Sunday, April 15, 2018

Today's Blooms, April 15, 2018


Spring is beginning to arrive.  A few plants are blooming but most are only budding.  The small white flowers of the Star of  Bethlehem,  Ornithogalum umbellatum, are thriving. They will fade, disappear and be forgotten until they are accidentally discovered later when I dig in the vacant spot.  The bulbs will travel with the transported soil to another bare spot where they will flourish.  What began as a very few little bulbs has slowly spread to many different areas.  They are considered invasive by many people, but I have enjoyed letting them increase. I may regret it one day, but now I like them.  



The Japanese Flowering Kwanzan Cherry tree was in full bloom but the recent storm blew most of the blossoms away!  As long as the wind leaves the shingles on my house alone, I will not complain too loudly.




Behind the two chairs is a spicebush which was gifted to me years ago.  The smell is awesome, a sweet peppery scent which will waft far across the yard.  When I first discovered it at a friends house, I asked for a small twig then placed it in water so it could root. What began as a tiny cutting has grown into a large bush.  It has almost finished flowering and I will miss the heavenly smell.

Morning Glory seeds and Moonflower seeds have been planted at the bottom of the arch.  If they don't germinate soon, I might need to replant.  My goal is to cover this arch with vines and blossoms.  Maybe this year I will finally achieve that goal.



The wild violets are just beginning to bloom.  They were planted as a groundcover in this area which is impossible to mow.  They are not shy about spreading and have finally become thick enough to choke out other weeds.



Only a few of the early columbines are blooming.  These are one of my favorite flowers and I wish they would hurry and spread to more places.  This is one plant I can't resist picking and bringing inside.



The hellebores just keep on blooming and blooming.  I love these flowers.



Ferns don't have flowers so I have decided to show the fiddleheads instead.  These were wild plants I transplanted from the backwoods to my front flower bed.


Last year I carefully worked hard amending the soil around my little lilac bush.  My hope was that it would flourish and grow larger.  It only put out a single little cluster of buds!  Seriously???? After so much special treatment, it gave me just ONE!  It was a beautiful bloom but was only ONE cluster.  This year it gets nothing else special.


Now for this month's garden fail.  The early sprouting hostas were frozen by the last freeze.  The others in the garden are fine because they are just now poking above the ground.  Since this one is surrounded on two sides by rocks, I think the ground warmed up too soon.  No problem, it will probably recover...or not.  Meh.


As for other problems, it seems trouble has arrived outside my kitchen window.


Yesterday afternoon in the pouring rain, Ping Pong the Great returned with some of his enemies in tow.  His kingdom changed over the winter and now it includes a rusted old basket holding pieces of discarded stale bread.  

Ping Pong the Great
The marauding invaders prefer the bread crumbs and ignore the delicious red flowers with the unending supply of sweet nectar.  However, this does not appease Ping Pong the Great.  He does not trust them and still eyes them with disdain especially since they have decided to roost on his treasured throne.


I am beginning to believe Spring might really have arrived.




All links mentioned above.



Shared with friends around the world on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for April 2018

27 comments:

  1. It's starting to look great there. We're still getting freezes. I'm sick of them. Ping Pong the Great is a great story. :)

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    1. Well, Ping Pong thinks he is pretty great also.

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  2. One Lilac bloom is more than I have been getting from mine! Love to see those fiddlehead ferns.
    I have found that moonflower seeds are slow to sprout. Did you soak them first?
    Wonderful columbines! I have no luck at all with them
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. I looked in my seed basket before I replied to you to see what I had done. I have planted a few of the morning glories, but not any the moonflowers yet. I will do as you say and soak them before I put them out. There are not very many in the little bag I bought so I think I need to be careful. The bag of morning glories was abundant so I felt safe in taking a chance. This year I really want the arch to look great.

      Some of my local gardening fiends complain about their columbines seeding themselves all over their gardens. That is what I want to happen to me but it never does. I seem to get a few sprouts each year, but never enough to make me happy.

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  3. What beautiful early spring blooms your garden has. That cherry tree is gorgeous and I'm very envious of your hummingbird. I've not seen a single one in my garden yet. Usually, they and the Chimney Swifts are here by the end of March. Not this year. I'm not sure what's delaying them.

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    1. Mine were one day early and I did not think they would be here since the weather has been so cold. Yesterday they just sat on the feeder and drank and drank. We thought the two, or maybe three tiny hummingbirds were going to empty it of sugar water. They had to be tired and hungry.

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  4. Have you ever thought to plant clematis to cover your arch? Not one of the many hybrids
    that can easily get diseases, but a hardy variety like CLEMATIS ALPINA or CLEMATIS MONTANA
    RUBENS.They grow so very quickly. A real joy!
    Christel

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    1. I researched both and they look fantastic for this area. Years ago I planted a regular clematis but it did not thrive. Each year I try something new in hopes of success but that has not happened. The soil is hard, rocky, dry and is very far from the house making constant watering impossible. Any water it gets must he hand carried by me up the hill. This winter I added more compost to the area but it seemed to just fade away.

      I have put the names on a list and I will search for one at a local nursery this year. If I don't find one and if my morning glories are not a success, this winter I will order one from an online company. Maybe if I plant it in the fall when there is not much need to water, I might live.

      Thanks for the good idea.

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  5. I love columbines too! Mine haven't started flowering yet, probably next month. I love that they are so promiscuous and spread their seeds all around, never knowing what color you'll get. Our ferns are just starting to unfurl here too. Our weekend was full of very unsettled weather, like a monsoon. I'm sick of the rain. I normally love our typical PNW weather, but last weekend was too much. Thanks for sharing your flowers!

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    1. It appears your PNW (Pacific Northwest Weather) has become our SMT (Southern Middle Tennessee) weather today. We awoke to snow flurries and sleet. Good grief! You are right, it is a bit too much.

      Hopefully my other columbines will bloom soon as I am anticipating some new colors.

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  6. Clematis grow on sunny or shadowy places and they like to grow in trees. (Like the wild
    Clematis vitalba)BUT the root area must be shadowy. Can be covered with a big piece of a broken clay pot e.g. So the soil will be kept in moist condition. They do not want sun directly in this area. They like conditions as there are in a forest. My choice would be
    C.montana rubens. No other! Grows like a world champion with pink blossoms.
    Christel

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    1. C. Montana rubens will be my choice although I don't know about the moist roots. The area under the arch is dry. It might be fine after it is established though. Every plant I have put there that vines had died except for the English ivy. It is alive and growing but will not go UP the poles. I think because it is a slick metal, the ivy can't grasp and hold on.

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  7. Well, even if Old Man Winter is still blowing snow, your garden is definitely waking up. I've no doubt Spring will win out in the end. I grew that same Ornithogalum in my former garden and may have to try it again in this one, even if it's hotter and drier here. Your Ping Pong the Great looks as though he commands the garden! We have Anna's hummingbirds here year-round and they're always ferocious but when the migrating Rufous hummingbirds show up to compete for flowers and feeders the garden becomes an all-out war zone.

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    1. Ping Pong is quite the warrior. He was very tiny when he first arrived years ago and claimed our yard as his own. He was not happy about the basket full of stale bread, just too much traffic in his opinion. I am not sympathetic toward his difficulties. He keeps me me entertained while I wash dishes.

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  8. Jeannie-you early spring blooms are wonderful and I love all the little touches in your garden like the adorable turtle, bench with stepping stones and wild violets that make the visit so inviting. I also love your Hellebores and then the last surprise of the hummingbird at the feeder.

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    1. Thank you Lee, the turtle was left by the previous owners and he (I think it is a he) has watched me weed for 14 years now. I keep telling myself I will move him to another spot, but I never do. He isn't heavy so I don't have any excuses. He fits in that spot and there he stays.

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  9. Your birds are so precious to see, wow! As for the lilac, just be patient. Many flowers need to be comfortable for a long while before it shows off, so don't give up!!

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    1. Betty, I suppose I should be patient toward the lilac but I worked hard last year (well, I considered it hard work) adding compost and fertilizer. It should have appreciated my efforts and rewarded me with more blooms. I won't give up because that would require me digging up the unappreciative lilac and then carrying it to the compost pile. That would REALLY be hard work. I will choose to leave it there and wait, so much less effort.

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  10. Haha Jeannie, i love the way you treat everything in there. That is sometimes what i should be doing in things in my area. Just let them be, because i don't. We are the same though, i love even weeds if they are beautiful, i even plant more weeds if they are hosts for the butterflies. I love that tree, is that cherry or plum or what. We don't have that of course, temperate plant.

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    1. The tag at the nursery said it was a Japanese Cherry tree but does not produce any fruit, only beautiful blooms. It was an impulse buy as I walked past the plant clearance aisle. Some years it is breathtaking when the flowers are in full bloom, other years, not so much. This spring it tried hard to be stunning but the harsh winter wind blew most of the blossoms away.

      Any day soon the weather will break and it will suddenly become warm. I am eagerly waiting for that day to arrive. Although it seems to get later and later each year...is it because I am older and less patience?

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  11. Fiddleheads are some of my favorite things in the garden - so adorable!
    - Kathy

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  12. What a lovely way to grow wild violets!

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  13. You are living the dream...love the arch, the perfect place for scented vines!

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  14. For me the violets are great in the grass or the pasture but they drive me crazy in the perennial garden where they are very competitive. I too like the ornithogalum — they are very reliable.

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    1. I agree! The violets are forbidden from my flower beds but are allowed (and encouraged) to dominate this area. It is a spot that is a nightmare to mow with boulders sticking above the soil and a slanting rough slope. I have tried other ground covers but the violets kept overtaking them so I gave in and let them spread. Sometimes you just let nature win.

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  15. Wow, you have hummingbirds already! I have been watching their migratory path, and they are a few hundred miles south of me. It's been so cold here that I'm glad they have waited for awhile to head farther north. Lovely blooms; columbines are one of my favorites, too.

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    1. Their arrival date here (lower middle Tennessee, 50 miles south of Nashville) is April 15th. It is easy to remember since it is tax day. We lose money but gain hummingbirds. I realize they don't have calendars (or maybe they do?), I put the feeders up a few days early. It is obvious they are tired and hungry when they first arrive. All they do is sit and drink.

      Yesterday we checked the feeder in the early morning to see if we needed to break the ice but then realized their sharp little beaks worked just fine.

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