Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sweet April Showers

 Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers
 Thomas Tusser

 At last, all the snow melted. I was so tired of seeing the white stuff coming down each time I looked through the window ...

April 1st Snowfall
I much prefer seeing the beautiful white crocuses pictured in my lead photograph. It rained all this week, and I took the crocus photograph today, between showers. Although it is still very cold, I actually started the spring cleanup on Monday. It is too wet for planting, but OK for raking and tidying.

Last weekend, H.H. and I went to our first garden center this year. We attended a seminar, 'How to Open the Fishpond,' at Albanese Garden and Pond Specialists. After the workshop I went into the greenhouse. I didn't buy anything, but couldn't resist taking pictures of FLOWERS and GREEN STUFF. It's been a long winter.

The Greenhouse at Albanese.
There are some flowers in my shade garden, as the beautiful hellebores are in bloom ...

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'

Other hellebores are still in bud. I am sorry I don't know the names of them ...

More Hellebore Buds.
On this day last year the temperature hit 90 degrees and my daffodils were in full bloom. You can see pictures and read about them here. Today, the temperature is in the 40s, and the daffodils are not quite ready to open ...

I am disappointed that I have no daffodil flowers, yet, as they were blooming in our church garden on Sunday. Although only a couple of miles away, our house is at a higher altitude, and the weather is often harsher here. My forsythia shrub is very late to flower and so are the scilla (grape hyacinths).

On our way home from church, we spotted skunk cabbage in the creek. We listened for the sound of peepers, but didn't hear them on Sunday. Today, for the first time we heard them at the pond on our road. In this part of America, the tiny frogs, spring peepers, are like the cuckoo in England -- a sign of spring that we are excited to hear!

Last year I planted several chartreuse colored heuchera in the shade garden. I chose them because the leaves brighten the dark, shady area. Today, I was happy to see how healthy they look.

In the kitchen garden the rhubarb is flourishing ...

The chives are shooting up, and I already used some in my cooking ...

I pushed the straw back to check the strawberries that I planted last year. I believe they survived the winter well ...

Strawberry Frageria 'All star'
There is still plenty of bird activity at the feeder ...

The birds are pairing off and starting to build nests. I watched two wrens carrying nesting materials into one of H.H.'s birdhouses. I was sorry I couldn't get a picture of them. I photographed two crows in the pasture collecting horsehair and straw to line their nest ...

We are anxiously awaiting the return of the ruby-throated hummingbirds. I have been tracking their progress here. According to their progress map, they have reached this part of Pennsylvania, so I will put out feeders this weekend. I learned this, and so much more, from the Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology blog.

In spite of the rain and the cold temperatures, I put a spring wreath on the front door and a spring 'welcome' slate next to it. (I have wreaths and slates to mark each season.)

Our weather man tells us there is warmer weather on the way. I feel the spring season has finally begun. I hope you are experiencing lovely weather and beautiful flowers in your garden - if not now, but very soon!

Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Pam, we ad the same snow storm this week, but today it was beautiful, and should be all week. Hopefully all the snow will be gone. Your hellebores are very pretty, much fuller than mine. I plant them in to much shade I think and may move them. I just get less flowers. My daffs are well behind yours. We may get to hot of weather before they bloom. It happens often.

  2. I am glad the snow has melted and your plants are beginning to grow. Your hellebores look lovely, and it looks like your daffodils are just about to burst into bloom!

  3. Pam, we are the same here in Ontario, in terms of being behind where we were last year. My first crocuses will probably be open tomorrow.

    The photo of your white crocus is lovely, with the water drops on it.

    Looks like you're going to have an amazing display of daffodils in the very near future! Looking forward to seeing them.


  4. It's amazing how quickly everything comes in to bloom once the snow melts. We're having a mini heatwave here at the moment, I hope this isn't our summer.

  5. Looks like spring is finally on it's way--glad to see you've got some tangible evidence! We did have a long winter this year, didn't we? I'm also feeling more than ready for some sunshine and blooms.

  6. How wonderful and exciting to see everything starting to sprout from winters sleep.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  7. Spring has finally sprung for you! How wonderful and exciting! Love the white crocus picture! Beautiful.

  8. Oh how I love your Hellebores! I finally managed to find some here in SA, I can't wait for mine to look like yours! LOVELY photos, what a joy your garden is!

  9. Lovely favorite is of the Hellebores bud. I never really get that good of a look at the buds..thanks for showing me.

  10. Dear Pam
    Your photo's are lovely, especially the close up of the Hellebores, I love them and have a couple on the allotment and just the one so far at home.
    I hope you have recovered from your surgery and that you will soon have some lovely weather.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    M xx

  11. Oh dear, I thought it was still cold here, but at least we don't have April snow! I hope your daffodils will open, and that spring will bring its warmth to you soon.

  12. Hi Pam,

    Hard to believe your snow has only just melted, that must've been a very rough winter - and I thought we had it bad here! Thankfully the snow didn't stay for long and we've had blooms as early as January - Snowdrops.

    I hope you get the promised warmer weather soon, I imagine you will have everything blooming together, as we did last year when everything was very late! It was well worth the wait though, as it was a sea of spring bulbs.

  13. Oh how I long for daffodils. Soon, I keep telling myself, but I'm heading out in search of the yellow trumpets this weekend. Your photos are getting better and better,Pam. The hellebore photos are wonderful, but rain on the crocus takes the prize for lovely.

    Have a joyful weekend.

  14. Your garden is coming to life !!
    Really like the Hellebores,so different.
    Can't wait to go garden shopping.

  15. Pam, So close (in PA) yet so far away. We are definitely into the heart of spring, but everything is late. My primoroses, which I usually sell at my upcoming sale, don't even have buds yet. Raining and 40 degrees here today. I have to work outside, and I got so cold I went in and took a hot shower at 3:00 pm. Your unidentified hellebores are the standard hybrid hellebores, H. x hybridus: see my post The Sex Lives of Hellebores. I hear you are not avaialble to visit April 17 but what about May 5 whne Donna from GWGT comes? Leave me a message. Carolyn

  16. Pam the snow is going and the blooms are popping...what a wonderful spring..and those daffs will be blooming soon...

  17. Pam, the white crocus photo is stunning in its simplicity. I'm very glad to hear you are finally snow-free for awhile. We're getting there, though there are still many parts of our gardens we cannot walk through with snow over 2' deep. Your hellebore photos made me gasp, oh, they are so ethereal. I must try to plant some here once again; I tried in the past, but was not able to grow them successfully.

    I'm glad all is well in your garden, Pam!

  18. Dear Pam - you have some lovely images here. The hellebore is particularly pretty but was especially taken with the Chartreuse Heuchera - shines like a beacon. The Spring wreath is such a nice touch - a lovely welcome for visitors.

    Laura x

  19. So many beautiful things to see emerging in your spring garden Pam! I do love those crocus buds - they look so elegant!

  20. Glad your winter has come to a close. We had strong winds and hail recently -- twice -- resulting in trees and limbs down.

    So much to look forward to in the coming months!

  21. So glad to see you have bounced back to blogging. And that your garden is playing nicely with you too!

  22. Your garden is awaken with the lovely signs of spring.

  23. Those hellebores are beautiful!! I'm new to your blog but really like it! My chives and heuchera are thriving, too. I love how reliable they both are. :o)

  24. How strange that you mention the Cuckoo, I heard her this morning.
    It was on the 23rd April last year.
    I always make a note......they are in decline, so I always feel so honoured when I hear her.

    Your hellebores are delightful.
    They are top of my favourites list.
    I add to my collection each year, they are so beautiful.

    Your daffodils will soon be open, they look as though they are not too far away.

    Wishing you blue skies and warmer temperatures......

  25. It's hard for me to even imagine snow in April! My daffodils bloomed and finished weeks ago! I do love your hellebores.

  26. We also love to hear the sound of peepers in the spring, such a welcoming song they make!

  27. Great to see some flowers in your garden already. Your daffodils will be fresh and beautiful when others have wither. :) Can the weatherman be trusted? I sure hope so.

    We have sparrows breeding the whole year long. Just last week, one fell on my dog. Oops! I don't know why, the babies tend to fall off. Maybe its part of nature.

  28. Lovely post... it feels like Spring. Our snow melted... then came again. Then melted, then came again...It only stays for a few hours and quickly melts away. I actually love Utah Springs... just have to be patient about getting out there to work the soil.

  29. I feel like holding my breath when I look at the first photo. You captured it so beautifully. That I hope it will spread it petal soon.

  30. Great observations of the signs of spring!