Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April GBBD: A Waiting Game

Today is April 15, and we all know what that means . . . no, no, I don't mean the day we fork over half our money to the IRS. Today is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted the 15th of each month by the effervescent Carol of May Dreams Gardens. (For those of you visiting from the ABC blog, my "M" post is below.)

Two weeks ago today I was surrounded by blooms in Arizona, including this beautiful tree, identified by Chandramouli as an orchid tree. I don't know anything about this tree other than the fact it was blooming this profusely back in December as well.

Even the cacti were welcoming spring with blooms. March and early April are the peak times for blooms of all kind in Arizona, where the temperatures begin to creep into the 90's, but nothing like the 100+ degrees that will toast everything in a few months.

But for the past week I have been back to reality and anxiously waiting for blooms to appear in my Illinois garden. The daffodils have been going strong for a few weeks now.

And the hyacinths have all opened up, perfuming the front walkway.

But mostly it's a waiting game here. Waiting for one of the newer daffodils planted last fall to open into full bloom. Waiting for the wind to stop so that I can get something other than a blurry picture. Waiting for the temperature to get above the 34 degrees it was when I awoke this morning.

I'm waiting to see if the lilacs, which leafed out early, will bloom or if they have suffered any damage from the frosts we have had recently.

A month ago I waited eagerly for signs of all the tulips I planted last fall. They have come up, but now it's a waiting game to see what colors emerge.

This tulip bud looks pink, but is it? I will have to wait to find out.

The surprise/mystery lilies, aka "Naked Ladies," are growing by leaps and bounds. Now that I know they are here, I am waiting and watching to see when they disappear and magically reappear later in the summer.

I am also waiting to see if the Hellebores will bloom this spring. An order of five arrived the day before I left for Arizona, and I hastily planted them. I was so happy when I got home to see that they had survived the frost and snow, that is . . .

. . . all except one. I wonder what could have eaten this plant?
A deer, a rabbit, or heaven forbid, Sophie?? I will have to wait to see if it survives.

While I will have to wait for these yellow primrose buds to open . . .

. . . I no longer have to wait for these pink primroses which were similar buds two weeks ago.

Nor this mass of primrose blossoms. I planted several primroses (or are they primulas?) last spring, not knowing if they were hardy here in zone 5. But not only did they survive, they have increased in size with two to three times the number of blooms on each one.

But most of all, I am waiting for the ground to dry out, so I can finally get in the garden!
Footnote: I wrote most of this post this morning and then ran out of time to finish it. Since then the sun has come out, and it's in the 50's with a forecast of sunny days in the 60's ahead! I guess all good things come to those who wait:)


  1. I've always wanted to see the desert in bloom. It was a nice walk through your yard to see what's blooming. Love the nice blue sky in the lilac photo. I didn't know primrose would survive zone 5. They look so beautiful that I'd say they enjoyed the winter at your house. It's so dry here in northern WI that we turned the sprinkler system on today. The sun you're getting now should dry things up for you.

  2. I have one primrose blooming. I bought a bunch last year and planted them, but pulled them up in the summer, thinking they had died. Didn't realize they're just a spring flower. Oops! Might plant more this year to make up for my transgression!

  3. I saw one of those orchid trees when we were in TX this winter. Amazing blooms. You have quite a few promises of blooms to have yet. I love the primroses. If you can grow them I should be able to. Did you plant plants originally or did you sow seeds? Happy GBBD.

  4. It has been a lot of waiting this spring! I am sitting here in a warm's so chilly! It might feel warm to you! But under 55 is cold for a mid April day for a totally acclimated to the south gardener! Rose...the good time you had in Arizona and the marathon were great ways to spend time ...and we got to share them, too...thank you! It will be an exciting day when the dafs and tulips bloom! Your primrose is beautiful...and I wonder who ate the hellebore? naughty critter! Happy GBBD! gail

  5. Beautiful flowers. Quite a nice show.

  6. It is nice to have April 15 mean something other than taxes. Gorgeous Arizona blooms! I would love to witness the desert in bloom. We were in the 30’s this morning too only without the daffs. Your primroses are lovely – I miss them from England. They start blooming in January there.

  7. Love the orchid tree. How beautiful! I've never seen anything like that before.

  8. It sounds like heaven to me to be in Arizona surrounded by blooms! The orchid tree is glorious, and I'd love to see those cactus blooms in person.
    I had the prettiest pink primroses in a pot last winter and meant to plant them, but didn't get it done, and unfortunately they eventually petered out in the pot. I haven't found any this year yet, which is strange.
    You'll have beautiful Hellebore blooms to look forward to next year :)

  9. Sorry to disappoint you, but it looks like you'll have to wait until next year to see Hellebore blooms. Usually they send up bloom stalks before the new leaves.
    I just love those plain yellow Daffodils. For a while I was on a white Daffodil kick, but they just don't stand out in the landscape the way the yellow ones do. Also, I really like that bright pink Primula. I really must get some. So early & so cute!

  10. Hi Rose, we have much of the same things in bloom, hooray it may finally be spring. Your lilac is a bit ahead of a friend of mine's, which I just checked today. I only have a Miss Kim and she blooms a bit later. Love your desert blooms, too.

  11. Like you, I am waiting for more blooms in my garden, too. But what you have are beautiful especially the primrose. I had my doubts when you bought them last spring, but now wish I had gotten some too. :) I feel a garden shopping day coming on.

  12. Lovely, Rose ... still in a holding pattern for many favorites here but after the rain (while grandboys shot baskets after school today) my heart stood still. Spring has not forgotten me!

  13. Primroses rule--they are totally cheerful and indestructible.

  14. Look at that pink primrose! WOW! I've got the same yellow one and mine's blooming now, too.
    You've got so many wonderful things in bloom, Rose!

  15. You know what they say, all good things come to those who wait. Won't be long now. I love your primrose! And you know what? Your front walkway looks very similar to mine. I see your salvia and more tulips coming up-it will be fun to see all the colors.

  16. Rose: I can see from this post you were in awe of those Orchid trees out in Az as was I!!I saw the pink and the purple and just stood under them wishing we could grow them here in our Canadian climate. I also could not get enough of those cacti blossoms!! Spring in the deserts of AZ is simply heaven for me!!
    What wonderful little surprises waking up in your Spring garden!! I'm home now and it's late so I'm anxious to get out in my garden in the morning. BTW..I sent you an email. hugs

  17. Last November Younger Son bought and planted some tulips for my birthday: the first one is about to open!

    Those primulas (?) are very pretty. And I have bought a packet of zinnia seds!

  18. Donna, Unfortunately, yours is one of the blogs that I can't leave a comment of these days I'm going to have to figure out how to correct this. Your garden is in the same state mine was several weeks ago; I think spring is making its way slowly north:)

    Jennah, This sounds like something I would do:) The primroses have been a pleasant surprise this year.

    Lisa, I bought several primrose plants at the local garden center last spring when shopping with Beckie. It was too early to plant anything else, and I just had to have a plant fix:) We had a couple freezes after I planted them, yet they still survived. I know you could grow them, too.

    Gail, Weather in the 50's is pretty normal for Illinois Aprils. But I finally have a little time to work in the garden, and I'm "itching" to get out there! I think in another week I'm really going to have some blooms; the ruffled daffodil opened completely this morning.

    RainGardener, Thanks for visiting, and I wish I could return the favor. I need a computer tech to help me figure out why a can't leave a comment on some's my computer error, not your blog. Enjoyed the info on the slugs; I can't think of a single nice thing to say about them, either:)

    Sarah, Somehow I relate primroses to England, too, and also to my Grandmother who grew them. I love them! I hope it warms up for you soon.

    Susie, I had never seen an orchid tree before either; it had me captivated the first time I saw it, and I'm amazed at how long it blooms.

  19. I'm glad you took another photo of the Purple Orchid tree or Butterfly tree. I love those blooms and is in my must-have list when I own a garden on ground. That cactus blooms looks like a Desert Lotus! Wow! How I desperately want to smell those Hyacinths. Great photos, Rose! [thumps-up]

  20. Kerri, Visiting Arizona when it's freezing here is indeed heaven! This was my first time, though, to see the cacti bloom. I'm looking forward to seeing the hellebores bloom next year.

    MMD, I figured they wouldn't bloom this year, but now I have something to look forward to for next year:) I planted several new varieties of daffodils this year; we'll see how they do compared to the standard yellow ones. Do plant some primroses; I've really been happy with mine.

    Monica, The lilac is an old-fashioned one; it will probably be a couple weeks yet before it blooms. But I just noticed today the redbud is getting some blooms--hooray! That says spring to me.

    Beckie, I didn't realize you didn't buy any primroses when I did last year. You'll have to get some! By the way, did you see the marathon photos?

    Joey, I think Spring is making its way north:)

    Chuck B, These are my first primroses; they've certainly seemed indestructible so far!

    Kylee, Thanks; I love these little colored beauties.

    Tina, Everything is coming up, that's true. Next bloom day should be quite a different story!

    NatureGirl, This was my first spring visit to Arizona, and what a difference from December or January! It is really neat to see cacti in bloom. The orchid tree just entranced me; it was in my daughter's apartment complex, so I saw it every day. Glad you made it safely home; I do hope everything goes well for your family.

    Liz, Sounds like you're ready to garden! I know primroses do well in the UK; they seem to be another plant that's easy to grow.

  21. Chandramouli, Thanks for identifying this tree for me last December. I'm sure they wouldn't grow here, so I certainly hope you get to plant one one day. I know you'll love it! The cactus blooms were pretty awesome; too bad computer monitors can't transmit fragrance:)

  22. Gosh, you could grow rice in that!!!!

    Beautiful orchid tree, never seen anything like that before.

    My helibores have been in flower a while, I love all the different shades you can get, I think they are some of my favorite flowers, but then I think I say that about a lot of flowers.


  23. The Orchid tree is wonderful, Rose - once saw one near the Texas-Mexico border. A variety with smaller, white flowers is pretty popular around Austin.

    You wrote so sweetly about waiting - taking those photos of daffodils, hyacinths and lilacs helped a little, right?

    We're in different worlds today - you wait for the ground to dry up and ours is hard so we wait for rain.

    Happy Blooming Day,

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  24. I like to think of Spring as the time when the waiting is over, but you're right about how much waiting there is still to be done. Your flowers are, as always, lovely.

  25. Hi Rose......I can tell you that a rabbit did not eat the Hellebore, they really do not like them. Apart from the fact I love them, it is another reason I have so many in the garden. I cannot wait to see the bloom, they are a real passion of mine....

    I am still waiting for my hyacinths to bloom....I love the scent, it carries such a long way......

    Your garden is much like mine, this time last was a horrible spring......
    I do hope it warms up soon Rose and allows you to go out and enjoy your plants.....

  26. I've never seen an Orchid Tree before. What spectacular blooms.

  27. Oh yes, the waiting game! I'm still waiting for my daffodils and tulips to bloom. They are just leaves or sprouts in the ground now.

    I love your pics. I've never heard of an orchid tree either! And your primroses are awesome. I will try and plant some here. I'm not sure what zone I"m in, but something like 4 or maybe 5. Whatever, it's worth trying to plant a few.

  28. I loved your commentary with your pics. I think your hyacinths may be my favorites.

    I have been waiting for our grandson, who is spending the night, to go to sleep so I can blog. He wouldn't go to sleep in the pac n play, but went right to sleep when I put him and the mattress on the floor next to me. I hope he cries if he wakes up, so I wake up.

    I answered your question about the row cover on my comment form.

    It's spring!!!

  29. Suburbia, Yes, I thought I had a rice paddy out back:) The rain has stopped, fortunately, and we've had several nice sunny days. I'm envious of your hellebores! I bought some after seeing so many on other blogs.

    Annie, I thought there might be something similar to the orchid tree in other parts of the south, but these are the only ones I've seen I do wish I could send you some rain!

    Weeping Sore, Spring here often is not a definite thing until May. And it seems we're always waiting for rain or for the rain to stop.

    Cheryl, It has warmed up and the sun has come out, so I'm trying to get a few things done in the garden. I'll probably never know what ate the hellebore; I just hope it survives.

    Sweet Bay, it is a spectacular sight, and it blooms for so long!

    Wendy, I'm sure your bulbs will bloom soon; I have a few tulips blooming now, but most are still in the bud stage. Definitely check out the primroses--you're probably in zone 4, but who knows?

    Sue, I can relate to trying to get your grandson to sleep:) Some days I have no time to blog!:) I'll check out your comment...still trying to figure out the settings on my computer.

  30. Don't we all tend to hurry up and wait these days? It's one of those tragedies of modern living and technology. We've been conditioned to expect and demand instant gratification. Those primulas or primroses are so beautiful, Rose. And you must be so happy that they're getting established and reproducing for you.

  31. Oh, Waiting, it is so hard, but it they will all start to show there colours soon

  32. The problem with Orchid Trees (Bauhinia variegata)here in AZ is that we occasionally have a freeze, which does adversely affect these tropical trees. Also, although they are recommended for zones 9-11, the intense sun in the Phoenix area will kind of toast the leaves. Given the right environment and microclimate, they do become beautiful specimen trees.

  33. Hi Rose, you have a delightful batch of bulbs there, love the line of hyacinths, the fragrance must be intoxicating. I believe primrose is the common name, Primula the botanical latin. They are some of my favorite flowers, yours are so sweet and floriferous! And remember, no tulips in Arizona.

  34. I like your purple hyancinths -- I bought ones that were supposed to be yellow (I love yellow) and they turned out peach (I hate peach). Maybe I'll pick up some purple?


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