Early April Charms

The temperature is 79°F (26°C) at 7:00pm but it will cool down for the weekend about ten degrees. It has been sunny and warm this week and somehow I even managed to get a few things accomplished in the garden. There are quite a lot of weeds I still need to tackle, but I can see progress in the area of maintenance. Meanwhile plants are responding to the nice weather, putting on new growth, sending up shoots and displaying glorious blossoms.

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) is just beginning to open. It is planted in several locations around the garden and I just made an application with our architectural review board to put some in the “hell strip” near the street where grass struggles to grow.

I prefer the bluer hues and currently am growing Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ and the darker Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’.

On the left is Phlox subulata 'Emerald Cushion Blue' and on the right, 'Purple Beauty'.

On the left is Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ and on the right, ‘Purple Beauty’.

Phlox subulata

Phlox subulata

This native Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is at about the same stage as last year and should bloom in a few days. This particular one is hovering above a thick mass of Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm), also a native plant.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Despite being crowded out by evergreens in the back corner of the garden, a struggling Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud) is valiantly signaling another spring. This tree also is native to this part of North Carolina. The clusters of magenta flowers often grow out of the tree trunk itself.

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

 

I pruned the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ back to 7-8 inches in late winter and it is leafing out and forming a lot of healthy buds.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

 

Spiraea is in full bloom this week in the western border.

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Another white flower in bloom now in my garden is Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). This can be long-lived but I have lost many plants in the last few years due in part to voracious voles and perhaps also due to wet soil. Some have survived here at least ten years so there may be a difference in the variety also. At any rate, things are moving along. So nice to see the garden awakening.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

 

23 thoughts on “Early April Charms

  1. Judy

    Cindy has rightly corrected me about what you are calling “redbud.” I don’t get the name since the trees are so purplish. We have a lot of them blooming in the neighborhood.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Glad she straightened you out Judy. Guess someone long ago got to decide the color was red, but they do range from lavender-pink toward purplish-pink.

      Reply
  2. bittster

    Sure is nice to see spring finally taking a good hold of things, it’s been long enough!
    I’m always amazed to see redbud blooms pop out of all kinds of nooks and crannies on the branches and trunks. It seems like such an unusual habit!

    Reply
  3. Pauline

    You must be so pleased to see all your lovely flowers after such a long cold winter. Not only have you caught up with us, you have now overtaken us! My little phlox aren’t quite ready to flower yet, lots of buds but no flowers so far, but then your temperatures are much higher than ours. Love your Cercis canadensis, what an unusual tree.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It is nice to welcome the flowers again Pauline. My phlox seemed a bit slow this year but the heat of the last few days tipped them into bloom. I need to take a cue from you and add more early plants like you have in your woodland. The Cercis canadensis is an understory tree that is frequently spotted from along our highways and now there are many beautiful hybrids as well.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    Your Spiraea is lovely – and the redbud too! I have a spiraea starting to flower, but it is a very modest specimen compared to yours!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. The spiraea and redbud usually bloom about the same time. Unlike the redbud the spiraea is not native of course and it is pretty aggressive. I have to trim it back pretty hard after it blooms or it would take over. But I do enjoy the show it puts on. Have a good weekend.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Julie. The neighborhood in which I live has covenants that require structural or landscape changes to first be approved by a neighborhood architectural review board (ARB) to ensure they conform to “aesthetic standards” envisioned when the housing development was designed. It sounds pretty bad but in practice it’s ok. The guidelines are pretty clear.

      Reply
  5. Christina

    Lovely April blooms, the addition of white does make everything feel very fresh. I echo julie’s question about the architectural review board.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Christina, I love using white in the garden. The neighborhood in which I live has covenants that require structural or landscape changes to first be approved by a neighborhood architectural review board (ARB) to ensure they conform to “aesthetic standards” envisioned when the housing development was designed. It sounds pretty bad but in practice it’s ok. The guidelines are pretty clear. Maybe I’ll write a post about it sometime.

      Reply
  6. Marian St.Clair

    It is all happening too fast now! Fingers crossed it really does cool down, or the flowers will be gone in a flash. Your spiraea is fabulous; is it Bridal Wreath? Love the way the clematis is hugging its flower bud. Such a lovely image.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes Marian, once spring comes it hurries through the paces sometimes too quickly. I can’t ID the spiraea but don’t think this is bridal wreath, the flowers cluster seem smaller and tighter on this one. Hoping the clematis will continue to do well.

      Reply
  7. garden98110

    We here in the Healing Garden have our fingers crossed for your application. We are already clipping nominations for additional species for hellstrips throughout your neighborhood following your phlox (lawn chamomile and yarrow, for example, used now on golf courses).

    Thank you for the snaps of rosebud. New to us. Congratulations on its indigenous status. It seems Winter’s grip is letting you go. This is always healing.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The spring is healing indeed. Glad you like the redbud–don’t think they grow in your region. I would appreciate suggestions for the hell strip but unfortunately a review board in our neighborhood has to approve the plants for that strip so I am somewhat limited. I like the idea of a chamomile lawn, but have only read about it, not seen one. Yarrow is a surprising choice for a golf course but I’ll have to research that. Have a good weekend.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. Isn’t it wonderful to see these blooming again? I love the pass-along daffodils you posted recently too. My comments never seem to get published correctly but I enjoy your posts. susie

      Reply
  8. aneye4detail

    My greatest pleasure this weekend has been to see my viburnum carlesii really start to flower! On Friday it was almost…… there, and then today, Sunday Pop! all the flowers are out and the scent is overwhelming! Spring is here, indeed!

    Reply
  9. P&B

    You are right about putting the Phlox subulata in the ‘hell strip’, it’s a tough little beauty. The Spiraea is so beautiful. Is it as invasive as Forsythia? I’m looking for something to replace my Forsythia since it’s so difficult to manage and taking up a lot of space.

    Reply

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