Spring was fashionably late this year for April Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (GBBD) that occurs on the 15th of each month. Three days of very warm weather and sunshine prior to GBBD enticed a few blooms (and me) to come out. Hellebores began to open at last. (My favorite is 'Ivory Prince' at the top of the page and bottom left in the collage.) Looking back at last year's posting, however, this April has little to show in my garden. There is no forsythia, only one tiny primrose flower, no blossoms on the weeping cherry tree, and few daffodils blooming along the Daffodil Walk. All these plants were gloriously strutting their stuff this time last year. But I was so happy to be working in my garden again. Feeling the warm sun and hearing the birds sing was such a treat after the brutally long winter. Just a couple of days of 70 degree weather and I was able to make a real dent in the clearing-up list of chores.
|Hellebores began to open their buds.|
|Only one primrose bloom, lots of crocuses, and the snowdrops are fading|
|Pretty crocuses under the crabapple tree.|
|A few tulips making a green appearance in the pollinator garden.|
We have a nuisance skunk living in a hole she's made under the lean-to at the back of the tractor shed where we store the lawn and patio furniture and other garden stuff. Everything stinks! Whew! The creature dug holes all through my flower beds and grass areas looking for grubs. We called a small-animal control service to relocate our smelly friend. They set three traps and monitor them daily. So far they have caught four squirrels.
|Who did this to my crocuses? Probably the skunk looking for grubs|
|The skunk trap caught a squirrel|
The man from the control service thinks the skunk may have settled in to have babies back there, but he is hopeful she will come out and take the bait eventually. I don't envy them carrying her away!
Here are a couple of my before-and-after-cleanup projects:
|Abundance Garden before the cleanup|
|Abundance Garden after the cleanup|
The shrub at the front of each Abundance Garden picture is a clethra that must be moved. I planted Joe pye next to it and, although it is the miniature 'Baby Joe', it totally swamps the shrub. I'm going to move the clethra to the other end of the bed.
After the cleanup you can really see the beautiful daffodils in Abundance. I love the one with the swept-back petals. It reminds me of the smaller 'tete-a-tete' -- I'm planning to buy some this year for my daffodil-free beds.
|My favorite daffodil today. Is it Narcissus 'Galactic Star'?|
I know it is the wrong time to prune honeysuckle, but the vine growing over the arbor near the front of the house was totally out of hand. Also, it was encroaching on the house gutter and under the siding. I feel sure that I trimmed it back after it bloomed last year, but it continued to grow into this undisciplined mess.
Very mindful that I was removing flower buds, I gave the vine a hair-cut. It looks so much better now:
|A tidier honeysuckle arbor, and more daffodils coming into bloom|
An example of the very lateness of this spring is the stunted growth on the rhubarb in the kitchen garden. It is usually quite lush by April. Looks like we still have parsnips, however, from last year. Must ask H.H. to dig them up -- maybe we'll have roasted parsnips for dinner.
|Top: rhubarb. Bottom: parsnips|
|Signs of life in the cottage garden bed: allium and delphinium are sprouting|
Finally, I am happy to say the pansies I planted on the deck nearly two weeks ago survived the snow and ice.
|Beating the Odds|
There's still lots to do, including opening the pond. Yesterday, the 15th (GBBD), took us back to the Arctic cold, so no work outside. Today, it is still cold and pouring rain. But whatever your weather, you can get a welcome jolt of spring by visiting our hostess Carol's blog at May Dreams Gardens where you can enjoy blooms from all around the world! Thank you, Carol.
Sending blooming love,
|Wildlife habitat, but no skunks, please!|
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