We’ve all heard the phrase ‘April showers bring May flowers’, but where does this expression come from? Its history dates back further than you may think.
Historians speculate that this saying dates back to a poem written in 1610, with the words “…Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers,” as well as a poem dating back to 1886, which contains the words “…March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.” The similarities in these lines may reveal that way we think about weather patterns pertaining to our gardening habits. One thing is for sure though, and that’s that you can expect a couple of blooms sprouting after the month of April’s short bursts of rain and last melting snow, giving refreshed life to our backyards.
We’ve collected a couple of the best flowers for planting this May, guaranteed to transform your backyard into a masterpiece of natural colours and fresh scents.
Cosmos (Cosmos spp.) are one of the best flowers to plant for beginners. Because they require low maintenance and grow quickly, delivering a beautiful reward of flowers, Cosmos are easy to plant, take care of, and display in a sunny place. They grow between two and three feet tall and one foot wide, and come in a variety of bold colours. When planted in May, these flowers are stunning during the summer months and even reseed every year, meaning you’ll have plenty of flowers each year with little effort.
Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are very popular throughout the United States where they are planted annually and are related to the Daisy. Because they come in attractive, bold colours, they’re a favourite among gardeners looking to pretty up their pots, and grow between eight and 36 inches tall, depending on the variety and the care. When kept in sunlight, thick flowers emerge that do well in pots and are great for warding off pests.
The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an annual flower that boasts a large, proud head of thick, golden yellow petals atop a strong stem. They can grow up to four or five feet tall when properly cared for, and make an incredible feature in anyone’s backyard garden. When planted in mid- to late May, the seeds have enough time to germinate and grow into a tall flower that matures by the end of August or early September, after which the seeds can be collected for planting the next year again.
Zinnias (Zinnia spp.) are also annual flowers that bloom in late June to early July when the seeds have been given time to germinate after planting in May. A native Mexican flower, this plant does well in a window box and lends a variety of colours to the landscape around it. The grow between two and three feet tall and become six to 12 inches wide when planted correctly in the right type of soil and want only partial shade.
It’s important to keep in mind each flower’s individual preferred soil type, drainage system, watering habits, sun exposure, and how far apart you should plant the seeds. And there’s no shame in moving your blooms indoors once in a while. All of these plants make great interior additions, and can be hosted by a window or on your porch, depending on how little (or a lot) of sunlight they need to flourish.