Mid-Spring PNW Cottage and Cut Flower Garden Tour For May

Can you believe that it’s already mid-spring? I can’t wait to take you on a tour of both my Pacific Northwest cottage and cut flower gardens for the month of May.

The May cottage garden is coming to life with every tree blossom and beautiful flower in bloom.

Even though we have more green plants than beautiful blooms in the garden right now, it’s amazing to see how close we are to seeing even more flowers.

May garden and greenhouse

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cottage in the rain

Do you remember me telling you that April’s weather was far from normal here in the Pacific Northwest?

I’m sorry to say that it’s pretty much the same kind of strange during the first two weeks of May.

May garden and greenhouse

We have had colder-than-normal temperatures and a tremendous amount of rain. I’ve already promised many of you who live in drought conditions that I’m doing my best to send you our rain.

We have even had hail in May which I don’t remember it ever doing before.

May garden and greenhouse

Unfortunately, we’ve had several trees and clematis vines that had just started to bloom last month and then died from the frost.

We’re seeing a lot less gorgeous blooms this May which is sad because my cottage garden should be a stunning color of pink right now, which it’s not. Mother Nature does what she wants. Lesson learned.

May garden and birdhouse

Even though the May cottage garden looks different from what I expected, it still is such a joy to be out here getting some much-needed garden therapy.

May garden

Today I’m sharing with you what the May garden looks like the day before we leave on our 3 week trip to Italy and Greece.

You can probably imagine how different it will be when we get back. I will most likely miss the peonies blooming but hope not to miss anything else while we’re gone.

blooming azaleas in the spring cottage garden

I have many different varieties of azaleas around the cottage garden and they have been blooming for months now.

Here is the latest bloomer. I am so in love with these purple flowers.

rhododendron blooms

A Pacific Northwest favorite, rhododendron plants start blooming in early spring and continue through May, depending on the variety.

I have a bright and beautiful azalea with fuchsia flowers that should be starting to bloom in the next few weeks, and definitely by the time we get back home.

lilac flowers in tree

These are some of my favorite flowers, mostly because they remind me of my Nana. Their fragrance is heavenly.

I have several different varieties of shrubs around the garden but need to do a better job knowing what they are all called.

This one has deeper purple flowers and blooms twice in the season.

mountain cornflower

I believe this is Mountain Cornflower, but if I’m wrong, please let me know.

I love the way the beautiful deep purple flowers pop in the May garden.

red campion

This plant is one of the first blooms to come to the cottage garden in the spring other than spring bulbs.

Red champion is easy to divide and adds so much color to your outdoor spaces.


I LOVE yellow flowers and my coreopsis plants do not disappoint in May.

Japanese roses

There were 2 Japanese rose bushes in my backyard when we moved in.

They are one of the few blooming plants we have in the back part of the house because there is so much shade there.

Mexican orange

I have a bit of a storage relationship with my 2 Mexican orange shrubs.

These are growing in front of my house along the split rail fence and grow a lot faster than I like. I cut them way back after they bloom in the spring but by the time they bloom again for the season, they have gotten out of control again.

I do love the white blooms though.


Here are the last of the spring bulbs.

I planted SO MANY of these spring bulbs last fall. As of today, there are only 2 blooming so I’m sure we’ll see many more soon.


As you can see, my peonies are starting to bud.

These are hands down my favorite spring flowers to cut and show off in my home. I only wish they had a longer bloom time in the season.

peony bud

I will most likely miss these perfect peonies blooming while we’re gone which breaks my heart.

May garden and greenhouse with rose bushes

I can’t believe how quickly my roses have grown since gutting them back on President’s Day weekend. They look healthy and green right now.

rose bushes
Lady's mantle

These are just starting to bloom a beautiful yellow.

Lady’s Mantle is a plant that can get away from you quickly if you don’t stay up on dividing them. They also self-seed so you will find them in the craziest places at times.

Jupiter's beard

This is another plant that needs dividing and self-seeds.

I often stake them to keep them from falling over. They get cut back after the blooms are spent and will bloom again before the end of the season.

May garden pathway with bench and vintage bike


Straight ahead at the end of the path are my hydrangeas in the garden for May.

They’re starting to fill in with beautiful green leaves.

geraniums on the deck

The window boxes and containers are half done throughout the garden and are a work in progress. I’ve planted the geraniums so far. I still need to add some thrillers and spillers to the mix once I get back from my 3-week trip to Europe.

May container gardens

I just basically ran out of time.

May container garden
container of herbs and flowers

You can see that I planted a lot of herbs in the containers in this garden space.

vintage fountain flower container

Don’t you just love this vintage fountain I use for a flower container?

May garden path and greenhouse

Vintage yard art throughout the garden creates so much interest. Did you know that this vintage bike was given to me by a neighbor? That’s right, it was FREE! I added a cute little thrifted basket and planted some flowers for the final touch.

vintage bike with basket of flowers overlooking water and sunset skies

This bike wasn’t as good of a deal but I still made out pretty well at $20. You can read more about my vintage flower container ideas.

Empty greenhouse and dog

If you haven’t been following along, I’ve been sowing seeds inside the greenhouse since the last week of January. I hardened off the seedlings for a couple of weeks and just transplanted them into the raised beds a couple of weeks ago.

 white picket fence garden with tulips

There was quite a transition between growing tulips in the raised beds and planting the summer seedlings.

pink and purple tulips

This is what the cut flower garden looked like a few weeks ago.

harvested tulips

I harvested them all to make room for the summer annual seedlings.

raised beds cut flower garden

Here’s what the garden looks like in May now that I’ve transplanted my summer flower seedlings from the greenhouse to the raised beds.

seedlings planted in raised bed garden in May

They are so tiny right now!

May garden and birdhouse

Many people think that we live on a lake, but it’s the Puget Sound, located along the northwestern coast of the US state of Washington.

This is a sound of the Pacific Northwest, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea.

turquoise garden fairy

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of my May cottage and cut flower gardens. Be sure to keep checking back through the summer. You will not believe how the garden transforms each month.

You can see last year’s garden in my The Best of My Cottage and Cut Flower Gardens in 2021 blog post.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may enjoy this garden post.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!

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May cottage garden tour

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  1. I think you might still see some of the peonies. Mine have almost been halted just like yours are for about a week or two. My guess is that they will bloom this week, since we will finally have a little warm weather and sunshine. I live in Oregon, garden zone 8b.

    1. That is so good to hear Mel! I really, really wanted to be home in time to see those gorgeous blooms. Things have been a bit wonky in the garden the last couple of months, haven’t they?

  2. Your gardens are amazing, I always enjoy strolling through them with your photos and you have a great eye for garden art…the vintage fountain turned planter is wonderful. Are you on Whidbey Island or Camano by chance? I lived in Coupeville on Whidbey with my lovely husband for 5 years, but just recently moved back to Vancouver Island, last summer.

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