Here's a May Day bouquet for you - narcissus, euphorbia, purple pasque flower, and Spirea 'Magic Carpet'. I wish I could leave one on each of your porches...Remember when kids used to leave wilted little nosegays on neighbors' porches on May 1?
Even though it seems like spring just got its belated start, May Day marks the half-way point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. All of a sudden the garden blooms generously enough to cut armfuls of flowers. Even if this year we need to coax the lilacs along - I have a bunch sitting in a bucket of warm water in hopes their buds will open.
And here are a couple of new books that offer simple plants and garden projects - in case you're feeling only so ambitious (that would be me).
Tracy Disabato-Aust has written two big tomes on how to care for perennials, but in her new book she's shifted gears to write about plants that need little care. "50 High -Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants: Tough-but-Beautiful Plants That Anyone Can Grow" (Timber Press, $16.95) has luscious, full-page color photos and clear advice on how to grow a somewhat puzzling choice of plants. From meadow rue to conifers, bamboo to bleeding heart and asters, the choices seem a bit random, but nevertheless these are all garden-worthy plants.
I'd never heard of Sean Conway - Target design consultant and TV host - before I picked up his new book
"Sean Conway's Cultivating Life: 125 Projects for Backyard Living" (Artisan Press, 2009, $22.95). The book is so much better than its title - and like most books from Artisan Press, it's lovely and filled with projects you might really want to do. From planting a bog bowl of carnivorous plants to building a salad table or cold frame, the projects use few tools, and each includes a materials list, step-by-step directions and inspiring photos, like the one below for a tabletop rice paddy...which, like the book, looks so much better than you might expect....