GBBD for May 2013

In this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (GBBD), we’re still waiting for hints of summer but despite the persisting cold, wet and windy conditions, there are several plants in the garden whose time is now to flower and so here are some of my favourite ones.

The Spirea x Arguta (Bridal Wreath, Foam of May) has burst into a brilliant mass of white flowers that are visible long after the sun has gone down. This shrub almost seems to fluoresce in the twilight. It’s one of my favourite shrubs and I’ve been waiting all year just to see it like this:

Spirea x Arguta (Bridal Wreath)

While most blossom trees are now fading or have already finished, ours is late flowering and has just gotten started. The delay is definitely worth it as the leafless tree becomes smothered in thousands of delicate pink flowers. It’s extra special as the blossom starts off almost white, then darkens through shades of pink as it ages. The flowers are double too and look like miniature ruffled pom-poms. Seeing this tree erupt into flower is incredibly heart-lifting.

Cherry Blossom 2013

Talking of hearts, the Dicentra (now reclassified to Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is in flower, with some of the more unusual flowers to be found on any temperate plant: hearts strung out on a line:

Lamprocapnos Spectabilis (Dicentra)

Finally we have the dainty, unusual and very beautiful Aquilegia of mixed singles, doubles and colours, planted in groups about the garden. They will last for a while and are an essential plant for any cottage garden (especially given its common name is “Granny’s bonnet”).


Some colours are out earlier than others. They’re so easy to do from seed, I can imagine having a few trays of these by the end of the season.

Other plants in flower at the moment include Lunaria Annua (Honesty), Clematis Montana Rubens, Choisya Ternata (mexican orange blossom), a long drift of wild garlic and of course, the Wisteria, which deserves a whole post dedicated just to itself.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month, giving gardeners around the world an opportunity to show what’s in flower in their part of the world.


    1. Hi Jason, thanks, I’m particularly happy with their display this year. The clumps are getting sizeable after a few years since planting.


  1. I love bleeding heart and columbine but have never heard the common name of Granny’s Bonnet. That must be English. My ‘granny’ would have needed a stiff drink if she thought she was going to have to wear a hat that looked like a columbine. 🙂 Your spirea and tree are fabulous. So exuberant!


    1. Hi Tammy, thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed them. They’re looking nice despite the cool and miserable weather we’ve been having (and that’s set to continue..grr)


  2. Spirea looking wonderful! Some of your stuff is in front of ours, despite that you got more snow than us earlier in the year! My dark pink flowering cherry is budding up but very late, and as it only lasts a week I may well miss it this year as we are off to Majorca on Saturday. Such a shame if I do as it is very old and about 30 feet tall now, and they do have a finite life. It came with the garden, so I hope every year! Our Californian lilac has, for the first time in eight years, suddenly performed exactly as it should, so that has been lovely. And I have lots of euphorbia (spurge) around the place – the small lime green ones are giving sploges of colour, and one of my favourite roses, (repeats all summer) Golden Showers is now budding up. Must take some pics in the next month.


    1. Hello Mrs Mac, thank you, I do love the Spirea, even though it looks boring for most of the year. Our tree came with the garden and it’s pretty large, I give it an annual trim and yet it can still dominate the garden. I’m watching our Ceanothus carefully this year as it’s looking OK, but I get the impression that it could suddenly turn brown and die the moment I have my back turned. I have a Graham Thomas rose (like Golden Showers) that is budding up along with the other roses in the garden. I can’t wait until they bloom in a month or two’s time!


  3. Absolutely beautiful…that is the bloomiest Spirea I’ve ever seen…it’s just COVERED in blooms!


    1. Hello Scott, thanks! I love it too, it’s such a shame that it doesn’t last long, even now the ground around is slowly being covered in tiny white petals from the thousands of flowers. I’m planning to grow a climber like summer flowering clematis through it to extend the interest.


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