Gardens Eye Journal-May 2015


“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring roots with spring rain.”  ~T.S. Eliot 



I am not sure if April is a cruel month, but it is certainly is unpredictable.  We started with a garden filled with 3 feet of snow still in April, then a thaw, a freeze, another thaw, snow and finally summer like weather.  Almost as if all 4 seasons were crammed into 30 days.

But we have are riding a high as the weather has been warm, pleasant and *pinch me* perfect for DSCN2906gardening.  I have loads I want to do, but am taking it slow.  I know what can happen when I overdo it.  So one small project at a time for now.

And with the warm weather, the garden has kicked into high gear.  Leaves on trees and shrubs are just budding, and some wildflowers are even out.  We have tons of daffodils and hyacinths everywhere for spring color, but I expect lots of perennials will be flowering before I know it.  

So with the end of another month, it is time to see how the garden fared.  And a I review my garden, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.





april rainbow

We have had some thunder, hail and about 4 inches of rain in April, not to mention an inch of snow on April 23rd.  All that moisture made for a very wet and flooded garden.

A wonderful surprise was this rainbow we had one evening as it was raining and the sun was setting.  Makes for some of the best rainbow viewing.  




Garden Views



This was how the garden looked after the first 5 days of April.  Finally getting a thaw and a third of the snow gone.  But it all came to a screeching halt, as the cold weather was back for about 10 days.  But once even with daytime highs in the 30s and 40s, the snow melted a bit each day until and finally melted fully on the 16th.




snow apr 21

I couldn’t work in the garden because of the very wet conditions, and just as it was finally starting to warm more into the 50s, this snowstorm and a few nights of frost happened.  You can see how quickly the snow accumulated and we even had white out conditions.  But an hour later it was all gone as you can see in the last picture.  That snow seemed to be the turning point because after that we went right into 60s and 70s for daytime highs.





I thought I would show you a couple of beds for now as we are only just beginning to get to projects.  Everywhere you look there are now daffodils and hyacinths that replaced the iris reticulata.  A few Siberian Squill or Scilla siberica and Puschkinia scilloides were still going strong.  

I don’t really have any tulips except the few tiny Tulipa turkestanica that I found growing along the patio…pictured above under the Fritillaria michailovskyi at the top of the post.  





This was the side garden at the end of April.  Just starting to come into flower.  Now alliums are growing fast along with iris, hellebores, Aquilegia and forget-me-nots that should all be flowering soon.





This is my little 3 foot Hamamelis virginiana or Witch Hazel tree.  It is 4 years old and finally flowering.  Tiny little flowers, but spectacular none-the-less.  It is a native tree that I hope to profile in the future.




wildflowers collage

Today starts National Wildflower Week (May 4-10, 2015).  I am posting a wildflower a day on Facebook.  Here are the wildflowers growing in my garden now.  Top left (moving clockwise) is Bloodroot, Violet, Dutchman’s Breeches (new one for me and a surprise), Pachysandra procumbens (native to SE US), and Trout Lily in the center.  There are several others just getting ready to flower soon.




Indoor Gardening

seeds april collage

The basement grow station is in high gear (center right).  I have almost transplanted everything down there.  A few squashes and herbs still need time to grow.  Top left is celery and watermelon.  Moving clockwise are the Antirrhinums that should have been started with the pansies (in hindsight).  Bottom right are all the marigolds.  Next the tomatoes had their first transplant.  I will be transplanting them again this week into bigger pots.  Up from the tomatoes are all the peppers.

I had one new last-minute plant we are going to try this year, tomatillo or Physalis philadelphica.




Tree Following


I am following my very young Tilia americana or American Linden tree.  Even with the good weather we are having, the tree is just showing buds beginning to open.  So I will do a further profile for my Simply The Best series in a couple of weeks.tree-logo

I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th o fevery month.






pond collage

The pond fully thawed on the 12th.  And by the end of the month, the water lilies were starting.  We are unsure what that last picture is.  Perhaps eggs laid.  Any ideas?




april frogs

And we have had many visitors already.  Loads of tadpoles swimming around that overwintered in the pond.  And the first frogs in the pond, every year, are the Northern Leopard Frogs picture at the bottom.  The one on the right found a mate as you can see in the bottom left picture.  Soon after they mate, they leave the pond for other areas in the garden, and the Green Frogs come in (top picture).  Found 2 in the pond already.  And we are hearing peepers in the pond too.






This is the meadow so far.  Mostly daffodils with lupines getting bigger every day.  They should appear sometime in mid to late May.






critters molting

The critters are beginning to lose their winter fur.  The poor fox, Hunter, looks ragged.  You can see the deer still in winter coats in early April (bottom picture), and the twins top right sporting thinner coats.  They are still learning to cross the street on their own as mom leaves them more and more on their own.





april birds

And of course the birds have been busy.  Our suet feeders get lots of action.  The Red-Winged Blackbirds (especially this male top left) are discovering the suet feeder.  The Hairy Woodpecker and Black-Capped Chickadee were sharing the feeder.  Chickadees are frequent visitors this year and we even saw one checking out the birdhouses in the meadow.  The Red-Bellied Woodpecker (center right) does not like to share.  Tufted Titmice are back too and boy do they have a distinctive whistle.  

And there is a charming Cardinal pair that love to eat the suet that falls beneath both feeders.  Aren’t they cute.  They sing and hang about the garden although their nest is behind us in the wild area.  I’ll have a new Wildlife Lesson post about many of these birds, and  a new visitor to the garden, on Thursday on my other blog, Living From Happiness.



So there you have a quick synopsis of April’s garden from frozen to blooming.  What’s happening in your garden now?




In A Vase On Monday 




I could not ignore the hundreds of daffodils blooming in my garden so I gathered about 40 that comprise half of the different varieties I grow. 




orange vase 2

Along with the daffodils, are several stems of Multi-Flowering Blue Festival Hyacinth.  These are a bit different in shape as they don’t grow in a large head as regular hyacinths, but in single stems.  Lovely fragrance too.




orange vase

I took  4 groups of 10 daffodils and banded them together, cut the stems and placed them in an orange jug with a blue interior.  Then I just popped in the hyacinths here and there.  Loved the effect.




small vase

I decided to make another little posy and put it in my small bud vase.  Here we have a pink English Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Muscari and a red Lungwort (Pulmonaria rubra).






Lastly, the Hellebores floating from last week are going strong.  I found this lone little reddish pink hyacinth blooming in my red garden.  It had to be moved, so I cut it and put it in the little jug and placed it on the antique books next to the Hellebores.  

I think I will have a couple of small vases each week, as there are too many flowers to choose from for just one larger vase.

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.


Next up on the blog:  

Next Monday, I will have a Stuck Foot post from my White Garden.  

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 



I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

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