The May Garden Means Bodacious Blooms, Tasty Greens And So Much More…

I really can’t figure out which is my favorite month of the garden.   I Iove April because of all the wonderful plant awakenings (beautiful foliage everywhere) and the TULIPS! But now that it is May, I love the BIG blooms of peonies and irises, the constant supply of greens and the happy promises of so much more to come…

I have a few Peonies (Paeonia) in my garden.  The two that bloom first are coral-colored.   I think the name of this one is ‘Coral Charm’ but the tag was not completely readable when I purchased it, so it is a bit of a guess. (Pretty sure I am right though.)




The big blooms are gorgeous although a bit fleeting.  However, this year it has produced well over 25 blooms and it was just planted four years ago!  A few of these are being cut to enjoy in the house, most definitely!

Here is a shot of the other coral peony.  It is called ‘Coral Sunset’ and is getting ready to bloom.  There are just two blooms, but it was only planted last fall, so pretty good…


Another boozy bloom that I enjoy in May is the bearded iris (I. germanica).  This deep purple iris occupies a few spots in my main perennial border. Unfortunately, I don’t know it’s name either.  It was a start from my Mom’s garden, but I love the deep, rich, purpley/blue color so that is enough for me. 🙂

May37 Last year I planted Salvia ‘Madeline’ behind the purple iris to  see what the effect would be.  I like it!


A full-sun shot of the main perennial border…darn that light is bright!

The greens have been fabulous this year as we have had a truly “moderate” Spring in our area.    Spring is a bit of a wild ride here in the Intermountain West  with temps all over the place, lots of wind and many years very little moisture.  Fortunately, all of those things have been downplayed this year and we’ve enjoyed rains and many days in the 60’s.

The greens have responded and there have been many leafy dinners over the last few weeks!  Here’s a few shots of what I’ve been growing and my family has been eating.


Flashy trout back lettuce – purchased as a small plant start and planted in early April.


‘Paris Island’ lettuce – purchased as a small plant start.


Rows of Hudson Valley Seed Library’s ‘Ultimate Salad Bowl’ – planted as seed in early April.


SeedBallz Lettuce (Red & Green) – planted in late March

I went a little crazy with greens this Spring since we are on our 6th night of ‘salad night’ at our house.  ‘Salad night’ means our main course is some type of salad that is considered a full meal – taco salad, caesar salad, chicken mediterranean salad, etc..  My family is a little over the fresh greens thing, so tonight we will just have a small side salad with a completely different entrée.  I don’t want to completely burn them out!

Here’s a few more fun shots of what is happening in the May garden and the promise of more nutritious food to come…


Deliciously fresh and fragrant self-seeded cilantro!



Apple trees look like they will be offering up a tasty crop!


Pretty Verbascum that does so well in the Boise Valley…


Many, many blooms on the Boysenberry!  Yum!

How about you?  What big blooms do you enjoy in May and are you stuffing home-grown greens in your body every day?  What sorts of promises is the garden making to you in May? 🙂






16 thoughts on “The May Garden Means Bodacious Blooms, Tasty Greens And So Much More…

  1. Your iris is wonderful Andrea, and the planting with Salvia behind it was a good idea – love the effect! My first salad leaves are ready for picking now, so it will be our turn to eat greens all week! I have sown some more at different stages, but it is always a race against the caterpillars that inevitably appear around June/July! My white peonies will also open in the next few days and I love their huge blossoms and fragrance that fills the garden. 😀

    1. Hi Cathy! Be sure to post pic of your white peonies! You know one thing I use to keep caterpillars of my kale is row cover material. I grow kale and broccoli under the white row cover so that caterpillars don’t get to them. Maybe there are different types (of caterpillars) in your area so it wouldn’t work but it works well for me and keeps the lettuce more “hydrated” since I live in a dry climate. Rain gets through the row cover material. Have a great week of eating!

  2. You’re so right, Andrea, it is difficult to choose a favorite month right now. I know my least favorite is August, when our garden just looks exhausted! I’m enjoying our peonies, iris, Jupiter’s beard, clematis, mountain bluet, and dame’s rocket. With the foxtail lilies on the verge of blooming along with poppies, I think next week will be my next favorite time of year! Great post, your garden is looking fabulous!

  3. Diana Berardino

    Andrea, My name is Diana and I’ve just started receiving your blog. I am pea green with ENVY! I live in a NYC high rise. Consequently my garden is limited to my 2 window sills for my tomato eggplant plants. Your espaliered apple trees are “to die for.” How old are they? Did someone help you get them started, or did you just do it yourself? Your photos are lovely! I look forward to seeing the progression of your garden over the summer. Thanks for sharing.

  4. So much to like in this post Andrea! The coral peony are so pretty, and I really don’t see that color peony very often (can’t say I’ve ever seen it, actually!). Your iris are lovely, too. Lucky for you that the family will eat the lettuce greens! I’m not so lucky with that. But at least they did eat and enjoy the asparagus this spring. I have to take what I can get! Just the other day I was trying to figure out which month I liked best for gardening. I still don’t have an answer as there is always something to like! 🙂 Dana

  5. Beautiful blooms. I really love the iris and salvia color echo. That is just brilliant. Your lettuce looks delicious. The verbascums are amazing. I have them too and they really make me happy when they’re blooming away.

  6. I can certainly see when you would love the month of May in your garden…it is lovely. In both my Maine and New Hampshire gardens I would say it is probably June as everything starts to bloom later here.

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