May in the Garden

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Even though summer is officially over a month away, the high temps and humidity here let us know that our summer has arrived.

The lovely Easter lilies are on their last bloom,

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and there have been sweet little bird nests built in surprising places.

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I had placed this colander over a tray of Amaryllis bulbs while working in the garden one day. The day before Easter I stepped outside and saw the lovely red blooms and lifted the colander to find this…

a very well constructed nest built by a hard-working wren couple, full of eggs with one baby already hatched!

The bluebirds have been busy, as well,

 building nests and taking care of their young.  I’m always impressed by the hard-working little birds and how well they work together to take care of their families.

I was surprised by this little one trying to hide under my husband’s lawnmower.

There are more Gulf fritillary butterflies arriving each day, and they love the lantana in the garden…

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as do the swallowtails.

The last of the mixed lettuces has bolted,

and the cherry tomatoes are producing.

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Fat pomegranate buds are bursting with promise once again…

though we’ve yet to see any fruit!

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Our sultry Mississippi mornings are now heavily scented with the fragrance of magnolia

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and mimosa.

The last of the huckleberries have been harvested and stored in the freezer,

and the last of the carrots were eagerly pulled and eaten by the grandchildren.

They are still fascinated by the fact that carrots actually grow in the ground.  How sad it is that many children are never taught how to garden or to even appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature.

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This year, I have planted a squash variety which is native to Mexico, “Tatume”, as it is supposed to be more resistant to wicked garden pests.  I’ve harvested two of the squash already and they are sweet and delicious, so I hope they will be able to thrive in the adverse conditions here.

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Not only do we live in the deep South, but we are very near an extremely large swamp which is a wildlife refuge area.  Apparently, part of that wildlife is every garden pest known to man…and they love my garden!

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The lovely cosmos, which is one of my favorite cottage style flowers,

and the golden roses are a delight to behold!

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There is a freshly picked tiny harvest for dinner tonight.

The green squash is the “Tatume” and the two yellow squash are from a volunteer plant.

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It was such a pleasant surprise to discover this summer squash plant thriving and producing.  I’m still harvesting a bit of kale, but the heat and bugs have just about destroyed it.

And, last, but certainly not least, my “Abraham Darby” rose is coming into its full glory…

This rose is not only beautiful but very fragrant!  It reminds me of the old-fashioned roses that my granny and mother grew when I was a child.

Simple Joys

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Soft morning sunlight

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and the first rose of Spring.

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Freshly potted herbs…

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and finding more ladybugs in the garden.  Hopefully, they will help get rid of the bad bugs there.

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A solitary blue pansy in a bed of mint,

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and more seeds to plant.

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Bluebirds

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(love my sweet little bluebird couple)

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and wildflowers to enjoy.

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A sweet garden whimsy made by a friend.

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Citrus blossoms

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and redbud trees.

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A mysterious moth

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and busy bees.

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I’m so thankful for the simple joys in life…for the beauty of creation, and for all the “wise and wonderful” things awaiting us if only we take the time to notice.

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And last of all, but by no means least, a small bunch of freshly picked lacinato kale to add to the bean soup that is simmering on the stove.

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 Simple and delicious!

Spring in the Southern Cottage Garden

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And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~

Spring has arrived early here in the Gulf South, filling my garden with renewed life and vigor.

The Eastern bluebirds have been searching for a place to nest, and are a delightful sight to behold with their bright blue feathers and rust colored breasts.

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The only other blue in my garden to rival the beauty of the bluebird’s plumage is the bloom of the borage plant.  This herb’s lovely flowers are the bluest of blue, and it just makes me happy every time I see it.

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Richly colored snapdragons add beauty to a bed of kale,

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and dewdrops glisten on the buds and blossoms of the saucer magnolia.

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This magnolia was a Valentine’s gift from my husband many years ago and is always the first to bloom each year.

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Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.

~ Margaret Elizabeth Sangster ~

There are petunias at the front door

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and in the back garden…

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while sweet little violas add beauty and color throughout the garden, as well.

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The sorbet variety with its rich, jewel toned colors is one of my favorites.

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The ‘salad’ containers of mixed lettuces and herbs are thriving,

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as well as the wheelbarrow planter,

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 and the azaleas have already started to bloom!

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The mustard greens are flourishing and I have been enjoying lots of lacinato kale which is in its second year.

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It has been so warm that the cape plumbago, which usually dies in the winter, is still alive and well.

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My garden is a haven which I enjoy for much of the year, and I agree wholeheartedly with the quote below from a well-known fellow gardener…

~ Ruth Stout ~