First off is an almost bloom. After getting bigger and bigger (and bigger), the Dracunculus vulgaris is finally sending out its inflorescence.
Allium 'Purple Sensation', part of a sampler I got years ago, luckily this one was rescued from the bed in front of the bay window during construction.
Sedum spathulifolium isn't quite open yet, but the inflorescence has such an interesting architecture in the bud stage.
The bearded irises have started blooming with their big, purple and yellow flowers.
Far more demure and elusive, Asarum caudatum hides its blooms under its leaves, where you have to know where to look. Nevertheless, they're one of my favorites.
Allium christophii has begun its long bloom, as new flowers pop out to fill in and expand the globe of flowers on each stalk.
Allium siculum (formerly Nectaroscordum) dangles subtly-colored blooms gracefully. Hummingbirds will come surprisingly close to the ground for these nectar-filled blooms.
From below, one sees a more colorful picture.
Iris tenax continues to bloom, both my one white-flowered plant and the many purple ones.
Hutchinsia alpina blooms for months with tiny white flowers. I should have photographed the healthy patch in another bed. This original patch, for some reason, thinned out considerably this winter, probably from deer stepping on it while frozen (when in doubt, blame the deer). It is filling in again.
Alyssum spinosum is beginning to bloom in shades of cream and pale pink.
Penstemon rupicola has begun putting forth its outrageously brilliant blooms.
May is the month of rhododendrons. Rhododendron 'Nancy Evans' is in full bloom, with Primula bulleyana below it.
Cornus canadensis blooming alongside the first broadleaf starflowers (Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia)
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' bears its last few flowers.
The fully open flowers of Globularia cordifolia look like little mop heads out of a Dr. Seuss book.
My unknown amsonia surprised me this year by showing up with a whole mass of buds at the ends of three stems. This will be its first year blooming. I was surprised because it really wasn't that big when I planted it last spring.
The flowers of Cistus 'Snow Fire' last only one day each, but new blooms open daily. I love the dark red marks at the base of each big white petal.
The Siberian iris is in full bloom. It amazes me that those tall, slender stems hold themselves upright without staking.
Hemerocallis fulva (formerly H. flava), the lemon daylily, has begun opening its lemon blossom-scented blooms.
Blooming for the first time in my garden, Glumicalyx gosselioides has quickly become one of my favorite plants. The fleshy, evergreen foliage has a pungent, chocolate orange scent. The plant quickly grew to over two feet across and is now jam-packed with flower buds. The first of these are opening now and the white-backed flowers are revealing their orange interiors. The scent is similar to the foliage, chocolate orange, but extremely sweet rather than strangely pungent.
Billardiera longiflora is also full of buds. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it made it through winter, given how late it was planted.
My new Sophora davidii is still blooming away in its nursery container.
The planters around the deck railing had been filled with strawberries for several years, but this year they were retired in favor of the much better strawberry patch in the vegetable garden. This means I can use these containers for annuals again. Though largely consisting of foliage this year, there are some blooms, like the fiery flowers of Pelargonium x hortorum 'Vancouver Centennial'.
The tiny white blooms of Euphorbia 'Balbreblus' (sold as Breathless Blush) contrast nicely with the dark foliage.
The blooms of Heliotropium arborescens 'Fragrant Delight' have even more of that delicious vanilla scent I've always loved about heliotrope. I never want to be without it. I bought three this year and plan to save at least one in the greenhouse this winter. Grown as an annual in the north, this is actually a shrub in warmer climates.
Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant' continues to pump out fiery red-orange blooms. I definitely plan to add more of these.