Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In the Garden in April

Well, as usual, I got behind with my blog as I prepared for a vacation. This time to Nashville, TN to visit relatives. We had a great time and I will eventually post some pictures from the conservatories at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel — truly a sight to behold with lush tropical plants, full size palm trees, and even a river. Just you wait and see!

In the meantime, here’s some pictures I took in my garden throughout the month of April. It has been an unusually warm and dry spring. Everything has been blooming early — from the forsythia to the wisteria to the azaleas.

Forsythia in early April.

I have both the curse and the joy of having quite a bit of wisteria. There’s wisteria growing up the posts on the front porch, growing up some trees in the front/side yard, growing on the shed/workshop, and growing on the greenhouse — all the invasive variety that requires a lot of pruning to keep it from taking over. Then there’s the wisteria tree in the back yard, which is more tame. I love when the wisteria blooms because not only is it beautiful, it has probably one of the best fragrances in the world. The smell is so strong in my yard that I can smell it inside when I have a window open. Love  it! Except when I have to get on the roof to prune it...

The wisteria tree.
This wisteria is either on the shed/workshop or growing up a tree — can’t remember which!
Wisteria on the shed with the wisteria tree in the background.

In 2010 I celebrated a milestone birthday — I won’t confess as to which one it was. My younger sister gave me a dogwood tree for my birthday that September. Really, could a gardener ask for a better gift? The dogwood is the state flower of Virginia (I hate to tell them it’s really a tree) and my younger sister lives in VA and that’s where my mom was born and grew up, as well. So it seems appropriate that I have a dogwood to honor them. I was a little concerned about it surviving, especially after traveling from VA and then getting planted next to a huge tree stump with lots of roots that I had to dig out. But in the words of Dr. Frankenstein, “It’s alive, it’s alive!” I’m so glad it survived.


I had planted a few bulbs in the fall. I can’t seem to find the list of the names, though, of course. I planted several miniature tulips in front of the shed.

Miniature tulip.

I also planted a few different bulbs by Monty’s gravestone — I still miss that crazy cat. I planted a bi-color grape hyacinth, some glory in the snow, some Poet’s Daffodils, and some of the same miniature tulips as shown above.

Monty’s gravestone urn with glory in the snow and grape hyacinths.

It’s always a thrill to see the tiny, unique flowers open on the Epimedium Rubrum (Barrenwort). This has become a favorite of mine, especially since it blooms in shade.

Epimedium Rubrum (barrenwort).

I have four bleeding hearts that look so gorgeous each spring against the greenhouse. 

Dicentra Spectabilis (Bleeding Heart).
Close up of the Bleeding Heart.

Ok, I’m really getting old because I can’t remember the name of this and I know I know it.

Love the multiple colors!

A few years ago I rescued a lilac in our front yard that had gotten completely covered in wisteria. It took a couple of years for it to do well, but it has looked better and better every year. This bloomed early this year, as everything else.


That Bridal Queen Hellebore is still going strong. Here it is with some bluebells.

Hellebore Bridal Queen and either Spanish or English bluebells.

The purple columbine are a staple of the spring garden. They reseed freely, and sometimes with a little help from me in other areas.

Purple columbine with Pass The Wine Iris in the background.

Somehow the columbine has created different shades of purple. I guess that must be what happens when they self sow.

Close up of the two different shades of columbine.

The Pass the Wine Iris look really pretty. Still not the color I expected, but I don’t mind too much. It’s pretty enough.

Pass the Wine Iris.

I have some Lilly of the Valley hiding under a shrub in the back of the garden and under the roses. It smells divine.

Lilly of the Valley

Our yard has some really nice azaleas — a couple in the back and about six or seven in the front yard.  When they bloom, along with the wisteria, it really is pretty. In fact, a neighbor who was driving by today stopped her car to tell me how pretty it looked with everything blooming.

Reddish/pinkish azalea in the back yard next to the shed.
Pink azalea in the front/side yard.

We finally got some much needed rain this weekend. Unfortunately, it rained just as my azaleas were blooming and it knocked off a whole lot of pretty blossoms.

Azaleas in the front yard
Azalea in the front yard.
Azalea and wisteria by the front porch.

And here is another sign of spring — my giant mulch pile in the driveway.

Mulch pile in the driveway.

If you notice anything amiss with my photos lately, mainly the weird focus, it is because the lens I use for almost all of my photography is having “issues.” I am currently using a zoom lens, which definitely isn’t meant for close-up shots or even further away shots of my small yard. If there was some mountains in the background, then maybe the photos would look better. It looks like I have to send my lens to Cannon to get it fixed — will have to look into that.

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