April 4, 2015
April Showers and Flowers
April has already brought rain and hail to get ready for all the May flowers, but we have also enjoyed some sunny though cool days. More and more spring green covers the garden along with many little flowers viewed best from a crouch, like the 'Berry Swirl' hellebore above.
A single white hellebore, one of the first I planted, blooms happily in complete shade. Some of the hellebores that bloomed prolifically last year have only sent up a couple of flower stalks this year. Perhaps they didn't get enough water last summer.
'Blue Jacket' hyacinths perfume the west garden path, with 'Axcent Blue' Aubrieta adding a warmer purple color in the background.
Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa) have increased to large clusters around the west and front yards.
'Spring Beauty' Scilla bloom against a background of Colchicum leaves. Scilla spread like wildfire and grow well in sun or shade. Perhaps in a few years I'll be grumbling about how they're taking over the garden, but for now I'm enjoying their vigorous spread.
Old fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, above) and white bleeding heart ('Alba') have buds ready to open in the next week or two. There are also many tulip buds ready to open soon.
'Gladiator' globe allium leaves are full size now in the backyard. I suppose they'll start withering away soon before the flowers appear. The reddish leaves in front are from 'Montgomery' Astilbe, and the little green clumps are 'Caradonna' Salvia.
Crambe cordifolia leaves are purple-green as they emerge, and they remain deep green throughout the summer. Though I planted it a couple of years ago, I have yet to see this plant bloom. I'm hoping to enjoy its airy white flower clusters for the first time this June.
Lately I have been contemplating how to block some of the views into the neighbors' windows to create more privacy in the backyard. I really wish I would have paid more attention to that while planning the garden. I have settled on adding a few more vines ('Hall's Purple' honeysuckle, which is semi-evergreen, and thornless blackberries) in strategic locations. Eventually they will add another foot or so of screening above the fence line. Other than that I'll have to be patient while my young shrubs and trees mature, though most of them are deciduous and will never provide great privacy in winter. Ah well, live and learn.