May Garden in Bloom

    Good afternoon, my friends!
          A few days ago I showed you some of my garden inspiration from the Berkshire Botanical Garden, and this week I thought I'd share with you my own humble blooming space....and a look at how the garden chapel is coming along.

   A couple of weekends ago my husband and I worked on laying down the gravel path in front of the chapel and around the little herb beds we made after we dug out an old rock patio. At one point (about 60 years ago) this area was a pretty rock and mortar patio around the little shed, which started its life as a little girl's playhouse. With time, however, the mortar began to crack and we had a terrible time keeping the whole thing from getting covered with weeds and grass (we'd have to weed eat the patio!)

   So this past year my husband got the wild idea to dig up the whole darn thing and we've started over....using the rocks that had been the patio to edge new beds and create fresh garden space where it once was just baking rock. I'm looking forward to this not being such a scalding hot surface come summer, and I think the plants will like it!

  And just compare this chapel view to a couple of months ago and you can see, a lot has changed! Not the least of which are my two new David Austin Roses I'm keeping in terra cotta pots for the time being (Olivia Rose and Carding Mill). This week in particular things have finally started to get lush and bloom....I love it so much....it makes my heart so happy...




   The funny thing is, in the photo above, I couldnt figure out for a while what that mass of tall green plants were coming up in large clumps! But I left it alone because, well, it seemed so purposeful like it knew what it was doing and who was I to get in its way? I wondered, "What seeds did I plant there? Is it something left over from last year?" I thought it looked a bit like bee balm and googled it, and yep! That's what it is! I vaguely remember planting one unassuming little pot of it last year....and its gone crazy coming up all over this little corner bed, and Im really excited about it! My idea for this corner is that it is a wild mass of wildflowers and things for pollinators--- especially since I've discovered my neighbor keeps bees! They're gonna love that balm, dontcha think?



    It hasnt all been smooth garden sailing this spring....Im afraid we arent going to have much of a peach crop, if anything at all this year....we had a few days of really low temperatures and got well below freezing after the trees had already bloomed. I'd hoped that they'd bloomed and been pollinated in time, but....we'll be lucky if we get even a pie's worth of peaches this year, I'm afraid.

   And for some reason the Peonies....maybe because of those same cold snaps....they never made a single bud! My grandmother has a flower bed full of glorious peony bushes just ready to burst....she even called me yesterday to let me know some were opening up! But not my girls...they took this year off...


    I've been pouring over gardening books, specifically books about English style cottage gardens, especially English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners and Tasha Tudor's Garden. Both books are essential parts of my gardening book collection and offer me so much inspiration. And you know Tasha Tudor, in general, is always inspiring me...

    The roses have finally bloomed, and first to open was this gorgeous old fashioned rose, called Strawberry Hill, which is a David Austin rose. David Austin roses are english cottage roses that are specially bred so that they can do well in American climates. This beautiful rose with its amazing fruity scent is thriving out here on prairie, reaching up the trellis on the side of my studio. I like to look out my kitchen window and see the roses on that old brick, imagining its Jane Austen's cottage just across the yard. But...I'm like that, you know ;)

Anyhow, these days are filled with sun and flowers. Trying to enjoy it, because I know that harsh heat of the summer is coming and I struggle with it every year. But until then, give me roses! Always roses.....

~H