Flower Garden Ideas – May Bloom – Pictures

There are advantages and disadvantages to almost everything.  This year’s spring has not been good for the vegetable garden and I never remember a spring that didn’t find that garden looking spectacular for me in May — until this year.

On the other side the coin, the perennial beds have been loving every minute of the cool weather and the right amount of rain in due season.

I can’t help but wonder if I will ever see them look as lush and beautiful as they do right now.

Plant and Plan for next Year – Now

  • A fence makes a great back drop for flowers.  So do grasses.  Even good shrubs.  If you don’t already have something like that — look around and see where you could use a backdrop to enhance the beauty of your borders.
  • In each bloom time — try to have at least one thing that is spectacular in each border. This Peony is my spectacular piece for May bloom in the fence border.  Everyone thinks it’s a shrub because it’s so large. Four feet across!  (It still needs the other flowers to show its magnitude.)
  • I’ve been planting for next year since this April.  I’ve moved pieces of Oenothera, Baths pink, and daylilies from larger clumps to various other places they’ll compliment next year. Some of those small  pieces are even blooming now giving me a preview of what might be coming next year.

Fence border to right of our driveway.


peony blossom

The blossoms of this Peony are unbelievably large.  6 to 8 inches across.



Front borders looking towards drive way and fence border. The large ornamental grass at the end anchors the bed.



Snapdragons and heirloom early blooming lily.



Front border.  This view hides the walk way to the steps.



Early blooming heirloom lily.




Restful beds without Bloom.

A quite spot with various shades of green and no bloom (or little bloom) can really compliment your yard and the rest of the flower beds that have profuse bloom.

This bed is outside my kitchen window and is one of my favorites.  I can’t take a lot of credit for it because it sorta did itself.  Here’s what I mean.

  • The dog wood tree in the top left came up from seed.  Bill did not want me to move it. (He just loves it.)
  • The holly (box-wood-like) shrub on the right was planted when the bed was first prepared more than a decade ago.  I had no idea it would grow so big and like the spot so much.
  • The Clematis on the support trellis (planted at the same time) is not doing well because it’s too crowded.  It needs to be moved so it can once again be spectacular with its huge white blooms.
  • The juniper evergreen in the lower corner is wonderful.  When I planted it I thought it was a small shrub and had no idea it would flatten itself and spread to cover that side of this small island bed.
  • The bush with blue/green foliage in the left middle is a dwarf forsythia.  It’s about 3 years old and looks better this year than ever.  The early bloom is nice, but the foliage is striking.
  • Tete tetes bloomed early and will go dormant soon.
  • The lilies (foliage on the left) will produce deep red blooms in late summer for me to enjoy from the kitchen window.
  • I added a little Baths pink and Onethera earlier this spring so it’ll have a bit more bloom next year — just to give it connection to the other beds.

But basically, I want to keep it restful and enjoy the variety of greens and textures.


Small island bed outside my kitchen window.


If you don’t have at least one rose — you really owe it to yourself to have one.  Floribundas are so easy and look great most of the time.

If you can have only one you might enjoy Easy Livin’ shown below. It’s coral blooms are so prolific and its color radiates from a distance.


Livin’ Easy Rose

Poppies Enhance Green Foliage of Other Plants

Poppies between masses of green add life and zip to otherwise all green beds in early spring.  By the time your other things bloom in the heat the poppies will disappear until next year.


California Poppies

For the Beginning or End of a long Island Bed

A small but striking clump of solid colored hybrid iris with their magnificent blooms and few simple accents added with them (like pink Oenothera and a gold California poppy) can hold a visitors attention and do a great job of introducing the rest of the bed.


Iris, California poppies and Oenothera

 Colors — Carry them Through

I try to have a few spots throughout the borders that have the same color combination but not necessarily with the same plants.  It links your gardens together and makes them look like they belong.

Iris and Lady of Guadalupe Rose

Iris and Lady of Guadalupe Rose


I like to have at least one area with a lot of green that uses flowers of various colors — mostly especially red flowers — to grab attention.


In the forefront -Bonica pink rose , red poppies, heirloom daylily, Iris.



Different view of Iris and Poppies.



Back border and poppy beds.



Continuing around the back border.


Red Knock Out Tree Rose and white Dutch Iris

Red Knock Out Tree Rose and white Dutch Iris


 Sweet William

A great flower that comes in a multitude of colors.  Perfect nestled in the front of the border amongst the foliage of late bloomers.

sweet william

Sweet William

Tree Roses

I only have one tree rose and that’s all my borders can handle, but I am soooo glad I have it.  It’s spectacular from a distance with its hundreds of blooms and good looking dark green foliage.

By the end of the season this knock out tree rose “bush” will be at least three times the size.  Magnificent.

If you get one, be prepared to support it — no matter what anyone says to the contrary.


Red Knock Out Tree Rose

Hide What’s Coming

This spot in my back side border (with my “strawberry snack patch”) is right across from the tree rose.  It’s one of my favorite spots especially because the large ornamental grass hides what’s coming up.  Visitors look forward to seeing what’s “around the corner”.


The pink in bloom is Baths Pink.  The red/purple is a small Japanese Maple.  The tree on the right is Ilex.



A close up view of my Strawberry Snack Patch.

Final Thoughts

Flower Garden Ideas are everywhere you look.  Just by seeing what others do — you’ll know more about what you’d like to do in your gardens.


Related Posts:

3 Simple Concepts to Enhance Your Flower Gardens and Borders

Your Garden – How Penelope Hobhouse Can Help Make it Better

Developing Garden Structure


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6 comments to Flower Garden Ideas – May Bloom – Pictures

  • Sandra

    Theresa, Thanks for breaking it down like this. Even though I see the borders, I need it pointed out to me why things work. I think a lot of others are like me, they see the overall effect looking beautiful, but don’t know WHY. I could take any one of your ideas here, and improve the look of my garden – thanks!!

    Everything DOES look spectacular in your borders right now. Thanks for sharing.

  • Theresa

    Thanks Sandra. I’m so glad I was able to combine helpful suggestions with pictures.

  • Alice

    Your flowers are lovely. I so envy you a flower garden. Hopefully someday… the present time I am content with a few iris, lilies and daffodils. Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers with us. Ooop………….almost forgot the sunflowers I planted in with the glads in the veggies garden. Should have some color there soon.

  • Theresa

    Hi Alice,
    Iris, lilies and daffodils can go a long way towards providing color and adding beauty to a garden. The sunflowers and glads should really look good with that beautiful garden you’ve carved out!

  • danita

    Last year before we put my parents house up for sale, I dug up a small clump of daylilies, They had finished blooming so I wasn’t sure what color they were. Well guess what is blooming now? They look exactly like your Gold Dust. They have the same cinnamon colored outer petals and a beautiful gold color just like yours. I have no idea where she got them. The clump is much smaller than yours. I wonder if they are the same.

  • Theresa

    Hi Danita,
    If the lily is still blooming now — I doubt that it is Elizabeth’s Gold Dust. But there is another lily — an heirloom — dating to 1959 — that has a similar looking wildflowery bloom shaded with bronze on the outside. It is a bit taller (34″) than Gold Dust. And blooms later — which would be about now. The name is Corky. I wonder if that might be it.

    In any case — it’s a great find and I’m so glad you were able to dig up that small clump before your parents house was sold.
    What a treasure, Danita.
    Thanks for sharing the story.

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