Good Morning May

All hail, the happy month of May!

The month of joyous excess!

The month of fully filled out Fairegardens!

Flowers, foliage and fun abound!

Let the bells ring out in celebration!

Let the pompoms shake in gladness!

Rah rah, sis boom bah,

All along the garden walls!

We have been waiting for you!

The cause for celebration, in addition to the entrance of the riotous blooms of mid-spring, is the happiness of vole free plantings along the lower deck wall. Last fall the decision was made to wage all out, no holds barred war against the vole kingdom that lived within the concrete confines of the long narrow bed. All of the soil was removed, wire hardware cloth was laid, coarse gravel next, then the soil was replaced. Bulbs were planted, Allium karataviense, perhaps 10, the leftovers from middle terrace plantings, 100 Allium bulgaricum and 50 Fritillaria pontica, overlayed with golden Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’. A post was written about the process that can be seen by clicking here-How To Stop The Voles-The Wall Project. The barrier seems to have worked, there are no holes or missing bulbs. Whether these bulbs will return remains to be seen, but the Scotch Moss looks healthy and has filled in nicely. In the bed formerly known as the heather bed in the space just above the wall, orange Papaver orientale have seeded about with this year being the best flower showing ever. Pink Digitalis purpurea adds to the festive feel, as does the stick wielding LTB, offspring of offspring Semi.


This entry was posted in Projects, Seasonal Chores. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Good Morning May

  1. Eileen says:

    Your garden is certainly filled out and beautiful. We are still a couple of weeks behind last year and I have to restrain myself in regard to putting out any tender plants.


    Thanks Eileen. I am glad to hear you are getting there as far as spring is concerned. It is best to wait with those tender plants, though nice days can make that difficult to carry out. We do the same thing in early April when it can be very warm but there is still a frost danger.

  2. Carol says:

    That is cause for celebration. And what a cute little guy to help you in your garden!

    Thanks Carol. The month of May is sort of a dream come true, eh? 🙂

  3. Your favourite month!

    I love the allium bulgaricum. I’m growing them for the first time this year.

    May the voles remain thwarted!!!

    Thanks Rob. You are going to be besotted with the A. bulgaricum. I have planted them one or two in a spot before, but 100 makes quite the statement. I cannot get a good photo with the Japanese painted fern as the background, but the wall is astonishing in real life. Semi gasped when she saw it. The voles are still all over my garden, but not in that bed. I am eyeing another spot to dig up and treat with the hardware cloth barrier.

  4. Layanee says:

    Ahhhh, May is a month of joy in the garden but here fullness will have to wait until June. Love your full gardens and the last shot is one of the best blooms I have seen anywhere. Where do I get one of those?

    Thanks Layanee. He is a blooming flower in my garden. I believe you have a smaller one, yourself, female version. So fun to have them in our gardens. We teach them and they teach us. 🙂

  5. Adore the sis boom bah and the sweet waiting for you at the end. I have a question. Do you purple alliums return? Mine don’t. If so, is it drainage? Maybe mine aren’t drained well enough. The white ones (which I don’t love of course) do come back.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. He is mighty sweet, I agree! The purple alliums sometimes are shy about returning, but I have found that they need a couple of years to rebuild the bulb. A good baking will help that process, too much summer moisture seems to delay it. We usually don’t have that problem, but planting in a sunny, well drained site will help.

  6. Marguerite says:

    Fantastic to hear that your vole free project has worked. I’m just learning about the terrors of voles and how to try and put barriers in their way. Looked at your project with interest and will keep it in mind as I begin new projects in the yard.

    Thanks Marguerite. I hate to count my chickens, so to speak, but so far the wire has worked. Whether these bulbs will return is a whole other ball of wax, but it won’t be because of vole damage if they do not. Good luck with your projects and buy stock in hardware cloth. HA

  7. Leslie says:

    Wow! I’m new here- thanks for the wonderful photography!! Well done! My son spent yesterday “chopping” the dandelions down with a stick- when I asked, he said he was being “curative” (creative- anything not involving the television!) Indeed. So much fun watching him discover the outdoors…

    HI Leslie, thanks and welcome! It is gratifying to watch the young ones in the garden, they do love sticks. And rocks. Being there to teach subtle lessons about nature that will last a lifetime makes for a happy childhood and parent/grandparent relationship.

  8. Darla says:

    You have a lot to be happy about!! Your gardens are beautiful as usual and that handsome young man is growing so fast.

    Thanks Darla, we most certainly have so much to be happy about and ever so grateful for. LTB is growing by leaps and bounds!

  9. commonweeder says:

    Those beautiful poppies reminded me of poppy season at Cindy’s corner of Katy when we visited in March. And those alliums! Delicious.

    Hi Pat, thanks. I have seen photos of Cindy’s poppies, they are magnificent. These perennial types have never looked better. The alliums, too.

  10. TufaGirl says:

    Beautiful. It looks like all your hard work really paid off in great colors.

    Thanks Tufagirl. So far, so good. There is another walled bed that might get the same treatment this summer.

  11. Ibrahim says:

    Great job Frances as usual . Good luck with the second bed .

    Thanks Ibrahim. I need to buy more hardware cloth and gravel. And bulbs.

  12. Holley says:


    Thanks Holley.

  13. Glad you beat the voles! They are creating havoc in my garden, so I’m starting a repellent defense today. A natural concoction that my husband picked up today. I have too much garden to dig up the whole thing, but your idea of a bulb bed, properly defended by wire cloth and gravel, is a good one. I actually dug up bluebells yesterday and just threw them away as the voles were tunneling under everything else to get to the bulbs.

    Thanks Cameron. I have the voles everywhere, too, but cannot do this treatment all over, same as you. The walls seem the worst place for the tunnels, so those will be my focus. I consider this a success, but am not sure it is sunny enough for those bulbs to return each year. I don’t mind adding more each fall, might even put tulips in and consider them annuals. Fun!

  14. joey says:

    Flowers, foliage and fun abound, indeed, dear Frances. Love, love the poppies but the best flower blooming … “offspring of offspring Semi’.

    Thank you dear Joey. I know you appreciate offspring of offspring, too!

  15. gail says:

    It’s absolutely stunning Frances~Your vision and hard work have added up to delight! xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. We shall see how it looks after the alliums are gone by. There are bits of astilbe in there that must have been left in the soil when it was removed. They might be just the thing to carry this bed the rest of the season.

  16. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What joy your garden has wrought. Divine I say. That little Offspring of your Offspring is growing like a….

    Thanks, Lisa. The garden is joyful to me, and to the family when they visit. Little LTB is going to have to be renamed Big LTB!

  17. carolyn says:

    ” All things are possible in May ! ” Great post, Frances. As a MaY Day Gal I’m partial to the the month myself, althought I’m a bit disappointed that April and May in Chicago has been on the cold side. On the other hand what happened in Alabama and other SOuthern states leaves me heartsick.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden. It sure cheers me up!

    Happy birthday, belated, Carolyn Gail! The storms were awful and scary. We were lucky here, but there is death and destruction across a wide path nearby. May your spring warm up and flowers burst forth!

  18. Lola says:

    That was a lot of hard work but one can see it worked. Beautiful garden as usual.
    Love that last pic of your helper. He sure is growing & becoming quite a handsome young man.

    Thanks Lola. My husband had to help me on that project, the shoveling of the soil and lifting the bags of gravel was beyond my strength. LTB is growing so fast, he will be helping me with the heavy lifting soon!

  19. Rose says:

    Beautiful images, Frances! All these lovely blooms are certainly cause for celebration. I can see that LTB must have led the marching band along the pathway:)
    Glad to know all your hard work in preventing voles was successful!

    Thanks Rose. He was marching all over the place, it was hard for me to keep up with him! So far, the voles have been stymied in that one bed. Of course they are in every other area of the garden.

  20. Semi says:

    Everything is so beautiful. Especially the foxgloves and poppies as you walk out onto to patio. I love the picture of LTB!! He looks so big! Love you

    Thanks Semi. I am glad you got to see it in person, photos never do the garden justice, or LTB, either. He is growing by leaps and bounds, all legs.

  21. Deb says:

    Love your idea of planting vole deterrents and have been thinking of alliums. Have a chance to buy some rare Yorktown Onions at a plant sale today but reading posts online some folks have had their alliums predated by voles despite common wisdom. What has been your experience?

    Thanks Deb. I have heard of those onions but know little about vole damage to them. Our voles avoid alliums, preferring daylilies and hostas and just about everything else.

Comments are closed.