Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: April

April 15 is a date dreaded by most Americans, but for garden bloggers it's a time to celebrate another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Normally, this date is truly a cause for celebration because in the Midwest and other zone 5 gardens, it's usually the first month when we have real blooms in our gardens.  But this year most of us saw our usual April blooms in March instead.  Even more than taxes, the weather this spring has been the main topic of conversation for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.

We've been spoiled by the unseasonably warm temperatures for the past month, but veterans of Midwest seasons knew it couldn't last.  A few nights hovering around freezing last week left the garden pretty much unscathed, but two nights in the upper 20's this past week left some not-so-pretty visible marks.

The 'Sunlovers,' as well as most of the other tulips, didn't look too happy after the freeze.

Neither did the purple smoketree.  I'm afraid I may not see any blooms on this newer shrub this year after all.

Just to show you the difference, this is what 'Sunlover' looked like the day before.

Another view . . . remember the teaching game for children "Which one isn't like the others?"  Either this deep orange double tulip is a mutant 'Sunlover' or someone made a packaging mistake:)

Another new double tulip blooming before the freeze is 'Akebona.'  I fell in love with this delicate beauty when I saw it in the catalog last fall, but it looks even more beautiful in reality.

Old blankets and sheets were dug out of storage to protect a few of the more tender plants on those cold nights, however.  The old lilac was nearly done blooming and is too big anyway to cover, but I had to save the 'Bloomerang' lilac.  In its third season in the garden, it has really taken a "leap" this year and has been covered with fragrant blooms the past few weeks.  It does rebloom in the fall, as advertised, but it remains to be seen whether it will put out the same magnificent show then. 

I didn't want to lose the bleeding heart either, so it was covered along with some hydrangeas.  Unfortunately, I got lazy and didn't cover one macrophylla, and it now looks like a sickly mess.  I'm going to cut off the frozen foliage and hope that it will still bloom later.  Note the raindrops on the Heucheras--we received some very welcome rainshowers yesterday.

While the height of tulip season is already past, there are still some later tulips in the garden.  'Angelique,' usually one of the last to bloom, is as beautiful as ever.

In the sidewalk garden, another planting of what I thought were 'Angeliques' appear to be something else, because they're all white.

Another planting in the sidewalk garden . . . I seem to have more and more NOID's each year, as earlier names are forgotten.

These really are NOID's, however, as they were all from a bargain bag mix of unnamed tulip bulbs.  They may have been a bargain, but I've been really pleased with how long this planting in front of the large spruce tree has bloomed.

Despite the riot of different colors of tulips around my garden, I do try for some color coordination in some areas.  The dark, dark 'Queen of the Night' are paired with pure white 'Marguerite,'  both later bloomers.

But sometimes all that planning just doesn't pan out.  I don't usually plant "plain" red tulips, but this year I planted some 'Red Impressions' paired with these 'Sorbet,' thinking they would make a nice combination.  The only problem is that by the time the 'Sorbet' fully bloomed, the 'Red Impressions' had already lost all their petals. Ah well, I guess I can enjoy them separately, if not together.

Although I'm always a bit sad when tulip time winds down, there are signs of coming attractions in the garden.  The unnamed perennial geranium may not be as showy, but it is pretty in its own right, covered with delicate pink blooms.

And yesterday I noticed the first 'Purple Sensation' allium budding.

Further proof that the garden is way ahead of schedule this year is this first blossom on the clematis 'Nelly Moser.'  I didn't even think to cover this plant on those cold nights, but as Mr. McGregor's Daughter recently observed, clematis are more hardy  than I thought. The buds were apparently unaffected by the freeze, which makes me happy because it, too, is nearly a month ahead of schedule.

Thanks to our hostess Carol for sponsoring another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  Be sure to check out her post for a list of other participants all over the world showing off their blooming gardens this April.


  1. Your tulips are so pretty. Here there isn't one tulip blooming now. I will have to get out to see just what is blooming today. Happy GBBD.

  2. Hi Rose, Such a shame to see some of your blooms hanging their heads in pain. We too have had some much colder weather after our recent unusually warm spell. The forecast for tonight is 'a damaging frost, gardeners beware'!!

    However as always I am in awe of all your beautiful flowers and have definite Tullip envy ;-) Akebona, Angelique (I always love seeing her) the lovely combination of Queen of the Night and Marguerite, and the delicious, aptly named, Sorbet are all just gorgeous!

    Nelly Moser does seem very early, I must check on mine. I do find her quite tough which is fortunate as the poor girl doesn't get much help from me, she is pretty well left to fend for herself.

    A lovely read again Rose and beautiful photos!

  3. Lots of blooms even with the freeze. The tulips are so colorful!

  4. Your tulips are so beautiful, all of them, although I am partial to Queen of Night paired with a white tulip as you have done. I had that combination in my garden and it always pleased me. They pleased the voles too, and soon disappeared entirely. I'm glad I got to see yours, and all the gorgeous doubles as well!

  5. Bloom Day proves that zones only tell you so much. My zone 5 garden has hardly anything in bloom. Even with this early season - with no rain.

  6. Wow, Rose, that's a lotta tulips! I'm envious. Tulips are rabbit food here. Those 'Sunlovers' are amazing. Happy Bloom Day!

  7. Beautiful blooms, every one of them!
    Sunlover is truly magnificent!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  8. My garden is way behind when it comes to comparing blooms. There isn't that much to see.
    Your photos are just wonderful and I loved the close ups and the tulips looked devine.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  9. Hey Rose eventhough the cold you have had your flowerphoto's are beautiful. I keep my finger's croshed for the tulipfields overhere.
    This week hail and frost are forecasted.
    Have a great week

  10. Rose the frost did the exact same thing to my bergenia flowers - normally they are not even in bloom yet. You've a great show of tulips in the garden along with that early clematis.

  11. Fantastic tulips :)

    Same sort of weather here too but so far (fingers crossed) I have not suffered frost damage in the garden as we are very much inner city.

    Lovely to see all your blooms


  12. Hi Rose, Happy GBBD! It is too bad that the wild swings in the temperature are taking such a toll on our gardens this spring.
    Those double tulips are spectacular! I also like the deep, dark Queen of the Night tulips and the classic red and whites. (My tulips have yet to open.)
    I am going to watch with interest your progress with the Boomerang lilac. I almost bought one last year. I will be really impressed if it puts on the same kind of show this fall in your garden.

  13. That "Sorbet" tulip is gorgeous, even without it's red pairing.

    Many of my tulips hung their heads after our freeze, but most of them recovered by afternoon, which was a nice surprise.

  14. You tulips are all wonderful. I need to plant some more tulips! I love the 'Red Impressions." Also, the white ones are really nice.

  15. I love the clematis. I used to live in Illinois and those were my favorite. Too bad they don't like San Diego climate1 Jeannine

  16. Those double tulips are fabulous!! I envy your lilac bush! What a difference from one night of cold temps and then later!!

  17. The tulips are lovely, even when drooping. The Sorbet ones are quite impressive!

  18. I'm sorry to hear about the late freeze. We usually get those, and I've been in fear of them this spring, but I think we've dodged the bullet. Heck it looks like May in my neck of the woods.

    Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

  19. Awww, poor Sunlover! It is a beauty, though, along with all your other amazing Tulips and plants. I didn't cover my Dicentra or Hydrangea and they came through OK. I was worried, though. I did cover the Peonies, because I can't bear the thought of late spring without them. Now it's supposed to frost again. Argh.

  20. So many lovely colours, what a wonderful bloom day. I'm tickled to discover there's a tulip with my name on it! Sorry to see so many hanging heads after the freeze, this weather has been such a mess this spring with huge leaps in temperature up and down the thermometer.

  21. I love all your tulips! When I saw the photo of your heuchera and the bleeding heart I actually thought the heuchera was water and that the bleeding heart was draped over it. Beautiful!!! I'm glad your plants survived the freeze. :o)

  22. I confess Rose, I did wonder if the frosts would hit your garden at some point. We had a sharp frost during Sunday night. I am fortunate in as much that my garden is very slow this year. I still have daffs in bloom, which I must say I am enjoying.
    My tulips are just showing buds, so should flower sometime during the next week.

    My favourite image is Angelique.....she is subtle, beautiful and very desirable:)

  23. Dear Rose,
    Even with the frosts you have lots in bloom. It has been a strange winter and now spring is zooming past. She did stop for a minute and now has taken off again. Glad to know you did get some rain. It seems as if I am always waiting for rain. Happy growing.
    The dragonflies have emerged!
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

  24. My back aches thinking of planting all those tulip bulbs! But such a pretty show makes it worth the back pains.... I should add more each year... Hummmm...

  25. All so lovely Rose ... wow, lilacs in bloom! We are way behind there ... but my your 'Anjelique' tulips are divine as are mine. Spring is so glorious as your lovely garden shows.

  26. You've got some gorgeous tulips! I can't believe you have a Clematis in bloom already, this is one weird year. (Thanks for the link love. ) I think your mystery Geranium might be G. maculatum or G. sylvaticum, they're hard to tell apart, but both are the earliest bloomers.

  27. Things are happening early for you! Such beautiful varieties of tulips as well as all the others. Your garden must be a picture.


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