A Friday in May, for May.

It’s the feast of Saints Constantine and Helen, and I was blessed to attend Liturgy, and afterward to meet a new friend there. Then a young altar server needed a ride home, and on the way I encouraged him to talk about his reading. He said that he’d read 40-odd Hardy Boys books but after about 30 realized that they were mostly the same, and getting boring. To make completely sure,  he read a few more. He is about to move up to The Hobbit.

We also talked about the fruit trees that his family has growing in their back yard. Which reminds me of my plum trees: I can report that at last sighting there were at least ten plums on my two Elephant Heart plum trees. They aren’t quite walnut sized yet.

After a warm spell, then a cold and foggy spell, then a high windy spell, the elements seem to be settling down to warm springiness. In the family of bees, this year I mostly have Yellow-Faced Bumblebees everywhere. They are, as last year, hard to photograph not only because of their buzziness, but because they are so heavy that when they light on a flower, it starts rocking and waving erratically from the weight. I did get one photo that is an improvement from last year.

Only a week after I yanked out the old snow-pea vines from October, I  picked a couple of pods from the new batch planted the last day of February. They are the same Green Beauty variety. I might rename them Giant Sweet Green Beauty, from their being substantial in every category.

The Cinderella (Rouge V’if D’Etampes) pumpkins I started in the greenhouse already have little fruits on them! As do the summer squashes.

Also from the greenhouse is the most spindly chamomile, and ground (hugging) cherries:

The Jerusalem Sage flowers don’t give up their nectar without a great effort from the bees, who burrow down inside and make the whole flower vibrate for a long minute or two while they finish their work and are backing out again.

The peskiest “weed” I have is Showy Milkweed, which has grown a whole forest of progeny under the fig tree. A few of the starts have willingly taken to be transplanted to this pot, but most break off when I try to move them, and I have temporarily given up trying.

The Showy Milkweed is aptly named. If any of you lives close to me and wants the pot of starts, here’s a picture of it in bloom:

My friend May has been teaching me about plants and sharing her love for gardening with me for about 40 years now. I remember the first time she noticed that I didn’t know what to do with my basil plants, and she offered to snip the leaves (and use them) to keep them growing. Today she celebrates her name day. So I dedicate this post and the beauty of my garden world to YOU, May! God bless you, and may the prayers of St. Helen help to prosper us in our gardening.

9 thoughts on “A Friday in May, for May.

  1. Everything is thriving in your garden whether plum trees or flowers or bees!
    Showy Milkweed is quite pretty. I wonder if it grows around here.

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  2. I can imagine how much the bees love those gorgeous yellow flowers of the Jerusalem sage. I always notice that you talk to the young folks which is such a good thing. We had thought we were going to have a nice crop of plums this year but a record-breaking late freeze took them all away.

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  3. Beautiful photographs. I like to come back to your posts and savor the colors and shapes, but also the lessons (e.g., those hard working bees in the Jerusalem sage).I’m learning about also many beautiful lives in a backyard garden.

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  4. You didn’t quite mention it, but I’m sure you know that there’s a name for what was happening with that bee and your Jerusalem sage: ‘buzz pollination.’ There are certain bee species that specialize in it, and of course the flowers they choose are the ones who respond to their efforts. There’s a wonderful video that not only explains the process, but also provides an activity duplicating it that children would probably like!

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  5. What a lovely plum! Our tree is full tiny plums, but also aphids, sadly. We have been spraying it with soapy water. That young man reading Hardy Boys reminds me of myself in my youth, I felt the same about Nancy Drew, loved the stories, but then they grew to be repetitive. I hope he enjoys the Hobbit.

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