April in Two Gardens: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2012

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

This spring has alternated between unseasonably warm and fairly seasonable. The warmth brought the forsythias and daffodils into early bloom, and the returning cool weather kept them looking good for far longer than we had a right to expect. The old garden has cultivated flowers blooming; the new garden has some native plants blooming. I thought I’d show you some of both.

Blooming At The Old Garden

Double Play Spirea

The brilliant emerging foliage of this spirea looks almost like flowers.

Until I received this trial plant of Double Play® Big Bang from Proven Winners, I didn’t know spireas did this. The brilliant scarlet emerging foliage is very eye-catching at a time when not too much else is in bloom. I also noticed bright new foliage on a spirea at our new house, but I don’t know the name of it.

Old Fashioned Flowering Quince

This flowering quince was just coming into bloom last Thursday.

I had to take photos at the old garden last Thursday, so I am sure this old-fashioned flowering quince, a passalong from my mother-in-law, is in full bloom now. It will survive almost anything, but in a really cold winter, the flowering will not be as profuse.
Ashwood Double hellebore from Seneca Hill Perennials

This is the first year of bloom for this hellebore, and it took my breath away.

I bought this hellebore from Seneca Hill Perennials in 2010, and this is the first year it has bloomed. I don’t think I would call this double, but the catalog stated that they were selling seedlings from the mother plant, and couldn’t vouch for their doubleness. I don’t care; I really like it.
Flowering Almond

This flowering almond was just starting to bloom--about a month early!

Flowering almond is another tough, old-fashioned shrub. It usually blooms in mid-May, so this one is way ahead of schedule. The earliest daffodils have gone by here, but the mid-season ones are blooming now. Much to my surprise, the double bloodroot was not blooming, and neither was the hepatica. I still haven’t made up my mind which garden is colder.

Blooming In The New Garden


A generous patch of bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) blooms near the house.

There is a brushy area by the side of the house, and I was delighted to find a generous patch of bloodroot blooming in it. I guess this is why I am surprised the double bloodroot isn’t blooming, but my friend Bub, who has both, told me the double is always later. And it is typically a May flower for me.
Trillium erectum

Trillium erectum is blooming in several spots.

There are two brooks on our property. What I think of as the “big” brook forms the northern border of our property. The “little” brook cuts through our property to join the big brook. It separates the lawn from the second-growth woods. If either of them have a name, I haven’t found it on any map thus far. Neither of them are very big. These trilliums are growing in various spots along the big brook. According to Trilliums, T. erectum is very common and very early, so much so that “it is not unusual for the plants to suffer considerable frost damage.” Despite this, the authors say “this species tends to form large clumps.”
Summer Snowflake

I'm pretty sure this is Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). Photo taken last year at the old garden, because this year's photo didn't turn out.

I do have one cultivated plant in flower at the new garden, much to my surprise. I’m pretty sure they are some of the Summer Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) my friend Leslie Kuss gave me at the Garden Bloggers’ Buffalo Fling. But I don’t remember planting them. What I think happened is that I dug them up with something else, and didn’t know what they were. Since I didn’t know what they were, I didn’t label them or write down where I had planted them, figuring I’d surprise myself. Well, I did. That never happens to you, does it?

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Rhonda April 17, 2012, 10:54 am

Kathy, I am also leaving one garden and soon starting a new one from scratch. Sad and exciting all at the same time. Lovely blog post.

Les April 17, 2012, 7:20 am

It may be unseasonably warm for you, but seeing your photos is like looking back in time for me to plants blooming a month ago. I know you will be busy this spring adding things to the new garden. Happy GBBD!

Dee/reddirtramblings April 16, 2012, 8:36 pm

Unseasonable warm and fairly seasonable . . . that’s a great description of what it’s like here. It was uber warm early and now just right after the terrible storms. I love seeing your beautiful blooms this time of year Kathy. I know you’re loving all the discoveries in the new house.~~Dee

Mr. McGregor's Daughter April 16, 2012, 7:12 pm

How lucky you are to move to a property with Trillium. That would be worth paying extra. I agree with your friend Bub, the double Sanguinaria does bloom slightly later than the single.

Frances April 16, 2012, 2:20 pm

It is so exciting to hear about the discoveries you are making at the new house as the growing season unfolds. Such beauty, and having wildflowers makes it even more wonderful.

Leslie April 16, 2012, 12:07 pm

That certainly is the leucojum…how cool to see it at your new home! That hellabore is beautiful. And how wonderful to see all those surprise plants come up…as the garden reveals itself to you.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp April 16, 2012, 11:53 am

A very nice post, Kathy. I’m sure there’s some nostalgia for the old place, but the new garden shows great promise.