The Darling Buds Of May


Today being drier and a little brighter than yesterday, there were enough glimpses of sunlight to be more conducive to garden photography.

New clematises are emerging daily.

clematis Piilu

Mostly, as with this Piilu, I am grateful for the identity labels, because they all look so much alike.

clematis Star of India

Star of India, blends well with geranium palmatum.


Petunias abound;

Pansies, petunias, and honesty

some share their pots with pansies. The new urns, like this one, are all planted up now. Everywhere, honesty is turning to seed medallions.


Lilacs are in full bloom;

Tree recovering

and this tree, that had only one leafing branch when we first arrived, is making a remarkable recovery. New trunks have begun to swallow the original pock-marked member.

Bee on poppy

A few bees, such as this one plundering an orange poppy

Bee in pansy 1

and another burrowing into a somewhat perforated pansy risked getting wet for the good of the hive.

Rose Altissimo

On the edge of the rose garden, a single Altissimo bloom lives up to its name,

Rose For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only burgeons within,

Roses Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary

and most other bushes, like Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary, are on the verge of bursting forth the darling buds of May.


This rhododendron

Grass bed

enhances the Grass Patch Bed, at the end of which stands the recovering tree mentioned above.

View from behind viburnum plicatum

This pivotal patch can be viewed from the tree peony hiding behind the viburnum plicatum;

View from Dead End Path

from the Dead End Path;

View across grass

and from the Brick Path.

Palm Bed

Elsewhere, sculptural alliums, like these in the Palm Bed, are opening out all over.

For our dinner this evening the Culinary Queen produced pork chops coated in mustard and demerara sugar and topped with almonds; boiled, sautéd, and sweet potatoes; cauliflower and carrots; and  peppers, tomato, leek, and onion sauce; followed by bread and butter pudding and custard. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.


  1. Just glorious! And I am jealous of the lilacs. We certainly cannot have them in Arizona! What is bread and butter pudding?

    1. Thanks, Luanne. The pudding is basically made of bread and butter (not to be confused with the far richer and more spicy bread pudding). We will put on a recipe this evening.

  2. ‘It’s May, it’s May; that darling month of May…that darling month when everyone goes blissfully astray…it’s here, it’s here; that shocking time of year…when tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appears…’

    Thank you for planting that song in my head 🙂

  3. Looking scrumptious Derrick! [The garden] Just the one owl today – making it’s way into two shots? I am a little in love with the photo, the view from the brick path – it’s just missing an owl! 🙂

      1. I went owl hunting before reading Jackie’s response – and I saw him hiding in the foliage, just to the left of the interesting crown topped plantery thingy….. which I’m guessing is an old chimney top? And which I totally love!! I scanned that picture for owls before posting my original comment but am guessing I got so side tracked by the interesting crown topped plantery thingy that I missed him. If you sell largish prints of your photos Derrick I should love to purchase this one.

        1. Pauline, you are more than welcome to a print of anything you like. I can actually make an A3+ print. Would you like one? I would love to send it. It is an old chimney pot. We have three

      2. He’s not joking, Pauline. What I thought (from the normal size shot) was an owl wasn’t, but the real one is there all right, when you blow it up.

    1. I had to look for the owl in that picture too I knew he was there but I think he is in danger of disappearing behind a cranes bill geranium, perhaps a brick under him to give him a lift.

      1. I agree with Jill, it looks more beautiful every day. Sadly my garden is reacting conversely as summer kicks in here in Dubai with over 40 degrees celsius for now

          1. Welcome. I am glad someone is having a garden which is more beautiful by the day and caring enough to share it with others 🙂

  4. Liked it. And next you’d better put up a recipe for Bread and butter pudding for those who live a simpler life.

  5. I’m so grateful that there isn’t a compulsory floral identification test with your posts. I’d fail dismally and never get to eat any bread and butter pudding.

    1. No slight on the CQ’s skills, but you don’t know how lucky you are to not be sampling b&b pudding, IMHO. Reminds me of too man school dinners!!

  6. We’re getting a few bees up here, but there just don’t seem to be as many around as there used to be. Your garden is growing so luxuriantly, and, to be honest, ours is beginning to explode into life at last.

  7. Beautiful! Now, let us hope no rough winds come to shake those darling buds 😉

  8. Beautiful! I think we’re probably a week or two behind you – our lilac, primroses and aliums are in flower but the clematis, etc, are still just in bud. You have a lovely garden, Derrick. 🙂

  9. We’re in Orkney and have travelled up through Scotland in about 2 days. Though comparing wild with wild, most of the flora that we’d expect to be ? a fortnight /10 days behind up here, is at the same stage: the May (blackthorn) is luxuriant, the bluebells are perhaps past their best and the gorse [whin/broom/edit your local name here] is dense and luminous like I’ve never seen it (don’t think it’s that good in the Forest: we went through on the main road on Thursday 19th). Today, we were chasing the clock for what I thought was the last sailing tonight**, or I’d have stopped to take photographs. From what little we’ve seen, it may be as good on the Islands, so I’ll try and relay some to you. The only flowers on Orkney I’ve noticed behind the southern calendar are daffs, narcissi and tulips (that said, I’ve only driven about 5 miles!).
    ** guess who max’d out on misinterpreting the ferry timetable?

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