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120May is merry indeed in the rock garden this year!

Alyssum ‘Basket of Gold’ provides a bright punch of color amidst all varied shades of green of the young summer perennials.  Together with the magenta creeping phlox and white candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), it creates a bright, happy palette for my mid-spring garden.101Phlox subulata, commonly known as creeping phlox:089These three plants are ideal for a rock garden, with their spreading, cascading habits.
125In its own shady niche between the rocks, a sweet patch of wild violets hides.

032Finally, at the deck end of this garden, the delicately scented Narcissus ‘Beautiful Eyes’ continues to bloom.  They’ve been going nearly two weeks now!078Moving across the deck to the “vegetable” garden, a small patch of tulips brightens one corner.  I grow my tulips in the confines of the fence to protect them from all of my backyard wildlife.  ‘Christmas Orange’ has dropped a few petals,  but Tulipa ‘Tequila Sunrise’  is in the prime of its bloom.  More and more deep rosy-coral color creeps up into the yellow petals every day!  Soon they will be solid red!tulip quartet'Tequila Sunrise'There are more assorted bulbs blooming in various beds around the house.  Along the back wall of the house, where the afternoon sun hits hard, the first Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ are starting to open.  041Here are some unknown-to-me Narcissi in the front sidewalk bed.  I planted a few “leftovers” here.  051Here is Narcissus ‘Tahiti.’  There are supposed to be a dozen them, but only one came out to play.   It’s worth noting that I bought these bulbs at a “big box” store, not from a quality bulb company like Scheepers.  It’s only five inches high, too, not the fourteen promised on the package!  I like it and wish more had come up!053Down in the lower corner of our front yard, the lonely, neglected lilac has blessed us  with a lovely flush of blooms.

061I’m not very knowledgeable in the area of shrubs and trees, so I hope some of my readers can give me some advice about how I can help this bush.  I’m unhappy that almost all of its leaves and flowers are at the top of the plant, with very little foliage at the bottom.  What do I need to do to encourage a more bushy habit?  I did prune out some completely dead branches recently.057Finally, back to the back yard.  Behind the enormous outcrop that anchors the rock garden, there is a patch of lovely blue-violet wildflowers.  I believe these are ajuga, or bugleweed.  There are a few patches of it growing in our lawn.  My husband must think it’s pretty too, since he hasn’t mowed it down while cutting the grass!071It’s also the right time of year for violets and strawberry blossoms in the lawn.  These grow well in the poor, shallow soil just at the top of the boulders that form my rock garden wall.  Alas, if the birds would just leave them alone, we could have a nice crop   of wild strawberries for Memorial Day!  073Thanks, as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting our monthly garden party!  I’m eager to see what everyone else has blooming this May!122