End of Month View: May

May has been the month of the tulips and rhododendrons here in Aberdeen.

Some tulips were at their best earlier in the month – these were photographed on 11th May.

I planted a few species tulips last year in the hope of them naturalising and flowering every year.  Without doubt the best ones were the early Tulipa slyvestris that flowered in April, but I have been pleased with the others too.  I read, a bit late, that some of them self seed – I guess I shouldn’t have dead headed them then?

So moving on to the end of May, there are still some late tulips flowering and a lot more besides.

This is the back garden taken from an upstairs window It shows the main south facing herbaceous border with the bench and ‘romantic bed’ near the middle.

Back garden showing herbaceous border

Back garden showing herbaceous border

The top end of the border is still not flowering, but I am quite happy with the central part. The Clematis montana is at its best, although the chamomile path is still rather patchy.

Romantic bed

Romantic bed

Right of Romantic bed

Right of Romantic bed

The Cotinus is just coming into leaf with a purple Iris siberica in front. I am not sure the colours really go though.

iris sibirica

Iris sibirica

I have also grown Camassia for the first time. It has done well.



Further down the shadier part of the border is looking quite colourful.

Bottom border

Bottom border: Azalea ‘Johanna’, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

Moving back up to the rockery area, the rhododendrons have been magnificent.

Patio and rockery

Patio and rockery – there is stuff growing in the bare earth, but not really got going yet!

Tulip 'La Courtine' with Photinia 'Red Robin'

Tulip ‘La Courtine’ ,with Photinia ‘Red Robin’,  – a magnificent tulip which has flowered a second time. It is tall, but strong and a beautiful shape and colour.

Red unknown Rhododron and yellow Azalea Luteum

Red unknown Rhododrons and yellow Azalea luteum – looking right from back door.

Rhododendron 'Golden Torch'

Rhododendron ‘Golden Torch’ in bed at top of patio.

Last but not least the Euphorbia ‘Fireglow’, down by the garage, has been a good as ever this year. I have taken bits of it and planted around the garden to see how they do in more difficult positions.  They are all doing well so far.

Euphorbia 'Fireglow'

Euphorbia ‘Fireglow’

The garden is quite colourful at this time of the year and should get better as more of the herbaceous perennials come out. Next month we should see the poppies, lupins, delphiniums, geraniums and roses. With luck the weather will improve so we can enjoy the garden at its best.

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month Views.  Why not pop along and see what everyone else’s garden is doing this month?




34 thoughts on “End of Month View: May

    • That clematis is so easy to grow – a bit too easy as I have to cut it back a lot every year, but easy to do. It is certainly worth having and I would love a white one too.

  1. Annette you have a nice lot of colour in your garden, I like your patio garden, I don’t think I have seen a long view of it before, the Tulip ‘La Courtine’ ,with Photinia ‘Red Robin is a beautiful combination, a camomile path (and lawn) is lovely, I planted a camomile and thyme path in my front garden but when I was working and couldn’t spend much time in the garden the tough grass got in, your long border looks very long, I don’t think I realised before how big it is, Frances

    • Thanks for all your comments, Frances. Camomile and thyme would be lovely. I wonder if I could get thyme to grow in my path too, but I seem to have problems getting it to grow elsewhere. Yes, it does take a lot of weeding to keep the grass out which takes a lot of time. Not sure how long I will keep it, but it is nice at the moment.

  2. It seems the Photina combo wins hands down Annette. It’s spectacular. Those tulips combine everything together.
    The long border looks pretty much like mine, plenty of foliage but when you get in close, you see all the blooms that are out right now.
    Can’t wait for this weather to clear, as I type, the rain is battering off the front window.

    • Thanks Angie. Both plants have done well this year. I hope the tulips flower a third year, but I might buy some more just in case. The weather is terrible again tonight and I think we have a wind warning! My husband has to fly tomorrow – hope he gets off OK. I hope the summer is worth waiting for when it comes.

  3. 🙂 Smiles all around! It’s been too long since I last tookma look at your lovely garden. I love those gorgeous tulips. I think it’s the colour and shape that draw me. There are some lovely tulip beds around the neigneighborhood. I see Buddha is sitting serenly in his rock garden. Enjoy your week! With hubs back after an emergency trip to Japan, I’m back to co-parenting and our little family is together again. Bliss!

      • There was a death in the family. Yes! We are happy too and very happy that we could get Hitoshi to Japan, even if the circumstances were not happy ones. Glad to hear that you are liking you garden! I feel like you have already told me but is this your favorite month or time for your garden and all your efforts?

        • I am sorry to hear that. Unfortunately it is sometimes the only time that relatives get to see each other, so there is often happiness too. It is the same with my family down in England, though one cousin has started to have family get togethers for happy occasions too which is lovely. My garden seems to have two best times. One is now when the rhododendrons and the poppies come out and the other is a bit later when the herbaceous flowers are all out and the long border looks wonderful. I am not sure which is my favourite.

          • It was a surprise as she was doing so well before despite her very advanced age. Almost 100! And very true. Funerals seem to be a place of gathering. That’s a great idea to have get togethers without a major reason other than to bring people together. I really admire the dedication of families that persist with yearly or so reunions. I think face to face contact is so critical and nurturing.
            Do you know much about poppies? I’m curious if there are colors other than red.

          • It is always sad, whatever the age, but good for her to nearly reach 100.
            Yes you can get poppies in other colours. There are different types too. My favourite is a blue Himalayan poppy, which grows quite well here, but not in a lot of places. There are easy to grow poppies in plenty of pinks, salmon and white. You can grow what I call wild (annual) poppies from seeds in yellows and oranges. What colour were you thinking of? I would do a search on the WordPress tag ‘poppy’ or ‘poppies’. and you will see a whole selection I am sure.

  4. An impressive amount of colour in your garden Annette, particularly given how far north you are. I garther you have some kind of warmer micro-climate? Otherwise I’m wondering why your Camassia’s are flowering in Aberdeen whereas mine much further south in Sheffield are still buds!

    Your border looks gorgeous and it must be wonderful sitting under that clematis.

    • Hi Juliane. No we really don’t have a microclimate, but we are on the coast so we don’t get the extremes of temperature they get inland at higher altitudes. Are there different types of Camassias? We are usually a week or so behind central England, so strange to hear we are ahead. That said we were also ahead with the Anemone Blanda this year. Interesting.

  5. Loved the La Courtine and the first species tulip (was it T. clusiana?) Lovely to see your gorgeous rhodos and azaleas since I am totally incapable of growing them. A camomile path is pretty ambitious – and yours looks excellent, given we have only just left May!

  6. It is all looking lovely! Glad you are enjoying Camassia, the blue is so unusual. I just wish it lasted a wee bit longer ! has your garden been battered by the winds ? They have been so strong here today !

    • Thanks Jane. I have just been over to look at your garden and am so impressed. Is all that really just in half an acre?
      Yes we have had really strong winds, but thankfully not too much damage. I am glad I have most of the taller perennials already staked. Is your garden OK?

  7. Pingback: End of Month View: June | My Aberdeen Garden

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