My Blog Journal


My Cottage Garden in Early May

After two straight weeks of rain, my garden is beginning to resemble a miniature jungle of catmint, hostas, and coneflower foliage!

I have been outside nearly every day, even in the rain, snapping photos of my plants. In spring, the flower palette changes so rapidly ~ from early bulbs and annuals, to early blooming perennials ~ that if you skip a couple of days, you will miss something!

My pink flowering almond shrub was blooming on April 17th. It suffered some damage during the blizzard; a few branches were broken, and others simply didn’t bud, so I pruned it back to these healthy branches. It is a fleeting display but very pretty.

My paperwhite zivas bloomed in mid April for a brief time.

The ground was covered in a pink carpet of creeping phlox for three weeks.


The armeria (Ballerina Lilac) filling out a bit more since my last gardening post. I really like these miniature puff balls! They echo the larger puffs of alliums, which are blooming too!


Here is another look at the armeria, with alliums and bearded irises.

Speaking of irises…

My husband is always bringing home orphan plants for me, usually with no clue what he is getting. Last summer, he purchased several pots of clearance bulbs (marked 50ยข each), with just a few scraggly iris leaves poking out of the dirt. There were no tags or any indications of what type of iris bulbs were in the pots, so we planted them blindly in my side bed. This spring, the leaves returned, and I waited anxiously to see what these mystery irises would look like! LOL

We wound up getting two varieties of bearded irises. The first blooms around April 21st were these gorgeous purple & apricot color…



One additional shot of the irises, with a complimentary cat included! Merlin loves bird watching in the garden. ;)

The other irises bloomed a bit later, around May 2nd, and were yellow.

They remind me of daffodils, and look especially nice rising from clouds of catmint.


Another surprise plant was this purple clematis. We had no inkling what color blooms the poor struggling vine would have, or if it would even survive, when Joe brought it home in its clearance pot. It had been neglected at the Walmart garden center.

For now, its tendrils are entwining the metal edging fence that we installed as a place-holder, until I can afford to replace it with an actual picket fence and arbor (like this one!).
Eventually, I want to plant climbing roses to trail over the fence. :)

The bleeding heart beast is growing enormous, as usual, and all of her offshoots that I transplanted last month have survived as well (through cold nights and rainy days). Here is the mother plant as she appears today ~ and she will continue to grow!

Several of her beastlings are blooming, too.




I moved a couple to the backyard, where all my excess plants will go until I have no more room! Friends, get ready… I will probably be potting up bleeding hearts in the next year or two to give away!

The divided half that we planted two years ago is now fairly large, and branches hang gracefully over Joe’s water fountain.

My front yard is small (only 20’x22′ including the sidewalk), and it is still early in the season. I spend an hour every day sitting on the ground, with a zoom lens on my camera, to catch the changing details. In the next couple of months, as the taller flowers fill in, it will indeed look like a jungle! ;)

cottage garden early spring

The view from my front door.

In other exciting news, two bird families have built nests in our garden. One moved into a wooden birdhouse that Joe built and installed near our kitchen window. We have been watching him bringing supplies for the nest while we wash dishes. :)

The other bird built a nest under the eaves of our wishing well. I’m a bit concerned about the safety of this nest, if they choose to inhabit it, because cats like perching on the well.

I will wrap up this post with one last picture of another creature visiting the garden.

I usually am not fond of seeing squirrels, because they like to dig up my bulbs and steal my seeds. This fellow looks so cute and innocent, though, doesn’t he? Haha! :P


You may notice that I’ve started adding watermarks to *all* my photos. I apologize if it seems intrusive. I am still developing a subtle way to sign my work, as my images tend to float around the internet and occasionally “get lost”.

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady ... who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair. Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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  •    Reply
    Robert Earickson May 10, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Okay…your botanical garden outstrips ours. It takes a lot of plants to fill our space however. If I live long enough, I will be able to match you. But, don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider it a competition. :)

    •    Reply

      Haha! If you had a packet each of catmint and coneflower seeds, you will fill your garden quickly, too! Your plants are probably better behaved than mine. ;)

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