May Garden Musings


I love spring anywhere,

but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.

Ruth Stout

On this wonderful May long-weekend, I find I must agree with Ruth Stout. This might be the loveliest time for our wilderness garden.

Guenette 2

I know that later in the summer it will be lusher, more crowded with colour and production. It will present itself as an overdressed grand lady who flouts herself to the world. But now, as spring reaches its zenith, the garden is a young slip of a girl dancing along the paths, her brightly patterned dress flashing colour as she races by.

Guenette 7 (1)

Everything is crystal clear and wonderfully set off against the background of the evergreens.

Red Rhodos @ the Lake

Guenette 7 (2)



The rhododendrons, lilacs and apple blossoms cause me to catch my breath with pure joy.




Apple Blossums - photo by Bruce Witzel

The erupting profusion of the Hostas make me think I might actually see them growing, if only I watched closely.

Guenette 8

A Japanese Maple showers a garden bed with blood-red leaves.

Guenette 3

Lest I seem to have fallen too far under the month of May’s spell, I offer you this poem I discovered this morning – point and counterpoint.


by Jonathan Galassi

The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,

takes on a used-up, feather-duster look

within a week.

The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign

sends red feelers out and up and down

to find the sun.

Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,

brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch

soft to the touch

and rank with interface of rut and rot.

The month after the month they say is cruel

is and is not.

(North Street & Other Poems, 2001, HarperCollins, NY.)

Witzel - Iris

10 comments on “May Garden Musings

  1. jackiemallon says:

    There’s definitely the feeling of imminent eruption…it’s all all about to go down! x

  2. evelynralph says:

    Lovely spring photographs. I love the flowers, pink hearts with drops. I have someaher, forgotten the bloomin name. Wish I couldpost my pictures properly on my wordpress blog. However, beautiful plants ready to burst into summer finery. Must be some camera?

  3. Gwen Stephens says:

    What gorgeous photos. I agree, there is nothing like the spring garden, especially after the brutal winters we endure in these parts. I planted my annuals over Mother’s Day weekend. So nice to look out my front window and see all that color.

    • All things seem possible in spring – that is really how I feel when walking in the garden these days. It is so green here all the time, I take that for granted, so I love to see the splotches of spring colour everywhere. When I recently travelled to Ottawa (in Central Canada) to visit my son, I was in struck by how brown everything was. The snow was gone but no new grass shoots, no leaves on the trees – everything was sort of a uniform dun-colour. When I got back to Vancouver, I thought – wow – never take green for granted. Hope you continue to enjoy those spring blossoms.

      • Gwen Stephens says:

        We go through that period between winter and spring here in Chicago, too. The snow is gone, but there is no color. April is the transitional month that gives us hope — the grass revives, buds appear, daffodils bloom. You’re lucky to live in a temperate climate where everything is always green. You’re right, never take it for granted!

  4. Love this time of year. The greens are so fresh and other colours seem so bright after the drabness of winter.

    • Certainly not drab here on the Wet – no, no, I mean West Coast of Canada. The weather is quite wet and wild today. So true, the greens are fresh and the colours are bright.

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