Storey staffers and friends share May garden scenes.

April showers have brought May flowers…at last! Spring is creeping slowly in, with stretches of rain and nights that still carry the threat of frost. But the days are getting warmer and the trees and flowers — both wild and cultivated — are starting to show off. This month’s Bloom Day scenes hold a mix of shy violets and bluets, hot tulips and cool daffodils, delicate epimediums and dramatic trillium. And, if you look carefully, you’ll spot a few backyard critters, too — both little and, um…not-so little. What’s blooming where you are? — Emily Spiegelman, Digital Features Editor

Gwen Steege, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Daffodils

Daffodils

Goldflame spirea

Goldflame spirea

Solomons Seal

Solomon’s Seal

Meaghan Weeden, Hinsdale, Massachusetts

Bluets

Bluets

Ramps

Ramps

wild strawberry

Wild strawberry

Zoë Spring, Worthington, Massachusetts

Saucer Magnolia

Saucer Magnolia

Siberian Bugloss

Siberian Bugloss

Andromeda

Andromeda

Vinca

Vinca

Emily Spiegelman, Wendell, Massachusetts

Be My Valentine Epimedium

‘Be My Valentine’ Epimedium

Spring Wedding Epimedium

‘Spring Wedding’ Epimedium

Lilac Cascade Epimedium

‘Lilac Cascade’ Epimedium

Caroline Spear, Stonington, Maine

It’s a long, slow, cool slog to full spring this year! March had better weather than April or May along the coast of Maine. So at the moment, things are just getting going; not even any leaves on trees yet. The asparagus grew an inch Friday afternoon in our only sun for more than a week, then promptly stopped growing again. It’s my first pickable year and I can’t wait. 

English cowslip

The English cowslip form of primrose

Primrose

Wonderful primroses that form a ball of bloom

Scilla siberica with Iceland poppies

Scilla siberica with Iceland poppies

species tulips

These species tulips only open in sun, so Friday’s half day of sun stood them in good stead.

Sarah Armour, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago tulips

In between days at Book Expo America in Chicago, there’s time to admire the tulips!

Deb Burns, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Along my driveway I have one bed of hot colors and another of cool colors. The hot tulips and daffodils will give way to day lilies; the daffodils will be followed by late tulips (purple, black, and pink) then other cool shades.

tulips

Hot tulips and daffodils

Daffodils

Cool daffodils

I’ve been noticing the ephemeral wildflowers in the transparent woods right now, and these 5 photos are my effort to capture this fragile stage. 

Jack in the pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

maple florets

Maple florets

Shadblow

Shadblow

trillium

Trillium

Michal Lumsden, Plainfield, Massachusetts

Hen and chicks

To me, hen and chicks are like a visual onomatopoeia: The plant, filled out anew each year by its buds, actually looks like a mama hen surrounded by her chicks.

Lilacs

The lilacs aren’t quite open yet in Plainfield, but they’ll be gone by the time June Bloom Day rolls around, so I couldn’t resist.

Quince bush

Every time I walk by the quince bush in my yard, the delicacy of the buds and flowers takes my breath away.

Trillium

Down the road from my house, there’s a stream where my dog stops for a drink when we’re walking. I look forward every year to the brief window in early May when two trillium plants bloom on the banks.

Wild violets

I think of wild violets as little gems sprinkled throughout my lawn.

Daffodils

These daffodils just make me happy.

Euphorbia

I planted this euphorbia last summer, so this is the first year I’ve seen its brilliant shock of color!

Black bear

Of course, you never know whose path you might cross while you’re looking for blooms…

MaryAnn Nøbben, Norway

Sunny day in Norway

What a difference a week makes!! Just days ago, this patch was covered with snow.

Larch and Balsam Fir

The Larch I started from seed, as well as the Balsam Fir, also from seed from Maine.

Goat Willow Salix caprea

Goat Willow tree (Salix caprea), which the bees love — the whole tree hums with them!

Crocus

Crocus

Saffron crocus

It’s easy to see where the saffron comes from and why hand-plucking makes it so expensive.

Buffo the garden cat

The scariest creature I met on my photo hunt: Buffo, enjoying the sunny warmth, too!

Lisa Hiley, Williamstown, Massachusetts

A Mother's Day Bouquet

A Mother’s Day bouquet: Tulips, forget-me-not, epimedium, wood poppy, columbine (okay, that one I just bought, but others are coming up all over the place), grape hyacinth, with lupine and Queen Anne’s lace foliage. That’s Algernon looking on.

Carolyn Eckert, Florence, Massachusetts

Peony bud with ant

The peonies are coming! The peonies are coming!

Chinese Dogwood

The Chinese dogwood tree is emerging from its long sleep.

dandelion gone to seed

Dandelion past

Anne Guest, North Adams, Massachusetts

I keep waiting for my lily of the valley to pop. Maybe with the sun later this week. These were taken around my yard.

Phlox and Periwinkle

Tulip

Tulip

Violets

Violets

Hannah Fries, Sandisfield, Massachusetts

bluets

Bluets

Jonquils

Jonquils

Purple anemone

Purple anemone

Trout Lily

Trout Lily

Violets

Our lawn is covered in purple and white sweet violets, and they are lovely on salad, mixed in with some dandelion greens and (invasive) garlic mustard!

Storey Digital Editors

We are the staff at Storey Publishing — the crafters, cooks, brewers, builders, homesteaders, gardeners, and all-around DIY-ers who make Storey books.

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