Garden Journal-As April Begins..


“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”

–  Edward Giobbi

I know I said I was only blogging once a month in April, but I had to update Hanni at Sweet Bean Gardening as to what is happening here in the garden.  You see she is hosting the Hope Grows Day meme on the 5th of every month.  We post what we are hoping to see in our garden in a month.  Back on March 5th, I was happy just to have no snow and warmer weather in a month…well I wanted a bit more than that.  If we go back to my post Cleanse, I said I wanted to see more of my garden, but especially the pond come to life.

And now that spring really is here in my zone 5 garden in Central New York on the south side of Oneida Lake, maybe I may get my wish.

Not quite what I was expecting.  I was hoping for water lilies breaking the surface, the first frog and other plants beginning to grow on the waters edge.  Instead we had some ice and snow last week (bottom left),  but now the pond is finally stirring to life.  Tadpoles are swimming (lower right and 2nd on top) and hiding amongst the dead leaves and algae.  Red leaves are growing under water(3rd from bottom on left) heralding the water lily’s return.

Common Garter Snake

We are about 2 weeks behind last year so we haven’t seen too much growth in the garden.  The temps have been in the low 50s this past weekend and it’s been sunny so I was able to get out and clean up for about 2 hours.  That got me as far as the front yard gardens.  Here is where I usually find major vole damage after winter.  But I may have found a solution that just happened upon the scene (look carefully to the picture on the right).  If I can entice him to stay and grow, he may just take care of the problem for me.  But I have to make sure not to tell my neighbor Ginger or she’ll never come to my house again.

Voles have destroyed most of the crocus in the front and wall garden.  They did damage to all the shrubs and small roses and some of the plants.  They killed a lot of grass and they really have to go.  I will be changing some parts of the front garden to perhaps minimize the damage.

What is growing in lots of places are more crocus and iris reticulata.  I did a collage so you can see some of the eye candy popping.  If you look real hard to the top right crocus you will see our first pollinator too.  And speaking of eye candy, Katarina at Roses and Stuff is hosting her Blooming Friday meme.  Dont’ forget Tootsie at Tootsie Timeon Friday for her Fertilizer Friday meme….check them out this friday as i link in…you will definitely see more lovely eye candy.


We are sure to see hyacinths and daffodils this week since they are forming flowers.  And Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa) is just about to bloom with puschkinia and Scilla siberica.  Columbine are stirring with the clematis and honeysuckle vines.  Buds are starting to swell on a couple of hydrangea and the forsythias are starting to bud with lilacs.  By next weekend it will all look different…colors will burst and green will be filling in all over.  It is a rush of senses these springs in my garden, in my town here.  What am I hoping to see in May.  Well here’s a preview, but I can bet I will see a rush of flowers blooming all over from columbine to iris and creeping phlox.

One hope for May

So by May 5th the picture of the pond to the left is what I hope to see! And what about the veggie garden. I can’t forget that.  Some early veggies will go out in the garden this weekend under the row cover.  Snap peas, radish, kale, lettuce to name a few.  By May 5th I should be harvesting some of these …at least that is what I hope!!



“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
–  Mark Twain

Special Note: I will be contributing to a new website, Walkabout Chronicles, the brainchild of 2 wonderful friends.  It is an honor that they have asked me to write for this incredible endeavor.  Check it out and keep coming back for new features as it grows.  It is not about gardening, but about life (well I always throw gardening in).  And if you want to contribute just drop them a line.


  1. Liane says:

    First of all I love reading your posts about your incredible garden and your soul journey!

    And thank you for now blessing us at WalkaboutChronicles with your brilliant insight and journeys through life!


    • Donna says:

      I am so happy to be a regular contributor to this wonderful adventure at Walkabout Chronicles…it is so exciting to see it unfold..such an excellent concept brought to fruition…

  2. Donna says:

    Pretty images and great story as usual. I love reading your blog, now times two. You have been in the 50’s? Ours was short lived as we had snow yesterday. It was cold, but the snow did not stay. Still 32 now, but 6o by Sunday. I wonder if the snow will relent then?

    • Donna says:

      Yes we had 50s on the weekend and 60 on Monday…40 yesterday with snow that stuck for a while…back to 40s for a few days and 70 by weekend…hope to plant veggies this weekend under the row cover…I so appreciate your support and readership…your weather can be so different from ours…hoping for wonderful warm weather coming your way finally!!

  3. One says:

    Your hope for May is one lovely sight! I hope it will come true for you. I am certain Walkabout Chronicles would be interesting.

    • Donna says:

      Thx….my May hope should come true if we keep getting some warm weather…the new venture is wonderful…check it out…very great life affirming posts and of course my life lessons will fit in nicely…

  4. island threads says:

    Donna beautiful photos wishing you many happy spring days and congrats on your new venture, I have Scilla Siberica in my garden for the first time this year and I love their intense blue, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Frances…the new venture is great….I get to write more life lessons..just writing more makes me happy…I cannot wait to see the Scilla bloom …we are warming up slowly this week and should see them peak out….I have some macro shots of them last year that are gorgeous…

  5. Alistair says:

    Donna, your opener suggesting no matter how old you get you will always enjoy your garden. I second that, I have become fed up of thinking perhaps we should downsize, I have decided to enjoy my garden till the end of my days, if my eyesight holds out that is and if not I will plant a sensory garden. Good luck with your projects, enjoyed your post as ever.

    • Donna says:

      I was so happy to find that quote because I had been thinking about how I would garden as I continue to age…then i said forget it, I am gardening because it will keep me from aging…I love the idea of a sensory garden…glad you enjoyed the post!!

  6. p3chandan says:

    Your eye candy collage is so gorgeous! You have lots of vibrant colours to brighten up your garden. Looking forward to next month especially the progress of your pond.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you for dropping by…I have had to plant lots of bulbs to get that eye candy but you know it stands out in the early spring and is quickly dwarfed as more bulbs come out…daffs are just about ready to burst…the pond will be growing quickly as we warm up…it is an amazing transformation…

  7. tina says:

    I’m not sure if I’d rather see the water lillies or a frog. I’m leaning toward the frog though. It is fabulous to see it in your pond. Happy spring to you and I’m so glad it has arrived. The crocuses are beautiful.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Tina….I love both the lily and the frogs, but I do so miss the frogs more…they are so much fun…we always celebrate the first frog in the pond…

  8. The Sage Butterfly says:

    Donna, I always enjoy your quotes. They set the tone for the article to come. Your flowers are looking so beautiful. We had snow a little over a week ago, but now we are having weather befitting spring. I am looking forward to the sun and the flowers.

    • Donna says:

      Oh thank you…I really do try to make that happen and I am glad the quotes work they way I am intending…slow warm up here, but we are headed to 60s this weekend and 50s the rest of the week…happy spring!!!

  9. Ilona says:

    I love your quote about gardening and your spring pictures are delightful. You sound like your plate is full of garden tasks- spring is so busy! But it is really worth it later when you sit by your pond and eat fresh food from your own garden 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Ilona it definitely is worth it to work hard in the spring…and my plate is full with gardening, writing and a day job, but I love it!! I am glad you liked the post….

  10. PlantPostings says:

    Love the Twain quote! Wow, you have a lot of color in your garden, Donna! It sounds like we’re at about the same point, except I don’t have as many spring bulbs planted. I will have to do something about that! The Crocus photos are lovely!

    • Donna says:

      I keep adding early spring bulbs in hopes they will grow in except for crocus that get eaten by voles…will see many more soon…I have to snap crocus pics quick around here because that is the only way to remember them…happy spring…we’ll catch up soon and then it will all flower at once…

  11. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    Hi Donna,
    Like you, I figure my garden is about two weeks behind where it usually is at this time of year.
    One day I hope to have a pond like yours. Did the frogs just arrive or did you bring them to the pond? Are there turtles are well? (I wasn’t sure- it was hard to tell in the photos) It would be wonderful to have lots of things swimming around in my “dream” pond.
    I am looking forward to seeing your pond covered in lilies this May.

    • Donna says:

      Jennifer the pond is a lot of fun..the frogs just arrive with the toads and they both breed in the pond…turtles have not made it to the pond but that is good because they are big around here and would take over…the birds also claim it for themselves as a spa…hope you get your wish for a pond…I love it…

  12. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    I am happy to see (non-venomous) snakes in my garden as well. Those voles are just terrible little creatures. I battle with them constantly and lost many a plant to their demise. So glad to see some blooms and color in your garden.

  13. Hanni says:

    So glad for you that you seem to have finally come out of the last bits of winter and heading into spring! 🙂 That’s wonderful! 🙂

  14. Masha says:

    I loved your flower collage, it cheered me up so much (we have unusually cold weather, and rain and hail are predicted). It was such fun to see pictures of tadpoles – -this is not something I often see on peoples’ blogs:).

    • Donna says:

      Oh Masha I am so glad it cheered you…sad to hear of the nasty weather..the tadpoles are such fun..they can sense you when you get close and they run for cover much like the frogs…

  15. debsgarden says:

    Your collages are beautiful! As your spring begins, mine will soon be giving over to summer. I am always happy to see snakes in my garden; I have lost too many plants to voles!

    • Donna says:

      It will be fun to see your summer garden unfold…I am also happy to see non-poisonous snakes and hope to see more and less voles 🙂

  16. Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Donna, I love this post showing ‘what is’ and ‘what is to be.’ Your pond is beautiful. Mine has not woken up, yet. I think all gardeners have spring fever at this time. P x

    • Donna says:

      Pam I am glad you liked the post and the pond…baby steps right now but things are about to break wide open in the garden with the warm weather…happy spring!!

  17. Laura @ PatioPatch says:

    Hi Donna – Hope springs eternal! Lovely to see life returning to your garden – it’s like rewinding Spring here. Always enjoy your writings so congrats on the new endeavour at Walkabout Chronicles.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Laura and I am honored by your wonderful compliments always..I hope you stop by Walkabout and read my posts from time to time…I will reference them here as well…

  18. Tootsie says:

    thanks for linking in this week…your bright spring blooms are just SO cheerful! I love the blue flowers…doesn’t matter what they are…they are just perfect in my eyes!

    • Donna says:

      I was so glad I could finally link in with something…those blues are my favs as well…I have them all over and they are stunning….

  19. joey says:

    Ah, spring fever! Lovely post and your May pond is stunning. I love lily pads, frogs, toads but when it comes to the snake, I’m a wimp! (I might choose the voles 🙂 April joy!

  20. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    How wonderful to spot tadpoles! I thought we had lost all our frog spawn to the newts, but I spotted a few tadpoles in our pond too, so fingers crossed some survive to hop away! Glorious Spring colour, I love seeing Iris reticulata and crocus blooming, mine are now just leaves and memories. Enjoy your new blog venture – and your garden.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Janet. I just found our first frog and a pair of non-poisonous snakes at the pond yesterday…should be interesting…enjoy your frogs 🙂

  21. Carolflowerhillfarm says:

    Lovely photos of your spring bulbs in bloom Donna! I wish you luck with your ally the garter snake. Voles have done many, many of my bulbs and plants in too. Your pond life is teaming . . . how fun to watch your tadpoles grow!

    • Donna says:

      We shall see with the snakes who have called their family to the pond and we are now 4…they better start taking care of those voles though or they may be moved to the forever green area pond…I hope the tadpoles make it …the larger snake has been doing some underwater hunting but with the colder weather he has gone back into hiding…

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