Sunday, May 8, 2016

May Gloom

Last spring, in 2015, I wrote a blog diary entry about how discouraged I get in May, and how much I hate it. Cold weather, skimpy bare branches, wet mud, grim skies. Early May is an end-of-winter slog.

The lawn turns brilliant green while the black gums stay
bare -- they are always very late to leaf out

I never published it. It was too gloomy and whiny. This year I am again mired in damp chill, waiting for May to be over. I really do not like the slow, cold, gray season that is spring in my part of the world.

The black gum by the creekbed is also still just bare branches,
while forget-me-nots bravely bloom by the bridge

We had some warm sunny days here in late winter, in March and April. That was a tease. I see wonderful pictures on blogs all over the country showing spring ephemerals and sunny bulbs and opening leaves, but that just sets expectations that May will bring the same here too. It doesn't.

Yes, early things are leafing out, tentatively. Forget me nots are bright blue, and creeping phlox is magenta, and the flowering dogwood should bloom by Mother's Day. Blueberries are defying the cold damp with tiny flowers. The grass is lurid green except where Creeping Charlie makes purple incursions.

'Fort Hill' phlox subulata looks good this year, although photographing hot pink
on a gray day is a challenge

But it's been drizzling and raining off and on for a week now. Skies are leaden. The air is chilly, in the 40s, sometimes inching up into the 50s (4 - 10 C). It's hard to get pictures on a dark day of what little color has opened. What does bloom looks plaintively brave, rather than pretty.

I promised myself last year I wouldn't complain so. But it's May again.

I'm going away for a while -- I'll be back at the end of the month, and by then the garden will be cheerier and I have made a promise to myself that I will be too.

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