Honey-sweet May

At last came the golden month of the wild folk—honey-sweet May, when the birds come back, and the flowers come out, and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs of the dawning year. ~Samuel Scoville Jr, Wild Folk

Today is one of those perfect days in May. Birds are singing outside of every open window and soft breezes keep the air fresh and cool. Pixie and I have been gardening at sunrise for the past few days – she keeps a close eye on the wildlife while I work.There was no hurry or bustle this morning, just a task completed here and another one begun there with no sense of a clock ticking or a checklist to follow. Time was instead measured by new flowers opening, the sudden low buzz of a hummingbird passing, and the occasional visit from a fat bumblebee.

Queer things happen in the garden in May. Little faces forgotten appear, and plants thought to be dead suddenly wave a green hand to confound you. ~W. E. Johns

In just a few days, the woods have shifted from a misty breath of new growth that barely shaded the garden

to a lush green canopy that creates shadows and mystery in the late afternoon sun.

Horticulturally, the month of May is opening night, Homecoming, and Graduation Day all rolled into one. ~Tam Mossman

The garden beds are burgeoning with growth as new flowers emerge every day.The spring bulbs have finished for the season – one final blossom of the summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) lingers among the ferns. Allium and Camassia, the bulbs of May, come forward to have their say in shades of purple and blue while Lilac ‘Miss Kim’ is just starting to bloom. (Click on any photo to see the full size image)

The lovely Geum ‘Mai Tai’ – whose buds are as pretty as the flowers – blooms with abandon

while the hardy geraniums and woodland phlox bring a frothy grace to the garden beds.

The delicate yellow blooms of heirloom Iris germanica ‘Flavescens’ reign over the garden from their perch along the stone wall.

I discovered a native tree in the woods below the garden, blooming for the first time ever. Pennsylvania hawthorn (Crataegus pennsylvanica) is self-pollinating so its berries should feed the birds this fall. In the meantime, I am enjoying its white blossoms and graceful shape.

Last evening, Pixie and I sat in front of the yellow iris and listened to a wood thrush sing; it was the perfect end to a perfect day. Have a listen and enjoy the honey-sweet days of May. 

And a bird overhead sang follow, and a bird to the right sang here. And the arch of the leaves was hollow, and the meaning of May was clear.” ~ Algernon Charles Swinburne

This post is part of the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams. Visit her site to see what’s blooming around the world today.

24 thoughts on “Honey-sweet May

  1. A celebration, that’s what this is…from the flowers to the quotes to the text, and finally, the Wood thrush tops it off. My mother and I “discovered” that song one evening in New Jersey after we’d moved there from western NY. What a revelation that song was! I miss it. Your garden is another revelation, with so many graceful plants that work together to create a dignified, lush pleasure garden. Finding the hawthorn blooming in the woods must have been a thrill! Enjoy your garden days, Lynn!

  2. One of my favorite of your many masterpieces of image and text. I ‘m thinking of Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay.

  3. LOVE this post! Such a beautiful mix of well chosen quotes matched with perfect photos, your narrative and the wood thrush singing…not to mention Pixie’s profile against the ferns! A “honey-sweet May” indeed!

  4. Days like this are such gift. Pixie seems a perfect companion to greet the day among all all that beauty. And how I love that geum!

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful sights and sounds in your garden, Lynn!

    • Those days really are a gift, Kitty. Pixie is certainly my constant companion and she can’t wait to go out into the garden every morning – her enthusiasm lights up my days. So glad you stopped by, as always a pleasure 🙂

  5. Ah, the voice of the wood thrush is sublime! Last year we were fortunate to have a pair nest in the woods here, but that is a rarity. Mostly, they pass through on their way north.
    Your garden is looking lovely. This warm spell has sped up the canopy’s unfolding. The world has turned totally green!

    • I was so happy to hear it again; they started coming here a few years ago. There is nothing quite like their voice. The garden is on speed dial! I can literally see the changes within a few hours. My new motto every morning is “plants in the ground!” as I try to get everything out of pots and planted. Last year was stripping away all of the invasives, this year is putting everything back together again 🙂

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