Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April GBBD: Mixed Emotions

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day once again, and I'm so excited!  After months of trying to be creative in finding something that classifies as being a "bloom," I finally have some real blooms to show this month.

It's been a very late spring compared to past years, but warm weather last week finally convinced my garden that it was time to wake up from its long winter's nap.  The first blooms to appear were a few spindly snowdrops discovered hiding under a pile of leaves, as I began garden clean-up.  Next were the crocuses, which started blooming the first week in April.

By this weekend, the spring growth had accelerated, and new blooms were opening up each day.

One of the first clean-up chores I accomplished in the garden the past two weeks was cutting off the old foliage of the hellebores, and just in time.

This is 'Red Lady,' I think, and one of my favorites,
 because the blooms are more upright than the white ones.

A new bloom I'm excited about--it's hard to tell from this fuzzy photo, but this is bloodroot.  I just received this passalong plant from an elderly Master Gardener who has been an inspiration to me, and I'm so happy it seems to have transplanted well.

The early daffodils seemed to shoot up overnight.

I have planted so many other types of daffodils in the past few years, but these standard yellows (name forgotten) always lift my spirits because they are the very first to bloom.

Hyacinths are just opening up, too.  I've been wondering why all my photos have looked so washed out lately, and this morning I finally discovered the reason--my camera has been on "snow" setting for months!  There's an irony here, as you'll soon see.

A happy surprise under the lilac--I thought these were Scilla at first, but then realized they were Chionodoxa, also known as glory-in-the-snow.  I don't remember ordering these, let alone planting these, but I'm delighted to see them.  Notice I also have a healthy crop of creeping charlie--my garden nemesis--that was unfazed by our harsh winter.

Not every surprise this spring has been a happy one, however.  Walking around the garden with a friend on Saturday, we noticed many of the tulips had been chewed off.  Whether the damage is due to rabbits or deer, I'm not sure, but I am definitely not happy!  I have never had a problem with either deer or rabbits bothering my garden much in the past, but this winter has been a hard one for them, too.

It's a good thing I took photos of the garden yesterday, because this morning we had another unpleasant surprise . . .

. . . yes, that is snow covering the daffodils this morning!   Our temps dropped 40 degrees in twenty-four hours, and the steady rain yesterday turned into snow before midnight.  These white double daffs were just about to open, but I think they might decide to wait awhile now.

I didn't get a good photo of the pretty little scilla dotting the shade garden yesterday, but today they are closed up, shivering in the cold.

I certainly hope Mother Nature is finished playing her cruel tricks--it's been 24 weeks since our first snowfall, and I think that's quite enough, thank you very much.  Bring back spring!!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you each month by the indomitable Carol of May Dreams Gardens. 


  1. I am happy to say that today's rain is a warm rain, but in spite of the snow you are way ahead of us - bloomwise. I have snowdrops, but not even a daffy bud.

  2. Oh Rose,

    Could not believe it when I saw the snow on your spring flowers.....

    As for the rabbits, well all I can think to say is welcome to my world. I lost every tulip this year, not one bloom. I have learned to live with rabbits but it is not easy.
    For some reason not one of my hyacinths flowered this year, which seems really odd.

    Hope the weather settles soon Rose and the rabbits/deer find another food source.

  3. I share your excitement with the coming of April, and you surely do have blooms to show this month! I especially love the purple crocus. Happy Bloom Day!

  4. Your garden is so full of life! It's lovely. Your spring is way ahead of ours.Your Hellbore and Daffs and other spring blooms are a breath of fresh air! It's fun to see what everyone is growing. It helps me to remember how wonderful flowerbeds are. Sorry you got snow....we may be next:(

  5. We had that same snow, and it was unbelievably depressing --not just in the garden, but I couldn't just curl up and read a book. I had to be out doing various things in it all day!

    It looks like you were a couple of weeks ahead of us (although with a late spring, sometimes things happen very fast!). We have some early daffodils, crocus, scilla, and glory-of-the-snow, but the hyacinth is just beginning to show its green tips. Hopefully this will be our last taste of winter, and we can start to enjoy some warmer temperatures!

  6. Rose! I knew before you mention the surprise that it was snow you were talking about! How ? I have the same here in Ohio! I am glad that I found your blog! Happy GBBD!

  7. We have many of the same blooms but please keep that snow. Please? I must get some of those pale yellow crocus. I really must.

  8. Your flowers may have been a little late but how lovely to see your beautiful spring unfolding, Rose - I miss crocuses.
    Here's how I knew about your snow- I could hear my Chicagoland sister's anguished cries all the way down here ;-)

    Our gardens are done with spring flowers and on to roses now, but we have a freeze warning for tonight - sure is an odd year.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. We woke to a good dusting of snow. I hope it melts fast! Mother Nature can be a meany!
    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog!

  10. I'm sure Rose spring will get back! Love your hellebore 'Red Lady', is very very pretty! Nice color!
    Also your small Chionodoxa are lovely as well. I have them too and they always delight eye.
    Have a nice day!

  11. We had snow this morning as well, thankfully it seems to be short-lived! Your flowers are lovely. I especially love your hyacinths! I have some that are barely starting to open. Hopefully the snow won't slow them down for too long! I hope your snow melts off quickly for you too!

  12. I love Hellebores too, they are the first blooms I get in spring, but like you I'm looking for some that are not so down-facing. Red Lady is pretty. Sorry about the snow, it sounds like spring is frustrating for the north-eastern states this year. The yellow daffodils are so cheery, I like the wide fringed cups.

  13. Yes, we had that nice rain, and then the snow, too. You did a better job clipping off the old growth on your Hellebores than I did.

    I'm pretty sure it was rabbits that ate your tulips. I have become familiar with how the edges look after a rabbit has eaten. :o(

    Yes, we need spring to get her to stay! The plants sure are growing, though! I am tickled about that.

  14. Hurrah for spring, good to see it has arrived, I hope the snow cover vanished quickly so you can enjoy all your lovely flowers again. Snow in April is pretty disheartening, but usually short lived. Happy GBBD!

  15. Ouch. Sorry about the snow. Spring must really be here if flowers are blooming in Illinois though! I love your crocus!

  16. Your flowers brought joy to my eyes and heart. This snow just will not stop this year, will it?

  17. Oh Rose, I know what you mean. We had the same here right after a few garden flowers bloomed. They lived through the snow, but it is sad Spring is getting short changed. I am waiting for the bunnies to come and have some dinner. That would be another hit on spring blooms.

  18. A treasure to the eyes to see spring founds it way to your part of the country Rose.
    I wish you a lovely Easter and lots of good weather.

  19. Thanks, all, for visiting! My computer isn't working once again, and it's hard to leave comments using my iPad. But I wanted everyone to know that once the snow melted, we have had a beautiful week, truly spring. Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

  20. It's funny that you still had the snow setting on and then got some more of the stuff. You must have subconsciously known it would make another visit. Well, at least the flowers that had popped up already won't be adversely affected. You have such a nice variety of early spring bloomers. I can only get a few daffs and some hyacinths to bloom reliably here.

  21. I don't envy the winter you've had. My garden is way ahead of yours and I'm sure we are usually 'blooming' at the same time!

    Love seeing your pics


  22. Lovely to see some spring flowers, but I'm so sad about your tulips, and the snow...

  23. We got some snow as well and it was very disheartening after a few spring-like days. Fortunately the snow did not last more than 48 hours and spring now seems to be back on track. Your garden is coming along nicely and I hope mine will not be far behind.

  24. Gosh, snow one minute the heat the next. The changes in weather are mind boggling. So glad the plants are tough and are looking great despite the snow up there. Looking great!

  25. The temperature dropped 40 degrees?!! Good grief! our temp doesn't vary by that much over the year!

    Are you supposed to prune hellebores then? I'd better look it up.

  26. Your blooms are lovely. So glad your April brought some beauties. My garden finally has some blooms, too. Spring is bringing some nice surprises.

  27. Hi Rose! We seem to be at about the same place in our flower-growth. Isn't it great to be able to be outdoors??? It's a bit cooler today, but that's okay. My raking is nearly finished and I still have time to enjoy everything!! :-) Happy Gardening!

  28. Glad you were able to visit my little nature and book blog. Surrounded by oak tree I usually focus on my woodland wildflower garden but a few miles to the east are State Parks with lots of prairie. We hike and bike there a lot and love the prairie wildflowers...;) With luck that bloodroot you got will spread easily and often be among the earliest to bloom.

  29. Rose this has been such a long winter for me as well ... you are ahead of us with your blooms .. but mine will have to open up some time.
    That extreme swing of temp and weather really ticks me off. I was at Home Depot and bought good strong lavender, rosemary and curly parsley but I am taking no chances they are cuddled up on the deck next to a warm wall! LOL
    Fingers crossed we finally get even and temperate Spring weather now?
    Joy : )

  30. So glad that Spring has finally found you Rose! Sorry about your missing tulips and with the wildlife and harsh winter this year, I am not surprised you lost things you never loose to the deer and rabbits. I feel so badly for them during the winter freeze and luckily, I don't have to see that often down here in GA. But this winter was brutal for us and now enjoying me some Spring!

  31. Love all the pictures of your beautiful flowers!!! I see that you love to buy new tulip bulbs - have you ever been to Holland, Michigan....... the big tulip gardens there while the tulips are blooming? It is beautiful!!!! (I think it is Veldheer, but not absolutely sure!) But we had some tulips from when we were there last year, and they were amazing!!! But am enjoying all your gardening photos!!!

    Diane, from St. Joe, MI


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