What’s Blooming in April

This is the longest, most drawn out Spring I can remember, and it’s wonderful!  The past few years Spring seems to have happened quickly, giving way to rain and then Summer in no time flat.

This year Spring seems to be enjoying itself and taking its sweet old time, which is fine by me.  Daffodils are done, magnolias dropped their flowers weeks ago, but I still have tulips in the yard and our glorious crab apple tree just finished blooming.  Here they are along with everything else that’s blooming (or about to) in our garden right now:

the tail end of our Crab Apple blooms

Bleeding Heart

Pulmonaria (Lungwort) - white foliage

I love the foliage on this Pulmonaria. The flowers start out blue then turn purple, then pink.

Spanish Bluebells. I have several patches...this one is among some purple sage (barely seen in this close shot) and they look great together!

I absolutely love my Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia). I have two patches and both are thriving. Both kept their beautiful foliage all year, even over winter (granted it was incredibly mild.) This is one plant and it has grown a lot in the past month.

Here is a close up of the flowers and the foliage. While recently in Pennsylvania for a visit home, I noticed my friend Bev's Virginia Bluebells had very different foliage from mine...hers was smoother and shinier, while mine is veined, thicker, and fuzzy - almost like Stachys leaves.

a beautiful Iris...I'm not sure of the variety. I am "babysitting" this plant and a few others for a friend who lost her garden space last year. It's a very, very welcome addition. I'm hoping my own irises will bloom as beautifully.

I can't help but love the violets that are popping up all over the yard.

the last of the in-ground tulips. My potted tulips haven't bloomed yet!

Spring Green tulip - I love the ruffled layers of this one.

Some critters in the petals of this tulip...friends or foes?

This allium is gearing up to bloom soon! I planted three alliums last fall and this one is the farthest along. I can't wait to see it open!

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17 thoughts on “What’s Blooming in April

  1. Well I learned something new today! Seeing your Mertensia photo sent me researching Google images for other Mertensias. My variety is M. virginica and yours is certainly different. Your long petaled fuzzy leaved specimen seems close to M. lanceolata in some photos but not all. M. ciliata (fuzzy) also looks similar in some online photos but not all. And now I am looking at M. paniculata!

    I wonder where you bought it? Mail order or in person? Maybe the tag is still at the base of the plant.

    Your crabapple looks glorious! And the blue of the Bluebells is enchanting. I can’t admire the violets since I ripped out a tub-full just last evening, making the rounds front and back with my special rip-out weeder, spying the telltale purple blossom which signifies an impending colony that will force other desirables out of the picture and steal moisture.

    I spent this HOT morning irrigating, attempting to offset the 5.5″ rainfall deficit of 2012, and it’s only the fourth month. Sprinklers, water wands, watering cans. I started at 7:15am and finished at 11:30am, omitting a few small areas to be done later by hand. I don’t have my soaker hoses set up yet.

    Those little green pests look suspiciously like APHIDS. If they smoosh easily under your gloved thumb and leave a green smear, they are trying to suck the sap out of your blossom. They come in many colors. Red aphids always go for my Heliopsis. Black aphids are prevalent on the backs of Nasturtium leaves. Green ones are often on my lettuces.

    A stiff stream of water from the hose will dispatch a large colony of aphids easily and “un-chemically”.

    I agree, this is an unusually L-O-N-G spring.

    • Hi Bev! A mystery Mertensia, huh? I’m in love with it, whatever it is. I think I got it at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden plants sale last year. Several of their plants were mislabeled, unfortunately, and I’m just not sure what variety this is. Let me know if you ever want some of it! It’s enormous!

      I hear you on the lack of rain. I planted (very late!) some sweet pea seeds yesterday and had to water and work the ground for what seemed an eternity – it was positively parched and cracked in places. Ugh.

      Aphids. That’s what I thought they looked like but I’m just not yet well-versed enough in the bug department. Off I go with the hose!

      Thanks for the heads up on those violets. I like them but wow, have they ever grown and spread in the last two years. I think I’ll be pulling some up as well when my perennial seedlings are big enough to go outside in the ground. There’s enough competition for water with all the trees in this small yard!

    • Yes, we could use a few solid days of rain – at least. I wish I had a better photo of the crabapple – it was stunning this year and the blooms lasted a long time. I hope yours will too!

  2. Hi Aimee ! Great photos. I love the Lungwort and Spanish Bluebelles. I have some double tulips that are opening up, too. The ruffled layers are pretty. Also, what kind of allium is that ? I planted three allium bulbs last fall and they are just starting to poke through the ground. Mine are Ivory Queen. I can’t wait to see what they look like.

    And, how is that hydrangea doing ? Is it starting to leaf out yet ?

  3. Hi Erin! I’m eager to catch up with your blog – I’ve been so busy and have fallen behind with everything except seeds and plants! I’m not sure what kind of allium it is but I’ll know when it comes up! I think it is allium christophii, but only time will tell! I ran out of labels by the time I put them in the ground last fall. I made a planting map so I will have to check my garden notebook in the next few days to see if I labeled the variety there.

    My hydrangea is doing great! Saving that for an upcoming post. 🙂

  4. My VA Bluebells are like your friends and not like yours….some of the same things are blooming here as with you, but some are not…tulips are just starting and the daffs are still going strong…VA Bluebells will be flowering shortly along with creeping phlox…very strange spring and cold here except today…today it was 90..

    • Hello Donna! Yes, it was hot here today too – in the high 80s, and it’s supposed to be warm the next several days. Creeping phlox is something I would like to get my hands on. I’ll be on the lookout for photos of your on your blog soon!

    • Thanks, Joene! I’ll be after them with a spray of water first thing tomorrow morning. I’ve been thinking it will probably be a very buggy year since we didn’t have much of a winter this year…sigh. I am really enjoying your blog! It’s a wealth of information. So glad I found it and can’t wait to do some exploring on your site.

    • Yes! I was worried there for a while that we’d get a frost that would zap all the blooming plants, but it didn’t happen down here. My friend lost her garden space last year and gave me several potted perennial plants to “sit” for her until she finds another garden spot…mostly columbine, bleeding heart, irises and lilies. I told her if she settles on an apartment with out a yard, I will gladly give her plants a permanent home and she can visit them anytime. 🙂

  5. A friend and I were just talking the other day about how everything’s sort of been in a state of suspended animation. Up here lots of things bloomed early in that crazy March heat wave, and then it got cool again which made a lot of the blooms last an especially long time it seems. The daffodils and forsythia have been in full bloom for the past month. This spring has been a nice change from our usually cold and rainy feels-like-winter’s-never-gonna-end springs, but a little rain would be nice!

    • Kate, you are so right – suspended animation is a great way to put it! It is nice to not have the usual chilly spring, but I’d take some rain right about now. A lot, actually. The ground here is PARCHED.

    • Stacy – omg, you have solved the mystery! I think you are absolutely right – your photos of the ornamental comfrey (Symphytum grandiflora ‘Hidcote Blue’) look EXACTLY like my plant. Great detective work! And all along I thought it was VA Bluebells, which is what I am pretty darn sure the label said when I bought it. Several other plants were mislabeled at that particular sale, so I’m not surprised. Fortunately, this mistake purchase has turned out to be a beauty so far! It does well in shade and kept those lovely green leaves year round! Thanks for identifying it for me!

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