May Blooms

I know the month of May is on its way out, but I don’t think it’s too late to post photos of what this month is usually known for. Flowers.

Here are different variety of peonies in our yard. Peonies are perennials, that means they come back every year. But after their flowers bloom, which in our area is usually in May, then they go into hibernation.

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I like peonies because their flowers are beautiful and large. They also produce a lot of blooms.

Some of the bushes are so burdened with their flowers that they bow so low with their flowers kissing the earth.

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Sadly to say these flowers last only 7 -10 days. Like everything else in this life, they are temporary and fleeting.

We’ll just enjoy their beauty before the flowers eventually fall to the ground. Until they come back again next year.

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(*photo credit: me; horticulturist: my wife)

 

May Flowers

You may have heard before, the saying “April showers, bring May flowers.” I can say that we did have a lot of April showers this year, and it even continued through May. But it surely brought in the flowers.

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Yet it take more than just April showers to grow these flowers. To this I add, the labor of a very competent and diligent gardener. Here is my wife weeding and preparing a patch of soil back in April.

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And here’s that same patch today.

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Here is the master gardener again, down on her knees at work. Of course I helped. Is taking photos counts?

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Look at the picture below. Can you spot the small rabbit? So even the bunny is admiring the flowers. Or maybe, the bunny is just eyeing what’s for breakfast, much to the dismay of my wife.

IMG_2907But as the month of May is about to end, these May flowers, especially the peonies, are drooping and about to bow out.

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So the master gardener, harvested them before they fade out completely into the summer’s night.

IMG_2915She placed them in a pitcher, so for a moment, we can admire them for a little longer. Here it is, her labor of love.

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Now that I have posted them here in my blog, they surely will last far beyond the month of May.

(*photos taken with an iPhone)

Tenacious Flowers

It’s May. And this month is known for flowers. Here are some that are found in and around our home.

There are flowers that are beautiful yet delicate, and we proudly display them for all to see.

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roses in the mantel shelf

There are flowers we have planted that we are excited to see as we wait for their yearly blooms.

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Alliums in our yard

Then there are flowers that are thought to be difficult to grow and bloom, as they need tender loving care.

orchid by the window

orchid by the window

But this time of year, there are also flowers in our yard that we neither like to display nor are we excited to see them bloom. In fact, we don’t want them to come out at all. They are not delicate, and in contrary they are tenacious and difficult to kill.

I am talking about these pesky dandelions.

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our front yard

Dandelions are considered weeds by most of us, and we hate to see them especially in our manicured lawns. Yet they thrive despite all the herbicides we use to try to eliminate them.

But do you know that there can be benefit of having dandelions in your yard? Really? Yes, really.

Dandelions can attract ladybugs who in turn can keep other pests population, like aphids, in check. Their long taproots can aerate the soil. They can also be eaten, as in salad, or drank, as in tea. Studies have shown that they are rich in vitamin B, C, D as well as iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Those chemicals I mentioned are not from the pesticides we spray them. Those are good elements.

Even though dandelions are mostly unwanted flowers, one can argue that they can be beautiful too. I remember when my daughter was still a little girl, she used to pick these yellow flowers and put them in a small cup and give it to her mom. Even a bouquet of “weed” flowers can be a precious gift.

But it’s not their natural beauty that necessarily inspires me. It is their tenacity. Their persistence. No matter how hard we try to squash them, poison them, suffocate them, kill them – they still find their way to live and grow year after year. Or at least in my yard.

If only we have the same tenacity for life as these lowly dandelions. No amount of opposition, challenges, and discouragement can tramp our will to survive and thrive. We will persist whatever the circumstances may be. A lesson we can learn from this oft maligned “pest.”

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our “dandelion garden”

I know I have already called the lawn “doctor” to get rid of them, but now I’m having second thoughts. Maybe I’ll be organic and let them grow. Maybe I can convince myself that I’m cultivating a dandelion garden. However they will spread rapidly and through their airborne seeds they can even spawn the nearby perfect lawns.

My neighbors will not be impressed.

(*photos taken with iPhone)