Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day for April 2017.
Here in my USDA hardiness zone 6a garden in central Indiana, I look around and ask the question we gardeners always ask.
“Where did all these weeds come from?”
I look around and ask “Are the blooms ahead or behind compared to last year?”
I checked back a few years by reading old bloom day posts and confirmed what I already knew.
We are well ahead this spring, as far as blooms go. Perhaps a week, maybe more.
As far as weeding goes, we feel very much behind. Or there are way more weeds.
And then comes the question, “You’re retired, I thought you’d be caught up on weeding?”
Well, I’m quite busy these days, but that’s a story for another post.
For now, let me quickly regale you with a litany of blooms. Just the highlights this time, as this fast-moving spring is keeping me hopping and I’ve got a lot to do before the Easter bunny hops into my garden for the big egg hunt on Sunday.
Epimediums have been blooming for a while. A tiny flower, they are often called Fairy Wings or Bishop’s Cap. I need more of them.
This big white trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, has just opened up. A lovely bloom!
Nearby, the Muscari sp., grape hyacinths, are starting to fade a bit but still bring lots of color to the garden. If allowed to go to seed, grape hyacinths will self-sow and show up in other areas of the garden. I’ll let you decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
The trout lilies, Erythronium americanum, are fading now. This flower will also colonize, which I think is definitely a good thing.
Oh my, the last of the ‘Lady Jane’ tulips are still standing tall, but their days are numbered.
The slighly mis-named Summer Snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum, are all over the place it seems. Are they naturalizing or did I plant them all over the place? I think a bit of both. I’m happy they are happy in my garden.
Now here’s a stunning flowering shrub if I do say so myself. These big orange blooms belong to a flowering quince I like to call ‘There’s a tag around here somewhere’. I should do a whole post on the plants around here with that name.
I planted tulips at the end of each vegetable garden bed so they would look pretty for Easter. By golly, I think they will still have enough bloom left on Sunday to make a good showing.
Years ago, I planted a row of daffodils along the edge of the vegetable garden so I’d have some for cutting. I always thought they were all yellow, but here they are all white. I have no idea how one tulip ended up there. Unless… you don’t suppose a squirrel dug up one bulb from the vegetable garden bed and planted it there, do you?
You just cannot have a spring garden without Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica. The pink buds open to become blue flowers. The foliage then dies back and disappears within mere weeks. If you don’t have room for some Virginia bluebells in this climate, you are gardening all wrong.
Rue anemone. Thalictrum thalictroides. I rescued these about six years ago from a wooded area that was going to be dammed up to form a lake. They have survived less than optimal conditions here (too much sun for them) but are still coming back in the spring and blooming for me.
Nearby, another plant recused from the same area with a bud showing so it qualifies for bloom day. This is Trillium erectum, also known as Wake-Robin or Red Trillium.
And what do you know? It’s the first bleeding heart, Lamprocapnos spectabilis, in bloom. Another one whose variety name is ‘There’s a Tag Around Here Somewhere’.
Same for this Phlox subulata.
I have woodland violets blooming in my lawn, and see the clover leaves? I’ll spare you a picture of dandelions. In fact, I’ll confess to pulling a few dandelions while taking bloom day pics so those camera-hogs wouldn’t be in every picture.
Under the oakleaf hydrangeas is a little puddle of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It will be completely shaded out once the hydrangeas leaf out, but today is its day to shine.
It’s not April without the blooms of the crabapple ‘Guinevere’. I can tell spring is ahead just by this one tree which is usually just starting to open up for bloom day. It’s been blooming for a week now. Within the next week, all those petals will drop and cover the ground beneath. It’s a lovely sight.
Lilacs! Yes, the common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, is blooming. Other lilacs will soon follow.
Daffodils? Yes, we have daffodils for April bloom day.
Tulips? Yes, of course. These are unusual hybrid tulips because they’ve come back for the last ten years or so. Most of the hybrid tulips don’t do that around here. They die back after a year or so. I guess these tulips just like it here.
And so does Viburnum carlesii. They can overpower a lilac with their scent and often do. It does make weeding nearby more pleasant when these are in full bloom.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my fruit trees and shrubs in flower.
There’s honeyberry, Lonicera caerulea, a nice shrub that can be grown instead of blueberries, for those of us without acidic soils. I should have a nice crop this year, its third year in my garden, because there is another, different variety nearby to ensure cross-pollination.
I’m excited to see the pawpaw tree, Asimina triloba, is blooming. I should write an entire post about pawpaws. These trees, like honeyberries, don’t self pollinate, so I’m not hopeful about getting any to harvest this year because the other pawpaw tree isn’t blooming yet.
My apple tree is also blooming. I sure hope there is another apple tree in someone else’s garden nearby to pollinate this one.
And finally for bloom day, the first columbine blooms. This tiny little columbine is Aquilegia flabellata and it is no taller then three inches, if that. I’ve had it in my garden long enough that the variety name is probably ‘I Lost That Tag’. I’m just happy it comes back every year.
And that’s a taste of April blooms from my garden.
What’s blooming in your gardening in the middle of April? Are your blooms ahead or behind last year? We would love for you to join in and show us.
It’s easy to participate in Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Just post on your blog about the blooms in your garden on or about the 15th of the month, then leave a comment here to tell us what you have waiting for us to see and a link in the Mr. Linky widget so we can find you.
And remember… “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence