Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Garden in the Early Days of April


What a roller coaster ride this spring has been!

The weather is always more than a subject of polite conversation for gardeners and this spring is sure to be one that we are likely to talk about for years to come. 

Hot one minute, freezing the next, it is hard to know how to dress for the outdoors. I had a sunburn and mosquito bites in March, in Canada!

It seems garden is equally confused by this spring weather.


After several fine, sunny days in a row, the magnolia flowers in the front garden decided it safe to emerge from their little furry jackets. 

Then wham-o! The thermometer plummeted and the beautiful white flowers all turned brown. 


The tree did make a bit of a recovery and a second flush of flowers appeared when the temperature levelled off again, but sadly the new flower buds were mixed with all the ugly brown ones. 

This year's spring display was certainly a mixed blessing!


One of the nicest aspects of the milder weather has been getting an early jump on the typical spring chores. Already the planters have been cleared out and pansies added.



Despite the warmer spring, it is early days for my Canadian garden. There is but a smaller scattering of flowers in the garden.

Growing hellebores are a new experience for me. I bought this Helleborus x ballardiae 'Pink Frost' to go with the clearance pink variety that you might remember that I bought last fall. (The pink hellebores are only just starting to open.)


I find the many-layered centres of hellebore flowers very interesting. 

In future, I hope to add some of the black and plum varieties that I have admired in so many people's blog posts.


So what else is blooming? In the back garden, there are daffodils.



And hyacinths of various colors.


The Ostrich ferns are starting to emerge.


Wood violets are poking their little purple heads up from under the blanket of fall leaves.


I added these tiny pink Chionodoxa very late in the fall (I have powder blue ones as well, but did not get a chance to get a photo). I am so happy with them, I am going to add more next fall.


The tiny blue scilla are still blooming.


The odd patch of lamium are flowering in the dappled shade.


And there are self-seeded Pulmonarias that have appeared in little sheltered corners of the garden.


Up close you can see that the spotted foliage has a fine, fuzzy texture, which no doubt helps to keep the plant warm on the frosty spring nights. 

Apparently, the flowers of Pulmonaria change color from blue to pink to discourage pollinators from wasting their time on already pollinated blooms. (Read Kylee's post about this on her blog Our Little Acre).

So what's blooming in your garden? I'll be making the rounds just to see.

To see what is blooming in gardens around the world, click to link for May Dreams Garden's GBBD. I am also going to join in to My Little Home and Garden's Sunlit Sunday. To put some sunshine in to your Sunday, click the link. 

46 comments:

  1. Your violas and magnolias are AMAZING. I wish my peep would plant me a magnolia tree. I'll work on that...

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  2. WOW!!! these are magnificent pictures!!!! I'm speechless!!! Cathy

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  3. Beautiful. I woke up to snow on the ground this morning. Can't wait for the flowers to start blooming here.

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  4. Lovely collection of flower photos ! The yellow hues reminds me of certain yellow flowers that blooms in April in our country. The ostrich fern is known by some other name here and we eat it by frying it with garlic pods in little oil. The way you have captured the sunlight falling in each and every petal, It has created a beautiful effect in the photographs. All in all, the pictures are so vibrant and colorful, they would instantly uplift the viewer's mood !
    Have a nice day !

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  5. You take such gorgeous close-ups of flowers, Jennifer. I'm still waiting for my magnolia; it decided it was still only April and thought the better of blooming just yet. Everything in the garden is a bit confused, I imagine. Thank you for linking your incredible garden to Sunlit Sunday.
    -Karen

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  6. I noticed the magnolia flowers were a disappointing brown when I visited National Trust gardens near us recently. On the plus side, as you said, the Spring chores are well and truly under way.
    Beautiful photographs. Once again I am here with my notebook, adding more plant names. Chionodoxa are very pretty, I think I will have to plant some of these in the autumn.

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  7. Gaah - it´s SO pretty and it´s killing me that I have to wait for this here in my parts of Sweden, I need flowers NOW! :-)

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  8. Overhere the weather is a little bit strange to. In January and February still a roses were flowering because of the not usual temperatures. At the and of February 2 weeks of strong frost. Then 20 C you could sit in the garden in a T-shirt and now it's only 8 C and hail and frost are forcasted for the next two day. But there are still some beautiful flowers growing in your garden. The photographs are absolutly beautiful.

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  9. Your garden is a wonder to behold!
    My flowering plants consist mostly of forsythia at the moment. But i hope to remedy that very soon.

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  10. Your garden couldn't be prettier!

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  11. Very pretty blooms. I hope the weather has leveled off a bit. The picture of the ostrich ferns is my favorite. So, the flowers change from blue to pink - blue being the better attraction? Makes me really wonder how pollinators see, and decide which flower to visit!

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  12. It looks like spring has really come to your garden. Wonderful.
    The magnolias are truly magnificant.

    Åsa

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  13. Hi Jennifer
    Beautiful photos as usual! Sadly, my magnolia did not have a second flush of bloom so it just stayed brown and awful. Your hellebores are lovely. The shots of pulmonaria remind me that I used to have this plant and loved it but it faded away in a drought. Will have to buy more this year.
    Astrid

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  14. Such lovely spring blooms! Ostrich ferns are one of my favorites. We had a few nights with frost last week and several trees that had leafed out weren't so pleased. I love that shot of the magnolia blooms reaching for the bright blue sky!

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  15. Hi jennifer - lovely photos. The lamium is something I want to add to my garden this year. And pulmonaria is out of this world - one of my favorites for it's change of colour. Interesting piece of information about the colour changes.

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  16. I agree with you about this crazy mixed up spring. Everything here in nwOhio is about a month ahead of schedule. The lilacs are blooming and I'm so afraid the flush of color and fragrance will soon be over. The daffodils came and went so quickly and the tulips are blooming to beat the band right now. I keep wondering what will bloom next.

    Your flower photos are each so wonderful and I enjoyed viewing all of them.

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  17. Such lovely photos but it doesn't suprise me that the garden is confussed the weather is often confuessing.........lol

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  18. This series of macro floral shots is awesome. You are a fabulous photographer to end up with shots as lovely as these; I cannot pick a favorite...they are all sheer perfection. You need to take and have these made into a title box of notecards and sell them online. I would certainly buy a box. genie

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  19. I hope my Pulmonaria is self seeding!! How fun to have more. I read Kylee's post about the colors earlier, most fascinating. I love blogging, get to relive spring through our Northern friends and learn about bloom colors and how they attract pollinators.

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  20. Just glorious! I have lots of stuff blooming now, the roses are putting on quite a show and so are the iris, because of our climate we are a bit ahead of you. All of your plants looks so vigorous and healthy.

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  21. Gorgeous. Its hard to pick a favourite. You have many cut flowers for picking.

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  22. What a beautiful flowery post and blog and I love all your photo's.
    The weather over here is the same, beautiful and warm one day the next is it freezing cold. We don't have a garden any more but I go make photo's of every garden I see.
    I am your newest follower.
    Riet

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  23. We have also had very mixed weather here in Italy, with extremes, making it difficult for the plants. Your blog is lovely and I will be following and adding you to my round the world blog roll. I am so glad you found me!
    Thankyou for your lovely comment on my photography blog, I share a lot more photos of my garden on my main blog, News From Italy, which you may find of interest.

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  24. Beautiful images (love the macros) but you had to be quick this year, Jennifer. The weather was ready to nip the flowers right back. I have a Japanese maple that leafed out and now I am unsure what will happen. New leaf buds are plumping, but that would be the last reserve.

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  25. Fabulous blooms Jennifer. If ever you are looking for a Pulmonaria that stays blue, look out for Blue Ensign, new to me this year and I am so pleased with it.

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  26. Your photos are amazing! So many beautiful blooms and fabulous plants! I love your garden!!!
    Blessings,
    Kijsa

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  27. Your hellebores are gorgeous and nothing really says spring like unfurling ferns.

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  28. What a superb photo of your Magnolia, what a shame the frost had to come and spoil it. Spring time where you are is certainly providing you with gorgeous flowers and your garden must be looking very pretty indeed.

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  29. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year but this one has been strange to say the least. LOL! Your spring blooms are so lovely Jennifer. The magnolia is gorgeous and so are the hyacinths. I wish mine had lasted longer. They smell so wonderful. Have a nice week in the garden.

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  30. Jennifer girl so you DO have hellebore and Pink Frost is one of them !!
    I know you are looking for the dark ones .. and they are beautiful .. I have a few .. but one hellebore that surprised me with how gorgeous the variations of colour it went through as it ages is "Niger" .. I added it more on a note because I didn't have it .. I expected nothing exceptional from the flowers, but it has been wowing me all the time it is blooming .. so I would recommend it highly whether it is considered "common" or not !
    You have loads of beautiful blooms going on girl .. it is almost hot here with temps in the 20's .. and I actually had to take the day off of gardening because Saturday was a heavy duty day for me .. I pay for the exertion I can't seem to stop myself from .. I just love working in my garden that much ! We all do don't we ? LOL
    Joy : )

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  31. These are some of the BEST spring photos I've seen. Wonderfully vibrant and sharp.
    Short of lying on my stomach in the border how can I get the macro shots of low growing plants like Pulmonaria? And get a tripod down there with me?

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    1. Karen, What can I say! Taking photographs is sometimes a matter of getting low down. I have taken to bringing a large sheet of plastic out into the garden along with the camera.

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  32. With my own weather heading too quickly toward summer, it is refreshing to see your wonderful spring blooms! Great photos!

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  33. Lovely to see all your spring flowers - a lot of things are going over for me now - looking forward to the next batch of things ready to take their place.

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  34. Despite the roller coaster temperature ride you have some great bloomers!

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  35. I love your header, very pretty! You have plenty blooming in your garden, everything looks great. I purchased three new hellebores this year, I was inspired by all the pretty ones I've seen on blogs.

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  36. It always amazes me that the gardens in some parts of Canada can go from 0 to 100 in no time! We are so far behind you - the magnolias are still buds here. It was lovely to visit your garden.

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  37. How did I not know until now about your blog, I love the photographs of the Scillas. Beautiful photos.

    Paul

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  38. Thank you very much ,-) Had to try another translate but it worked! ,-)
    Lovely springflowers!
    Love your photos! ,-)
    We had some more snow last weekend, but its gone now! ,-)
    Our springflowers are, blue anenomies, woodland anenomies (white)
    crocuses, daffodils, thats it!
    Love Primrose have a nice week! ,-)

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  39. Gorgeous photos as usual! I love how crisp your pictures are. :o) Spring has been bizarre here, too. It was almost 90 yesterday and today I was wearing a jacket. Even my plants are bit confused!

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  40. So good to see that spring has arrived for you, too, Jennifer. I love the magnolia blossoms, but it's sad they were hit by the frost so soon. My hyacinths are long gone, so it's a delight to see yours in full bloom. I miss their fragrance. I didn't know that about the pulmonaria blooms changing color--now, that is one smart plant!

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  41. Jennifer,
    So many pretties in your garden already! I have yet to get my pansies, but I really need to. It has been extreme dry this spring for us in PA, very odd as well as the warmth. We are still a month ahead.

    I LOVE H'Pink Frost'... so pretty. Will have to look it up. Thanks for sharing!
    Julie

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  42. oh I wish I had some blooms to show off but we're lagging far behind here on the east coast. Thank goodness for Garden Bloggers Bloom day so I can enjoy everyone else's lovely flowers. Even though I've grown hellebores before I never really noticed the layers in the interior of the flower until now. Those green petals way far underneath are quite neat.

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  43. beautiful pictures. Not much blooming here in northern Michigan just yet but come and check out my garden journal (you can reach it through Bluebell woods) I am wondering what your camera is. I love the crisp clear colour and sharpness of the focus
    Janice

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    1. Thanks Janice, I have Nikon D5000 with a Af-5Nikkor 18-105mm lens.

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