Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This Month in the Garden: April 2019

April arrived with the blossoms of the weeping cherry; it departed as the dwarf redbud tree came into bloom. A pretty month full of the miracle of new life. As I strolled through my gardens each morning, every day was one of discovery. I love spring so much.

Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam' on April 1.
Weeping redbud 'Lavender Twist' today. Cercis Canadensis, the Eastern redbud, is native to this area.

Although April was very wet ('April showers' were abundant), the sun didn't always make an appearance, and the temperatures were sometimes cool, I think most of my spring plants emerged no later than last year.  As always, it was the month for hellebores, daffodils, forsythia, and fleeting, ephemeral beauties such as bloodroot.

The hellebores have spread through the Woodland Walk.
Every one of my gardens has daffodils. My favorite today is the precious 'Tete-a-Tete' (shown in the middle on the right.)
The Daffodil Walk provides a happy greeting to our visitors. This year, when the plants die back, I must separate them.
Mr. Robin made his appearance early in the month; all the birdhouses are occupied now -- mainly with sparrows.
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis in the Serenity Garden
Top: Fritillaria meleagris; bottom: budbreak on the crabapple tree.
Japanese andromeda Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire.'

Because of the rainy weather and some annoying health issues, I am way behind with my spring gardening chores. Usually, by now we have cleaned out all the beds and spread compost on them. Ironically my article for the local newspaper and for Penn State Extension's Home Gardening Newsletter this month was called 'Preparing Your Garden for Summer. You can read it HERE. I give ten essential spring tasks. Please do as I say, not as I do. The Serenity Garden, however, is ready for compost, the cottage garden is partly ready, and the Kitchen Garden not at all ready.

Top: the Serenity Garden is ready for compost. Bottom left: Jacob's Ladder Polemonium yezoense 'Purple Rain'

Usually, we wait until we have completed the composting before putting out the garden ornaments and art, but I couldn't resist displaying the adorable birdbath that our friend, Nancy, gave us. Nancy is moving to a new home without a garden; she donated a few lovely articles. This is my favorite.
The main Cottage Garden bed with cute, concrete birdbath.

 Nancy also gave me some nice planters including one I placed in the Horseshoe Garden.

My garden helper, Jonathan, and I prepared the Horseshoe Garden for compost.
A tidied-out foundation bed.
The Cottage Garden, with primroses and violets in bloom. It was ready, but weeds keep appearing. Must compost soon.

In previous posts I mentioned that some shrubs were damaged by the weather this winter. I'm sorry to say that I lost a biota. We will remove both from the small rosebed and plant a couple of native shrubs that I hope will better survive the Pocono winters.

One of the biotas (Thuja orientalis) is dead. The other has a lot of dead branches.

You notice there are no pictures of the Kitchen Garden, nor Abundance. That's because I didn't prepare them yet. As I said, the weather wasn't conducive to gardening this month; neither was my health.

It rained and rained.

I did, however, organize my potting shed. You can't see them in this picture, but I have seedlings under grow lights on the potting bench.

My sanctuary is ready for me to relax at the end of the day with a glass of wine and a vintage gardening book.

For more April gardens visit Sarah's wonderful blog, Down by the Sea. Hard to believe that May arrives tomorrow. How was your April?

Pamela x

Pansy Viola x wittrockiana

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. It's lovely to see the changes in your garden this month. I haven't come across that variety of Cercis Canadensis before those flowers look very exotic! A wonderful display of daffodils too, it must feel as if Spring has arrived. Sarah x

    1. Yes, Sarah, I do feel that spring has arrived, rather late. I feel very fortunate that I found the weeping redbud 'Lavender Twist', although they really are not so very rare here. I don't know anyone else who has one.

  2. Isn’t April just the most welcome month in the garden? I’m shopping for a decorative dwarf cherry, would love some input on your varieties. Maybe hit me with a Facebook message? Much appreciated!

    1. I recommend my weeping cherry, 'Snow Fountain, Robin. I'll give some other suggestions in a message on FB. P. x

  3. I don't think any spring garden would be complete without daffodils. Your robins are so different from the ones over here, they always remind me of Mary Poppins as, of course, they used an American one rather than a European robin in A Spoonful of Sugar. I do hope your health issues are now resolved and that it wasn't anything serious.

    1. English and American robins are not even of the same family, Jo. They share a name, that's all. You know how I miss the European one -- so much more friendly. About my health, it seems my age is catching up on me and my legs aren't working right. I'm having intensive physiotherapy and am hopeful it will do the trick. You know that nothing will keep my out of the garden, just slow me up a bit. Thank you for your concern. P. x

  4. I love spring, too. Your Weeping Redbud is something special--I've never seen one quite like that. The shape is fabulous. Great job achieving swaths of Daffodils and Hellebores and other lovelies.

    1. Actually, Beth, my weeping redbud is a bit thin this year. It was pruned heavily by the winter winds. I'm considering some means of protecting it next winter. The daffodils and hellebores did a great job of spreading themselves around. They are lovely, thank you.

  5. I LOVE your potting shed! I want one just like it! Mine is my front porch. All my seedlings are spread across the front and on cold nights they must be brought into the laundry room. Some day I will have one...some day....

    1. I love my potting shed, too, Jeannie. It is quite small, only 9 feet by 12 feet, so I have a separate toolshed for the big stuff. I feel I make the most of the small space. Good luck in getting your own! I hope it's soon. P. x

  6. I like that blue pansy, so lovely!

  7. Spring is looking fabulous in your garden Pam. I particularly like The hellebores in your woodland walk. I did read the article in your local newspaper, and yes, I have attended to some of your suggestions. Enjoy the rest of the season.

  8. All those spring blooms...your front entrance is gorgeous! And that birdbath - love it!

    We are very late in getting going in the garden as well - similar to you, it's been very wet and/or windy and/or cold. I think we have had barely 4 or 5 good gardening days the entire month of April - I've made good use of them but am nowhere near done everything that I should. I hope you are feeling better very soon XO

  9. The spring garden looks fantastic, even if the gardener only sees the work which needs doing. It really is nice to see so much green again though! Too bad it's mostly all thanks to the endless rain ;)
    I almost felt bad for your backlog of tasks but then saw the garden shed and realized even if there are a few weeds left standing at the end of the day, you still have a wonderful retreat to contemplate all the good.
    Enjoy May!

  10. Thank you Pam! I love all your monthly views and your weeping cherry and Eastern Red bud trees are gorgeous! The frog birdbath is so adorable too! We have also had a lot of rain here, so it's difficult to get anything done in the garden. We did have our first hummingbird visitor at the feeder today!

  11. Your gardens are looking lovely, Pam -- so many beautiful flowering moments, and we are lucky to be able to see them -- Thanks for sharing them! I hope your health improves and you feel better very soon. Best Regards, -Beth

  12. Pam, I love your garden views, so much beauty. I have had a hellebore (yes, one!) for over a decade and this is the first year it has bloomed. I was so surprised to see they can actually spread, now I'm hopeful. I also have to divide my daffodils, but I think it will have to wait until next year. And I can also relate to health issues, I am not hitting on all of my cylinders this year, either. I hope you feel better soon. :-)