Iris, the quintisential May flower. Somehow I have yellow ones, but no purple. These flower spikes are over four feet tall, and just glorious. They also resist turning to mush in the rain, unlike the yellow and brown ones further down the bed. I should replace those with purple, and then May would be something to see.
The shade garden I put in last year, under the kitchen window, is a great pleasure, particularly because that space was so ugly for so long - beauty that has alway been beautiful can be boring, but beauty that was once ugly never is.
The shrub I planted has surprised me. It was labled as a Calycanthus something-or-other "white." I expected white flowers. Nope. Wine red. You can see them above, just a bit, along with some heleabores, sweet woordruf, and hostas. Really, the surprises are the best.