April Highlights 2016

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

April has been a gorgeous and floriferous month. I want to invite you along as I make note of some particular enjoyments from my little spring garden.

When featuring white Dutch Iris in a Monday vase on March 28 I mentioned I thought I had planted blues ones this year but could not remember where. Happy to report they are found and blooming this week, not all blue, but rather a mixed collection that is delightful.

Dutch Iris mix (Planted Fall 2015)

Dutch Iris mix (Planted Fall 2015)

To add further to the confusion, I displayed these leaves as part of April’s foliage day. At the time I thought they were alliums. The mystery now is where did I place the alliums.

 

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ has given a rewarding show this spring and often I feel the columbine in its midst makes a charming companion.

Unfortunately, this native Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is becoming unmanageable, drifting to all corners of the garden. I will cut it all back this week but seedlings are everywhere.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

With this year’s nice gentle spring, Coreopsis has bloomed well. Although I often see it recommended for summer, it generally stops blooming here when it gets too hot or maybe it is too dry. Then it resumes briefly in autumn.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Nearby, Verbena bonariensis is shooting upwards next to Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft), one of my favorite white flowered plants.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Peonies are ever so close to blooming, 3 in one border and 1 in another. A third border hosts a peony purchased last year that already was in flower. Its foliage looks healthy but does not promise blooms this year.

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

Foxglove have been difficult to establish in my garden, but I keep trying. I added 3 new plants in early spring, Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove).

Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)

Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ was featured in this week’s vase. It grows outside the main enclosed garden at the top of the southern side path and deserves another look.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' underplanted with Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ underplanted with Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

This morning my attention soon drifted away from the clematis to the spires of Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ across the path.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Yesterday I just saw two huge yellow Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ at the N. C. Botanical Garden in full bloom. My own baptisia seems minor by comparison and must really not be in a good spot. It is supposed to be very easy to grow. Nevertheless I enjoyed discovering these blossoms today.

 

Verbena bonariensis growing in the side path opened just this week.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

This yellow bearded iris is a pass-along from my long-ago neighbor Henrietta. Many of the irises in my current garden came from her.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris). A passalong from Henrietta circa 1977.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris). A passalong from Henrietta circa 1977.

Flowers on this white Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) began opening last week.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

A late-flowering Narcissus showed up this week, but I have not been able to find the tag. I would like to believe these are the one transplanted from my family home about three years ago, but I also bought some similar bulbs after those did not appear the first year.

Narcissus

Narcissus

Narcissus

Narcissus

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ is beautiful this spring. Here it is growing near Clematis ‘Niobe’.

The grass needs cutting every few days, but that is not happening on schedule. Maybe today it will though before some predicted showers. The meditation circle is on the list for a good clipping and cleanup. Thyme has happily adapted to the center of the labyrinth and beyond, overtaking some of the pavers. The pansies took a while to bulk up after winter. They soon will be replaced with angelonia for summer.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Edging the border just before the labyrinth begins is a nice stand of saliva, Meadow Sage ‘May Night’. This is where the lady bug in the top image was hanging out.  (Tradescantia is popping up everywhere too).

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

At the northeast gate the path is blue with blooms of Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper). There is a lot of sedum mixed with it.

Path at NE Gate - Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Path at NE Gate – Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Plenty of tasks await the gardener today but I have been taking time to enjoy the birds, chimes, fragrances and blossoms swaying on gentle breezes. Thanks for visiting.

 

 

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “April Highlights 2016

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My partner in crime you are! There’s a reason children are taught work first, play later. I’m having to pull weeds before every photo I take. But then again, the garden is for my peace of mind.

      Reply
  1. Beth @ PlantPostings

    Oh, I really like your plant combinations–especially the Irises and the Euphorbia/Columbine combo. Your Peonies are now way ahead of mine since we’re having a cold snap. Your garden looks so welcoming!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Beth. I’ve discovered peonies only in the last few years and am smitten. Hope the cold snap doesn’t damage the peonies. From what I understand they probably like cold better than our heat and humidity.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    You are way ahead of us, it was lovely to see so many flowers that will take another month or so for us.You have some really pretty blooms, your iris are so beautiful and I can’t believe you have Verbena bonariensis flowering already!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Didn’t realize these flowers would be blooming so far ahead of yours. This past week there seemed to be a bit of a shift in the garden, but most of the irises are a week or two away.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    The garden is bursting with colour at the moment. I’m glad you’re taking time to enjoy it all. Spring is always a bit of a whirlwind but this year seems to be rushing by faster than ever before. Too much columbine is a good problem to have!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Spring has been cooler (with lower humidity) this year and so it seems we’ve had a nice long spring. I’ve neglected the garden for other pursuits this year, but for the next two weeks the irises at least should encourage me. I love the columbine but its spread has reached a tipping point.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    Lovely, as Pauline says above, to see a garden that is further forward. It has been a chilly wet spring and we are still hanging around at the sodden tulip stage! I loved your little path up to the gate with the Isotoma and sedums – and I wish I had Aquilegia canadensis threatening to become a weed.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Cathy and thank you. Sodden tulip stage sounds so sad, but I hope your gardening weather improves. The little blue flowers on Isotoma are so appealing, but it has spread further than expected. Everything here needs a firm hand, but I’ve been lax. That explains the aquilegia. Beautiful, but I’ve let it charm me for too long.

      Reply
  5. Julie

    I enjoyed your tour Susie, you have so much to be delighted by. Temperatures are so low here, that it feels like January. I am trying to grow Aquilegia longissima from seed this year, they came with instructions to start off with bottom heat, if no germination after 1 – 3 months, cold stratify. Nothing doing so far. I wish I had chosen Eastern Columbines instead, yours look beautiful and I would love to have to many!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Julie. Wish I could share some columbine with you. A. canadensis is native here and has made itself right at home. I looked up Aquilegia longissima and it is lovely–hope the seeds surprise you and take off soon. Didn’t realize you were having such cold temperatures. Do you plants tolerate it ok?

      Reply
      1. Julie

        My Magnolia is a sorry mess and there is cold burn on some of the new foliage of other plants. I have just been reading we have had an average April, but I still feel short changed and we still have the wood burner on, I’m looking forward to days like yours. 🙂

  6. Cathy

    Really enjoyed the views of your garden Susie. The purple corner with the clematis and baptisia is lovely, and the white iris is gorgeous too. I’m sure I have admired that one in past years… isn’t it great to see old favourites popping up again! Those alliums will be a nice surprise when they turn up too. 🙂 I have got some allium leaves appearing, but don’t remember what sort I planted last year, so I will not bother looking it up and let them surprise me too.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. Sometimes it’s a bit of a treat to have these garden surprises–I’m really enjoying those Dutch Iris. They’re even fuller and more colorful today. I’ll look forward to seeing your allium flowers when they bloom.

      Reply
  7. rusty duck

    Such a shame the columbine is a problem, it’s so pretty. It looks to be a favourite of the deer, I shall be lucky if I have any flowers left to set seed!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Those pesky deer! Hope they leave you some seeds. We installed a fence that they could easily jump but it’s as high as our neighborhood covenants would allow. The deer are deterred–they seem to have found another route, but I still try not to plant things that would entice them into the garden again.

      Reply
  8. Frogend_dweller

    How beautiful. I love the misty blue expanse of the meadow sage and that Baptisia is just wonderful. My experiments with Baptisia ended when they didn’t survive overwintering in the greenhouse.

    Reply
  9. Brian Skeys

    You certainly have many highlights for April, it is difficult to choose a favourite. I would be happy if the aquilegia was spreading through my garden, we have lost most of ours, there is a new disease killing aquilegia here, with no know treatment as yet.

    Reply
  10. P&B

    Wow! They really appreciate your care; see how lush and colorful they are. I didn’t know that Rose Campion came in white, very interesting. The ladybug is a perfect shot.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, I liked that ladybug. Grew white Rose Campion from seed (rare for me, but they are easy) many years ago. Need to add back some original magenta. A neighbor gave me a red one but it is actually a dark red, not the magenta.

      Reply
  11. bittster

    Beautiful pictures but I think my favorite spot is the pavers mixed with the creeping groundcover. It looks so lush!
    Oh but the euphorbia with the columbine is great too 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s