Middle of May day

Davidia involucrataI can hardly believe it’s mid May already and time once again for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Check out the gajillion comments on her bloom day post to see what’s blooming this very minute around the world. But before you go, here a few pics of some of what’s “on” at Blithewold: (click on images for a larger view)

It’s nowhere near Halloween but the Dove tree (Davidia involucrata) has been decorated in tissue ghosts. Its other common names are “Ghost tree” and “Handkerchief tree”- go figure…

The Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) is not to be outdone by the Dove.Halesia carolina

Father Hugo’s RoseFather Hugo (Rosa hugonis/R. xanthina f. hugonis) is sparked to be a fully lit candelabra.

Rhododendron catawbiense

I looked up for once as I walked the path to the summer house and spotted the Rosebay rhody (Rhododendron catawbiense) on fire too.

Calycanthus floridus - Carolina allspiceJuicyfruit anyone? The Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) is starting to bloom.

True or false? This is Speiranthes convallarioides or False Lily-of-the-valley. It’s evergreen, hardy to zone 5 and happily increasing in our dry shade bed (in a spot that gets some sun).Speirantha convallarioides (false lily-of-the-valley)

Lily-of-the-valleyThis is Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria). And that’s the truth.


Nearby, the Mayapples are blooming – you have to get down low to see the blossoms under the leafy umbrellas. Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum)


There are lots of sweet blooms in and around the Rock Garden: like Tulipa batalinii Tulipa batalinii

Fern-leaf corydalis (Corydalis cheilanthifolia)Corydalis cheilanthifolia

Tiarella ‘Mint Chocolate’Tiarella ‘Mint Chocolate’






Wild oat lily (Uvularia sessifolia)Uvularia sessifolia





A wild geranium that the volunteers refer to as “Herb Robert” (that might have to be the name of my next pet!)wild geranium

Hellebore and seedlingsThis Hellebore in the Rock Garden is about done blooming but look at all the seedlings! We think that this spring has been particularly outstanding for bloomeriferousness (yes, it is a word because my editor -that’s me!- says so). Our theory is that last summer’s drought must have stressed everything out so much they decided to put on a mad show of survival propagation this year. I think it’s kind of like when I neglect my African violets and just before they go limp they give up one last gasp of glorious blooms – which of course reminds me to pay attention again… Are you seeing more-more-more, bigger-better this spring too?

8 thoughts on “Middle of May day

  1. Our spring blooms are a bit behind in Utah, but not anything too unexpected – a few surprises, though. Love the Rosebay rhododendrons, I’ve never seen that color before!

    Muum, The Rosebay is our own native rhody – it’s a big beauty. I heard from a friend that Utah had snow as late as April – that would slow down the spring blooms I would think! -kris

  2. I have things blooming that have never bloomed before & things that hadn’t bloomed last year that are blooming this year again. I’ve never heard the common name “Wild Oat Lily.” I have Uvularia perfoliata, rather than U. sessile, but I think I need some of those & the Great Merrybells too.

    Mr.McG’s D, I think you would love the Rock Garden after seeing your gorgeous woodland garden! We have a lot of the same plants… -kris

  3. Does the Calycanthus really smell like Juicy Fruit? I love the Wild Oat Lily as it is unusual although ‘school bus yellow’ is not my favorite I think I could stand it in this flower. No blooms or buds on my Fr. Hugo but I just planted it last fall and the foliage looks good. The Davidia is a keeper isn’t it? I would be tempted to try it but it is a warm zone 6 plant isn’t it?

    Layanee, I think Juicy Fruit when I walk past the Calycanthus but it’s actually not throwing its scent around quite yet… And you’re right about the Davidia. We have it in a pretty protected spot on the edge of the front lawn – maybe you could tuck one in on the south side of your house… -kris

  4. You’re the second blogger who’s showed off a gorgeous tulipa batalinii… I am now certain that I must grow these next year! 🙂

    Layanee answered my question about the Juicy Fruit, and I see that you answered. You and she both seem to grow Fr. Hugo’s rose, too… is that as graceful as it seems in your picture? (Books like to only show the flowers, but I’m struck by the lovely foliage/branches I see on Fr. Hugo in your photo.)

    Kim, Tulipa batalinii are very sweet – a must. There may be other interpretations than juicyfruit gum for the Carolina allspice but I’m stuck with that one – that’s just how it is with scents! And stay tuned for a long shot of the Father Hugo’s rose – it’s an outstanding shrub. -kris

  5. l love spring.its bring so much beauty . talking about the bloggers bloom day l have just found out about it . will need to read more .

    Tina, follow the links to Carol’s bloom day post and there are 119 other blooming gardens to visit! -kris

  6. May must be another good time to visit Blithewold. Always something to see in bloom! Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

    Thank you, Carol for hosting bloom day! -kris

  7. I am in aww over the Dove Tree!! I have never seen anything like it! Do you know if I can grow that here in Florida? I would love to have one in my garden!! Have a great day!!

    LetsPlant, The Dove tree is super extra gorgeous — but it’s only hardy zone 6-8 according to the AHS A-Z. You might just have to visit it up here! -kris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *