May Showers and Flowers

By: PugetSoundPost , 3:37 PM GMT on May 05, 2014

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May 19, 7:15 AM

Here are a couple more rhododendron blossom photos from my yard showing two different colors - white and a lovely purple shade. I am not sure how well the purple will translate to all of your computer screens, but in real life it is a real pretty shade and probably my favorite. But all of them are very nice. May is rhododendron month here in western Washington. It is our state flower and I think this one is a great pick that someone in the state managed to pull off way back when. They have a long bloom season as different varieties bloom at different times - from pretty early spring through early summer. So it is easy to find one blooming somewhere for a long while during the year, plus they have a nice variety of colors, are on nice big bushes, and the blooms are big and easy-to-spot.

We had a better-than-expected weekend, but it wasn't as stellar as a week or so ago. This week ahead looks fairly seasonal - moderate temperatures for this time of year and smallish chances of showers each day. A preview of Memorial Day weekend ahead looks like it may be wetter. Which would not be too surprising.

May 5, 8:40 AM

Time for a new blog here since spring has moved on into the heart of the season, namely early May for us. But, kind of a wild swing to the weather as well, which I guess is the definition of “spring”.

Last week was hot; part of the time. A short heat wave descended around us, and last Thursday was the peak. At our house we hit 91 degrees!! There have been entire years when we never hit 90, and now we did it on the first day of May! That is pretty crazy. But this year is not too different from last year, as tomorrow marks the date one year ago when we also hit just about 91. Most of the last week was pretty nice with two of the days especially so, and hot for us.

Then the weekend arrived. Warm sprinkles started in Friday evening, and by Saturday they were less warm and no longer sprinkles, but periods of pretty hard rain. In the end we ended up with .90” rain on Saturday, and the trend continued yesterday with just about a half inch added on. We apparently are on the lower side of other area totals. I see that already Seattle officially has received about the same amount of rain that an average May gets for the whole month! And records have been set for those dates as well. So, back to record-setting rainfall days for us. There have been such swings this year in rainfall especially – from too-dry to to-wet in rapid succession.

Meanwhile, while it was nice last week, I did get outside a lot and worked in the yard. Weeded, trimmed, cleaned up. And, I planted flowers. Good progress was made. I have a display of geraniums in the ground in the front yard that add a pretty nice splash of color. I also worked on pots on our smaller version deck. I have more geraniums potted, as well as impatiens and some petunias, but not as many of those as I used to do. I also got a couple of begonias going. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up and re-organizing our deck space too, chasing out the winter and bringing in the spring and approaching summer. We can now use it with cleaned up furniture and the new flowers bringing in a new season. I am not finished, probably, but actually I am pretty content right now and don’t see a need to do a whole lot more there. I do have more pots to figure out for the front of the house but those will give me something to think about. I still need to seed some zinnias in a couple of places. So all in all, last week was productive and it was a perfect weather-week to be doing all of these jobs. I could see then that this week was going to be a bust for that, so I had better make hay. It pays to pay attention to the weather!

Here are some photos of "what's blooming in our yard". I took these over the weekend, in between rain downpours, and everything is pretty wet and drippy. I guess that is a common way to see them around here, so you are getting a bit of the local "flavor".

Here are some drippy pink azalea blooms:

And a blooming, but soggy, rhododendron:

And finally, a big splash of pink color with the loaded azalea bush:

April in Review

Average High: 65
Average Low: 43
Warmest Temperature: 87 (30th)
Coldest Temperature: 39 (10th and 13th)
Coldest High: 55 (5th)
Wettest Day: April 17 (.95”)
Days of 70+ degrees: 6
Days of Measurable Precipitation: 16

Total Rain for April: 3.30”

May 5
Sunrise: 5:44 AM ---- Sunset: 8:26 PM (PDT)

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16. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:15 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
PugetSoundPost has created a new entry.
15. WatchinTheSky
11:02 PM GMT on June 01, 2014
Happy June! The days will get a little longer still, not sure what I would do with a couple more hours of daylight in the evenings :D
Barely any May Gray this year, am hoping for The June Gloom we usually (used to) get to keep temps down!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1826
14. BriarCraft
10:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2014
Nice to see the 4 recents back. Since their return, plus a speed up in loading the forecast page, I have started poking around a bit here and there to see what else has changed. It is nice to see who Likes your photos and blog now. Unfortunately, there is no rating system to say when you really, really like a photo. That reminds me of all the weekend soccer leagues where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up.

Yesterday, summer suddenly arrived here. It's about time! The belated appearance of the sun has me wanting to do lots of yardening and I also want to go on a photo shoot somewhere. Photos will have to wait until I catch up on the yard and garden.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 78 Comments: 3925
13. PugetSoundPost
4:24 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Yes, WTS, the one I REALLY wanted back the most was the "blogs in this area" link. Unless you are very well connected all over the proverbial map, without that link there is little way to really be "found". It is like Small Town Main Street being bypassed 5 miles west by the interstate. Some of us are on that Main Street but an occasional traveler would stop by, until they took the road away.

But, I am happy to have the "4 recents" back. I think that puts our "Stay Here" sign up a lot higher in the sky to be seen by those interstate travelers and just improves the experience and communication a lot.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
12. WatchinTheSky
4:09 PM GMT on May 29, 2014

Weather and 'the great outdoors' are so photogenic, and WU seems to be proud of the volume of photos uploaded still (over 1 billion served - oh, that's not right, over 1.7 million uploaded - according to the main site page) they had to know people are interested in what their friends have just posted! I suppose the coders are overwhelmed dealing with complaints that some things take a while to get to ;) But, at least the 4 recents are back! I just wish they would return the links to "blogs in this area" when you search up a location.

Good luck with your layers!

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1826
11. PugetSoundPost
2:12 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Hi WTS! Still overcast and a potential for showers here. We had a nice little shower go over yesterday but the rain total was surprising small from it. The sun has been in and out. When it is "out" it warms up nicely and then cooler in the shady times, so it is hard to dress. Layers!

Yes, that purple rhody doesn't seem to show up on the screen the way my eyes see it. Maybe the original photo did that. We still have them blooming all around but I'd say they are probably over the "peak crest".

I have to say I am very pleased to see the "recent photos" section has reappeared on our blog sidebar! You have to scroll down a bit to see it but I guess this is a step in the right direction and I am thankful.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
10. WatchinTheSky
6:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2014

Looks like you have a stretch of sunny coming up - after tomorrow! No excitement here, WU says 80s for the next week, but we are already 88 and it's just noon, hmmmm...

I like the 2 new rhodies :) The purple shows up a little pinky purple on my screen ;)

Hope you had a good weekend!

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1826
9. PugetSoundPost
5:26 AM GMT on May 19, 2014
Hi CP and WTS! The weekend turned out better than originally expected. More sun (but not totally clear) and drier weather than I expected going in. But today it was more stirred up and after midday warm sunshine while I was out watering (!) and pulling some weeds, not too long later the sky darkened. A hard rain shower set up over us and along with the rain it delivered one strong punch of thunder!

Sounds like it is better in SoCal now and that is good. You don't want blueberry pie on the bush!

Oh! My zinnias seeds are pushing up already! I just started them four days ago!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
8. WatchinTheSky
4:14 AM GMT on May 19, 2014
Yay for the marine push, especially here! We should be in the 70s the rest of week with at least morning low clouds :D Still picking blueberries, but one of the plants got pretty toasted last week.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1826
7. calpoppy
8:47 PM GMT on May 17, 2014
Looks like your temps calmed down and ours went up, LOL! Stopped by to say hi!!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 52 Comments: 3626
6. PugetSoundPost
1:49 PM GMT on May 16, 2014
Hi Briar! What a week it has been! We topped out at 88 yesterday, after similar temps earlier in the week. Now it is changing but so far this morning it is still really pleasant. But the marine push will gradually take hold.

I hope to put up some new rhody photos soon, but it may not happen today - lots to do today and it takes me a long while to get them all onto this site. But anyway, our yard is quite nice right now with a variety of rhody colors blooming.

I do have flowers in pots on the deck but not nearly as many as in past years. I am kind of cutting back as my total space is still much smaller and I am trying to not be too cluttered. We seem to have a good place for pots - apparently a good combination of sun, heat, some shade, etc. They do pretty well and do make a pleasant place to sit and relax. In contrast, I don't have too many flowers in the ground in beds. Without a major re-invention of the yard, there really aren't too many places to put them. I do have one nice, at least I think so, bed of geraniums in the front near the road, and they make a nice bright splash of color as one approaches the house. And there are other flowers here or there, but mainly we have bushes, some of which bloom, and a few scattered perennials like bulbs, daisies and a couple of roses. So the potted flowers, also have several in our driveway, really make the accent and color. I just got my zinnias seeded this week and they are always so nice to watch.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
5. BriarCraft
9:57 PM GMT on May 15, 2014
Love your azaleas and rhody -- appropriate that you have nice splashes of color nicely splashed with rain.

Total April rainfall here was 6.38". On top of 10.51 for March. No wonder it's soggy in my yard and garden!

With all the potted flowers around your deck, I'll bet it's both colorful and relaxing. Plants in pots don't do well with me, so I try to have plenty of flowers in the adjacent beds to make up for it. My ToDo List includes schlepping a coat of stain-sealer on our deck, but that won't happen until after the grass stops growing later in the summer.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 78 Comments: 3925
4. PugetSoundPost
10:26 PM GMT on May 08, 2014
Wow, CP! 52 for a high? For you? And we were 72 yesterday? That kind of explains it. What one corner is doing, the other corner is doing the opposite.

Sunny and 72 yesterday. Today it is 52 and raining. Ahh, how spring goes. We got our lawn mowed yesterday, and I was done-in by the end, and now today in the rain it looks nice, green and pretty spring color here and there. While sunshine makes colors sparkle, rain also is rather magical on grass and flowers. Upsides to both!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
3. calpoppy
3:46 PM GMT on May 07, 2014
Pretty flowers!! I used to grow Rhodies when I lived in the mountains, just such a pretty shrub!!

Our high yesterday was 52! It was cool and very windy, but no rain for us. Though it did snow in the Big Bear area. It really isn't to unusual to have snow this time of year. Many a Mother's Day was a snowy one when I was in the mountains!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 52 Comments: 3626
2. PugetSoundPost
4:35 AM GMT on May 06, 2014
Hi WTS! Thanks for the "first"! Today was drier and we are "in-between" now until later in the week when another significant rain will show up.

I have a few other bushes to keep an eye on when they may bloom better and I will try to catch them in a photo later. At least maybe get a little more variety of color and not all pink.

I am surprised by you picking blueberries! For us they don't show up till late summer. I sure love them! We have wild blackberries all over the place - grow like weeds that need to be pushed back all of the time or the yards will be overtaken. Those berries ripen in late August and September. We have a raspberry bush growing nicely in a pot for the first time this year. It has not quite bloomed yet but some buds are setting pretty well.

Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 171 Comments: 844
1. WatchinTheSky
3:54 AM GMT on May 06, 2014
Spring everywhere seems to on high speed roller coaster! Maybe El Niño will do us some good. Nice, if a bit soggy, color from your yard :)
I have been picking blueberries from 3 of my bushes, not sure how they will do long term - supposed to be ok for these varieties.
Oh yeah, First!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1826

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Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids all in college and beyond, one now married, have patiently gone along with me!

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