Monday, April 15, 2013

April Bloom Day: Spring Showers

April showers bring May flowers . . .

...or at least I hope so.  Spring has finally arrived, I think, and the garden is slowly waking up.  But spring rains have also arrived, making it difficult to get much work done in the garden.  Rose's Law has definitely been in effect:  "Warm, sunny days occur only when the gardener is out of town or busy with other commitments."  I keep reminding myself, however, of the drought the past two summers and to be thankful for all this rain, even if it means the daffodils are fighting for attention with last year's dead perennial stalks.

Besides cutting back last year's perennials, there are lots of thick oak leaves to be raked from the garden.  These hyacinth were so happy I finally raked off the leaves that were smothering them--they went from a sickly yellow to full bloom in just a matter of days.

I've also cleaned up most of the shade garden, including cutting back the old foliage of the hellebores, giving them a chance to shine.

The white ones are the same type of hellebore, but only fairies or other creatures scampering below them can fully appreciate their blooms.  Notice more oak leaves underneath--they're great as winter insulation, but they sure are a pain to remove in the spring.

I was out of town last week, visiting my daughter in Dallas. When I left, the daffodils were still buds; when I returned, they were fully opened to give me a very cheery welcome home.

The traditional yellow daffs are always the first to open, but this year the double 'Repletes' have also made an early appearance.  Until a few years ago, I thought that all daffodils were yellow, but a mail-order offer opened my eyes to the wide variety of daffodils available today.  I immediately fell in love with the pictures of double ruffled daffs and ordered several varieties, including some with pink centers.  However, I must say they haven't quite lived up to those glossy images.  Blowing in the wind--which never seems to stop these days--they tend to look rather bedraggled.

Instead of doubles, the last few years I've been planting different varieties of single bloomers, which I much prefer.  These white with orange centers are in Odie's memorial; there are more varieties in "Daffodil Hill," but their photos will have to wait until a day when the wind finally stops blowing.

I've also begun to plant more diminutive varieties, such as these 'Tazetta' narcissus (I think) in the arbor bed.  They don't show up from a distance like the taller daffs, but their dainty size adds some dimension to the garden.

Another rescue from the oak leaf blanket--the first primrose is blooming.  I'm not sure what caused the hole in the petal--an over-vigorous raking or some creature hiding beneath the leaves.  Another reason to finish the clean-up as soon as possible: if I don't get these leaves removed before the hostas come up, the slug population may explode this summer.

A few scilla have also begun to bloom, and the trees and shrubs are budding up, but the biggest spring show is yet to come--this fat tulip bud holds the promise of a colorful spring very soon.

Today's blooms are brought to you courtesy of our hostess with the mostest, Carol of May Dreams Gardens.  It's interesting that when I was checking last year's posts for a plant i.d., I discovered I had almost the same photos last year--except they were for March's Bloom Day, not April's.  I hope that is a good sign that this will be a more "typical" year, weather-wise, and that all these spring rains will make for a much better summer garden.


  1. Very pretty daffodils. I am hoping for more rain than last year. Every drop of rain drifted around us missing us by just a few miles.

  2. What a beautiful collection of daffs you have. I particularly like the little Tazetta. I must look out for these in Autumn!
    Happy Bloom Day!

  3. Hi, found you thru boom day and glad I did. We are in a drought too but no rain for us yet. Your pics are beautiful. Look forward to seeing more.

  4. I also thought all daffodils were yellow! Then I discovered white ones, and last fall I planted clumps of several different white varieties all in one area. They aren't open yet, though. The yellow ones, as you point out, are the first to come out. Happy Spring to you!

  5. Rose, don't you think buds are as beautiful as full-blown blooms sometime? Your last photo is a prime example. Here's wishing you lots of sunshine -- while you're home to enjoy it. DJ

  6. What lovely blooms you have in your garden, Rose.
    I still have snow in my yard (new house I will be moving into early May - can't wait to see what's under the snow).

    I love daffys, all sizes, all colours, all shapes. They really bring sunshine into our lives.

    Last year was a really memorable spring. So warm and summerlike much earlier than normal. I loved it and wish it were so this year.

    Never mind, soon it will be so hot, we'll all be wishing for cooler temps. LOL!

  7. You have some pretty spring flowers out there, Rose. I too prefer the neatness of the single daffodils. I bought a few different varieties last fall, so I'm eager to see them bloom--probably in a week or so.

    I agree, getting rid of those leaves can be a real pain!

    I also share your hope that this year will be more "typical," weather-wise. So far, it seems much more the norm!

    By the way, I really enjoyed your posts about the Chicago Flower Show. Next year, a friend and I have promised each other we will make the 3 hour drive together to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show!

  8. Lovely daffodils. They really do say "spring," don't they?

  9. "Warm, sunny days occur only when the gardener is out of town or busy with other commitments." That is sooooo true!
    Looking like spring there. Enjoy!

  10. So many of us are facing the "same post, but it was March last year" situation! I'm just glad I'm not the only one! Your garden is definitely ahead of mine, though. We've had a few mild days, but mostly the temps have hovered in the 40s and low 50s for highs, and below freezing at night. I've been covering my Hellebores even though I know they're very hardy. Oh well, spring and summer will move into full swing very soon. Happy GBBD, Rose!

  11. Beautiful Spring flowers!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie

  12. Rose, you have many blooming flowers in your 'warm, sunny' garden!
    I love hyacinths and can imagine the fragrance when you are passing by.

  13. By looking at these blooms I see that spring has sprung up your way. We too need all the rain we can get. I just hope we don't blow away. Happy GBBD.

  14. Hi Rose...your blooms are just beautiful! I really like the double daffys...I'll need to get some of those. My hubby has that same rule because it rains so often on the weedends when he's off from work....or it's been raining so much that he can't get into his vege garden. According to the forecast we are due for quite a bit of rain the next ten days. So I hope that old saying "April showers bring May flowers" is true!!

  15. Happy spring to you and what a delight to come back to! Those daffodils are looking most cheery!

  16. Hi Rose :-) It’s certainly starting to look colourful there now. Daffs are my favourite garden flowers so it is lovely to see some of yours. I love your frilly double one, the colouring reminds me of the inside of a Cadbury's Creme Egg, not sure if you have those there but if you do I think you will know what I mean :-) So glad the Hyacinths rewarded your kindness with a smile, I love their scent!

    I was hoping to go in search of our increasingly rare, native wild Daffodil (smaller and daintier than the cultivated varieties) this year but although it has turned milder here at last it is very unsettled at the moment.

  17. Love those hyacinths (could almost smell them!) and the Hellebores.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  18. It's strange to me, living in country with lot's of rain, to read you are wanting for more rain in the summer. Looking of what is growing in your garden it's a lot of beauty. I am so supprised how fast the plants are growing after a very long period of cold overhere. We are going to have a wonderful spring Rose.
    Have a wonderful day.

  19. I love that dark hellebore with the upward facing blooms. Do you know the variety? I'm becoming such a big hellebore fan - they're so darn easy! Love all your daffs too, Rose.

  20. Erin, I wish I could send you some of our rain--it's nonstop here!

    Angie, I wish I had gotten a better picture of the Tazettas; they really are so sweet.

    Yvonne, I think our drought is at an end--it's been raining everyday this week, with no end in sight.

    Laurrie, When I first saw all the different daffodils in a catalog, I was amazed. I keep adding more and more different varieties each year.

    DJ, Yes, I do enjoy the buds--every day is filled with anticipation to see when they will open up.

  21. Wendy, Snow--how awful! We've had snow in April before, too, but usually nothing that lasts. Right now I see ponds in the fields--we're getting more than our share of rain. I agree, it won't be long before I'm complaining about the heat, so I need to stop wishing for everything to hurry up.

    Kimberley, I've heard good things about the Philly show, so I hope you enjoy it next year! For me, going to the Chicago show is just what I need when I'm getting so tired of winter.

    Dorothy, I agree--daffodils are the first true sign for me that spring has arrived.

    Gardener, I was supposed to work all this week, but didn't have to after all. Wouldn't you know, now that I have time to be outside, it has rained every day!

    Beth, I have even put a few hardy annuals, like my overwintered geraniums outside, to get some sun--though there isn't much sun:) I'm hoping this cooler spring means the daffs and tulips will last longer this year.

    Lea, Thanks for visiting me!

    Nadezda, Hyacinths are just such a vibrant color, aren't they? I have a few pink ones, too, but the purple/blue are still my favorite.

    Lisa, Looking at the forecast for today and tomorrow, I'm hoping we won't get washed away either! I'm ready for some sunshine!

  22. I totally agree with you on the leaves. I leave them all winter but then it's such a chore to remove them in the spring.....but then there are the little gems hidden underneath like your hyacinths.

  23. Rose girl ! Spring has sprung for you!! .. Your hellebore are looking wonderful and the primrose along with the rest of the plants .. yes, finally we see some progress !
    Now on with the season ? LOL
    Joy : )

  24. Rose's Law is funny but I feel your pain. I like experimenting with different daffodils too. The oldies but goodies are really treasures.

  25. Wonderful spring view:) I am greeting

  26. What a delightful hellebore, the shy white one, I mean. I love your idea of it saving itself for fairies' eyes only.

    You know, the spring has sprung later here too. I'm enjoying the coolness now. It gets hot outside all too soon, and then gardening is not so much fun.

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  28. I remember the first time I saw a bulb catalogue with several pages devoted to daffodils - I was stunned and have been smitten ever since. Love your 'replete' daff, so very pretty. I do find the doubles heavy though so the flowers often face down. Like you, the little sunshine we've had seems to fall on days I'm completely unable to be outside. so frustrating when the weather is hit and miss.

  29. Hi Rose,
    Your daffodils are so cheerful. They never seem to last long and so it is nice that you made it home in time from your travels to see them.The first of my daffodils opened and then it started to snow. Just flurries, but miserable nonetheless.

  30. Ciao, che belle immagini, seguirò con piacere il tuo blog!

  31. I am falling more and more in love with the many different types of daffys each year. Yes, the doubles are my favorites! At one time, I thought all iris were purple too! Live and Learn.... Glad to see Spring has arrived in your gardens...

  32. Beautiful spring blooms. My hellebore - planted from your inspiration - are lovely this year. I think I said that before - and that I was going to photo them ...

  33. i CANNOT wait for spring! it actually snowed today where i live . . a lot. i am gardening for the first time so i am anxious for it to warm up so i can put my seedlings outside.

  34. Christy, The double daffodils are looking better this year than they have in a long time--they just don't look quite as tidy as pictured in the catalogs. We had even more rain this week, but I'm hoping this is the end of the monsoon season.

    Tina, The yellow daffs have already faded, but the best part of spring is that something new opens each day.

    Songbird, I've been adding different varieties of daffodils each year--I think I love them all!

    Maggie, I have some pink hyacinth as well, but I think the purple ones are my favorite.

    Marijke, We were in a drought the past two summers, so the rain is very welcome--but not so much all at once!

    Jean, I bought my hellebores several years ago from Breck's--it was a collection of five, and I think the dark one is either 'Red Lady' or 'Purple Lady.' Blogging introduced me to hellebores and got me hooked on them!

  35. You have a lot popping up through those wonderful leaves. I leave my leaves in the shadier part to help amend the soil....they sure help with weed control. The largest concentration of weeds is where the leaves blew away from.

  36. Stunning daffs. They are lovely to watch, great capture!


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