It is high time for a garden update as April is now in full swing and the garden is taking off! The month started out very cold and damp, but the last few days have warmed up the soil and everything is coming to life.
The early tulips are here!
This white botanical one, with delicate pointed petals and a rich bluish mauve eye is Tulipa humilis ‘Coerulea Oculata Alba’. It is perfect in the Moon Bed, where it is accompanied by blue and white Anemone blanda…
… and some pretty Narcissi.
This bed has developed into a lovely area for spring flowers. 😃
There are lots of Narcissi Cheerfulness in my Herb Bed… they certainly brighten up this area until the herbs start growing. You can see chives in the foreground, already tall enough to cut. 😃
The Herb Bed is also home to a few tulips. These are the first things to catch my eye when coming through our gate – a welcoming sight! They were planted a few years ago so the name is forgotten… maybe ‘Apricot Emperor’.
And here this morning with the Actaea Narcissi.
Apart from a few bulbs, the Herb Bed is still looking rather sparse, so let’s move over to the Oval Bed. There are some other early tulips in flower here, including these deep ruby ones: T. aucheriana. The buttercup yellow centre is such a contrast to the dark petals.
New perennial sweet pea shoots are emerging from the ground, the Viburnum is in bud, and the Pulsatilla are flowering.
Next, The ‘Edge.
Those red dots are the ‘Showwinner’ Kaufmannia tulips. They are a dwarf tulip, but seem to have unusually short stems. Hopefully the stems will get longer as they do with many other early tulips.
They show up very well against the woodchip mulch and catch the eye even from the house. This is the first Spring for The ‘Edge, and I am going with the flow and seeing what works and what doesn’t. The Miscanthus and Calamagrostis stood there all winter and the red-stemmed Cornus have been lovely since January.
The Butterfly Bed succumbed to mice this winter, so I am waiting to see if many tulips have survived. The broom in the middle is wobbling, either due to strong wind or to root damage, but I will wait and see if it flowers before digging it out. The hellebores still look wonderful here.
And this Pulmonaria (P. ‘Benediction’) is a striking blue. The bluest I have found yet!
The hellebore below (in the Sunshine Bed) is my favourite at the moment. It turns from creamy yellow to pink and green. (Another one with no label…. where do all these labels disappear to?)
And between all the beds, dandelions!
Still, if they attract wildlife I don’t actually mind them, and they are such valuable plants. As long as they stay in the grass and out of the flower beds. 😉
The hedgerows planted around the perimeter of the garden in 2018 are well established now and the blackthorn opened yesterday. This was a few days later than the ones just down the bottom of the hill, which shows me what a difference it makes being a little higher and more exposed to the elements.
And these buds are about to burst. I wonder if you recognize them….
They are what we call ‘false elder’ as they do not produce the heavenly scented flowers people love to use in syrups and liqueurs. European Red Elder (Sambucus racemosa) is named so for the red berries produced. They start leafing out at about the same time as the scented Black Elder (Sambucus nigra) but flower much earlier.
Finally, one of the new raised planters is looking really promising, with radishes and salad leaves sprouting and some new parsley and chive plants too. If you are sowing seeds that should only be barely covered with soil, I can recommend covering the surface with a little hay or straw to keep in moisture and to protect from wind, strong sun or cold nights. They will germinate much more quickly. 😉
The other planter will hold my butternuts, but I can see I need even more space for vegetables this year… Plans are being forged, so watch this space! 😉
I wonder if you have any specific garden projects at the moment?
Have a great Easter weekend.
And Happy Gardening!
How exciting to see everything back in flower. It also amazes me how quickly things are settling in there, and establishing into bigger shrubs and stronger clumps. Is it going to be another sunflower summer?
Good luck with the mice. I have some voles move into a bed or two and fortunately they haven’t done too much damage yet… or I’ve only noticed the tip of the iceberg…
The mice and voles have done quite a bit of damage this winter, possibly because we didn’t have a long cold spell at all. But the gaps will no doubt soon be filled…. 😉 I have to view it as the opportunity to go on a spending spree! Sunflowers are planned, but I am not sure I will ever have such a show as last year again, as that was pure luck with the weather playing along. We will see… I also have a few Ricinus to put in that long bed, if I am lucky anyway : there were only five seeds in the packet and only two have germinated so far.
I love seeing everyone’s spring bulbs blooming. We really can’t grow most of them here in our hot wet weather.
They are a boost for the gardener here, after having virtually no colour all winter. And I am glad to share! 🌷🌷🌷
I love seeing your spring bulbs, something that is virtually nonexistent in this part of Florida. I have forget me nots flowering here!
Forget-me-nots remind me of my childhood… my sister scattered a packet of seeds in our garden in the 1970s and my Mum moaned about them coming up everywhere for the next twenty years! 🤣
I like your idea of having bulbs in the herb garden. I’ve been trying to think where I could put bulbs for the spring because they do not really interfere with plants that come on later. Amelia
I find bulbs work well in the herb bed, as they all disappear in summer when the herbs grow up, and they don’t mind the dry conditions either. And the herb bed does look a bit empty until May or June otherwise. I have added a couple of ‘non-herbs’ too to fill that gap!
You have a BIG garden! I love that wood chip mulch, it sets off the plants beautifully.
Thanks Jude. The wood mulch is very effective as it warms up nicely in the spring sunshine, retains mositure in summer and reduces weeding to a minimum. 😉
I enjoyed seeing the various areas of your beautiful garden, Cathy. I imagine your borders are only going to become more spectacular as warmer temperatures become more prevalent with the progression of the spring season. Of course, I drooled over the tulips as I’ve only managed to grow 2 varieties of species tulips here.
Well, mice have disurbed (eaten?) many of my tulips this year, so I am grateful for each and every one of them! Easter weekend has been Cold with a capital C! But the ground is definitely a bit warmer and growth is progressing well!
Such pretty tulips… I do love the smaller specie tulips. This year I forced Apricot Emperor and I love its salmony color. I will plant them outside in hopes they come back like yours.
Looking forward to watching your garden expand this year, Cathy! Happy Easter!
Thanks Eliza. Hope you had a nice Easter weekend too. The Apricot tulips do well on that windy corner!
No, I did not recognize that elder. Of course, the native blue elderberry here does not resemble the black elderberry, European or American.
And I had no idea how many different ones there are until recently….
I have no idea either, since many botanists divide them into more species than other. It seems to me that there are two species of blue elderberry here, and they have two distinct names, but some botanists insist that both are the same species as Eastern black elderberry, which is also the same species as the European black elderberry. It gets confusing, although I do believe that the two native blue elderberries here are two distinct species.
Your beds are looks great Cathy!! I love that first tulip so much I may be tempted…despite the chipmunks! I’ve been busy transplanting shrubs and have started to cut back last year’s perennial stalks…still chilly here!
I recommend that tulip Chris. it stands out so well even though it is quite small. 😃
The Spring Garden, 2022
It has been so interesting to read this, Cathy, and to see the progress of the borders – it certainly gave a good idea of the scale of them and how much there is to fill! Love those first humilis tulips you show – I wonder if they are available in the UK?
At this time of year I am so tempted to ‘fill the gaps’. But in a month the new growth will cover everything. 😉 The white humilis tulips are avaliable from Farmer Gracy, where I ordered some bulbs last year. Very good choice and service: https://www.farmergracy.co.uk/products/tulip-humilis-coerulea-oculata-alba-bulbs-uk
Yes, I would be the same. I am currently working out how many plants I would realistically need to fill the snowdrop border now the snowdrops have gone, although my main problem is deciding what sort of border I would like it to be… Thanks for the FG link – I have seen so many references to to them but never looked at their website, but certainly ought to, particularly now I know they have things that PN doesn’t
It seems from the photos that what is in bloom in early spring are mostly short stems. If correct, I’m wondering if that is because they need to survive the cooler temps and winds associated with this time of the year or is it just coincidence?
Perhaps because I choose lower growing bulbs… from experience I know that taller ones will be damaged by strong winds. But you are right, most of the spring flowers do tend to be small.
WOW so far, we have just a few things blooming here in my area. Forsythia, Cherry, Magnolia and Daffodils and Crocus but my peas are up and garlic, kale, Swiss Chard and lettuce. Lilacs soon as well as more snow lol
Lilacs are good, snow is bad! Your garden sounds as if it is off to a good start though Eunice. 😃
Yours as well.
I love “what you’ve done with the place!” It would be hard to choose a favorite–every area is interesting and beautiful. Tulips are lovely. Pulsatilla is something I bought once and it came back another year, but yours is so much more attractive and full than I remember. The new planters look fabulous. Happy spring gardening Cathy!
Thanks Susie! I am especially happy with the Moon Bed at the moment, but each bed has its own best season. Pulsatilla doesn’t do quite as well here as in the old garden where we had chalky soil. I love the seedheads as much as – if not more than – the flowers! 😉
You have so many beautiful beds and I can sense your enthusiasm and excitement as spring begins to really deliver the warmth that brings it all alive! Each bed is really special, Cathy! I love the tulip you’re calling Apricot Emperor! It’s really stunning. All this and it’s only April. 🙂
You are right Debra… all this and it’s only April. I am looking forward to the warmth and flowers ahead! 😃😃
Love that pulmonaria – I am going to see if I can find one.
They are lovely flowers, especially the blue sort. Hope you find one! 😃