The Merry Month

The skies were bright,
Our hearts were light
in the merry merry month of May ~Stephen Foster

Circles in MayMay is coming to a close and the garden continues to change before my eyes. The spectacular bloom of spring has softened into lush green growth while clematis, iris, and peonies have taken the place of daffodils and tulips. Soft tones of blue, mauve, and peach dominate the color palette while the scent of honeysuckle and Viburnum fill the air. A few roses are beginning to open as the May bloom season dissolves into early summer.

In the coldframe, hundreds of plants are patiently awaiting their entrance into the earth and I wonder what I was thinking when I started so many flats of annuals deep in the winter. Planting seeds was a sure sign of longing for the promise of spring in a gray cold world, and now that world is merry again with color and scent! (All photos ©2015 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

Longing for spring and celebrating its arrival is an old tale. There are many versions of songs that celebrate the joys of May in the northern hemisphere; here are a few to entertain you as you view some scenes of the late May garden.

Stephen Foster’s “The Merry Merry Month of May” sung by Nelson Eddy

Henry Youell’s madrigal “In the Merry Month of May”

William Byrd’s “Sweet and Merry Month of May”

The Simpson’s version of “Merry Month of May”

27 thoughts on “The Merry Month

  1. I enjoy following the changes in your garden. I see your allium are just a bit further along than mine. Aren’t their big round heads wonderful!

  2. Another to add to your formidable list is …. “While Strolling Through The Park One Day, in the merry merry month of May, I was taken by surprise by a pair of roguish eyes, in a moment my poor heart was stole away”. … which I sang to Janie Urbach in 2nd grade for the Spring Concert, wearing a straw ‘boater’ hat, while she twirled a parasol. (smile) Lovely post. Such lovely choices you make–always.

  3. Based on your photos, it appears that everything is in bloom in your garden right now, Lynn.

    Interestingly, the iris you posted…I saw specimens that looked very much like it growing in the wild everywhere on the southern Oregon coast when I was there in the first half of May.

    • It looks like everything is blooming now, Kerry, but there is so much more rising up for summer. It looks like the blooms will cascade without stop throughout the summer if current growth continues!

      I love the native Iris – the blue one pictured is Iris versicolor, native to the eastern US. It is very similar to the blue ones native to the Pacific coast , the Douglas iris and the Thompson Iris. Native iris are so easy to grow, as they are already adapted to local conditions, yet they are also quite polite in a garden situation too. The best of both worlds.

  4. Lynn: So magnificent! You truly are gifted. I am moving to a new home in July and I shall be reviewing your garden photos for some ideas. My favorite this year are your peonies!

    • Eleanor, new house, new garden? Congratulations! Thanks for stopping by in what must be a hectic time for you. The peonies have been magnificent this year; more to come in the next post 🙂

  5. Your garden and your photos are so beautiful, Lynn. I need to find a new way to say that as I’m pretty sure I write the same comment every time I look at images from your garden. I need to find someone to teach me how to create a similar magic in the garden. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing out there in my scrounger’s garden, although it has been working so far.

    • Robin, it just takes time, good soil, and an artistic eye. And you already have the eye 🙂 I use my camera to design and edit the garden and I combine and place plants in solo portraits, family groups, and family reunions. If it doesn’t look photogenic, I rework the beds until it does. A book that you might find interesting is Julie Moir Messervy’s “The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning” where she uses archetypes as the basis of garden design, so that what you respond to inwardly finds expression outwardly. That book inspired and shaped my current garden. You might be able to find it at your library, or here’s a link to the publisher:

  6. Very beautiful! May is indeed a merry, colourful month, after so many grey and cold ones. We had a very late spring this year and now there is a burst of flowers!

    • Carol, it is thought that snow restores nitrogen to the soil, so I always try to remember that in the dead of winter! It may be true, as the foliage growth this spring is astonishing. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. Just gorgeous, Lynn! What a beautiful heaven you’ve created on earth, and how good for the spirit to visit. The textures, and colors, and that gorgeous path are exquisite. Thank you for sharing, and joy to your June!

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