April had a rather wild mood swing during this past weekend. We transitioned abruptly from cold and surly to sunny warmth. Plants went from shivering in their foliage to galloping forward to catch up with the growing season.
Actually, I would say these mid-April blooms fall into three categories. First there are those, like the Daffodils, that are just at their flowering peak and seem quite at ease about it. Perhaps even a bit cocky.
Although a few of the Daffodil stems never picked themselves up again after the freezes of early April.
Tulipa biflora, an early species tulip, didn’t mind the cold at all. This is a wonderful tulip for naturalizing. It seems to be spreading quite happily in my garden. Though since it has three flowers to a stem, why isn’t it called Tulipa triflora?
Tulipa praestans ‘Unicum’ is following right on the heels of T. bifloa. Some are not quite ready to open.
The Hellebores are blooming. This is their second spring in my garden and I look forward to them bulking up.
I love the blue Siberian Squill (Scilla sibirica). An incredibly easy small bulb. Spreads with abandon, but disappears politely a few weeks after it blooms.
Here is more evidence that my new Lamppost Border gets more sun than the rest of the front garden. There are clumps of Grape Hyancinth (Muscari armeniacum) in the Driveway Border that are not even close to blooming – and yet the ones I planted last fall in the Lamppost Border are strutting their stuff. The light blue ones are ‘Valerie Finnis’. I was relieved to learn this name does not mean “Valerie is finished”.
The pink flowers of Praire Smoke (Geum triflorum) are just starting to bloom. They will look their best later, when the wispy seedheads make their appearance.
A second category of blooms are like overeager kids rushing ahead of their peers. For example, this clump of Great Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflorum) looks like it has flowered before it was quite ready. The other Great Merrybells aren’t in such a hurry, but are still sending up stems and growing leaves.
Ditto this Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla). Does this little cluster of blue flowers feel like the guest who arrives before the party has begun?
The third category are still in bud, not flowering at all. But is it my imagination that these Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) buds seem to be straining to grow and bloom? This picture shows nicely how the buds go from pink to blue.
And the buds of Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris), holding in their sweetness until May.
I am out of town on business all this week, then Friday I am dashing back to Chicago to catch a plane. I’ll be flying out to meet Judy and visit friends in the DC area. Looking forward to the trip, but fretting about what I might miss in the garden. I’ll be back in Chicago by the middle of next week.