Lavender, pink and white are the colors of May
Looking out on the yards and gardens and along the country roadsides now, it seems that the color of May is lavender, pink and white.
Lilacs, which bloomed early this year, are shades of lavender and the sweet, native violets now in bloom are the same. Apple blossoms and the flowers of a number of trees and shrubs are pink and white, while the beautiful wildflowers along the un-mowed road banks are the same.
The overall look of May is a soft pastel against the soft blues of the spring skies and the yellow-green of new grass.
A delicious and very nutritious vegetable that is in season now is the delectable asparagus. It comes in green, white and purple varieties and they are available in food stores and markets now. Fresh asparagus can be served in many ways and this recipe may be one you will want to try. With hot rolls or bread, this dish is a complete meal in itself.
Swiss Cheese Asparagus Bake.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Blend in 1 tablespoon flour and ½ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.
Add ¼ cup of milk. Blend well. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of grated onion and ½ teaspoon of sour cream.
When this is well blended, mix with 2 pounds of asparagus spears that have been pre-boiled to a tender stage but not over-boiled.
Mix this with 1-1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese and 1 cup of pre-cooked ham strips. Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole. Combine 1/3 cup of corn flake cereal crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and spread over the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. This recipe will serve four.
Herbs as groundcover
If you are looking for something different to use as a groundcover this year or, if you have shady areas, areas too small to mow or dry places or steep slopes, or you want to control erosion, you may want to consider using herbs as an interesting alternative to conventional covers.
Herbs are easy to grow and, many varieties can be grown from seed. A number of herbs will multiply quickly from just a few plants to enough to fill an area. For shady areas try creeping myrtle (vinca), ground ivy, sweet woodruff, ajuga, wild ginger and wooly thyme.
To cover a small area, try veronica, low-growing thymes or chamomile. Slopes, larger hilly areas or dry areas can be planted with prostrate rosemary, germander, lavender, thyme, sage, and uva ursi. As a border for a perennial bed or as a low hedge, try catnip, germander, hyssop, pennyroyal, fringed wormwood, lavender or sage.
Creeping thyme and Corsican mint will spread to fill in the spaces between rocks and a rock garden or the crevices in walkways. Used as a groundcover, herbs provide color, ease of care, fragrance and dependability while also adding unique interest to some “hard to cover” lawn and garden areas.
May garden tips: Check irrigation systems to prepare them for the summer ahead.
When the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees and the last frost date is past, plant corn, tomatoes, beans, melons, and cucumbers.
Aerate your lawns.
If you are planning to grow vegetables this year, you may want to consider growing some extra produce to donate to local food bank programs or shelters for the needy. Tomatoes, green beans, and zucchini squash usually provide extra produce and they are easily grown.
If you have garden questions or tips for other gardeners, send them in to