Monday, April 16, 2018

Spring Arrived Late for April 2018 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

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,
Pamela x

Wildlife habitat, but no skunks, please!

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. I can only imagine the problems that skunks bring with them seeing as they're not really known for their wonderful fragrance. There's no blossom on my cherry tree either but I do have a lovely display of forsythia. Spring has definitely arrived here, at last, though summer may be on the way as the temperature is set to rise this week, not before time.

  2. Your garden looks as though it is just waking from its long winter nap and it is all tousled and lovely. In another month, I expect it will be wide awake and active. Love your early spring blooms. Happy Bloom Day.

    1. Your garden never sleeps, Dorothy. It is stunning with its amaryllis and roses.

  3. Late or not, but spring is here! First spring flowers are so lovely.
    As for the skunk, I don't know who is worth - your skunk or my rabbits. They destroyed many plants last year, and they are here again!
    I like the haircut you gave to your honeysuckle, Pam! I did the same to one of my clematises montana. Not timely, but at least, I did it!
    Have a wonderful second part of April!!!

    1. You too, Tatyana. Your garden is looking so lovely.Spring is my favorite time of the year.

  4. Since I started gardening, I have discovered that I can't make my flowers bloom when I think they should but they are always 'just right'!!

    There is so much to look forward to in your garden. I'm excited for you seeing the green popping up.

    1. Welcome, Betty. You are right. That is the joy of gardening.

  5. I think you have a lot going on for spring considering your part of the world. Hope spring has not been as weird as weather in other places.

    1. I think this year's weather has been weird everywhere, Ray.

  6. Spring has been slow to take hold here also Pam, very raw with an occasional comfortable day. Skunk in the garden, not until I started blogging would I have been likely to hear a friend say that.

    1. I don't know which is worse, Alistair, the skunk or the black bear.

  7. Kuddos to you for cleaning up so early considering our long winter weather... I'm still wearing 2 pairs of socks around the house. ha

  8. Pam, your garden areas look very nice -- cutting back and raking out is always so satisfying, isn't it? Soon everything will be flowering everywhere, and we'll all forget about the late spring. To warmer days! Best, -Beth

  9. Your garden is beautiful, in spite of the horrible skunk! We, too, have fought them but it was our chickens they coveted.

    Thank you for sharing and giving me the opportunity to enjoy your garden.

  10. The garden always looks so nice and tidy after spring cleanup, doesn't it? I've gotten to part of the garden, but the winter weather keeps coming back and interfering. That's too bad about the skunk. I keep finding crocus pulled out, but the top of the leaves are cropped, so I'm pretty sure it's the deer. (And I saw a couple of the suspicious characters in my yard, so I have evidence.). So ready for some real spring!

  11. Your garden looks lovely! We are weeks behind also, no blooms on anything yet and it's the end of April. The one silver lining, though, is that early blooming fruit trees may have better odds at not getting hit by frost once they start to flower - I may just be in for the very first nectarine!

  12. Pam, your garden looks amazing. You grow there, much of what we grow here on Vancouver Island!!