What’s in flower in May 2012?

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What’s in flower in May? May is the month of maybes. Consequently you just never know what to expect to be in bloom at this time of the year. It’s a month of rituals when weather forecasts are faithfully watched. As a result frost sensitive plants move from indoors to outdoors. Then back in again if there’s the slightest risk of frost!

Heavy rainfall and hail in April and into May along with temperatures around 50 °F haven’t helped either. In addition it’s been great for the weeds and I at least have a lovely green soggy lawn.

Come and let’s see what’s looking good at leavesnbloom on 15th May 2012…

What’s in flower in May

Mysotosis - Forget me not blooms for Garden bloggers bloom day

What’s in flower in May? – Mysotosis – Forget me nots

There’s a blue mist of Forget-me-nots as they sprawl along the edges of the lawn weaving their way through the wallflowers.

 Brunnera macrophylla  Looking Glass
What’s in flower in May?​ Brunnera macrophylla Looking Glass


There are more blue forget me not looking flowers from the Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ and  Brunnera ‘ Jack Frost’.  However it’s their 2nd flush of flowers. Unfortunately the first flush was badly damaged with the late snowfall and heavy frosts of early April.

The foliage plants in the background giving contrast to the blue flowers are Spiraea japonica Golden Princess™ Lisp and Berberis thunbergii Bagatelle.

Corydalis flexuosa China Blue
What’s in flower in May?Corydalis flexuosa China Blue



Then a little plant that rarely gets a mention on the blog is the scented Corydalis flexuosa ‘China Blue’. It blooms under a white Potentilla along the bamboo path in the shade. It has lovely china blue trumpet shaped flowers with delightful looking foliage that has tinges of bronze. I divided the plant last week and moved some to a sunnier location as direct light has the effect of giving the newly emerging leaves a pinkish hue.

What's in flower in May? Caltha palustris

By the wildife pond Caltha palustris  is in flower in the water while the chives growing in the gravel are just waiting for a sunny day to pop those buds.


Foliage Interest

While along the Heucheraholic path Heuchera ‘Curly Red’ is starting to turn  crimson and Santonlina ‘Lemon Fizz’ with its tiny leaves has turned golden and they both compliment the burgundy tulips that grow in that area.

Heuchera Curly Red​ ​with its rippled red leaves
Heuchera Curly Red​ ​with its rippled red leaves


What's in flower in May? - Laprocapnos spectabilis | Dicentra spectablis | Bleeding Heart
Laprocapnos spectabilis | Dicentra spectablis | Bleeding Heart


What's in flower in May? - Primula japonica Miller's Crimson
Candalabra primula ​flowers


Dicentra spectablis was a plant name that I grew up with and as a creature of habit I still struggle to call it  Laprocapnos spectabilis. The arching flowers are contrasted by the bright foliage from Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ and Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’ that grow alongside the plants.


More pink is appearing in the bog part of the garden as Primula japonica ‘Miller’s Crimson‘ is flowering. And you’ll notice the white in the background from the Winston Churchill scented daffodils.

Milium effusum 'Aureum' | Iris variegata | Bergenia

Milium effusum Aureum freely weaves it’s way through the Iris variegata. But it won’t be long before I’ll be rooting out the stray seedlings.

Finally here’s my Fothergilla gardenii x major ‘Blue Shadow’.

What's in flower in May? - Fothergilla gardenii x major Blue Shadow
Bottlebrush flowers

I just love this shrub with its white bottlebrush flowers and its amazing foliage colours in the autumn. Likewise it’s worth reading  ‘Dear Mr Fothergilla’ to see those glorious autumn colours.


Well I hope I’ve given you a little inspiration today for what looks good in the garden in May.

Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com

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