April Leaves Bring May Flowers

Of course you also need rain, but it’s the fresh green leaves of April that herald the flowers of May.

Virginia Bluebells - the little flower buds are visible already.
Virginia Bluebells – the little flower buds are visible already.

For some this tender new foliage is barely noticeable, certainly unremarkable. However, to me their appearance is a moment of cheerful drama. For example, the blue-green leaves of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) which are among the earliest to emerge.

Red Trillium
Red Trillium

Then there are the spotted leaves of Red Trillium (Trillium recurvatum).

2015-04-11 15.13.58

The bright green of White Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis var. alba).

Red Elderberry
Red Elderberry

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa L.) buds hint at the color of the fruit that will come in mid-Summer. Unlike Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), this fruit is poisonous to people.


Peony foliage is much looked forward to but also rather strange. This Peony reminds me of the Dr. Seuss characters Thing One and Thing Two, but with green hair instead of blue.


See what I mean?

2015-04-11 15.27.30

And I cannot resist the grassy leaves of Narcissi that are about to bloom.

For more April foliage, follow the link to Foliage Follow-Up, hosted by Pam at Digging. Do you have a favorite when it comes to the leaves of April?

39 Comments on “April Leaves Bring May Flowers”

  1. Few things get me as excited as the Virginia Bluebell leaves appearing, but I also love when the buds show pink tips. Columbine leaves are well up by now. The wild geraniums (now moving well beyond the starts I got from you several years ago) have come out in the last few days. The poppies showed themselves in March, and are now well into preparing to show off their stuff (no buds yet, though). Every day there is something new going on. What fun this time of year is, and especially this year with a good measure of rain and some nice warm days.

  2. Hello Jason our Lamprocapnos is nearly flowering, but you’re not too far behind, once the green leaves start appearing they grow spectacularly quickly from frill to flower in a matter of weeks. It’s amazing how quickly it all happens – blink and you miss it.

  3. I notice you used the new name for Bleeding Heart… 😉 I also love to see the foliage of peonies, and the first signs of the Sedums which appear before anything else. And Pulmonaria leaves are especially pretty too.

  4. I totally got what you meant! After a whole season of expectation, here they come the new leaves and sprouts with their bright colours! I love in particular the new leaves of peonia mlokosewitchii: somewhat purple and glaucous at the same time. Your peony must be one of those with fine fern-like leaves right? It’s beautiful (although I’ve never heard of thing 1 and thing 2…)

  5. It amazes me at just how quickly your plants waken up Jason and despite the winter there, paeonies are at a similar stage in my garden. We are still having frosts here, 3 mornings this week but thankfully little damage to new foliage. Lovely to see yours and a very exciting time watching the garden coming back to life isn’t it?

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