May

This month gets my gardening engine revving up. The weather is warm enough to be outside, it rains frequently and keeps the plants watered, and everything is green and colorful.

I picked the last of the daffodills yesterday and have been enjoying them inside.

They smell wonderful, and I’m certainly encouraged to plant more this fall.

I can’t grow tulips because the squirrels and chipmunks eat them like snack food so I’ve learned to embrace the color yellow.

The grapes, asparagus, potatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, peas, and chard have all been planted.

Our last frost date this year is supposedly May 15. That is a couple of weeks earlier than usual, and some of our growing zones have changed around here. The neighboring town of Portsmouth has actually moved from Zone 5b to Zone 6.

I played it careful though and put large plastic juice bottles with the bottoms cut out and the tops off over the tender plants for a few days.

My friend, Sue, and I spent a busy morning Friday working at the County Nursing Home garden. This is one corner of the garden.

We divided perennials, planted some additional ones, weeded, and planted containers and window boxes.

Our highlight of the morning? A resident watched us for quite a while from the window and gave us a big wave. That one wave made all the loading, unloading, and hard work worth it.

I hope all the Mothers and those that mother had a wonderful Mother’s Day and had an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

We enjoyed some delicious whoopie pies made by the younger generation using the recipe of the older generation. Great grandma Sweet would be proud.

Some holidays have deeper meanings than others. Mother’s and Father’s Days provide a time for reflection. There are thoughts of first steps, first day of school, learning to ride a bicycle, dance classes, swim lessons, sporting events, weddings, and those much anticipated and beloved grandchildren. Good times, good memories.

Take care this week, and have a good one whether you’re relaxing or working inside or out.

Life is short and gets shorter with each year or so it seems. Stop to smell the roses or in this case check out the Bleeding Hearts. Happy Monday, friends.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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58 Responses to May

  1. Awww, I miss my bleeding hearts. I had them at my last house Beautiful in the spring. Then they die down and there isn’t any real sign of them.

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  2. Boy oh boy do those whoopie pies look good! I could have one right now. The younger generation did a great job. Wonderful work you are doing. And that bunny among the bleeding hearts is so cute. Garden on!

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  3. Joyce says:

    What a sweet bunny basking in the beauty of the Bleeding Hearts!
    Gardening employs so many functions of the intellect….art, science, culinary skill….and in your case, generosity of time and talent. I imagine that resident at the nursing home relived, for a brief moment, her own joy at nurturing in the dirt in past years. Your flower photos often bring me back to grandma’s yard, resplendent in the same way. She successfully grew the Bleeding Hearts, too. It seems there is a story attached to that plant, but I can’t recall it. Was it similar to the one named “Crown of thorns” ?
    In our case, it was deer who munched the tulips we were looking forward to enjoying this spring!

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    • Well, now I’ll need to do a little research on the Bleeding Hearts. A long time ago, when I attended grade school in my little blue jumper, white blouse, and red tie, one of my classmates would bring bouquets of them to the Sisters of St. Joseph nuns that taught us. I always thought they were so spectacular and wanted to have them in a garden. I just love them. Deer, squirrels, chipmunks – tulips must really taste yummy to them. At least the critters leave your window boxes alone.

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  4. Happy spring! The daffodils always brighten the heart.

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  5. Dan Antion says:

    Your gardens are looking good, Judy. You do good work and I’m happy to hear that the residents of the nursing home appreciate it.

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  6. The gardens look wonderful! I’ve only seen Bleeding Hearts in a nursery! I think they’re lovely.
    My spring was made much happier when our new tree out front began to bud and bloom! WOOT! It didn’t die over the winter! I’ve been doing a happy dance over that for 4 days now.

    Happy Spring, Judy! 😀💕🌺

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  7. Murphy's Law says:

    LOVE your bleeding heart and the bunny yard ornament. My bleeding heart is looking fantastic, but is jealous yours has its own bunny to talk to.

    I agree, the wave from the nursing home resident was worth more than gold! The little duck in one of the planters is adorable!

    Those Whoopie Pies look perfect. One of those would be a meal for me! 🤗

    Keep up the good work my friend. I could sit looking at pictures or your gardens all day.
    Ginger

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  8. What a wonderful thing you are doing making a garden beautiful at a care facility. I am so happy you got positive feedback with that wave from a resident. My friends who live in an assisted living building enjoy their outdoor walks in the gardens around the property. One was an avid gardener and can’t any longer, but still enjoys the spring flowers and her walk around the property.

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  9. Your daffodils light up the room, but the bleeding hearts are my favorites. Spring is quite welcome, isn’t it?

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  10. Oddment says:

    What a lovely post! Daffodils and whoopie pies? Family recipes, bouquets for the sisters, and waves from the nursing home? Mothering and grandmothering? What’s not to feel good about? Thanks for the uplift!

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  11. I happen to love yellow so that’s not a problem for me, but I am able to grow tulips thankfully. Mmmm those whoopie pies are making me drool. I was treated to homemade strawberry pie by my mother in law for Mother’s Day and it was good, but chocolate always wins with me. Our spring has exceptionally cooler than normal here. I’m in zone 6B but there is talk of a possible frost again this weekend not far from me… too close for me! My plants are all still safely in my greenhouse. At this rate, it’ll be June before they come out for their summer vacation! Our normal last frost date is April 18th. Love your bleeding hearts… Happy Mother’s Day a day late.

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    • Homemade strawberry pie sounds pretty tasty too. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that the frost does not arrive, but a greenhouse will certainly keep them safe and sound. I’ve got plants on the porch, in the garage, and in the shed. They’re everywhere. Thank you for the greeting, it’s appreciated regardless of one day after.

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  12. You must be getting all the rain that keeps missing us. It goes out to sea then doubles back slightly north of Massachusetts. We’ve been having warm (ish) days, but chilly nights with frost warning. We are still trying to plant a new garden out back. I think we’ve given up on the front garden. I can’t get my balance there and Owen says he can’t either. We didn’t set it up properly in the first place and 20 years later, it’s unstable. So we prune the bushes on alternate years. The roses keep coming up, the day lilies are immortal, and we have a lot of columbine, a couple of tulips, and a bunch of wild strawberries. Maybe the bind weed will go away this year. I hate that stuff!

    We are looking for perennials that skunks don’t like — so NOT bulbs — and which the deer won’t ravage. Rhizomes seem to be the way to go, but if you have any suggestions, let me know, please.

    Meanwhile, good to have you back in your garden. It suits you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello to south of the NH border. We are actually clawing our way out of drought, but we seem to always need more. I don’t have bindweed as of this moment, but I sure have plenty of the dreaded Japanese Knotweed along the edges of the lawn where it goes into woods/wetlands area. I won’t live long enough to get rid of mine, but I do what I can each year. Have you ever seen Walker’s Low Catmint? It has beautiful blue blossoms that the bees just love, and it has a faint smell that the deer and other animals do not like. It is low and can go in the front of a bed, and the animals usually stay out of that bed because of the fragrance of it. Once it blooms it can be cut back, and it will bloom again. It doesn’t spread, but the original plant just gets bigger which can then be divided. I have eight plants along the edge of beds near the driveway, so I cut them back to the ground in the fall because of snow removal, and they come back every year in the spring. No one bothers my sedums, heuchera, penstemon, cranesbill geranium, peonies, or phlox for a few.

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  13. Eliza Waters says:

    CC is definitely evident to us gardeners. Growing up, we didn’t plant before Memorial Day, not any more! I think our last frost was April 24. Still not warm enough for annuals, but I bet by next week, we’ll be able to plant them as most nights will be above 50.
    I love the bunny and bleeding heart – so pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed a blossom on a tomato plant on my porch yesterday. After a really good laugh, I planted it outside but covered it with a tall clear plastic pop up greenhouse cover. I worked at the nursing home last week, and took a bleeding heart out to plant. I had seen a huge one at another area and went to look at it thinking maybe I’d move it too only to find the maintenance folks had used a weed trimmer on it. It about broke my heart, but I’ll keep my eye on it, and if it looks like it will survive, I’ll dig it up. 🙂

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  14. Makes me happy to read this, Judy. I’m reading a book that you might enjoy although it doesn’t directly have to do with gardens. But it does have a lot to say about milkweed, native plants, and of course, butterflies. It’s “Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration”, by Sara Dykman.

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  15. Your garden looks good, as do the whoopee pies. My gardening engine is stalling a bit because it is so dang cold. 50 degrees today and that is an improvement on recent weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re fighting wind about five out of six days which makes gardening a little more challenging, moisture is a real problem, and it sure tires you out. 🙂 Tomorrow we’re going to the nursing home to divide some Iris and Day Lilies that are so root bound, it is amazing.

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  16. The nursing home garden, that is.

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  17. Back when I was working, there was an annual fundraiser in the spring. All who contributed received a small bouquet of daffodils, which I duly brought home. I hadn’t thought about that for quite some time until I saw yours in this post. They really are beautiful; a most underrated flower. – Marty

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    • You brought up an interesting point, but of course you always do. 🙂 Tulips steal the spring show with their vibrant colors, but Daffodils really are beautiful and smell good too. Hope you and Gorgeous are both well and enjoying spring weather.

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  18. germac4 says:

    Looking after the nursing home gardens is such a wonderful thing to …as I think I mentioned before, my mother had a row of colourful pansies outside her door when she was in a nursing home, and it was the joy of the day for her to see them.
    Happy spring gardening Judy! 😁🌞

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  19. Nancy says:

    I agree, Life is short… we have to spend each day like it’s our last. Even if we are working hard in our gardens or someone else’s… we are enjoying what we love.
    I enjoyed your bleeding hearts and how about those Whoopie Pies! Yum!
    Happy Tuesday!

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  20. bikerchick57 says:

    I will forever be in Zone 4, Judy. That means that although I tend to buy patio flowers around mid May (my project for today), I have to watch overnight temps until the end of the month. It’s a dance because if one waits until Memorial Day to buy flowers and plants, you may not get what you want.

    Very cool that you got a wave from one of the residents. It probably means the world to them, so thank you for your kindness and volunteerism. 🙂

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  21. pbmgarden says:

    Oh, I’m sure the residents of the nursing home are buoyed by the work you and your friend do to make their grounds look welcoming and it’s obvious your get pleasure from it also. The daffodils are bright and cheerful. I haven’t been able to keep Bleeding Heart happy in my garden but yours is so gorgeous I’m inspired to try it again. Have a great week.

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  22. Ally Bean says:

    Slow down and enjoy. Yes, yes. I like reading about your adventures in gardening– and the wave from a resident is priceless. A perfect reward for your efforts. As are whoopee pies.

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  23. Your contribution to the garden at the aged care home must give great joy to the residents, Judy. Something to be proud of.

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  24. pastpeter says:

    This another of you classic blogs, Judy, full of work, kindness, observation, and wisdom – which is why we follow you! Enjoy the warmth, keep with the water needs, and take care you back! After chilly weeks are now sunny 70s, and today started my sprinkler to care for the new annuals. Good times for gardeners.! Thanks for what you do for nursing home residents! My bleeding heart almost disappeared, but I think I can resuscitate what remains. Blessings on all your labors! You personify what I loved about New Hampshire.

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  25. pastpeter says:

    Forgive the poor syntax – WordPress is playing up on me and I can’t see what I am. Typing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand totally, and I fixed it. 🙂 I was just trying to post on Instagram, and it kept changing the word I was typing. It’s not like we need that kind of ‘help’ as we mature because first you have to catch it and then most times you have to retype it two or three times for it to stay. 🙂

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  26. Susanne says:

    Oh that corner of the garden looks like it will be really nice when the plants grow and bloom. How wonderful to do something like that for a nursing home!
    Now you’ve reminded me that I should go out weeding because this is the first day in several weeks that we have no strong winds!
    I absolutely LOVE bleeding hearts! They are such lovely plants.

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    • Yes, the garden is looking pretty good, and we need to add mulch now. We have one issue to address and that is rampant Lily of the Valley. We decided to let them bloom and then do some rearranging. Looking at Bleeding Hearts is certainly more fun than weeding, but garden maintenance always makes for a better looking garden. Happy gardening, and thanks for stopping.

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  27. Karen says:

    Until this post, I never realized that the last frost date changed from year to year. In Maine, our date was from May 11 – 20 but I never planted anything in our vegetable garden until Memorial Day weekend.

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