Monday, April 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up April 2019-Welcome to My Spring Garden!

Welcome to my April Garden!
Welcome to my April garden! After a cool start to the month and one of the most unusual winters we have ever had with no significant snowfall and temperature fluctuations from the 50's one week to single digits the next, spring has arrived in full force. Come along and stroll with me in my Long Island garden. Today's forecast calls for blooms!
Newly added during the winter months, these two garden frogs are your welcoming committee! Behind them is the perennial border, which we will take a look at in more detail along our walk.
Perennial Border Allium Shoots, Lillies and Hyacinth
All winter long, I gaze at the perennial bed and await its awaking in spring. It's almost magical how the new growth of bulbs emerges so quickly once the temperatures warm. The large attractive leaves in the backdrop are from emerging Allium 'Mont Blanc'. They appear to grow taller each time I look at them.
Purple Crocus
Purple crocus are one of my favorite spring bulbs with their vibrant color. They are in full bloom now, and open and close daily as they react to the sun.
Hellebore 'Merlin'
Here are Hellebore 'Merlin' and 'Shooting Star' in the shadier areas of the garden. They had a late bloom this year, but were worth the wait! Now they are in full force!
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
As we come around the bend, here is another crocus in an artistic light. Let's stop a moment and take a glance at this one.
Crocus Wide Open!
These golden-yellow crocus are another favorite with their bright color that resembles the sun.

Yellow Crocus
Hyacinths are also blooming in the perennial border along with crocus and daffodils, which we'll visit in a bit. Don't you just love the color on these?
The Weeping Pussy Willow is covered in fluffy catkins this time of year, which appear before the leaves. This tree has also been a bird haven for nesting Sparrows over the years.
Weeping Pussy Willow April
I love how the male catkins seem to explode open while releasing their golden pollen. The male catkins are elongated, while the females are shorter and rounder. The female catkins point upward until they are pollinated.
Pussy Willow Catkins!
The pollinators are enjoying all the new blooms. Here is a bee enjoying the pollen from a crocus.
Crocus and Pollinators!
Forthysia blooms mean spring has arrived. The buds are opening!
Forthysia Blooming!
Daffodils add another touch of yellow to the garden. This is a miniature variety.
Hyacinths add such nice color to the garden. Like crocus, you can't have just one!
More Hyacinths!
Allium, crocus and hyacinths...oh my! Daylilies, astilbe, coneflowers and hosta are also emerging in the perennial border!
Perennial Border Another View

The Peonies are coming up too. I enjoy the pinkish-red hue of their newly developed foliage.
Peony Emerging!
The Skyland's Oriental Spruce at the end of the driveway is getting more golden by the day as it starts to push out new growth. You can see the Nepeta 'Walkers Low' coming up beneath it.

Skyland's Oriental Spruce

'Limemound' Spirea in the back pool garden is starting to develop its initial fiery-orange foliage, as Allium 'Globemaster' and Daylily 'Stella D Oro' emerge in the foreground. Also in this view are Weeping Norway Spruce and Blue Globe Montgomery Spruce.
Foliage of 'Limemound' Spirea and Daylily
Here is Magnolia 'Royal Star. I cannot get enough of these magnificent blooms! 
Magnolia 'Royal Star'
As another winter season has passed and with the arrival of spring, winter bear has traded in his greenery for annuals.

Bear with Spring Annuals
With great anticipation, I look forward to all the excitement the garden has to offer and to seasonal changes as the garden evolves from month to month. I hope you enjoyed your visit and wish you a wonderful gardening season!
April Garden...Thanks for Visiting!
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 Fotos, Macro 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 RoseImage-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 on Wednesdays.

For gardening and design inspiration along with personal musings...

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2019. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 1, 2019

This Month in the Garden: Proven Winners Harvest Edibles New for 2019-Better Than Ever!

Proven Winners Harvest Edible Collection New for 2019
Proven Winners has a new line of edibles coming out in 2019, which are a must have! The first, 'Garden Gem' Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), is one of the most productive and delicious tomatoes I have ever experienced. Developed by an accomplished scientist, this semi-determinate, snack-size tomato has been a breakthrough. It was developed to have a traditional taste, with modern disease resistance and high fruit yield. The plants produce a firm, juicy fruit with the sweetness of a cherry tomato at a size equivalent to that of a plum-tomato. This cultivar will continue to produce tomatoes for the entire season, while thriving in both heat and humidity. Fruit ripens in about 55 days.
Garden Gem' Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) Photo By Proven Winners
TIPS: While this variety will grow to be a large plant (30-42") in the landscape, when grown in a container they will maintain a compact size, while producing an endless supply of fruit. I would recommend at least a twelve-inch container with drainage holes per plant, using either a cage or stakes to keep the plant upright. Grow in full sun in a well-drained soil and do not allow the plant to dry out. During the heat of summer, I would recommend watering daily. Apply a well-balanced fertilizer regularly.
Next is Strawberry 'Berried Treasure' (Red Fragaria ananassa). This new cultivar of strawberry is highly ornamental with a more compact appearance, while producing tasty fruit. Plants grow to a height and width of approximately 12-16 inches tall by 18-24 inches wide and should be grown in full sun. The semi-double red flowers that cover the plant are attractive and will add a nice touch to the garden. 'Berried Treasure' can be grown as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 4-9 as either a container plant or in the garden. I enjoyed the lovely flowers on this cultivar as much as the fruit!
Strawberry Berried Treasure(Red Fragaria ananassa) Photo by Proven Winners
TIPS: To keep your 'Berried Treasure' Strawberries looking their best, it is recommended to remove spent flowers. Soil should be kept evenly moist and a regular fertilization program will produce the most prolific crop.

The third new edible I found to be a hit is Basil 'Amazel' (Ocimum hybrid) with its aromatic leaves and excellent flavor. Unlike most Basil, which are susceptible to downy mildew, 'Amazel' is the first Italian sweet basil that has excellent resistance. Amazel is seed sterile variety that continues to produce leaves and shoots even after flower initiation, keeping it going for the entire season. Plants grow to approximately 20-36 inches high by 12-20 inches wide and can be grown in containers or in the garden. I found this variety to be more prolific, hardier and longer lasting.
Basil 'Amazel' (Ocimum hybrid) Photo by Proven Winners
TIPS: For best flavor and leaf production, grow Basil in full sun and keep moderately moist. Harvest or pinch back regularly to keep full and promote fresh tender growth. Harvest sprays of leaves by cutting stems just above two new sprouting lateral branches.

For more information and purchase, visit the Proven Winners website for a huge selection of perennials, annuals, edibles and shrubs. Be on the look out for these new selections in 2019!

Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month for This Month in the Garden, as I share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! 

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,©Copyright 2010-2019. All rights reserved.