Tangled stalks and decomposing leaves, skeletons of the past season, disappear into the ground. The garden is ready for a new beginning, ready to receive the seeds and plants.
Dori Dana Hudson
So it is May already, but my garden says it is still early April both in bloom and weather. In May I should see columbines blooming along with tulips, moss phlox and many native plants like Virginia bluebell and trillium. But we are just in the middle of daffodils, English primrose (pictured right) and hyacinths. What I call my early blooms that tolerate cold weather (thank God)!
But I am not complaining as I do not have the garden all cleaned up yet, and I will be laid up possibly in May. So any delays may work out for me. As you may have read in my last post, I might have to have surgery for a pesky hernia. It is not easy being told you cannot garden. My husband got the doctor to agree with him to limit my gardening now so the reluctant garden helper (the husband) is having to clean up the rest of the garden and do garden chores if will stop raining….and oh his aching back!
This April Garden Journal at least has some blooms. And as I am trying to take note of all that is going on, this is a long post. I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View as I look back at April…although I think the calendar got it wrong again and March just ended!!
As far as weather is concerned let’s just say…ugh! We started with temps in the low 40s during the day which suddenly shot up to the 70s and low 80s. Then back to the 30s and low 20s with snow. They never recovered much above the low 50s. And rain, well we have had 6 inches making for a mucky garden. I am shocked how much actually is growing given the cold temps.
But oh, those sunrises have been wonderful as I watch the sun rise farther north. The orange-purple sky gives way quickly to the bright yellow sunshine.
And what a fabulous bright sun it has been, as you can see above, shining on the daffodils making them appear neon.
Here are the early blooming gardens this April.
You can see the bulbs dotting the garden with color, and lots of foliage growing in hopes of flowers in May. There are poppies, iris, moss phlox, lavender and geraniums waiting to grow more and bloom.
This is the other side of the walk. Sorry the picture is a bit lopsided. You can see the empty vole-ravaged area here, but I moved some columbine volunteers here to fill in.
This is the only garden we actually weeded and mulched. Oh well once the weather warms and I am well again, the rest of the front gardens will be finished. Our sod greened up quickly once we got that shot of warm air and the rain.
The side garden here looks a bit ragged, but I do not clean up the gardens perfectly. We leave lots of last year’s spent garden debris as it is a great mulch. And the birds love to use it for their nests. Once the garden gets going more, you do not see much of it.
Here is the white garden beginning to flower with tulips, English primrose, lungwort and hyacinth. Soon Leucojum, Sweet Woodruff, white anemone, white scilla and white bearded iris will bloom. I really need to add more white native plants here.
The amazing colors of the hyacinths are one of the reasons I love these flowers. Their scent is the other reason and why I have them all over the front walk and patio gardens. In this way, I can smell them as the breeze blows through the gardens.
This hellebore bloom starts out as white and then fades to a dusty rose color. It appears the ants are enjoying it too.
One of the many Pulmonaria or lungwort starting to bloom. I love the variegation of the leaves as much as the flowers.
Iris reticulata bloomed in April and the native bees were so happy to see these flowers.
These Glory-of-the-Snow were also a pollinator favorite. I think these may be carpenter bees.
Bloodroot was blooming around the garden. Love these white flowers.
The hepatica actually bloomed ahead of Bloodroot this spring.
The flowers of Twinleaf or Jeffersonia diphylla are just popping up before the leaves unfurl. Such a lovely muted coloring that matches the emerging foliage.
Here are the veggie seeds growing indoors. Starting top left and moving clockwise, I just transplanted the tomatoes for the first time. Soon I will have to transplant them into even bigger containers as they wait until the end of May when we can plant them outside in the garden bed.
Then there are peppers and eggplant growing. I will be transplanting the sweet and hot peppers and green chiles soon along with the basil in the bottom right picture. I am growing lemon, cinnamon and Italian basil. Lastly I am growing several varieties of marigolds. I did just start some sunflowers, morning glories and marjoram the last week in April. All these seeds will also be planted outside at the end of May.
This bed has 10 of the almost 100 cloves of garlic we planted. It will be the home of 4 tomatoes come the end of May.
This is the last garden area that has to be cleaned up, but the peas and radishes are planted. Soon they will have pole and bush beans, cucumbers, dill, peppers, eggplant and okra. The small bed in the background has blueberries and strawberries beginning to grow.
This new bed has carrots, beets, scallions, arugula, lettuce, endive and spinach. In summer it will have a few arches and trellises growing melons and squashes over the bed that will shade the carrots and lettuces.
Here is the rest of the garlic (almost 90 cloves). They have responded nicely to the cool spring weather and organic fertilizer. This bed also has some early herbs like Italian parsley, cilantro and chervil.
Both the pond and meadow are waking up.
This is the view from the patio looking over the pond toward the veg garden. The pond is beginning to grow with hardy water lilies. See the bit of red under water.
Here’s a close up of the water lilies growing, and….
here is the first water-lily popping on top of the pond by the end of April.
The meadow is aglow with daffodils that continue to spread. This is just half of the meadow.
Our visitors in April were varied and included our first of the season garter snake and frog in the pond, a northern leopard frog shown below. Pictured here, top left moving clockwise, is a female bunny trying to make a nest in the garden. And the toads woke up and dug themselves out from their winter hibernation. The hairy woodpeckers came to partake with the Northern Flickers (lower left) and pileated woodpeckers (not pictured) that make their home just behind us in the woods.
Of course the birds have to be careful as this Cooper’s hawk caught one feeding on the garden floor. I think it is a junco that you can see under it’s talon. And that little frog is a spring peeper. We found this one on the driveway and helped him back into the cooler garden. The peepers are now in our pond as well as the pond in the wild area. It is quite a noisy night to hear them calling to one another as mating season begins.
Due to time constraints and little going on with the trees this month, I am combining my tree following post with my journal post.
I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.
You can see the flowers on my silver maple are done blooming and leaves are beginning to bud finally at the end of April.
The Wide Shot
Xericstyle is hosting this meme the first of every month, and all you have to do is post your favorite wide shot of your garden. As the front gardens were decimated by voles, I thought it best to watch this area to see what blooms, doesn’t bloom and how the succession of bloom looks this year. It will be a great way to evaluate the gardens here for any changes needed.
Here’s what the end of April looks like. Spring is here, but it is behind by about 2 weeks.
Gardens Eye Verse
With some warm days in early spring, my spirit was buoyed, and I felt like I was walking on air. I hope you enjoy my spring verse celebrating that feeling.
Thoughts On Spring’s ArrivalI am alive, free on the wing of a bird flying high. Their song lifts me as it breaks against the early light, bouncing through newly formed leaves. I ride it, with the wind blowing the clouds, swirling over water seeing a face I did not know. Feeling a soul lighter dancing on the ripples, a giggle bubbles up and fills my heart. The day is limitless and endless to explore, each not repeating only this one- this day, this adventure. This moment is enough!
Next up on the blog: Next Monday I will profile all the blooms in the garden for GBBD. Hoping to see more finally blooming.
I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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