush that I cut back to 12″ high last month is now covered in nice fresh foliage:

butterfly bush pruned in april

butterfly bush in may

This month’s warmer weather, followed by what is now the 6th consecutive day of rain has resulted in a veritable explosion in the garden.

yarrow buds

catmint buds


astilbe buds

scotch broom in bloom

joe pye weed, 4" high now, will grow to 8' tall

A new addition to the garden this year is a pair of “tuteurs”. A tuteur is any vertical structure used to train climbing plants or vines. They also add an ornamental element to the garden. I put them in my white garden where I wanted something tall, but had run out of room for another shrub or large plant. I planted a clematis vine in each tuteur and by next year they should be covered in large white flowers. The tuteurs themselves are a subtle addition now, but over the winter – when most of the garden has gone dormant – they will be a beautiful accent in a mostly empty setting.

tuteur with clematis


clematis bud

As for garden tasks this month – well, there aren’t any (yay!), making this one of my favorite times of year. Everything is up, and lush and just about to bloom. Even my containers (which I planted last year with only perennials) are full and colorful.

lamium, bachelor's button, hakone grass

red stems and foliage

african violets and viola

Nothing needs staking or pruning (yet) – 2 tasks I don’t look forward to. So all I have to do right now is sit back and eagerly await the “real” start of the season.

What’s “coming up” in your garden this month? Please share!


  1. Keira on May 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Oh Sheri. This was just gorgeous to read and what a pleasure to see the beautiful shots of your plants. On a day like today, it lifts the spirits.

    • sheri silver on May 19, 2011 at 6:26 am

      Thanks so much Keira – will it ever stop raining???

  2. Leslie Schulte on May 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Simply beautiful. Where did you get the tuteurs? I like their “roundness.”

    • sheri silver on May 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Thank you Leslie – I got the tuteurs at Carlson’s nursery……….

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