Sunshine and warm temperatures have continued to coax many plants into bloom. Others are slowly beginning to grow new shoots and leaves and their new coats of green are very appealing. We have weeded, pruned, spread all purpose fertilizer and mulch, and cleaned the pond (twice, actually). We are ready; let the spring roll on!The showest part of the garden are the iris. Last fall we tore up turf in the lawn around the fish pond and created beds for iris. I used the iris had from previous gardens and with a few new ones I bought three years ago when we first moved to this house, dividing all the sizable clumps.

I thought that I had a lot of purple-blue ones and I was right.

All these early ones are purple-blue and they seem to be of three different types. The tallest are two tone.

The shortest irises blooming are a rich dark purple. They are twice-blooming iris and will bloom again in October.

This is ‘Bountiful Harvest’, also a twice-blooming iris. The “Bountiful” may refer to its twice-blooming characteristic but it may also refer to its ability to divide; it multiplies like the proverbial rabbit!

In the center of the iris garden is the fish pond. Our fish were eaten by the Great Blue Heron that sometimes visits our pond and we have new ones. The water lilies are sending up their lovely leaves.

At the front of the house the white dogwoods are blooming at the same time as the ‘Delaware Valley’ azaleas. In past years they did not bloom at the same time.

The azaleas are just beginning and many buds have a tinge of green.

Some of the variegated hosta like ‘Patriot’ echo the white of the dogwood and azaleas.

Others echo the chartreuse green of the azaleas buds.

The lily-of-the-valley are swirling open and I expect to have flowers by May Day.

The last of my spring blooming bulbs, the Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), is budding up.

I have blue ones under the Miss Kim lilacs.

The graceful branches dance behind peonies that are forming their buds.

Their branches are heavy with clusters of flowers.

The secret garden is small and attached to the house and surrounded by a wall so the temperature there is considerably warmer than elsewhere in the garden. This was the first place the columbine blossomed. We have the blue Aquilegia flabellate;

And the white.

The pink columbine Winky Red-White is slower to come into bloom but has buds and a few open flowers.

The fringed bleeding heart, Dicentra exima, is coming into bloom too. It likes this location and will bloom for months.

The akebia vine that grows on the wall can be a pest. We whack it back several times a year but it comes back with a vengeance. The flowers aren’t very conspicuous but they are interesting if you take the time to seek them out.

The Venus-fly-trap in the bog garden is just beginning to emerge.

The pitcher plant is sending up flowers.

The first rose to bloom was a climber named ‘Casino’. It has the large old-fashioned flowers of old garden roses and lustrous foliage.

The only other rose to bloom is ‘Reine des Violettes’. The canes of this bush have been cut back and bear virtually no leaves so this flower is quite a surprise (and not very pretty).

The climbing hydrangea that I planted two years ago is looking vigorous and I hope this signals some significant growth this year.

The new growth on the deodor cedars gives them a fairyland like look.

Sweet gum saplings sprouted all over our garden last year and the head gardner tagged them with the idea of transplanting them to a moist section of the property where they will provide beautiful fall color. I sure hope that plan is implemented or I will have a lot of sweet gums shading my gardens.

This arbor at the entrance to the rose garden is getting very bushy.  I can hardly wait for its bloom.

Garden Journal pointer

By Karen

2 thoughts on “Garden Journal: April 18, 2010”
  1. Hi, Karen –

    Nancy Hamilton sent me you website and I’ve just spent my lunch hour going thru it. It’s absolutely wonderful and I can’t get over your gardens. They are truly amazing. Nancy and I went to the Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday and I was showing her around my gardens and pointing out the plants that you gave me. I lost a lot of the hostas to voles but milky spore appears to have resolved that problem for now. The astilbe have really filled in this year and will be beautiful when they bloom.

    I took Chuck’s quizzes and scored 100% on them — I’m proud to say. Gardening is such a pleasure. Glad you’re doing well and living in such a beautiful place. Take care and I’ll e-mail questions when I have them.

    1. Judy,
      I am so glad to hear from you and that “my friends” are doing well in your garden…well at least some of them. Too bad about the hostas. Mine are not doing too well because I have so much sun in this garden.

      I am impressed with your score on the quizzes. I think the trees and shrubs are difficult since its hard to capture ‘the look’ of them in a small picture. I am working on a whole series on perennials and annuals for the summer and have a different sort of one on vegetables in the hopper.

      I would love to see some pictures of your garden. Nancy said it was lovely.


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