Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up April: The Garden Brings Refuge and Peace

Welcome to my April Garden!
Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for the month of April, a time when gardeners venture into their surroundings to appreciate all the beauty that nature has to offer. During these uncertain times around the world, I have been finding the garden to be a place of refuge, solitude and peace now more than ever. Having been somewhat on hold from traveling to the gardens of my clients, I now spend up to four to five hours a day doing what I love most...pruning, weeding, planting and putting my hands in the dirt. As a matter of fact, the dirtier my hands and the infamous purple Crocs become signifies the total productivity of the day.
April Garden
Spring temperatures and earlier than usual blooms have been the trend this gardening season. In past years, it has been way to chilly to work outdoors in April, but everything is accelerated. Weeds are on the verge, shrubs are pushing out new growth, blooms are popping up everywhere and the lawn is growing like crazy! Days have been mostly clear with temperatures topping in the upper 50's and low 60's, setting the stage for a pleasant and enjoyable gardening experience. As we take time to be thankful for nature's beauty, come take a stroll with me in my garden.
Helleborus orientalis 'Dark and Handsome'
One of my favorite blooms to transition from winter to spring are Helleborus, otherwise known as Lenten Rose. I love them for the fact that they start blooming in January (depending on the variety) and keep going all the way through April. This one is called 'Dark and Handsome' and rightfully so. It's gorgeous purplish-black blooms are irresistible!
Helleborus orientalis 'Champion'
This Helleborus 'Champion' is new to the garden this season. Right before the pandemic broke out, I had gone to a local nursery with a friend and spotted them. I did not buy them right away, but after one night of "sleeping on it", I quickly ventured back to purchase the only three that they had. It had been a purchase that was meant to be.
Helleborus orientalis 'Merlin'
Helleborus 'Merlin', planted last year, is another beauty similar to 'Shooting Star', only a bit more pink in color. Also on the northern side of the property are Helleborus 'Shooting Star'. Their blooms are fading up now, since they first opened all the way back in January. All together, I have the four varieties, varying in color and bloom time. Could there be room for more? Fun Fact: Helleborus are hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and prefer to be grown in partial to full shade. The reason why their blooms have such a long lifespan is due to the fact that what appears as petals are actually sepals.
Hellebore 'Champion' Pool Garden
Here are the latest additions in their new home, comfortably positioned just outside the canopy of this Weeping White Pine, sheltered in shade from the afternoon sun.
Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula')
Follow me around to the outer perimeter of the backyard patio where you'll see Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula') loaded with fluffy white catkins. They are now opening to expose their yellow pollen, providing an attraction for pollinators.
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkin
Every spring the birds migrate to this tree and plan their nesting site. As mentioned in the past, there is a lot of competition for this prime piece of real estate! Throughout the entire day there is much chirping and activity to be seen in the branches above.
Flowering Plum Prunus cerasifera Krauter Vesuvius 
Venturing over to the southern fence line is the new flowering plum that replaced the troubled one last summer. The previous tree had a missing buttress root, making the tree very unstable. After a battle to keep it healthy, it had to be replaced. This is the first bloom for this new tree that I have gotten to experience and I must say I am loving it!
Flowering Plum (Prunus cerasifera Krauter Vesuvius) Blooms
Here you can see the blooms close up. Flowering Plum blooms are small, but so delicate and fragrant. The deep burgundy foliage that follows really makes a statement in the landscape.
View From Back Patio
I hope you are enjoying the tour so far. I am always talking about the different sections of the garden, so let's try something new. Come take a seat in my favorite chair and view the garden as I see it every morning. You are facing west right now and the blooming Magnolia tree is to the north. The flowering Plum is to the south, so that would be located towards the far left side of the pool area.
Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'
Now that you have a sense of direction, we are headed back to the northwestern side of the property (to the right of the pool area) to see the Magnolia up close. It might be my imagination, but I think with the mild winter this is the best bloom this tree has shown yet.
Magnolia 'Royal Star' Bloom
Here are the blooms close up. If you want fragrance, this is the tree for you!
Peony 'Bartzella' Foliage
Right in front of the west facing patio is Peony 'Bartzella' showing its brand new deep burgundy foliage before it turns to green. Large yellow blooms will follow in May, so look out for those in next months post!
Hyacinth
Hyacinth is a reliable bulb that produces fragrant long-lasting blooms in early spring. As you know, it is available in an assortment of colors including pink, salmon, yellow, white and the purple one seen here. Tip: Hyacinths grow best in zones 4-8 and require a period of colder temperatures in order to bloom.

Garden Visitor
There have been generation after generation of bunnies in the garden over the years and to my good fortune they have been well behaved and respectful of their surroundings. This visitor remained in the same place under a spirea shrub for an entire day and didn't even flinch with strollers passing by. I think it may be a mamma looking for a place to have her babies. Time will tell.
Spirea 'Limemound' Foliage
Here is the foliage on the Spirea 'Goldmound' starting to emerge. 
Miniature Daffodils
In the perennial border, the miniature Daffodils are blooming along with Hyacinth and remaining Crocus, while the foliage of Allium, Hosta, Astilbe, Daylily, Stachys, Salvia and Echinacea grows taller by the day.
Nepeta 'Walkers Low'
In the southern bed, Nepeta 'Walkers Low' is starting to appear.
Backyard Patio Garden
Everyday brings something new to explore as a renewal of life accelerates again in the garden. It comes at a good time.
Winter-Spring Bear
On the patio, "winter bear", transitions into "spring bear"...
Miniature Garden
and the new miniature garden added last season has over-wintered very well. Left to right is Variegated Boxwood, Compact Juniper and Golden Dwarf Hinoki Cypress. The addition of mulch, decorative logs and a small rock add to its character.
Tulips to Make You Smile!
To end the tour are these tulips, which grow just across the street in Mrs. O'Hara's garden. She is the gardener next door who I've lovingly written about in my latest book. Having grown up and remained in the same home all my life, she has been like a second mom to me, and it is Mrs. O'Hara who has greatly influenced my passion of gardening since childhood.
April Garden-Thanks for Visiting!
Stay safe and well and I hope you too can find refuge and peace in the garden. I thank you for being here, hope you enjoyed your visit, and perhaps got a smile along the way. 🙂Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled Rose, Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Homestead Blog Hop  and Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays.

Looking for some garden reading?-Visit my Author Page
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Endah! Wishing you success with your fava beans! It sounds like they could be great to have at your reach.

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  2. What beautiful flowers. I have been thinking of hellebores, partly because they do take a fair amount of shade. At the moment I have a tiny pathetic hellebore that I don't even remember planting. It has inspired me to get a little more serious about hellebores because I think this little one has suggested a good spot.

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    1. Thank you Pat! Your spring garden looks like it is really underway and I love all the blooms! The Primroses look wonderful and I am enjoying the Double Bloodroot with its beautiful white blooms! Yes...try the Hellebores! They are wonderful in the right spot! Happy Bloom Day!

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  3. Your magnolia is stunning, Lee. I don't know why I don't have a pussy willow, as it reminds me of England. Our gardens are our consolation at this difficult time. We are blessed! P. x

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    1. Hi Pam! Thank you! You need to get a Pussy Willow! They are wonderful for early spring. Your Weeping Cherry is beautiful and makes such a statement in the garden. The daffodils are all so pretty too! The garden has been bringing peace and acting as a place of refuge during these difficult times. Hope you are staying safe and well and thank you for the smile!

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  4. Your garden is always magnificent, Lee, but that Magnolia literally took my breath away this month! I envy you the pussy willows too.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Kris. Your blooms are all so wonderful and I love the color collages! You have so many varieties of Iris that I am in awe over them, plus the clump of Felicia aethiopica 'Tight & Tidy' really complements them. Thank you for the BIG smile today!

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  5. Oh my!Balm to the soul...Hugs and blessings.

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    1. I always enjoy stopping by to see what wonderful porcelain you have. Your Easter decor is wonderful and I really like the little bird! Stay safe and well.

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  6. Thanks for the lovely bright colors on my rainy autumn day!

    I'm so happy that you joined us over at at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting Betty. Your capture of the sun is breathtaking. Be safe and well.

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  7. That Magnolia tree loaded with flowers made my day.Your hellebores are beautiful.happy bloggers blooms day.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the blooms Arun. Your spring blooms are all beautiful and I love the collages. Your Dahlias are magnificent! We don't have those blooming until the end of the summer here, so this is a real treat!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and I am glad you enjoyed the photos. Your work is beautiful. I am glad to have been able to see it!

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  9. WOW! These beautiful photos really brightened my day!

    Happy Thursday!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I am glad you enjoyed the photos. Stay safe and well and thanks for the smile from your last post!

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  10. I have never seen hellebores like 'Dark and Handsome'. Really unusual form.
    -Ray

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! I love all your blue and white blooms! The viburnum and Dogwood are gorgeous!

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  11. Every one a beauty from the miniature daffodils to the magnificent magnolia!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog!
    Have a blessed day!

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    1. The visit was my pleasure Lea! Your Encore Azalea 'Autumn Royalty' and white Clematis are real beauties!

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  12. The daffodils are my favourite and I love your bear yard art. - Margy

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    1. Thank you Margy. I enjoyed your throwback story and all the wonderful views. It’s always nice to see some fond memories. Stay safe and well.

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  13. Visiting your garden, Lee I always learn more about it. Now I liked your Nepeta and Hellebore, the fluffy visitor should behave well, he is good one. I have not seen before your miniature garden, it's well landscaped.
    Take care!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the visit and it’s wonderful to see all your nice healthy seedlings Nadezda! Gardening brings such enjoyment, especially during difficult times. Enjoy your new additions and stay well!

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  14. Absolutely gorgeous photos and the flower are so beautiful! I especially like the photo of the rabbit! He is very handsome! Have a grand week!

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    1. Thank you! I loved seeing your rose starting to bud and can’t wait to see the first one here! Enjoy the garden!

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  15. Its a good thing having a garden in this time of isolation. Wonderful blooms.

    Stay healthy.

    Happy MosaicMonday

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    1. Thank you. The garden brings refuge. Your giving fence is such a wonderful and thoughtful idea. I enjoyed all your bunnies too! Hope you are staying safe and well.

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  16. Replies
    1. Thank you Carol! Thank you for sharing Jenna’s garden. I love the Monarchs and blooms!

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  17. Lee - thanks for the spring tour. Unlike you, our spring is delayed, so I am delighted to get some color and "fresh air" from your garden. So glad to have you back at Mosaic Monday! Stay well.

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    1. Thank you for hosting and sharing your adventure. We must all remember to look for those silver linings! Be safe and well.

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  18. Your garden visitor is so cute. Happy gardening. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous flowers
    Happy mosaic Monday

    Much☺love

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    1. Thank you Gillena. Our visitor has made herself at home here and we get to see her everyday. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit!

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  19. Hello, your garden is just beautiful. The Helleborus are lovely. I love all the blooms, the trees and plants. Cute bunny and statues. Happy Gardening. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy, healthy new week!

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    1. Thank you so much Eileen and all the best to you! Thank you for sharing your walk and for all the beautiful views, and that Woodpecker view is fabulous! It’s been a bit chilly here the last couple of days but I plan on getting outside for some walks in the local preserves real soon!

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  20. What a beautiful view from your back patio! I know it takes a lot of work to have something this nice but it sure adds to the peace and happiness year round. You have flowers I've never seen! Stay safe!

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    1. Thank you! You made my day! Thank you for sharing your walks and wildlife. The photos of the Meadowlark are stunning and he even stayed and posed for you! Keep enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

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  21. Gorgeous photos! What an oasis!
    Thank you for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/04/aruba-archived.html, and please stay well and safe.

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  22. What beautiful flowers and most I am not familiar with. Thank you for sharing. Stay safe and well. Visiting from the Mosaic Monday link.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

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    1. Thank you for hosting Dawn. It certainly looks like you’ve been keeping busy and your craft project is awesome!

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  23. I am glad to see you are well and wanted to let you know that I have restarted Nature Notes meme....Michelle

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    1. Michelle-It’s so nice to see you back with all your wonderful nature photos and thank you so much for hosting. Your wildlife photos are stunning!

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  24. I came across magnolia stellata for the first time last week and it seems lovely. Yours is bigger than I realised it could grow and looks stunning.

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    1. This one is a mature tree (24 years) and produces a nice profusion of blooms. I am glad you enjoyed it! Your posts and words are beautiful. Connections with nature are so much more meaningful these days and your encounter with the fox must have been enlightening. Take care and be well.

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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