April Dreams Gardens-GBBD 2009

april-12-2009-058-2The fifteenth of each month is bloom day, when garden bloggers from around the globe post photos of what is blooming in their gardens then. This was a dream of friend Carol of May Dreams Gardens, whose blog is named for her dreams of the month of May when her flowering is at peak. The peak here in southeast Tennessee would have to be April and I dream of that month’s blossoms the rest of the year, hence the title of this post.april-12-2009-060-2Tulipa ‘Little Beauty’april-12-2009-054-3The *Little* species tulips, Tulipa ‘Little Beauty’ and T. ‘Little Princess’ are planted on either side of the copper bowl birdbath opposite the ramp to the garage deck. The red tree peony, Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Hatsugarasu’ is blooming nearby. A post was written about this beauty last year. Click here to read it. Over the Easter weekend, Mrs. Brokenbeat exclaimed that the small tulips looked like a sunset with the brilliant colors backlit by the afternoon sun. That is an excellent analogy, Mrs. B.april-7-2009-038-2The species Tulipa vvedenskyi ‘Tangerine Beauty’ returns faithfully each year along the garage side bed. Candytuft, Iberis sempervirens is a good groundcover for the bright orange colors. Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’ cools things down a bit. Sedum kamtschaticum is very happy in the gravel and will give yellow flowers later in the season.april-6-2009-012-21All is not faire in this bed however. We wrote a post about it last year. Click here to read its story. The Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald Green’ look dead along the wall, due to drought and too much shade from the ever larger pink dogwood. Their end is near. They will be cut to the ground and over planted with rosemary for evergreen foundation cover.april-12-2009-078-2From a mixed bag purchase from the biggest of the big box stores, a very lovely tulip grows among the Vinca major that is taking over under the tall pine trees.april-12-2009-079-2Out front, the only tulips that returned were good old T. ‘Shirley’.april-12-2009-080-2In the blue pot collection between the garage and house, yellow big box store tulips are looking elegant with Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’ and H. ‘Citronelle’ in the stone faced raised planter behind.april-5-2009-more-022-2In the knot garden, Tulipa viridiflora is peaking, with a light colored spider sunning itself on the petals edge.april-12-2009-023-2Tulipa ‘Ballerina’ and T. ‘Queen of The Night’ hold court in the black garden as the sun rises.april-5-2009-more-025-2We normally buy violas rather than pansies, but these Antique Shades colorways melted our heart. They are planted in a rotting log from the large tree Ferngully. Soon the log and its contents will become compost, but for now it makes an interesting planter.april-12-2009-043-2The old metal tool box with holes drilled in the bottom makes a fine planter for these blue and yellow shades of pansies. The Spiraea bumaldi ‘Magic Carpet’ is positively glowing behind the tool box and wherever it is growing all over the gardens. Enough good things cannot be said about this small shrub.april-12-2009-071-2There are no unwanted violas, all colors are welcome here.april-12-2009-046-2Fern leaf bleeding heart, Dicentra eximia self sows nicely in the gravel paths and can be transplanted easily to desired locations.april-8-2009-013-2The bearded iris season begins with the tiny dark purple passalong from neighbors Mae and Mickey. The pink in the background is creeping phlox, Phlox subulata.april-8-2009-011-2The blue tinted beard against the aubergine petals is striking. Red foliage in the background courtesy of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’.april-12-2009-037-21Cooler than normal spring temperatures have allowed the lilacs, Syringa vulgaris to hold their blooms for several weeks scenting the knot garden area with sweetness.april-10-2009-016-2Cooler has meant longer blooming for the pink and white dogwoods also, Cornus florida. There is no complaining about the coolness here, for it will be hot soon enough.april-5-2009-more-001-2Ajuga repens was growing here when we bought this house. Its blue flowers and dark evergreen foliage makes a good companion for the creeping jenny, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’….april-12-2009-041-2…Not to mention the Belles of The Ball that are just descending the stairs with their skirts unfurling for the big dance….april-12-2009-076-2The Dianthus of mixed parentage. The post from last year, click here to read all about it, has set the stage for what promises to be an even bigger and better event this year.

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63 Responses to April Dreams Gardens-GBBD 2009

  1. Sylvia (England) says:

    You are right Frances, you garden is beautiful in April. I do love the first picture of pink and orange tulips, I like this colour combination but the orange has to be the right shade.

    Your garden seems a mixture of mine at the moment, the early species tulips have finished, Ballerina and Queen of The Night are flowering but your lavender is more forward than mine.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia, thanks. I would never have thought to mix those two colors of tulips, but the catalog photo showed them together and it was mesmerizing. The pink ones bloom first, and you think there will be no overlap with both open together, but then it happens for a short time. Our cooler than normal spring has really extended the show too. Hooray!

  2. Hello Frances

    Another visual treat and informative narrative. Simple as that!

    That toolbox planter is a cracker.

    Incidently, I really like the steps photo at the top of your side bar. It just drips blue.


    Hi Rob, thanks so much. The steps photo is from last year, late April. I am hoping to get one like it from this year, waiting for the dianthus and azaleas to open fully. That toolbox is a favorite of mine also, at the base of the ramp going up to the garage deck, I walk by it many times a day and it always makes me happy inside. πŸ™‚

  3. tina says:

    That is a big bummer about those beautiful arborvitae along the wall. You take it so well. Everything is looking great. I love the ‘Ballerina’ tulip and all the cute pansies. Have a good day. I agree the cooler spring and plentiful rain have been so good for gardening this year. Which reminds me-gotta get some stuff done.

    Hi Tina, thanks. It’s okay about the arborvitae, when something dies, it is an opportunity to make a better planting choice anyway. Ballerina is a beauty and I have read it is one of the reliable returns although only one patch of the two planted last year is blooming. More bone meal might help.

  4. April is a great month in your garden. So many blooms, doesn’t it make you dizzy just trying to take it all in?

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day once again.

    Hi Carol, thanks so much, and thanks for hosting this event. It certainly has grown into quite the celebration of blooming! Dizzy from so many pretty flowers isn’t too bad, is it?

  5. Les says:

    I know there are such things a species tulips that are reliable returners, but after seeing yours, I will have to seek some out this fall. I think it is time for those arborvitaes to meet the compost pile.

    Hi Les, yes, the arborvitaes doom is sealed. We are waiting for the Financier to fire up the saw. We have brush piles around the perimeter of the property for the larger stuff like this. The birds love it. As for the species tulips, they are the best. The *littles* are much better this year than last too, I believe it is the extra bonemeal added as they die down. I am being more free with the bonemeal for all the tulips as they are fading this year in hopes of better returns, but new ones will still be added in the fall.

  6. Joy says:

    Frances .. everything looks so amazing, green and colourful .. lush ! .. Is this more of a peek stage before you hit the hot dry season ?
    I love seeing all of these blooms but the pansies have my heart right now because seeing them reminded me of how sweet they smell : )
    I can’t wait to have my garden back and coming to life like this !!

    Hi Joy, thanks. This is the time of year when there are more of every type of plant, trees, shrubs, bulbs, early perennials and ground covers in bloom at the same time. It is a riot of color, peaking in about two weeks with the deciduous azalea show. Your garden is going to be wonderful, how fun to get a clean slate to create from. πŸ™‚

  7. Janet says:

    Good morning Frances, each photo is more striking than the next. I like the contrast of the tulips in the Candytufts. The tulip that really caught my eye is T. Shirley. Very delicate. I like all your purples!! My lilacs are blooming now too. The voles didn’t get them all! Very pretty red/ pink dogwood.

    Hi Janet, good morning to you and thanks so much. Candytuft is sometimes overlooked at a foil for tulips, but that cooling white lets the tulip stars shine. Shirley is a good one, I need to add more of those, for the others have failed me. Those darn voles, they mostly get the smaller stuff here, the lilacs are big, having been in the ground for more than ten years now. The dogwoods have yet to peak. There are seven on the slope behind the main house, some pink, some red, all wonderful. πŸ™‚

  8. Monica says:

    Hi Frances, As usual I love everything. It’s especially nice to see so many wonderful tulips in bloom as mine own have all been chomped down. I also love the candytuft/species tulips combo, and those lovely huge groupings of pansies (which I love!) make a great impact. I esp. love the burgundy-yellow ones! Happy tax day!

    Hi Monica, thanks so much and sorry about your tulips. You still have plenty of lovelies there, the hyacinths are wonderful. I have a hard time not buying those antique shades pansies, even though the colors don’t go well with anything else in the garden. They are best in a container by themselves. Since we are both accountants, our returns were done long ago. πŸ™‚

  9. Gail says:

    Frances, Happy Bloom Day…The garden dressed in her spring finery is fantastic. You can’t beat the beauty and perennial nature of the species tulips…(and the foliage is easier to handle after!) Everything is simply beautiful and I love what you’ve done with your violas and pansies…new competition for the girls. Really, two weeks till azaleas at Fairegarden! gail

    Hi Gail, same to you my friend. We need more of the species tulips, and to try and not be seduced by their larger floozy sisters, it is hard! πŸ™‚ I am watching the azalea buds daily, with these cold cloudy days they are opening ever so slowly. That is good for they will last longer once opened. This is my favorite time of year.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    Your tulips look like the belles of the ball. I love those sunset colors.

    Hi Pam, thanks. They are much better this year than last, something rare in the tulip world.

  11. linda says:

    Beautiful Frances! Love the tulips, candytuft, ajuga, dianthus, lilacs. . . love it all!

    We have an arborvitae hedge that’s a mess after some ice storms last winter. Some of them have shattered trunks and are lying on the ground. They’ll have to come out this spring. They’ll be replaced with something, but it won’t be more arborvitaes! I think they’re either diseased or bug-infested – they were looking pretty bad even before the ice storms.

    Hi Linda, thanks. I love the look of a healthy arborvitae hedge and we do have one behind the veggie garden, but these along the garage were doomed from the start. It is too dry there and as the dogwood and elderberries grew larger, the shade was not good for them, as was our drought. Rosemary will be evergreen, love the conditions and stay short enough to not compete with the dogwood and others. Where you live are the arborvitae sometimes tied with twine to keep them together?

  12. Rose says:

    Frances, I hope you never change the name of your blog, but “April Dreams” certainly does fit the fantastic show your garden is putting on right now! The vibrant colors of all your tulips certainly would brighten up a dreary day, which is what we’ve had here lately. Thanks for the ideas for containers–I’d never thought of an empty toolbox! Now I’m just going to sit here and smell those lilacs…

    Hi Rose, thanks. The name will always be the same, but April is the time I dream about and go back to look at the photos from that month most often. We are lucky with the lilacs this year, sometimes they fry up in the heat in a day or two, so we really appreciate having them last so long.

  13. Diana says:

    I love all your Tulips, Frances, species and others, especially with the Candytuft – that is a stunningly beautiful bed you have there. And that is the first tool box I’ve seen converted into a planter — the pansies look adorable in it. How creative. The dogwood blooms are nostalgic for me — they remind me of times with family in Kentucky — not too far from you. Happy GBBD!

    Hi Diana, thanks so much. There is something about the dogwoods, I just love everything about them, childhood memories or something. πŸ™‚

  14. Dave says:

    I definitely see why April is your favorite month Frances! You have so many April wonders. I need to get on the ball this fall and plant more of the tulips. I’m sorry to hear about the arborvitae. They looked great at one time but the rosemary will look good too. You could consider some pieris since it does well in shade, or maybe some rhododendrons.

    Hi Dave, thanks. More tulips, especially the species are on my to do list too. Funny you should mention the rhodies, that was the original planting there, until we realized that was very alkaline due to the burning of the wood from the garage construction and the lime from the cinder block wall. That is why the rosemary loves it in that spot. Great minds…..

  15. What a cheerful array of blooms this morning! Your gardens look so, so inviting.

    I love the toolbox planter! So clever! πŸ™‚


    Hi Cameron, thanks so much. The garden does keep inviting to come out and play and forget the computer! It is a battle. πŸ™‚

  16. Darla says:

    Your gardens always bring a gasp from me! Just beautiful as always Frances, and what a good teacher you are.

    Hi Darla, thanks so much, what a lovely compliment! Your own garden is looking good too. πŸ™‚

  17. Randy says:

    I wish I was there to take a morning stroll thru your garden with a nice cup of coffee. I bet it’s chilly this morning.

    Hi Randy, thanks, I wish you were here too, but it is very chilly! You would need a warm jacket and head covering! That is when I really like to work outside though, you don’t get over heated. πŸ™‚

  18. I’m just farther south enough that my tulips have to be planted as annuals. The ones in my big pot with pansies have finally bloomed- I’ll post a photo soon.

    Hi Jill, I am sure your tulips are lovely, annual or not. Maybe the species could work for you, they do in Austin, TX. Tulipa clusiana is one that might do there.

  19. ourfriendben says:

    SO gorgeous, Frances! Your posts always cheer me up, since they remind me of what will be coming along here in a few weeks. (But not with such an exquisite order, I hasten to add.) You renew my gardener’s sense of hope!

    Hi OFB, thanks, glad to have cheered you. πŸ™‚ A gardener must always keep that hope alive, glad to have helped with yours. Spring will come to you soon and it will be beautiful. We have visited PA in mid May and it was like traveling back in time to see the iris, crabapples, tulips in bloom. Even the Financier commented about it.

  20. Daphne Gould says:

    I’m so green with envy right now. My April blooms are barely existent. At least the hellebore has started to bloom.

    Hi Daphne, your time will come and the hellebore is gorgeous! πŸ™‚

  21. Sweet Bay says:

    Ah I love the tulips and pansies. Gorgeous! Gorgeous shots of the Lilac, dogwood, Ajuga and Dianthus too. The rich coloring of the iris are beatiful. Can’t wait to see the Belles of the Ball in their full glory.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks so much. It is the weaving mix that makes the garden so lovely, something that happens in spite of, rather than because of the gardener! The iris are beginning to form buds, I never know what color they are until they open, like presents on Christmas morning. The Dianthus are fully loaded with buds, it should be a good year.

  22. lakechicagoshores says:

    Oh, such lovely tulips! And lilacs! It’s been a long winter up here in the north, and I can’t wait to see such things in person.

    Hi Rachel, thanks so much and welcome. Your winters are notorious. We are fortunate where we live, but are so looking forward to seeing those Chicago gardens in person too! πŸ™‚

  23. Catherine says:

    So pretty!! I love all the tulips, and all the varieties! The dogwood is an amazing color, I’ve never seen such a shade of pink like that one!

    Hi Catherine, thanks. The seven dogwoods on the slope seem to be different, maybe they are both red and pink cultivars. Even the flower size is different, but there are no names. That photo is probably one of the redder ones.

  24. Racquel says:

    Your garden is definitely what I would call April Dreams! It really is showing off all it’s best blooms right now just in time for Bloom Day. Those tulips in the first photo are striking, I could look at them all day. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks so much. I have found that April’s photos are the ones that get me through the winter, revisiting each one many times. Even before blogging, I had the photos in files on the computer and never tire of looking at them. All day even. πŸ™‚ We are of the same mind it seems.

  25. Marie says:

    I too love the ‘Tangerine Beauty’/Candytuft combination. I put in species tulips, Tangerine Beauty, Lady Jane, Tubergens Gem, Majorletti in 2004. They have been reliable every year (although not blooming as yet).

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures of your garden.

    Hi Marie, thanks and welcome. You really have a good diversity of species tulips. I have looked at Marjorletti longingly. Maybe this year it will come to live here. We do need to add more species, even though they are small, they can still make a big impact.

  26. donna says:

    Well, Frances, after seeing your beautiful GBBD post, I’ve decided to either give up gardening or throw away my camera. Not really…but your post knocked my socks off. It’s all gorgous. I especially like the orange tulips with the white candytuft nearby.So glad I took the time to visit Fairegarden.

    Hi Donna, thanks and welcome. I hope you do neither of those things, but just enjoy looking at all the gardens around the world on bloom day. It gladdens us all to have so many join in the fun. πŸ™‚

  27. Beautiful as always, Frances. I started some Iberis this year, only 5 or so germinated, but they’re doing well. I need to sow some more. Yours look great with the tulips! Happy GBBD to you.

    Hi Tessa, thanks so much. Once you get that Iberis going, it can be divided like crazy, although I have killed some by doing that dividing at the wrong time, like now. It does better mid winter, while the ground is moist and cool, even though it is moist and cool right now. πŸ™‚

  28. Brenda Kula says:

    I’ve never seen a dianthus that pretty. I see your pansies are blooming. Mine have died back now. Your garden is always so enjoyable to tour!

    Hi Brenda, I am still sputtering about your tank and new Tang! Simply amazing. The dianthus here have crossed and self sown all over the middle terrace. Each one is slightly different. I like to add more genetic material when I see a pretty new dianthus at the store, the breeders are busy as bees it seems. They are kind of hard to photograph, overcast is best for their delicate beauty. The fragrance is wonderful too. This promises to be a good year is the number of buds is any indication. I need to weed though. HA

  29. greenwalks says:

    So much to admire here, it’s hard to know where to start. Red tree peony, I want one! And your ballerina tulips, astonishing. One of my fav garden writers, Valerie Easton, says she just considers tulips to be annuals and if any return, it’s a nice surprise. Since I adopted this mentality, I’ve enjoyed mine much more. I think getting them cheap at Home “Despot” or wherever is the way to go, if they’re not going to come back every year. Sorry about the thujas, I’m almost shocked to see something not thriving in your garden, it’s certainly the exception instead of the rule! Happy Bloom Day.

    Hi Karen, thanks. The tulips that are not species are unreliable here too, but hope springs eternal. As for thins not thriving, well, we don’t often show the failures, but rest assured there are plenty. We just rip it out and plant something else, don’t look back. I agree about the cheapo tulips too, in fact buying them already potted in late winter has proven very cost effective this year, but the choices are so limited. The *little* tulips are much better this year than last, a pleasant surprise. Happy bloom day to you as well. πŸ™‚

  30. That first shot is so bright, I had to go get my sunglasses. ;^) The Shirley Tulips look great with the white of the white of the Candytuft, and I adore the combination of the yellow Tulips with the cobalt planter. I’m trying to do something similar with yellow Pansies, but I need something taller in there, like yellow Tulips. I’m so glad the Dogwoods are having a good year.

    Hi MMD, thanks. When the sun shines, as it does sometimes!, the little tulips are just glorious. Shirley, we need more of them, and more species too. Yellow tulips are the perfect height for the large blue planters. Now what to add for summer? I was thinking they soft leaf yellow variegated yuccas, but they potted them up to the next larger size at the nursery and now they are $15 a piece and I need five. Before they were $6 in little pots, why oh why didn’t I go ahead and buy them then? The dogwoods are giving us great delight, in view from the lazyboy on chilly cloudy days like today.

  31. Absolutely stunning color! Thanks for brightening up my day.

    Hi Sarah, thanks, but really my thanks is offered to you for a wonderful bloomday/book review post. Your analysis was thoughtful and honest and a joy to read.

  32. gittan says:

    WOW! So many beutiful flowers… Now I’m even more sure about that I have to put many more Tulips in the ground this fall. I can’t get enougth (spells?) of them! The Carpenter loves violas and makes sure we get more of them =) He bought some new this weekend and then I had to bye some more Daylilies. I long to se more of your lovely garden Frances / gittan

    Hi dear Gittan, thanks so much. I need more tulips too! More species this time, they seem to return better even though they are smaller than the hybrids. There will be much more of the garden, stay tuned! πŸ™‚

  33. Ouir spring in our part of Sweden has just begin. You seams to have summer allready:)
    Beautiful fotos on your flowering beds.

    Hi Ken, thanks, so nice to see you. Your spring flowers, especially the Hellebores and Hepaticas are the stuff of Garden Dreams! πŸ™‚

  34. April dreams is certainly an apt title for you today! What a dazzling array of plants and colors. Love the first image with the tiny pink and orange tulips shooting sparks off of each other.

    Hi Linda, thanks so much. The little tulips have been a pleasant surprise, much better than last year. We are thinking more species tulips need to be added to the beds, rather than the hybrids grown in pots. Now is the time to mark spots where no bulbs are to add them in the fall.

  35. VW says:

    Beautiful as always. June is the best garden month here in Spokane, though if spring is too cool then the roses won’t bloom until July. No tulips or iris blooming here yet . . . I’m suppressing climate envy!

    Hi VW, thanks so much. I always thing of the Pacific Northwest as having a milder climate than ours for some reason. Thanks for setting me straight. Our roses bloom late April to May, most iris bloom in that same time frame also. The tulips are at their end. Next up, Azaleas! πŸ™‚

  36. Phillip says:

    The tulips are stunning. They look good enough to eat. I am planting some this fall!

    Hi Phillip, thanks. Tulips would look wonderful in your garden. Try the species, they are smaller but return much more reliably.

  37. What a colorful parade of photos Frances. Was that a tree peony with a big bloom on it I saw?

    Hi Lisa, thanks so much. Yes, that was our friend, Hatsugarasu. A link was in the post to read about its opening last year too, if you are interested. πŸ™‚

  38. This garden is a thing of beauty. I have the same species tulips but it looks like your patches are older and more developed than mine. And perhaps mine don’t really like competing with the oriental poppies.

    anyway, that dianthus of mixed parentage is a winner. I can hardly wait to see a picture of the whole group in bloom.

    Hi Hands, thanks so much. I see that your tulips are wonderful. The *littles* are on their second year. Tangerine Beauty is four or five years old. I need to quit spreading them and let the clumps get larger. I would agree that oriental poppies might be too aggressive for these delicate beauties, but candytuft is pretty aggressive too. The dianthus are all budded on the middle terrace. It looks to be a good show. πŸ™‚

  39. Alice Joyce says:

    Brilliant blooms, such an array and so cheerful! ‘Cheer’ being a much needed frame of mind these days. Nothing fosters a smile in spring like Pansies. Today I found petite Pacific Coast Iris hybrids had begun to bloom, but alas, no time for a post. Warm wishes, Alice

    Hi Alice, thanks so much. That is so exciting about your iris. They are a favorite of mine, and a friend sent me a seedling that made it through the winter. It is too small to bloom yet, but hope lives. and cheer too. πŸ™‚

  40. carolyn says:

    Hi Frances,
    I am so glad I found your beautiful blog.It is still cold here on Prince Edward Island so I am impatiently waiting for color in my garden. In the meantime I sure do enjoy visiting yours!
    I love all your photos but am very intriqued by the beautiful picture on your sidebar of the tiered garden.

    Hi Carolyn, thanks and welcome. It is a pleasure to have you get some flower color satisfaction until spring finally arrives in your area. The sidebar photo is of the steep slope behind the main house, taken late April of last year. April is the big show in that area with most of the plants spring bloomers. We hope to have a current year photo up there soon. πŸ™‚

  41. You have lots of interesting scenes around your garden. I particularly like the bed with the Tulipa vvedenskyi β€˜Tangerine Beauty’, candytuft and white daffodils. The colours look great together, lots of white, with just enough orange to perk it up. I planted my ‘blue star’ in too shady of a spot, and they deteriorated and had to be taken out.
    Wow, sweet lilacs already, lucky you.

    Hi Shade, thanks so much. The garden here cannot be viewed as a whole, so is made up of smaller garden spots. The garage side is one of the flattest spots, facing east. The white really brightens it. There is also white creeping phlox along the edge that is very long blooming. Too bad about your blue star, they do need some sun and air. I had to limb up the Japanese maple by the pond that was smothering one. It did work and with extra water to wash off the spider mites it rebounded. The lilacs are nearly done, but still look good with our cooler temps this year, a first. πŸ™‚

  42. jo says:

    Hiya Frances,

    That pink and white Cornus has stolen my heart. What a beauty,standing out even amongst many many flowers that are outstanding.
    Your garden is so furnished.
    Talking of furniture: What are those chairs doing there? You don’t have time to actually sit, do you? πŸ™‚

    Species Tulips seem to be the in-flower of the year. I have only just discovered them, and they are superior to the blowsy big ones.

    Hi Jo, thanks for stopping by, your own bloom day contribution was superb, as usual. πŸ™‚ The seven dogwoods on the slope behind the main house, the older part of the garden, steal the show in spring when in bloom and again in fall with the leaf color nearly the same shade, only darker. I do sit down, and contemplate the next task that needs doing. HA

  43. chuck b. says:

    You got the pink + orange Little tulips blooming together–awesome! Mine were separated by about a month this year. Looks like those bulbs make lots of offsets, too–that’s wonderful news.

    Hi Chuck, thanks. I was hoping you would be able to stop by and see that they did get to spend some time together. The pinks were a couple of weeks ahead and starting to fade when the orange ones opened. We had some cool temps that really helped everything last much longer. We shall see what next year brings. But one thing is certain, there are many more bulbs in the spots than were originally planted. Whether they will need dividing to excel remains to be seen. We are ready with the shovel. πŸ™‚

  44. layanee says:

    Love those lipstick colored tulips and ‘Shirley’ is one that always looks pretty. I must remember to plant some ‘Shirley’ again. Beautiful photos as always!

    Hi Layanee, thanks so much. Yes, Shirley is one of the best of the hybrid tulips. I had them in my other TN garden and they came back every year, increasing even. Why aren’t there more here? Who can say? πŸ™‚ That will be remedied.

  45. Brian says:

    Hi Frances, wow, you get so many messages! Having just started to blog, I didn’t know about bloom day, I did take some shots today, I’ll have to go through them and post some! Thank you for sharing such intimate and lovely images with us.I also love the Dianthus, the fragrance is so memorable. My mom always planted species tulips,a good memory for me! Love your blog….Brian

    Hi Brian, thanks and welcome. Dianthus and species tulips are two wonderful plants. You were taught well! πŸ™‚

  46. Frances, I think these are some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen, especially the tulips! WOW – just gorgeous!

    Hi Kylee, wow, thanks for the high compliment! Your photos were superb. πŸ™‚ We had a lucky day with the light for the *little* tulips. But all the tulips are just very photogenic with the petal substance and size. Standing up tall to let the light shine through. Still have to get quite low on the ground with the camera however. Good thing there are no photos of that pose! HA

  47. I get so envious when I see all those tulips. I actually bought some to grow in a pot this year and dutifully refrigerated them beforehand. But ten days in the 80s over the winter did them in. I only got a couple of flowers that were so-so. People always say that we should garden where we live but sometimes we can’t help but dream of gardening elsewhere.

    Hi MSS, I did see that Pam had the T. clusianas, can you grow those too? Or maybe some of the other species, not as fancy but like you said garden where you live. We all try and push the zone limits, both ways. I think the Cuphea miniata seedlings got frozen with a late frost after they were planted in the ground. Hoping they make a comeback. Nice to see you here. πŸ™‚

  48. Balisha says:

    What a wonderful wakeup this morning. Those colors just jump off the computer screen. We don’t have these colors yet here…so it’s a treat to share yours.

    Hi Balisha, thanks so much. I am glad the colors were a wake up for you. They are looking good still, and the sun is shining again, lighting up the garden.

  49. marmee says:

    so many lovely blossoms in your garden. i love the interesting planters you are using…log…old tool box. one day after many years of gardening i hope to have so many things going on in my garden. happy springtime.m

    Hi Marmee, thanks so much. It does take many years for the garden to fill in. We are getting there with ours. One thing about a full garden, fewer weeds. πŸ™‚ Happy spring to you also, the sun shone on us today, hooray!

  50. Looks like you’re having a lot of fun with your Dutch Sunset, Frances. Spring has arrived with fireworks in Tennessee! The red tree peony has a proper setting this year.

    Back when I lived in the land of tulips and lilacs, it was kind of weird how much I loved the hot color tulip combos in other people’s gardens and at the park where I used to volunteer, but when it came to my own garden, grew mostly ‘Shirley’, ‘Maureen’, ‘Queen of the Night’, ‘Apricot Beauty’, ‘Angelique’, viridifloras and some of those big-box yellows. And Antique Shades pansies…lots of Antique Shades pansies.
    But if I lived there now – who knows? Might go tropical like you!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, so nice to see you, thanks. Those colors of tulips are very different from my usual choices, I am trying to be more bold in mixing colors. It really does make for a more exciting look to the garden. Those two little tulips were shown in the catalog mixed together, I would never have dreamed they would look so good. Lesson to learn here. I do believe you would be pulling out the stops with tulip color choices is you were back in that land again. πŸ™‚

  51. What lovely photos. Spring has definitely arrived in your garden. I simply love the pictures of the violas. Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Theresa, thanks and welcome. So glad you liked what you saw here. πŸ™‚

  52. michelle says:

    Absolutely stunning as always. Your garden takes my breath away. I can’t say enough!

    Hi Michelle, thanks so much. I am glad you enjoyed them. πŸ™‚

  53. Lythrum says:

    Wow, have you ever got the blooms. πŸ™‚ I envy your tulips, mine weren’t very impressive at all this year. There’s always next year!

    Hi Lythrum, thanks. Remember that sometimes the camera makes things look more impressive than they are in real life, but they were pretty good this year in spots. The species performed the best by far.

  54. TC says:

    Blue Star juniper is gorgeous. I might have to acquire one.

    Love that tool box planter, why not a tire planter next to it?

    Hi TC, thanks. The blue stars are definitely stars here. As for the planters, unfortunately the extra tire we had in the garage went along with the miata when it was given to the kidney foundation. πŸ™‚

  55. Kathy in Napa says:

    Wonder photos as usual Frances –tulips are a ‘maybe’ and ‘maybe not’ proposition here. the vast majority not lasting beyond the second year. I always allow myself the extravagance of buying new ones. I could not helpbut notice the birdbath in pic 3..am I right in guessing this to be an original creation? Looks like some sort of steel pipe as the base ? Please advise. I am an accomplished forger.

    Hi Kathy, thanks. Try the species tulips, they are much better at returning. I too am quite a forager, but the base of that copper fruit bowl that belonged to my grandmother is a concrete flue tile, the kind used to line fireplaces. I have a dozen of them, originally purchased to stack on their sides as a wine rack. They were moved outside and now hold up pots, bench tops and birdbaths. A thousand and one uses. πŸ™‚

  56. Siria says:

    Oh Frances…your garden is looking alive and happy! One of these days I will get there to see it in person. I have a question about your copper bowl birdbath. What is the base of the copper bowl? I saw one at an Inn 6 months ago and the copper bowl was on a tree trunk. I couldn’t tell from you picture if that is what your birb bath is, but I am on the lookout for a copper bowl to make into a bird bath. (funny…as I type this I notice Kathy in Napa has also spotted your bird bath! πŸ™‚

    Hi Siria, thanks. Yes, I am anxious for you to see the garden in person also. As Kathy in Napa was answered above, the base is a concrete flue tile. I had an idea to make a wine rack out of them stacked on their sides a long time ago and purchased a dozen of them. Normally you see them made from clay, but these are dyed concrete and we use them all over outside.

  57. Exquisite! The lilacs are so pretty! Everything is beautiful!

    Hi Karrita, thanks so much. So glad you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

  58. andrΓ© says:

    Lovely pictures of your tulips! I especially like the red and white one. I planted some similar sort (Carneval de Nice) last autumn, but that was before I started planning for the new patio, so they probably didn’t make it through the building process… Well, well, there’ll be a new chance this autumn.

    Hi Andre, thanks. That is a really pretty one. If yours were spoiled by the building of your fantastic patio, there will be more available! I am planning on adding more species here this fall, they are the best at returning.

  59. Siria says:

    Frances, Thank you for clearing that up. I had tried blowing up your photograph to see the bird bath better, but it wouldn’t enlarge, so I couldn’t tell what the base was. Last Fall my husband took me to a special dinner at the Swag Inn in Maggie Valley. If you have never heard of it, check out their website and if you ever want to go to a special place, this is it! We didn’t stay there, but spent the day and had a wonderful dinner. It’s on my list to go back and stay one of these days. They had many unique things made in the garden. I have several photographs of bird baths that I want to replicate. One being the copper bowl on top of a sawed off tree. It was so simple and just lovely! When I saw yours, I thought it was the same thing.

    In Southern Living many years ago, I remember a gardening article about using these concrete flute tiles to add interest to a planted area. They had actually dug holes and put them into the ground at different heights, then planted them with herbs and flowers. It was really striking. I have never seen where to buy these concrete flute tiles. Now you have piqued my interest and I will have to look for some.

    Hi Siria, glad to help you there. I bought those flue tiles at a brick and conrete supply for builders in Kingsport, TN. I think they have them at most building supply stores that carry concrete blocks and such, maybe not the big box stores though. You could call around your area. We do go by Maggie Valley on the way to Asheville, but have never stopped. I’ll keep that place in mind, always like to see cool garden spots too along with good food. πŸ™‚

  60. rosemarie says:

    Your photos are incredible and and you have so much in bloom. I’d feel right at home here!

    Hi Rosemarie, thanks and welcome. I am glad you would feel at home here, we try and make it enjoyable to visit. πŸ™‚

  61. Jean says:

    Hi Frances, I’m finally getting around to your GBBD post. I really love those species tulips. And am very sorry to see the Arborvitae dying. But you’ll probably like the rosemary better anyway. I laughed when I saw your pansies in an old metal toolbox. We still have a working toolbox just like that! πŸ™‚

    Hi Jean, thanks for visiting, whenever it is! πŸ™‚ The Arborvitae looked good before the dogwood and elderberry got so large. Now they need something small to live underneath. I purchased some Autumn ferns today, but still need an evergreen that can take shade. That toolbox was very rusted but too good to throw away. It has been a good planter, the freeze thaw cycle cannot damage it.

  62. I bet this took you only seconds to put together. Ha! It took a lot of planning and many an afternoon behind a tripod. I just love it all. The personality of your garden changes through the season with the carefully placed mending of like colors.

    I too have noticed the dogwood blooms enjoying their stay abit longer.

    Hi Anna, you’re on to me. These types of posts take quite a while, with all the photos to go through and caption. But I enjoy it. I never use a tripod though, it takes way too much time. The gardens are different each year, just like people. πŸ™‚

  63. Frances, a wonderful riot of colour, such joy!

    Hi Karen, thanks. So nice to see you. Spring is bright and happy this April. Today was perfect with blue sunny skies, joyful indeed. πŸ™‚

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