Edith here once again, on the fourth Wednesday in May, a lovely month in New England. It doesn’t snow – mostly – and finally warms up enough to let the flowers pop up and the leaves pop out. And the month also includes Mother’s Day, which traditionally is the weekend the lilacs bloom.
So let’s indulge in some pretty today. What are your favorite May (or spring, really) flowers, Wickeds? Pictures would be lovely, but we’re writers, so lovely word pictures are fine, too.
Jessie: As an avid gardener I love most flowers but in spring I have a special place in my heart for peonies and for bleeding hearts. Peonies come in so many varieties and often have an enchanting fragrance. Bleeding hearts have a quiet, fleeting charm and a whimsical quality I adore.
Julie: I’m a lilac gal. I love the scent, and the bursts of purple. Going to the Arnold Arboretum for a lilac walk is always a favorite spring past time!
Liz: I love lilacs too. And I used to have a bleeding heart bush at my old house – so pretty. I do love daffodils, though – so sunny and happy!
Barb: When I lived in the mid-Atlantic states, with their long, beautiful springs, I loved rhododendrons. Their deep colors and near-ubiquity meant spring to me. Since moving to New England, where spring is a day and a half between cold and rainy and ninety-eight degrees, I’ve switched my allegiance to hydrangeas. They bloom in the late spring and go all summer, and the colors are amazing.
Sherry: I confess I’m obsessed with the hydrangeas in my yard. Every spring I watch them anxiously for blooms. The past two years we’ve had a warm February followed by a cold (and last year snowy) spring. Last year I only had two or three blooms. This year they are somehow chock full.
Edith: Jessie, I love peonies, too. My plants have bunches of buds on them, and I can’t wait. We have lovely showy rhododendrons near the front door that are about to burst out, too.
And these gorgeous gold irises bloom at the end of my driveway.
Readers: Share your favorite May blooms!
My husband recently chopped out my lilac bush (it was in a bad location, so I forgave him) and I plan to replace it (in a more suitable location) ASAP. My other favorite is my honeysuckle, which is about to bloom any day now.
Too bad about the chopping! I love honeysuckle, too.
I am a peony girl. They’re ready to go along the side of my house. The Louisiana irises are already in full bloom. Beautiful photos!
What color are the Louisiana irises, Ramona?
They are dark purple, Edith. Really pretty next to pink peonies.
I love all the spring flowers and I miss the lilacs I had to leave behind when I moved. Lilacs always meant Memorial Day to me even though it’s really poppies for that Day.
I think of poppies blooming later, but I could be wrong. Lilacs are a treat, for sure.
I love all flowers! The colors and smells wake up something in me! Living in the desert when I was young, the mountains would be covered in poppies in the spring! My grandfather, who had a green thumb, had the most gorgeous roses. He could grow them anywhere!
The desert is stunning when it blooms, isn’t it? Which desert did you live in, Debbie?
I’ve got a gorgeous view of rhododendrons outside the dining room window where I work (currently in full bloom). But I think my absolute favorite spring flowers are tulips. So pretty and cheerful! Too bad the deer ate all mine, but I treated myself to a Mother’s Day bouquet of them.
Treats are a must!
For me, the great pleasure of spring is the procession of flowers, each in turn, starting with the crocuses, then the daffodils, on to the tulips. By May, it is time for the irises, the lilacs, and the peonies. My peonies are just about to open this week, and I can hardly wait. I am slowly adding more peonies to the yard every year. Barb, I love the hydrangeas, but an especially cold winter decimated mine two years ago and I haven’t started replanting yet.
My peonies are about to bloom, too! Love them.
Geez…all these peonie lovers. What about the ants?
That’s why I’m not a fan of peonies. I have one plant and the flowers are pretty, but really not worth the ants and messy petal drops.
Iris’s and tulips
I love every shade of iris!
Much of my property is heavily shaded, so either plants don’t grow at all, or they show up later than any of the neighbors’. The sole except is my lily of the valley, which has exploded and is taking over all available space. I don’t mind–they’re pretty and low-maintenance. And they’re poisonous, a fact that makes me smile each time I look at them.
I’m using that toxin in the very book I am currently writing!
I love forsythia because it’s one of the first signs of spring for me, besides the return of my favorite birds. And name any purple spring flower-I love it.
Ooh, the glorious cheerful forsythia! (We jokingly call it For Cynthia, and I just typed an N in the word…)
I love anything that blooms, even dandelions! But my favorite in spring are azaleas. They grow like crazy here in Lancaster, PA. I’ve planted several in different colors in different parts of my yard. I just wish the flowers lasted longer.
I am off to buy an azelea for my front garden right now. I tried last summer but I was too late!
Trying to pick a favorite flower is like trying to pick a favorite child! Don’t make me do it!
I love them all, and could never have just one choice. All of the above, but those gold iris are pretty spectacular.
Right now in my garden, peonies, iris, bleeding heart, chives, catmint, garden phlox, and cranesbill geraniums are vying for my love.
I agree, Karen. Do you put chive flowers in salads? So pretty – and edible!
Not usually. Neither of us really like them enough to eat them. I grow them because they’re pretty, and for the permaculture benefits.
The local fauna allow me to have daffodils, irises, day lilies, and the May apples that were already here. My favorite is the old-fashioned purple iris our principal rescued from the site of our to-be-built Henderson Jr. High. His wife nurtured them and when they turned our perfect jr. high into a high school, he gave us rhizomes to take a bit of our heritage home with us.
The invasive honeysuckle is also unstoppable; I alternate between admiring it and hating its destruction of other plants.
Invasives are tough when they’re pretty and smell good!
I also just planted some bee-friendly wildflower seeds the early childhood educators included in the thank-you gifts for presenters. Wishing them luck. <3
Loved this post! Thank all of you thank you thank. you Such a note of cheer and I spring flowers are my favorite. (We get too much shade to grow much of anything else) Bulb flowers are done and I suspect the rain has taken the last of lilacs, but a very old pink azalea in the back – here long before we were, and we’ve been here 38 years!- is doing its mad spring production number again. I’ll add a photo later if I can
Azaleas can be so cheery, Triss.
My youngest brother planted the bleeding hearts at the cemetery as our hearts still ache at the loss of Mom and Dad. I thought it was quite appropriate. He does such a good job getting the family plot ready for Memorial Day. Part of the ceremony takes places there to as there are several veterans in my family including 1 that had 2 Purple Hearts.
I’m not sure if they are May blooms, but I do enjoy impatiens, roses, and star jasmine. Of course, I’m allergic to flowers, so that keeps me admiring from a distance.
All flowers, Mark? How sad! My father had a lot of allergies, and I remember he called all flowers “geraina-daisies” – still makes me smile to think of it.
Mark, while not all flowers are on my allergy list, lilacs, rhododendron, azaleas cannot be far enough away ! Looking out from the windows they are lovely. Gerbera daisies and allium are my favorites…and the ones that I keep alive the best.
Irises are my favorite flowers. I kill everything I try to grow, so I have to enjoy them in others’ yards or purchased from the store.
That works, too, Jana!
My lilacs, peonies and irises are all starting to bloom, my azalea bush is full, the vinca that my husband planted a few weeks ago have one or two blooms on them. I’m sure I have other stuff on bloom around the yard, but I don’t know what they are.
My favorite Spring flowers are Tulips, Peonies and Lilacs. The Lilacs and Peonies are late this year, they are just getting ready to bloom.
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