Greetings From Fairegarden-April Bloom Day 2010

April is the month of overlap. Early spring bulbs are still hanging on, like the later daffodils, whilst trees and shrubs leaf out with brilliant chartruese and crimson tones. Narcissus ‘Sinopel’ really has the green cup described in the catalog, and is fragrant as well.

Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ seems to be waving a big “Hello!” as the garden paths are traversed. She is happy to see us!

Everywhere are glad tidings and jubilation at the arrival of this month, the most floriferous of them all. The emerging merlot of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, has self sown itself with the abandon of Bacchus at the font. Various colors of Phlox subulata make a velvety carpet and the iris leaves add just the right spike to the punch.

A volunteer forget me knot is demurely holding court in the hypertufa trough that is lined with mosses.

It is dogwood season. Cornus florida is native to this area, and can be seen blooming in nearly every yard and byway.

The hybridized pinks are our favorites.

As the earliest daffodil foliage recharges the bulb for next year’s bloom, nearby the stand of Fothergilla ‘Blue Mist’ sweetly permeates the air with its honey scent. The new leaves of Cotinus goggygria, Purple Smoke tree, offer a crisp counterpoint to the white bottle brushes.

The lilac, Syringa vulgaris, says “Hi”.

Kerria japonica is having the best show ever this year.

It is slowly filling this small island bed at the edge of the property. We think that is just fine.

Speaking of filling in, the wild violets that come in two shades, white with whiskers and solid violet purple were battled for many years. An adjustment in attitude has allowed us to better appreciate their beauty while in bloom, but some are still pulled when they threaten the weaker garden residents.

So similar to the violets, yet viewed as so much more precious are the violas. These were planted in the knot garden last fall, and bloomed quite dark, almost a solid purple when the weather was cool.

Warmer temps have brought out some more interesting features to their cheerful faces. They always welcome us as the final steps to the top are climbed.

A fascination with Geums led to several being added to the Fairegarden the last couple of years. First to bloom of the group is always orange G. borisii ‘Tango Boris’. The bright color is a winner with the grape hyacinths that have spread themselves and been spread by the gardener like jam on toast.

The delicate pale blue of Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’ is being spread about as well. It is a jewel in the crown of Heuchera ‘Citronelle’.

Third year in the garden and first year to bloom, this Bergenia is located in the black garden for the red leaves it sports during the winter. We did not realize the flowers were white, but will vote for a deviance to allow it to stay. Update: the flowers turn pink with age.

The bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis has struggled to have a spot here. Drought and heat are a one, two sock ’em for this cool moisture lover. Perhaps the massage by the emerging Japanese painted fern fronds will make it feel more at home.

Cousin Fernleaf, Dicentra eximia, a native has felt much more at ease here, self sowing in crevices of gravel and stone.

All paths lead to the garden, for the flowers are ready to meet all visitors, real and virtual. The yellow Erysimum under the deck catches the attention of all passersby, wondering from whence that delightful fragance is being emitted.

For more garden greetings from around the globe, check out the listing of participants in bloom day at creator Carol of May Dreams.


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36 Responses to Greetings From Fairegarden-April Bloom Day 2010

  1. Darla says:

    Hello Lady Jane! Ms. Frances, it does seem to happen overnight doesn’t it? I love your gardens with the crowdscaping, that’s how areas of mine are. Forget me nots have reseeded eveywhere but not blooming yet..just love them. The third photo is my favorite. All paths should lead to a garden. Have a blessed weekend!

    Hi Darla, thanks and the same type of weekend to you and yours. Crowdscaping is the perfect word, good one! Things have been going so fast here, I am out of breath just trying to take it all in. Too many flowers blooming, trying not to miss any, what a sweet concept. πŸ™‚

  2. gardeningasylum says:

    Good morning Frances, So much overlapping prettiness! It’s interesting that d.spectabilis struggles there – it’s hard to kill here, not quite making up for not being able to grow the erysimums :)Cyndy

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. The old fashioned bleeding hearts were like that in my very first garden in Pennsylvania where it was damp and cool. We are the opposite of damp and cool here, thank goodness for the little native that pops up everywhere, a pleasant surprise. So sorry about those erysimums. πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I enjoy seeing your garden with an overview of a section. It feels like I am really getting a virtual tour. The spring garden is gorgeous.

    Thanks Lisa, I appreciate your company as we meander around the garden! Do watch you step. πŸ™‚

  4. Liisa says:

    What a beautiful display for bloom day. The lilacs and emerging leaves of the smokebush are two of my favorite spring events. Tulipa clusiana β€˜Lady Jane’ has the sweetest flowers. I can imagine myself strolling through your beautiful garden in the quiet of the early morning hours. Truly a garden paradise, Frances. Oh! And I adore your birdhouse with the wavy, tin roof. πŸ™‚

    Hi Liisa, thanks so much. Those two events you name are favorites here as well. This has been a very good year for the two lilacs, the blooms have held on for much longer than usual this year, despite the heat. The smokes on the Cotinus are showing as buds, we will have those wispy dark red bits soon, I just love those. It is somewhat quiet in the early morning here, except for the birdsong. They begin well before the sun rises with their concert, too wonderful for words. There may be houseguests in that birdhouse this year, I saw Carolina wrens checking it out. πŸ™‚

  5. Randy says:

    Would enjoy the aroma of all those lilacs, tried lilacs here and it didn’t like the heatr. Your bleeding Heart wrapped with Japanese painted fern is really sweet!

    I’ve a plant on my blog I’m trying to ID, might be a bellwort but I’m coming up blank on that lead.

    Hi Randy, thanks. I believe your plant might be fairy bells, Disporum of some type? I am not so good with the ID on wildflowers, though. Sweet Bay and Gail of Clay and Limestone might be better sources. The lilac is just the old fashioned one, vulgaris, a free stick from joining the arbor society one year. Look for someone with an old shrub growing and ask for a sucker to plant, you will have your lilac that way. Or joing the arbor society. πŸ™‚

  6. Phillip says:

    I love the daffofil in the first photo (and the photo is awesome too). Is it as dry there as it is here?

    Thanks Phillip. Dry as a bone, sad to say. I am planting out the larger seedlings and having to water twice a day to keep them going. Even a shady day would help, but no, it is sun, sun, sun. Shouldn’t complain about that, right?

  7. Les says:

    The first shot of the green Narcissus would make a good entrant for the Picture This April contest. I hope your knees survived the photo shoot – lots of worms-eye view pics, or were you able to take advantage of your slope? Have a great weekend!

    Ooh, thanks so much, Les. I have been trying to find a good shot for the contest and will follow your suggestion! For me it is not the knees that suffer with the crawling around on the ground, it is my hip. I have a fabric cylinder filled with uncooked rice that gets heated in the microwave that wraps around my poor hip in the morning and night. Hips are a difficult thing to wrap! lol

  8. Joy says:

    Hey Frances girl I was almost going to say we share the same tulips ! The colour and formation is very much alike and my first year with the ones I have .. I am still in shock about how much of a circle truly stayed as a circle !
    I love the upward to the sky pictures with the flowers .. you can’t help but feel smiley inside seeing them ! LOL

    Hi Joy, thanks for that. Smiley inside is a great feeling. Good deal on the circle staying put too, hope it continues to do so. We are on the southern end for some of these tulips, just enough cold chill for them to stay in the ground for years. Lady Jane has been a good one. πŸ™‚

  9. Barbara H. says:

    Beautiful, Frances. It seems we’ve gone almost straight from a long, cold winter into summer – at least here in NE Alabama! Everything is blooming fast and furious. Your garden is just delicious. Thanks so much.

    Hi Barbara, thanks so much for visiting. It did warm up quite fast, but I believe we are in for some seasonal temps starting tomorrow, so the weatherperson is saying. But no rain, sad to say. We really need it badly.

  10. Hi Frances – Ahhhh, kerria japonica – I used to have one in a former garden and always loved it for it’s blooms but also it’s winter interest – the green twigs always added a bright spot to the brown/greys of a Toronto winter.

    Hi Heather, thanks for visiting. This is by far the best that the Kerria has ever looked. I didn’t know it was capable of so many blooms. Like you, I do appreciate those winter stems amidst brown and grey of Tennessee’s winter as well. πŸ™‚

  11. Gail says:

    Good morning my friend! Hello to your beautiful garden. It’s so lovely, knock your socks off lovely! …I feel fortunate that I’ve been there and can imagine how it looks all together….and a special Hello back at Lady Jane, she’s my favorite of all the species this year (already ordered!) The rains from last fall and winter have certainly made the moisture loving plants happy…I even have dicentra bloom~but, it’s not getting cozy with a fern like yours! I am still out with vertigo~I sure hope it’s the pollen and allergies. xxgail

    So sorry about your vertigo, dear Gail. Do get better soon. Lady Jane is a great tulip, I need to spread her around a bit. Those ferns are somewhat thuggish, let’s hope the one getting friendly with the dicentra minds his manners! HA

  12. Janet says:

    I am finding myself more and more interested in Fothergillas. Spring fragrance and great fall color. Now I will just have to find the correct spot in my new digs.
    I love the violets and the violas…I let mine reseed and spread on their own. The violets are just about done, think I need to pick some and bring them in for a little more ‘face time’.

    Hi Janet, thanks for visiting. The Fothergillas have proven to be above and beyond expectations here. Sun or shade, dry or wet, oh wait we don’t have any wet, anyway they are tough as nails and gorgeous. What more do you need from a native shrub? πŸ™‚ I am not so in love with the violets, but do appreciate them in bloom. We have them by the gazillions. Violas are another story.

  13. Lovely bloom tour this morning! It does seem as though the plants are growing before our very eyes. We do need rain here. Weeks have gone by now with barely any moisture while the temps have soared.

    Thanks Cameron. Things are happening too fast here. Roses were blooming already, and I didn’t even see them. Must-slow-down! We do need that rain.

  14. Ofer says:

    Gorgeous Frances. This is a great time to check your garden out. I’m extremely interested in those Penstemons and seeing how they develop. I have a thing for seeking out odd-colored foliage and those look nice with that interesting copper brown touch.

    Thanks, Ofer. Those Penstemons are the best ones for this area, although others can live here. We have acid soil and the Husker Red’s P. digitalis heritage is okay with that. They have self seeded all over the place.

  15. Rose says:

    Ah, the perfect way to start my day–walking through your garden with you, Frances, to see all your lovely spring blooms. I have a love/hate relationship with violets, too, but I’ve decided, too, they’re welcome anywhere as long as they don’t bother their neighbors.

    Thanks for stopping by for the tour, Rose, we are always glad to see you. When the violets are blooming, I love them. The rest of the time…. well, I cannot pull them all. πŸ™‚

  16. For once Frances we are not far behind you on the mountain. The fothergilla, dogwoods and lilac are near fully open. The JM’s are leafing out. I’m afraid the resident gardeners may miss spring entirely with their early May arrival time, post new knee surgery.

    I do hope your dad recovers quickly and properly, Christopher. You will have to take lots of photos for them to gaze upon if spring comes too soon there before their return to the mountain. It seems we are in for a cool down, at least back to normal starting tomorrow. I am hoping that slows down the progression here, it is too fast and will not last as long as we like if it doesn’t. I think even Canada is nearly caught up with us. lol

  17. debbie in knoxville says:

    I had 3 bleeding hearts in a group last year and this year only one remains. I am glad to learn about the native and will look for it here. Thanks – I enjoy your blog tremendously!

    Hi Debbie, what a nice thing to say, thanks! I finally quit buying those old fashioned types of bleeding hearts, even though I love them so. They are not supposed to be annuals. Now those fern leaf types are unkillable. πŸ™‚

  18. Stevie says:

    That Narcissus β€˜Sinopel’ is a showstopper. I can always count on you for having uniquely gorgeous versions of garden standards.

    Thanks Stevie, what a sweet thing to say! Sinopel blooms so late, it often gets fried before opening. I have hopes for the rest of them this year, so far only one has bloomed but there are many buds.

  19. TC Conner says:

    Gorgeous blooms and pictures! As usual! Still a lot left to get goin here. Will wait (like what else would I do?).

    Thanks TC, you are so kind to me. I wish we could slow down a bit, it happens too fast to appreciate sometimes. πŸ™‚

  20. Layanee says:

    Frances, the flowers are beckoning one right into your lovely garden. I hope to walk that path some day. Lady Jane is not yet blooming here but soon.

    Thanks so much, I hope so too, Layanee. The flowers would love to meet you. What a sweetheart Lady Jane, and you are. πŸ™‚

  21. Gail says:

    ps I was thinking how happy fothergilla is in your part of TN. It’s starting to diminish here instead of grow! I learned from a wise older gardener, that you have to try them and not stop at “NO, it won’t grow here!” πŸ˜‰ So, we’ll try it in a better spot! xxgail

    That is a good rule to live by, don’t take no for an answer! Never give up, and to finish, ONWARD! πŸ™‚

  22. Such beauty surrounds you Frances! I am in love with the Lady Jane Tulips. Such a beautiful shape and I love the delicate colors.

    Why thank you, Noelle, that is so sweet of you. Lady Jane is a winner, she wins the heart of everyone she meets. πŸ™‚

  23. rosey says:

    Splendid photos!
    I can always get a good taste of eye candy from your garden, Frances!

    I just love them ALL.

    Thank you, Rosey, that is very kind of you. I love them all too. πŸ™‚

  24. You make me want to garden with flowers…seriously you may convert me yet! Just stunning! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks and so nice to see you! There is always room for a few flowers. πŸ™‚

  25. Sylvana says:

    I wish that I had so much other growth in the spring, but here it gets so cold, every things dies back and the only things up and running in the spring are the bulbs leaving lots of empty space. That’s why I have been trying to fill in as much as I can with bulbs!! Your garden is so romantic πŸ™‚

    Hi Sylvana, thanks so much for those kind words. I would imagine that gardening in Wisconsin would be a great spot to use choice small evergreens to help fill in and have year around interest. I have never seen evergreens grow the way they do up north. Lots of bulbs sounds divine. πŸ™‚

  26. Lona says:

    Hi Frances. Your gardens are looking so wonderful with their spring blooms. So much is growing fast now and each day finds new discoveries. I wish my flowers beds were as full as your. Beautiful!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Hi Lona, thanks so much and I hope you have a great weekend yourself. Things are moving quickly here. It seems that everything has decided to bloom at once. I don’t know what that means for the rest of the season. One reason my beds are so full is that I have stopped weeding! lol πŸ™‚

  27. Grumpy Gardener says:

    Is your kerria really that orangey? Or is the photo a miracle of modern technology? If it’s the former, that plant needs to be propagated!

    Hi Grumpy, so nice to see you! It is rather orangey, growing in a somewhat shadier area. It has never looked this good, but has pretty much gone by now with the high temps. It is propagating itself by underground runners like crazy. It was a passalong from a friend of a friend when it was admired in their gardens. She dug me a large clump on the spot several years ago. I think it liked the wet winter we had.

  28. Town Mouse says:

    What an amazing display — and I so admire your photos.

    Thanks Town Mouse, thanks so much. April is the prime month for my garden, so many things opening at once. The light right now helps with the shooting, and the flowers were posing nicely. πŸ™‚

  29. joey says:

    Glad tidings, Frances. Ain’t spring grand πŸ™‚

    Oh yes, dear Joey, thanks! We are so fond of April, for many reasons, but the happiest one is the change from drab to divine. πŸ™‚

  30. Catherine says:

    What perfect lighting you had for your pictures. The violas are so pretty, it reminded me that the beauty pageant must be coming up for them?
    ‘Husker Red’ sure does like your garden more than it liked mine. The foliage is so pretty mixed in your garden.

    Thanks Catherine. We were experimenting with taking shots in early morning and late afternoon. Some parts of the garden don’t get the morning sun but still are deserving of being included. I have been scouting for the viola beauty pageant. A few are opening now in fact. I must decide to hold the contest before or after the upcoming trip to England. That is if the ash clouds lift! The original planting of Husker Red did not do nearly as well as these volunteer seedlings that have been spread far and wide. The other Penstemon was Red Rocks, and their offspring are superior to both parents.

  31. I’m not familiar with many of the wonderful plant you’ve shown. I love the native dicentra, and the narcissus in the first photo will have to end up on next fall’s shopping list…

    Hi James, thanks. Both of those plants are excellent additions to any garden. Happy shopping! πŸ™‚

  32. Looking good my TN friend, but I’m starting to catchup bloomwise. Many of the same plants are finally blooming here. It’s cold here today. There?

    You are so sweet, Dee, thanks. I was thinking of you as the roses are beginning to bloom. Cooler here, seasonal actually. Maybe that will slow down the breakneck speed of flowering around here. πŸ™‚

  33. Lythrum says:

    I bought some ‘Sinopel’ daffodils a few year ago, and they came up white. So I’m assuming that there was a mislabeling somewhere. I would like to try some again. πŸ™‚

    Hi Lythrum, thanks for stopping by. The outer petals of Sinopel are white, but the center cup is definitely green, more so when the flower first opens. They are so late to bloom, they often get fried by the heat and fail to bloom properly. Even this year, so far one bloom out of 30 or so stalks with buds has opened. But hope lives. πŸ™‚

  34. Your garden is a bouquet of loveliness, Frances. The lime heuchera looks like an ideal plant for sparkling shady areas.

    What a sweet thing to say, Donna, thank you. Citronelle is the brightest heuchera, perfect for the cooler blues of the blue star juniper in the bed by the front step. πŸ™‚

  35. Just beautiful Frances, photos and plants.

    Love that species Tulip!

    I’ve just googled Penstemon digitalis β€˜Husker Red’. I hope you blog them when they flower.

    Hi Rob, thanks. I will be sure and show Husker in bloom, but truly it is the foliage that we admire the most about this tough self sower. πŸ™‚

  36. Beckie says:

    Frances, you never cease to amaze me with all your plants and how you can remember all their names! I love the variety and the numbers of each plant. No species plants for you, but masses of beauties.

    Like you, I love the Husker Reds. They have spread to several areas of the gardens and their deep red leaves in early spring are such a delight. My Bergina is pink and took at least 4 years to grow and then bloom. I had given up hope and was going to pull out the straggly looking thing last spring when I finally saw a bud stem. This years the size has doubled and their are 2 stem of flowers. Beatiful loom Day post! Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens with us.

    Dear Beckie, you are too sweet for words, thank you. As for knowing the names, blogging has certainly helped with that, after typing it several times, it finally becomes imbedded in ones brain. lol And I have lists. HA Thanks for that about the bergenias. If I wasn’t so lazy, they would have been pulled out here as well. Straggly is the word! πŸ™‚

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