Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Blooms, Terrariums and Backyard Birds



Today marks the first day of beautiful weather expected to last a while. In my cottage garden, in spite of the extremely low temperatures of the last week, the trees and shrubs are budding, spring flowers are blooming and the grass is greening at last. I walked with my camera and rounded up the usual suspects (to quote from my favorite movie) gratified to see that the sub-freezing temperatures hadn't done too much damage to these early blooms.

Lungwort, Pulmonaria
Hellebore Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'
Bud on the Crabapple Tree
Grape Hyacinth, Muscari with yellow Primroses, Primula vulgaris

We planted a Snow Fountain cherry tree in 2013. As a weeping tree, it features cascading branches that now dip all the way to the ground, giving it the appearance of a white fountain when covered with its pure white flowers. This cultivar is known by several different names, including 'Snofozam' Weeping Cherry and 'White Fountain' Cherry. It will grow 6’-12’ in height and 5’-12’ in width. During the summer the leaves are dark green; in the fall they turn gold and orange before they are shed. It is said the small, white and five-petaled flowers are butterfly and hummingbird magnets. I don't see many butterflies or hummingbirds in April, but maybe this tree will attract some earlier visitors to my garden. I was careful to plant this cultivar in full sun where it gets plenty of air circulation to ensure disease free growth.

Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam' its first year.
Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam' today

My mother, in England, lived her last two years at Cherry Tree Court, an assisted-living facility, where we planted a cherry tree in her honor, later adding a plaque in her memory.  Mom passed away two years ago this month and my cherry tree bloomed on the exact date, a timely reminder of that beautiful lady. I wonder if the tree we planted in England is blooming?



I'm linking with Diana at Elephants Eye on False Bay for her 'Dozen for Diana' meme, choosing this lovely weeping cherry tree as my April pick. I'm also joining bloggers all around the world for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day hosted on the 15th of every month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Blossom of Snow Fountain Cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'

I'm anxious to make a start on the spring gardening chores since snow, freezing temperatures and, lately, torrential rains kept me indoors, but the ground is too wet. While dreaming of dirtying my hands outdoors, I've been busy getting soil under my nails indoors creating terrariums and dish gardens: adding three to my collection of fairy gardens. I describe how I made my first terrarium here. Following the same method, I constructed a closed terrarium with three adorable plants: Red Veined Sorrel Rumex sanguineus, Button Fern and a red Peperomia caperata. The bottle I used didn't have a lid so I inverted one from another container, as it wouldn't fit the right way up.

Closed Terrarium

I placed three airplants in a glass bowl for my second creation. This is the first time I bought tillansia and I'm amazed by these plants that need no soil.


Terrarium with Air Plants, Tillansia

I filled a dish garden with succulents and deer moss. Deer moss isn't a moss at all but a lichen, Cladonia, another plant that doesn't need soil to survive. The succulent garden is my favorite creation.

Succulent Dish Garden

 I'll display my terrariums at a couple of workshops I'm doing on Miniature Gardening. Such fun!

On a final note, pardon the pun, it's wonderful to hear birdsong again. Our backyard is filled with so many feathered beauties. Maybe it's something to do with H.H. placing at least 34 birdhouses all around the property.

American Goldfinch wearing its yellow feathers again.
House Finch
The Mockingbird is back...


... and look who visited us this week. A pileated woodpecker searched for grubs and insects in a rotting tree stump in the pasture.

Pileated Woodpecker

Happy Gardening, dear friends,

Pamela x


A basket of Johnny-Jump-Ups on the deck.

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29 comments:

  1. Always enjoy your post. The "Miniature Gardening" is very interesting...I like. Very nice- the Succulent Dish Garden. BTW what happened to Wordless Wednesday ?

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    1. I think Wordless Wednesday is still going on. I never followed that meme.

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  2. What a lovely way to remember a lost loved one - with a tree. Your bird pictures are wonderful. I'm still seeing a few American Goldfinches passing through here on their way north. It's wonderful to be able to see them in their bright summer colors instead of winter drab.

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    1. My mother was very happy at Cherry Tree Court so it is appropriate. The spring goldfinch, from drab green to yellow, seems like a different bird doesn't he?

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  3. Your weeping cherry is looking lovely. I can't believe it's two years since your lovely mum passed away, time is slipping by so quickly these days, a sign of getting older I'm sure. I find airplants really fascinating, I remember having one as a child which I kept in my bedroom, I wonder what happened to it. Lovely to see all your visiting birds, there's lots of nest building going on here, I love to watch them picking up all the nesting material. I haven't seen any checking out my bird house yet but we had blue tits in it last year so I'm hopeful they'll find it again this year.

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    1. We have very colorful birds here, Jo, but none quite equal the English bluetit. I hope yours arrive soon.

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  5. In your succulent garden is a spekboom (Portulacaria afra). Elephant food ;~)

    That cherry tree sounds as if it ticks all the boxes - good memories, wildlife friendly, autumn colour, and in bloom magnificent!!

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    1. Elephant food? Oh, dear. Can you recommend an elephant deterrent spray?

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    2. just a little elephant.
      Nibbling the odd leaf.
      You can use a few leaves in salad.
      A lemony taste.

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  6. It sounds like we've had the same weather happenings as you. Cold, snow, torrential rain, ugh! It finally cleared up this week, but the mornings are frigid. Luckily, the afternoons have been wonderful, and I got out there and planted a few things today. I think we're on the upswing.

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  7. The blossoms of Snow Fountain are so sweet and delicate. Terrariums are pretty cool...never tried any yet. Enjoyed the birds, they're very happy here also this time of year. Yes, the weather is great this week.

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  8. I love all of your flowers...but especially the yellow primrose. Adorable.

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  9. Lovely tree to plant in your mother's memory
    Great bird sightings, especially the Woodpecker
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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  10. That is wonderful the cherry tree blooms in your mother's honor and that it is timely to her passing. It is such a lovely rememberance. I enjoyed your terrariums too. It seems like a lost art as I never really see them any longer.

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  11. It sounds like our weather and gardens are at about the same place now. Oh gosh, I love your terrariums! I have one that I need to re-do. How fascinating and wonderful that the Cherry tree bloomed on schedule to honor your mum. Happy spring, Pam.

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  12. I just love this time of year, when everything is coming alive again! Your terrariums look great! I think my favorite is the succulent one, as well.
    Take care!

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  13. Hi Pam, enjoyed this post, great photos. I don't know whereabouts in England your mother's cherry tree is planted but I can tell you that all the cherry trees I've seen in Essex are all in bloom.

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  14. Such a pretty tree to remind you of your mum. Loving the terrariums. A fiddly job for someone with sausage fingers like me. I hope you get outdoors soon Pam.

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  15. Oh Pam..your images are beautiful. I love the Weeping Snow Fountain Cherry next to the waterfall and what a beautiful memory of your mom. Your multiple terrariums and bird photos are also so wonderful. Happy Bloom Day!

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  16. Lovely to see your garden at this stage Pam, we have had a very cold spring so far too but although there is less rain on the cards there is sadly not much warmer weather for us. I love your weeping cherry, never seen one of those before! My cherry trees, Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ have been flowering for a good while, but in other parts of the country there won’t be many trees in flower yet due to the late spring so it all depends where your mother lived.
    I tried to make a closed terrarium some years ago but failed miserably – it all rotted in the end. I would like to have another go and make an open one, just need to collect some suitable plants. Yours look lovely!

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    1. The cherry tree Mom and I planted in the Midlands, Prunus pissardii nigra, was not a weeping cherry. We've had warm, sunny weather for several days now, Helene. At last spring has arrived in my garden!

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  17. Really beautiful photos, Pam!

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  18. 34 birdhouses? That is amazing! How lovely that your mum has a special tree. The cherries started flowering here around a week or so ago, and they are still in flower. The weather is turning tonight, so I wonder if the blossom will continue. I enjoyed seeing your terrariums - were they terribly fiddly to plant?

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    1. The closed terrariums are fiddly to plant. The dish gardens are very easy. The easiest are the air plants with no soil involved. Something for everyone.

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  19. Your cherry tree is just lovely and is such a nice reminder of your Mom. we have had similar weather here making it pretty cold for gardening of any kind. I love some of the projects you've made to keep yourself busy in the meantime. The succulent garden is my favourite.

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  20. Oh Pam what a special tree in your mom's honor....and to have it bloom right on her anniversary is so special. She is still with you in your garden now.

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