Thursday, April 15, 2010

April GBBD: Tiptoe Through the Tulips....

While many people may be stressing out today trying to get those #*@! tax forms filled out before midnight, we garden bloggers know that April 15 is significant for another reason--it's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, of course! Today I promise you, unlike the past few months, there will be no whining here nor any stretching of the term "blooms." This month has been the sunniest, warmest April I can ever remember--we even broke a record today as the thermometer hit 86 degrees. Spring bulbs are flowering earlier than usual, but also fading more quickly in the heat. So grab your sunscreen and your garden hat and take a walk with me before the flowers fade. Let's start early before the sun gets too hot and tiptoe through the tulips . . .

Shades of pink, like these "Pink Impression" tulips, are everywhere.

But we're an Equal Opportunity Tulip Employer, so every color is welcome
in the garden here from bold reds . . .

. . . to various hot oranges, all part of a "Color Magic" collection.

There are also a few bright yellows, the ruffled "Sunrise." These look almost look like small peony blooms, don't they?

But pastels are still my preference, like these delicate vanilla cream . . .

to the subtle pale yellows of a collection called "Monet," which includes several pastel shades

including this soft peach. It's hard to pick a favorite.

But my favorite time to enjoy them all is early morning or early evening. By mid-morning, the sun has warmed them so that they look a little blowsy. I forgot to show you some of the purple and deeper colors in the roadside bed, and there are some other varieties that are just beginning to open up, but we'll save those for another day.

Instead, we need to take a look at the early bloomers that are just about to fade. The hyacinths were in full bloom by Easter, but are starting to lose their luster today.

The traditional yellow daffodils have already faded away, but a few of the other varieties have taken their place, like this one whose name has been lost . . .

. . . or the ruffled "Repletes." All tulip and daffodil names are somewhat questionable, as the notes I took a year and a half ago when planting them haven't been as reliable as I'd planned.

But even without a name, these slender narcissus deserve a second look. These small beauties have turned out to be one of my favorites.

But there is more in the garden this April than just flowering bulbs. I must have the slowest hellebores in all of Blogland, but I do finally have three blooms on this one, which is either "Yellow Lady" or "Spotted Lady"--hard to tell when she is being so shy.

And if you've been wondering what the blue was in the background of a few of the photos, here it is--Brunnera 'Jack Frost.' I can't say enough good things about this plant, but the best part is that the blooms are really and truly blue!

Let's linger by the bleeding heart for a moment, shall we? You may not be too impressed by these blooms, since everyone has this old-fashioned plant, it seems. But after several unsuccessful attempts at trying to grow one, I'm just so excited to finally have a Dicentra that has survived in my shade garden.

Another flower that deserves praise this spring is the primrose. These are the first spots of colorto appear in my garden each spring, and I have them in varying hues from red to purple to yellow to this pink.

I know we've missed a few blooms, but perhaps you'll come back again next week? By that time who knows what might be blooming, and maybe by then I'll finally have all these flowerbeds cleaned up.

Despite the perfect gardening days we've had, I've only been able to accomplish a little each day, and I seem to flit about from one project to another without finishing any of them.
Tarzan kindly pointed out to me one day that the nepeta was ready to be pruned, and it has since nearly tripled in size.

I didn't have the heart, though, to do much pruning of the hydrangeas, which are already producing lots of new growth.

Hostas are emerging, too, and they, along with the hydrangeas, still have a light blanket of pine straw in case the temperatures decide to drop again.

You don't want to walk around here with your eyes cast down all the time, however. The spring show is just as lovely up above. The redbuds have been in flower for the past week or more. This one that sits just outside my office window looks like lavender cotton candy.

A close inspection of this redbud in the front yard reveals some tiny green leaves beginning to show. It won't be long before these heralds of spring turn from purple to green.

But there is more to come . . . the flowering crabapples are almost ready to burst into bloom. They are at least two weeks ahead of schedule. In fact, everything seems to moving in fast-forward this spring, so much so that if I don't check the garden every day, I might miss something before it fades away. I hope that all of you are enjoying each and every moment of this beautiful spring, and thanks for tiptoeing through the tulips with me . . .

Be sure to check out all the other spring blooms from around the world by visiting Carol of May Dreams Gardens, who has kindly taken time out of her new garden designs to once again host this month's GBBD.


  1. Rose, haven't our daffodils been beautiful this year? Eapecially the Replete we both planted. Your tulips are gorgeous and I am sure you are sooo glad you planted all those bulbs a couple of years ago. Their lovely blooms make all that effort worth it.

    Like you, I wish the blooms weren't fading so quickly. But I do love this unseasonably warm weather!

  2. So it's you that have our sunshine!!!

    Still very cold here, though we had a few days of 'spring promise' over this week, but it has turned very cold again in the last two days.

    However the spring flowers warm the heart and I just love to see them after such a long cold winter. You have such a variety of beautiful blooms. So lovely to view, thank you.

    :) Sx

  3. Wonderful colors there, Rose! I love the Hyacinths photo - couldn't have guessed if they were fading - they look fresh - may be it's your photo skills...
    Nice to see such bright colors again. Bye-bye cold climates!

  4. Hey Rose, you have such beautiful blooms going on in your yard. I like tulips but don't grow them. I think yellow and pink ones are very pretty.

    I have many perennials popping up but not much color happening yet.

  5. I have this 'thing' about ruffly, full flowers so of course I liked Replete and Sunrise.

    I write down the names of the blooms I really like but by fall when it's time to buy them, I can't find my list.

  6. Early Spring season is the greatest. Love those warm temps but tough on pollen suffers and keeping the spring beauties around. On the bright side, the other stuff gets here early as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed for no cold to damage everything up there. Tarzan is such a good garden helper. I named my Cheetah after Tarzan’s (the show) monkey with her climbing skills.

  7. Sunrise is so cool. I love that brunnera. They are keepers for sure. So glad you have blooms.

  8. Congratulations on your Hellebore blooms! Aren't they cool? Your Tulips look great, I just love those Pink Impressions and "Sunrise' is gorgeous. I wonder if your mystery yellow daffodil might be 'Pipit.' Whatever it is, it's charming.
    I saw a crabapple in bloom this morning. What's up with that?

  9. My goodness, so many gorgeous blooms! How spectacular. And I think I do like the tulips best of all. Perhaps it's because they're only around for such a brief time that makes them all the sweeter. Nice post!

  10. Oh, I love your flowers! The tulips and the daffs are just luscious, and I love the Brunnera and primrose. Our Redbuds finished a few days ago and I agree they are such beautiful trees. Lovely shot of the Crabapple in bud too.

  11. Rose, I love your picture of the hostas! They look prehistoric somehow. And I'm jealous of your tulips -- I don't often grow them here because they don't get the cold they need. Thanks and happy bloom day to you!

  12. I'm excited about my bleeding heart, too; after years of bad things happening to it, it is finally rewarding my patience! I love those tulips that look like orange poppies.

    Isn't this warm weather inspiring? :)

  13. are way ahead of me with your lovely blooms.
    I cannot believe your temperatures. I gardened in a coat today....we reached 10C (51F) but it felt colder as there was an easterly wind blowing.

    I love the more delicate shades of your tulips.....I must buy some in the autumn for next year.
    Dicentra may be an old cottage garden plant but it is most certainly worth a second glace. It is a favourite of mine and does very well in my damp shady woodland area. I have the white as well (of course I would)

    You have some beautiful daffodils Rose......enjoy them while they last. Spring passes so quickly......

  14. I tried to deduct the horse on this year's tax return since I ride her to cheer myself up after long client conference calls. Now, that makes perfect sense to me. Accountant wasn't convinced!

    LOVE all of the beautiful spring flowers you have gracing the garden. Happy Bloom Day!

  15. What wonderful blooms Rose! Jack Frost is a wonderful plant both in and out of bloom. Everywhere I look around here, trees and shrubs are blossoming. What a fabulous time of year.

    It's been hot here too, but a cool front is moving in, as I type, and I'm hoping for April showers.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  16. What a glorious garden you have! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. The tulips were absolutely beautiful, mine have not flowered yet. Thank you for the tour, I enjoyed it very much. Have a great day and take care.

  18. Ain't spring grand? I like that double tulip, very pretty.
    I think I could bury my face in the Hyacinths...they are glorious.

  19. Goodness Rose. My garden may have awakened earlier but your garden has caught up with mine in no time. Your tulips are beautiufl. I must get more of them planted this fall.

  20. Rose,

    The spring bulbs are such a delight. Your bleeding heart was well worth the wait wasn't it?

  21. Rose, there are just so many beautiful blooms to look at I can't keep up! The tulip varieties are outstanding! How do you have so many that survive? You must not have as many tulip-eating critters foraging around in your yard as I do!! What eye candy those are! And of course, all of the flowers are...just gorgeous! I only started growing bleeding hearts the summer before last and have 4 plants, all doing well. I have learned so much through garden bloggers. I even have brunnera as of last year, but no blooms on them yet...still waiting on that one! And your trees are a sight to behold. Those crabapple blossoms are some of my favorites. They'll be so lovely when they open up!

  22. So enjoyed tiptoeing through the tulips with you, dear Rose. Your garden is stunning!

  23. Rose, your tulips are beautiful as is your spring display of flowers! Redbud!! how I love it. We had a Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' for a number of years that was as they say 'to die for'... I wouldn't go quite that far, but the berries in the spring were opalescent and the maroon foliage that emerged was so stunning in the garden. For unknown reasons, it died and we decided not to replace it. Perhaps the eastern redbud is a bit sturdier.

    Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate and always look forward to them!

  24. Oh such beauty to behold!

    I am guessing you don't have deer to nibble on these blooms? They all look so healthy and vibrant!

  25. Your tulips are gorgeous. It has been a very speedy Spring in my gardens too. We are about two weeks ahead with the Lilacs taking center stage right now.
    A cool down came in over night. High today 61 degrees. Much better than 84!
    Happy Bloom day,

  26. I enjoyed seeing all of your lovely spring blooms!

    I am enjoying this warmer weather and the flowers that are blooming ahead of schedule! I just hope that we aren't in for a really hot summer.

  27. Happy Bloom Day Rose! I love that Brunnera 'Jack Frost' so lovely. I wonder if he would grow here. We are having a normal spring, but I understand everyone else is warm, warm. Glad you've got so many blooms for bloom day. Beautiful tulips. Like ice cream flavors, yum.~~Dee

  28. Thanks to everyone for your comments. I've been trying to visit as many of your blogs as possible instead of individual replies here except for a few specific questions:

    Suburbia, I hope the sun finds you soon!

    Chandramouli, In honesty, I took the photo of the hyacinth a week before.

    Skeeter, My girls gave Tarzan his name:)

    MMD, I should look up the name of the daffodil/narcissus--it's one with several blooms on one stem.

    Cheryl, I think all the rain we had last year helped the bleeding heart to finally grow here.

    Kate, if I were your accountant, I would have allowed your horse as a deduction:)

    Jan and Rosey, We do have deer here, but we're surrounded by cornfields, so I suspect they find enough to eat without nibbling on my blooms, thank goodness.

    Di, The 'Forest Pansy' is a cultivar recommended for planting here, but I think ours are the common natives. They grow wild all along the roadsides.

  29. Your tulips are lovely! I'm so happy my 'El Cids' waited for me to get home! You should be excited about the Dicentra. They may be common but they're so distinctive, I love mine more every year!

  30. You have some great daffodils. It is funny that every GBBD post that I visit this month and see a to-die-for daffodil, the blogger doesn't know the name!

  31. Oh my your tulips are to die for! This is my first time to visit your blog and it's lovely! I wish we could grow the bleeding hearts here!

  32. You have one of the most beautiful spring gardens I have ever seen1

  33. Spectacular tulips and I cannot wait to see your crabapples in bloom! When you took to gardening, it sure took to you! You have a marvelous spring display~~and the later flowering daffs are perfectly lovely...gail

  34. I envy your Tulips. They don't do well here, but I did plant some of the species types and got blooms earlier this spring. You should see my hostas, they are fully emerged and in all their glory right now. But we do have some similar blooms like the Bleeding Hearts and Brunera. :)

  35. This was a fun tour, Rose! You have a nice collection of tulips. After not having planted them for awhile, I've been trying again. Those wascally wabbits? (more likely chipmunks) really love the bulbs!

  36. I do miss tiptoeing through the tulips so I've had my fix right here! We had such a harsh winter that most of the perennials are looking a bit worse for wear this spring. The advice from the Extension Center here is to wait just a bit longer before pruning the frost damaged shrubs. Some of those dead looking branches may have some life in them yet, like the ones on my hydrangeas. I hope your danger of frost is done for this season.

  37. The tulips and everything else are just lovely! I know it's a delight for you to have blooms again.

  38. Dear Rose, I'm so slow to read GBBD posts this month. I knew I'd find something special at Prairie Rose's Garden.

    I don't think there is anything prettier than pink tulips in a spring garden.

    You may have the slowest hellebores, but I have none so you are one up on me.

    No wonder your blog is so special, you're inspired by the beautiful redbud tree outside your office window. Just gorgeous.

    How are your MG classes going?


  39. LOL, Tarzan is my favorite spring color in your garden. Not that the bulbs aren't stunning, because they are. Blue hyacinths are a particular favorite of mine! They smell so wonderfully, too!


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