Gardens Eye Journal-May 2013

IMG_0873 When it is warm, green, and heavenly in spring, there is no lovelier time in a landscape.  ~Robin Lane Fox


I blinked and there it went–April!!  It was over in a flash and I managed to finally get the gardens cleaned up except for the meadow.  That just needs a quick brush up…but oh the garden has changed dramatically this April.  I so love April for the slow changes the garden makes.  After April the garden becomes a mad dash until the fall as far as chores and projects go especially when you are a weekend gardener.

As I write this post, a chorus of bird songs are drifting in through the window with a warm breeze and smells of the garden….grass mixed with daffs and hyacinths.  I DSCN0528catch glimpses of activity out of the corner of my eye as the nesting bluebirds feed frequently on the insect delicacies that abound now.  Pollinators awoke late this April and I caught a glimpse of a Cabbage White in the meadow a few days ago.  And as usual the hummingbird feeder sits quietly waiting for those precious loves to come back to the garden.

I will be checking in with other gardeners and their memes to see what is happening around the world as April ends:  Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog on the 5th, Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.



IMG_0698April had an iffy start with a foot of snow.  On April 2nd (see picture above) we had bone chilling cold and nasty winter conditions much like the middle of the country recently.  April Fools, not at all.  But what a difference a month makes as April brought a slow steady start to spring.  The the weather warmed quickly from the 40s to the 50s and suddenly into the 70s.

And with the warm up, the smaller early bulbs faded, and all the daffs suddenly bloomed with the hyacinths.  We had a few inches of rain in April but the last half has been more sunny than cloudy.  With no leaves out yet, the sun has kept everything growing.  And those wonderful blue skies have sported the moon in all its stages during the day and night.

May is predicted to be warm, almost hot, and very dry.


What’s Growing

I guess the question really is what isn’t growing.  I am having trouble keeping up with everything that is budding, leafing out and blooming.



april nativesMoving top left clockwise, Shooting Star is sporting flower buds as is Virginia bluebells.  Bloodroot made a quick show and the trout lilies are blooming more this year in the meadow.  Violets are everywhere and making wonderful drifts as a ground cover.  Trilliums are just starting their blooming and the flower spikes of Allegheny spurge (center) or Pachysandra procumbens are beginning.


Front Gardens

april front

The front walk has evolved from iris reticulata to muscari, daffodils, hyacinths and my one and only low growing forsythia that blooms profusely.



Back Gardens

April back

You can see the grass is recovering but the vole tracks remain.  And so much color dots the garden beds as the bulbs continue to show up.  These shots were taken in evening as the sun lowered in the sky.



April white garden

 The white garden, next to the gazebo, is looking great as more blooms are popping up.  Hyacinths, daffodils growing in, hardy English primrose, white muscari, white hellebores and Leucojum aestivum which I planted in several areas around the garden as well.


Side Gardens

April sidesBoth side gardens are seeing more color as well.



Other Blooms 

April daffs

Lots of different daffs.  Sorry I have lost the names, and some were just grab bags so I never had the names.


April blues

The blues and purples are everywhere in April.  Muscari, brunnera, anemone blanda, scilla, Juno Iris and hyacinths.


April other bulbs

And then the rest from bottom left clockwise:  Species tulips (Tulipa turkestanica,  unknown and Persian Pearl), Fritillaria meleagris and Fritillaria uva vulpis.



Veg Garden/Seeds

 April veggies

This is what happened to the grow bags I planted in the fall with kale, arugula, lettuces and carrots.  They grew through the fall and then were covered with a white cloth row cover all winter.  Frigid temps, almost 20 feet of snow and lots of wind bombarded the veggies.  They looked like the top left picture when I took the cover off in late winter/early spring.  And then in mid to late April they looked like the bottom two bags.  Enough for me to make this yummy salad.  And they are continuing to grow.  I was excited that I have greens already as I just started the lettuces in the raised bed.

Oh and the seeds in the basement are growing like crazy.  I will be planting flowers out soon and the veggies in mid to late May.  Some tomato plants are almost 2 feet tall already.





Here’s the meadow blooming with daffodils and trout lilies this April.



IMG_0759And the pond is still a bit mucky as we get rid of more algae .  The cattails are sporting new growth with the lily pads already.



IMG_0859This moss grows along a stone in the pond.  It is in its spore producing phase throughout the garden.




April crittersLots of birds continue to visit the garden.   That’s Papa bluebird, top left, and Momma bluebird in the birdhouse.  A sparrow family is nesting in the other bluebird house in the meadow.  The hawk was perched on the edge of the meadow looking over his menu choices.  The bird, bottom left, is a Northern Flicker.  The frog is our first in the pond.



Gardens Eye Verse

The garden on April 30th close to dusk.  A serene scene almost picture perfect.  I hope you enjoy my poem about spring in April.


April Spring

The soul stirs under bright April skies,
Raw and cold or warm sun with clouds rolling by.
Rain pours down and pools throughout,
Replenishing the soil and pushing worms out.
Everywhere in the garden is the rush to grow,
Fresh green foliage wrapped with bright colorful bows.
More voices join daily in the garden’s song,
With robin’s in day and peepers at sundown.
And my heart quickens its beat on this glorious stage,
As April moves to May and writes a new page.

 Donna Donabella



Next up on the blog:  Next Monday  will be Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and I am sure the garden will be in high gear rushing to add more blooms.  I wonder what will show itself.   There is one more seed giveaway in May so stay tuned.

I will be 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 Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.




  1. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Your garden is really springing to life….looks fabulous! I love all the natives. And a great shot of the moss spores. We have nesting bluebirds too! So far, they have been more successful than last year. I think partly because it has been so cold and the snakes haven’t been out as much (thus not going after the eggs). Enjoy your spring Donna!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Karin…I agree the snakes have not been out bothering the birds. The garden looks completely different now since our heat wave…bulbs are fading more and other perennials are popping up ready to flower…

  2. Laurrie says:

    Your slowly awakening April garden looked great. So much going on — you’ve got beautiful mixes of blues and yellows everywhere. You are right about May, it will explode and then it will be hard to keep up with everything. Happy Spring!

    • Donna says:

      And with our heat wave of late the garden is out of control especially the weeds and this gardener’s lack of time for upkeep.

  3. christy says:

    Hi Donna…there is so much to love about your garden! Your blooms are lovely and I just love that gazebo and fence. I’m so glad to see that you have nesting bluebirds. I think mine have babies too. Another thing I really like is your front brick path! Can’t wait to see more!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Christy…those 3 things were part of the big plan and have come together nicely…the patio is the same brick pattern and colors as that front walk.

  4. pbm says:

    Donna, your garden is just delightful. What a winter you’ve had and now spring is so wonderful. Loved seeing the Northern Flicker. We used to see one nearby at our former house, but haven’t seen one here. Enjoy yourself outdoors.

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the early spring garden…the birds are very busy in the garden and lots of eggs being hatched. Hope a Flicker finds you!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Catherine how sweet of you to say so….right now the gardens are a bit run over with weeds but I hope to get to more of them this year. My they reproduce better than my flowers.

  5. Donalyn says:

    Lovely – our April was also very snowy and cold, which suppressed a lot of growth, until when it finally warmed up, it all came at once. Everything here is looking lovely now though.

    • Donna says:

      Yes the garden is finally picking up speed and growing so nicely! It will pick up steam even more in another couple of weeks.

  6. HolleyGarden says:

    Love that last picture. All the white blooms really shine. It did seem that April went by so fast. And I bet May goes by just as quickly! I love how you have all the blooms separated by color. I’m also impressed with all the different daffodils you have! They look wonderful in your meadow.

    • Donna says:

      Holley while I was going through the April pics I noticed the colors which was a perfect way to show them. May is already flying by! Hard to keep up with them all.

  7. Susan Troccolo says:

    Donna, your white garden next to the gazebo is so charming! I love your overview shots of all the progress in your garden. Exciting time in the season, isn’t it?

    • Donna says:

      It sure is exciting Susie…I barely have time to do the minimum needed but I love it. So glad you love my gazebo…it is one of the special spots in the garden.

  8. Alberto says:

    Hi Donna! You really have a lot going on, I’m glad you could finally enjoy some of your blooming with the cold and snow you had! I like your muscari, your wild tulips and I LOVE that white narcissus with a green (green???) rim around the trumpet, it’s on the middle left side of the first pic with daffs. Do you remember its name?

  9. Angie says:

    Donna – what a delight to read. You have some lovely areas around your garden. Your white garden being my favourite from what you have shown.
    Isn’t it great to welcome spring and all it’s treasures.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Donna says:

      Angie I have spent so much time getting the white garden to bloom with so much white it has become my favorite as well. So glad you enjoyed all the gardens.

  10. Reed says:

    The temps here have been so even that everything seems to be thriving this Spring. This week we really got our leaf break on big trees, so it is definitely on…

    I just love the Fritillaria meleagris. I want some in my garden but just don’t have the right place to do a big drift.

    • Donna says:

      Reed I have small patches of the Fritillaria meleagris popping up in many spots and it is very eye catching…I know I will add more especially the white one.

  11. Island Threads says:

    Donna so pleased for you your weather has warmed up and spring has sprung, I love that first photo, the angle is great, and the moss, I notice how interesting some mosses are but my little camera can’t get close ups like yours, I also love your blues, you have such a lot in flower now, I like your over wintered greens, I have been reading about sowing in late summer/autumn for early crops, I hope to try if this year now I am becoming more interested in veg growing, Frances x

    • Donna says:

      I love wandering trying to capture pics that are different and was enamored with that first photo too. The bulbs are fading and the perennials are not far behind. It is fun experimenting in the veg garden…have fun growing your own veggies Frances.

  12. Lavender Cottage says:

    Lots going on in your garden already Donna. I’ve been waiting for my clump of Virginia bluebells to flower and then realized there was a very large forget-me-not growing out of the side of it.
    We’ve been lucky to have day after day of 70 degree weather and no wind. The rain barrel is getting low so I’m hoping for rain soon.

    • Donna says:

      Judith our temps are moderating now and the garden is in high speed. I bet the bluebells and FMN together are so pretty.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Beth…the veggies are gaining speed and my sproutlings in the basement are chomping to be planted outside next weekend.

  13. Hootin' Anni says:

    Oh my….I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. What a blessing this post is———everything is so gorgeous and so alive. Beautiful.

  14. Gail says:

    What a difference just a few weeks can make on a garden. Lovely blooms and birds. Spring is certainly evident here!

  15. Karen says:

    So much going on in your gardens! Beautiful flowers. I am trying the grow bags this year, good to see that they work!

  16. Christina says:

    Hi Donna, spring has really sprung at last for you! I love the ‘blues’ selection and the daffodils are perfect. they seem such a thing of the past already here. Good too, that you’re eating good salads from the garden. Christina

    • Donna says:

      I am looking forward to some warm weather again so the veg garden can get back on track. We have had a cool down with a possible frost tonight.

  17. Eileen says:

    Wow, your yard and gardens are beautiful. So many lovely blooms. The birds and critters must love your yard, especially the pond. Beautiful post.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Eileen…the critters do really love the garden which makes it so worthwhile…and yes their favorite is the pond.

  18. Donna says:

    Your garden has really moved forward in a short time. I see you are making great use of your P510 and the photos are turning out beautifully. It is a wonderful camera, no? We still don’t have the rains that you have been getting and I had to water the garden or little would have bloomed. Combined with higher than normal temps, it has been a unfortunate Spring here. Tomorrow we are supposed to get rain, I hope it is so. The bluebird is really pretty. The last verse in your poem is my favorite.

    • Donna says:

      I am sorry to hear about your spring Donna…we are getting a frost tonight (I hope they are wrong)….we had an inch of rain yesterday after 10 days of no rain.

      I am enjoying the new camera although I still need time to play more with it….all the bird pics are taken with it which is why the bluebird pic is so wonderful.

      I love the last verse of the poem too 🙂 Thanks Donna!

  19. Rebecca says:

    What a wonderful journal of your gardens. One of the things I have enjoyed about blogging is that I can look back at the past year(s) – the weather, flowers, etc…
    We had very little snow this winter, but then had snow in April and in May! I’m so ready for spring! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I am hopeful we will see the warm weather return as we are headed for a short cold spell and maybe a frost. Then the veg garden and flowers will be off finally….hoping your spring is in high gear.

  20. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, i laughed because i can relate to you now, i am sure it is difficult to cope with photos in all these developments. And they grow so fast, as if they are really in a marathon. And you have beautiful colors, that white muscari caught my attention as it is not usually posted in blogs. This is my first time to see that white one, and i love your white garden. Hmmm love to tour your site.

    • Donna says:

      I would love to have you tour Andrea….it is fun trying to keep up with the blooms.

      I love finding white flowers for the white garden and the white muscari are one of my very favorite.

    • Donna says:

      I was so happy to see you visit and equally happy you enjoyed the post….it will be interesting to see what does develop in the garden.

  21. Skeeter says:

    Oh yes indeed! Spring is happening in your gardens for sure! Great color everywhere you look. Thanks for the tour of color…

  22. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Donna thanks for the wildflower resource! I will definitely be adding some Shooting Star and Bluebells to my garden. Love your spring gardens! Do you have a filter on your pond? I am considering a small pond only for frogs – congratulations on your first frog by the way! – and really want to rely on plantings to filter the water and just add a small “spitter.” You have great birds! The flickers came through here just the other day but still no sign of the hummers. My feeders are up and ready, too.

    • Donna says:

      We do filter the pond with the water fall…we check it daily to rescue anyone but they seem never to be be caught or in trouble with the filter we use. No hummers here yet either which is odd.

      I am happy to share any wildflowers for your northern garden Kathy.

  23. Beth says:

    Things are looking beautiful out east, Donna! Your trilliums and anemone blanda are enchanting. The photo of the moss is outstanding. Enjoy spring!

  24. b-a-g says:

    Donna – Wish you hadn’t shown the white garden, because now I am left with a dilemma : Which is my favourite .. the white garden in spring or the meadow in summer ?

  25. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    A lovely look back on your month and blooms. I still can’t believe how quickly things are growing. Blink and you’ll miss it! Perhaps the worst time of year to go away; how stupid am I for leaving? I know when I return the lawn will be a meadow and some blooms will have finished and others pick up.

    • Donna says:

      I think this is an amazing time to travel…I hope to travel more next year which means less gardening, but we will see. Your garden will be amazing with your relaxed eyes upon your return.

  26. debsgarden says:

    I am so happy to see spring in your garden – finally! Everything looks fresh and your collages are beautiful. Here we are rapidly approaching summer, so it is nice to remember the wonders of early spring. Enjoy every day!

  27. PJ says:

    Your posts are always so full to bursting with loveliness! I always read them at least twice and then go back again to look at the beautiful photos.
    Like many others I would love to have a white garden and those white muscari are so sweet!

    • Donna says:

      Oh PJ I am so humbled..thank you for such a lovely comment…I do enjoy the challenge of the white garden…it is so lovely!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Loredana….spring is rich with new growth and blooms…so glad you enjoyed the day and Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

  28. Crafty Gardener says:

    Your gardens are looking amazing Donna. I agree, it is easier to say what isn’t growing or blooming, as it seems that every time I go outside a plant has got bigger or a bud has opened.
    It sure is chilly here this weekend and raining on and off, so not much getting done in the garden.

  29. Sheila says:

    Stunning first and last photos… Nice to take a trip back in time to early spring 🙂 We are on the cusp of summer in North Carolina. I am so glad you have bluebirds nesting in the bluebird house! I seem to recall your frustration that everything but bluebirds were nesting their in past years 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Sheila….we are getting cold weather snow and frost…but hopefully the couple days we have this will not hurt the plants.

      You are correct about the bluebirds…you have a great memory. 🙂

  30. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    Looking back, I have no complaints about April. Spring seemed delayed, but I think it only seemed slow to arrive in comparison with last year.
    What a nice big space you have to garden!April looks to have been very productive for you and there are lots of pretty bulbs that graced your front walkway and back garden.
    I will pop back later to see your Bloom Day post.

    • Donna says:

      Jennifer I would rather have the snow than the freeze we are expecting tonight….it may do in many plants and flowers since May was warm and lots came out early 🙁

      So glad you enjoyed the early blooms.

  31. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Am a little late catching up with your garden Donna and I bet some of these blooms have now been and gone. Love the way the the Grape hyacinths reach up in different levels of blue. Also rather besotted with your trout lilies and followed the link to your low-down on this native. Wonderful haiku to match it 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Surprisingly some are still hanging on Laura…I adore the trout lilies as well. So glad you enjoyed the posts….we are headed for a freeze tonight and many plants may be in for some doom and gloom by morning.

  32. KL says:

    Again another beautiful poem. I love that collage of yellow flowers. I am not sure yet but I think yellow colored flowers are my favorite. I am going to friend you in facebook. You will get the request from that name which I use in gmail.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much…it means a lot when folks spend time to comment about the poems. I think early spring and fall yellow is my favorite….I look forward to connecting with you on FB.

  33. Jean says:

    Wow, what a change from a foot of snow to all those blooms! I love the juxtaposition of the yellow and blue collages. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      May has been strange going from extremes of cold to hot to cold and hot…such a yoyo my garden has slowed again with everything tight in bud waiting for the warmth…

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