Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Bloom Day

Happy Bloom Day!  Happy Spring!  It's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, which means we get to see what's blooming in each other's gardens.  Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting.

It's amazing how fast things come and go and in the spring.  There are flowers that bloomed after March Bloom Day that didn't last until April Bloom Day.  I didn't anticipate that there would be blooms that would be so uncooperative!  Wisteria and Spanish Bluebells were great, but no longer, alas.  But now the Golden Showers Rose is ramping up to its biggest show of the year.  I've posted photos of its open blooms before, so this time I will show one its beautiful buds.  Sometimes when I "deadhead" this (it's in quotes because I'm not very thorough about deadheading) I put the spent petals in my jacket pocket and enjoy the surprise of its lovely scent throughout the day.

Speaking of uncooperative, it was much too sunny and windy to get the best photos for Bloom Day.  Oh well, here's the best of what's blooming now anyway.  Some of the late bulbs are putting on a good show, hardy gladiolus and Dutch iris.
Unfortunately, I don't remember what this little blooming onion is called.  I believe it is an eastern native, but I bought it from a Dutch bulb company.
The Atamasco Lily, below, is certainly a native Eastern U.S. plant.  There is a lovely description of these and other rain lilies in the first chapter of Scott Ogden's Garden Bulbs for the South that convinces me that I need more.
In the dappled shade, another native plant is blooming, Golden Alexander.  I read this is a host plant for Black Swallowtails but so far my Black Swallowtails have been concentrating on parsley and dill in the herb garden on the other side of the house.
Also blooming in the shade is this non-native variegated Solomon's Seal.
It's hard for me to get good photos of the shrubs that are blooming now because of the sunny windy conditions, but here's a closeup of a Viburnum flower.  I think this is Viburnum plicatum, Doublefile Viburnum.  Also in bloom but not shown is my Red Buckeye, Aesculus pavia.  Mine is very small and this is only the second year it has blooms.  I wish I could take it down the street in a little red wagon to see a huge red buckeye, hanging over a brick wall, that wows me every time I drive by on my way to work.  It's good to give your plants an inspiring mentor if you can.
Next is a plant that I like but that always seems out of place.  The red hot poker really seems like it would be more at home in the summer garden than in the spring.  What on earth can I put with it to make it look more settled?
On the flip side, some blooms that also seem quite out of place, but because they seem to belong to early spring.  The Baby Moon daffodils always bloom very late for me if they bloom at all.  I would be happier with them if they were more consistent bloomers but there is something they are not happy about in all four of the places I've tried them.  I think I will try to get a tiny daffodil like this that blooms earlier, Narcissus willkommii for instance. 
Finally, a shrub that I posted about on both January's and February's Bloom Days.  I would have posted it in December also, if I'd had a blog then.  I didn't post a photo in March because I didn't want to be too repetitive. But when it's still blooming in April, that's just too amazing not to make note of.  Here for another encore is the flowering quince.  I have to admit that I would prefer all its blooms at once rather than in small handfuls, but its hard to complain about a plant that blooms for five consecutive months.