A Garden Review of 2014: Spring

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) April 13, 2014

Today Cathy at Words and Herbs published a special look back at her 2014 spring garden. I decided to join her on this journey to review the garden in three segments: Spring, Summer, and Late Summer/Autumn – one each week running up to Christmas.

I may do a more extensive review around the first of the year, but for now here are a few things that stood out this Spring.

March

The winter was very cold and wet. The morning of March 4 found the garden encrusted with a layer of sleet. Normally in early March temperatures would be nearing 60F/15.5C. By March 18 daffodils had opened but the garden lay under an icy glaze.

Garden Under Ice - March 4, 2014

Garden Under Ice – March 4, 2014

When the vernal equinox occurred here on March 20, 2014, a most welcome reprieve brought blue sky, sunshine and warm temperatures.

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

This Narcissus 'King Alfred' weathered the recent ice storm

This Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ weathered an ice storm

By the end of March I was way behind on garden chores. It was still raining, but the spiraea was blooming and the grass was turning green.

Garden View In Early Morning Rain-March 29, 2014

Garden View In Early Morning Rain-March 29, 2014

April

What a difference flipping over a calendar page makes. On April 4 the temperature was 79°F (26°C) at 7:00pm. The native redbud was blooming, spiraea was bursting with blossoms, and the soft green leaves of Eastern red columbine were unfurling.

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Spiraea

Spiraea

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

By mid-April it was still raining.  The garden seemed to be lifting itself upward, turning green, and filling out.

Garden View On Rainy Mid-April Morning

Garden View On Rainy Mid-April Morning

In time for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day there was plenty of fresh new growth.

Northern Border View Facing West

Northern Border View Facing West, April 23, 2014

It pleased me to no end to see an Anemone coronaria in my garden this spring. I had planted 40 bulbs, but rather late, and only one came up. Was it too late? Did the voles eat them? I do not really know, but yesterday I planted a new set of bulbs, so I hope to see many more next spring.

Anemone coronaria 'Governor' (Governor Double Poppy Anemone)

Anemone coronaria ‘Governor’ (Governor Double Poppy Anemone), April 23, 2014

By the time April ended the irises were lighting up the borders.

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)-2

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) April 28, 2014

Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush'

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica ‘Batik’

Iris germanica ‘Batik’

May

In early May there were many more wonderful irises to enjoy. This part of the year is when my garden is most enjoyable.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)-3

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

By May 10 there were still more irises and I was enjoying their rich blues and violets.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Other colors than blues do show up in the garden though. Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) were spilling over in the western border a few days later, May 14. The aquilegia had been blooming 5 weeks by then.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

May brought more happiness as irises in the (southward facing) North Border were joined by lush peonies, phlox, nepeta, foxglove and Sweet William. Here are some views from May 21. If only the garden could stay like this.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Digitalis purpurea 'Pam's Choice' (Pam's Choice Foxglove)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ (Pam’s Choice Foxglove)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

A big thanks to Cathy for inspiring me to prepare this garden review. As I am trying to consider changes for this coming year, it was instructive to reflect on my 2014 spring garden.

21 thoughts on “A Garden Review of 2014: Spring

  1. johnvic8

    You obviously had a beautiful spring. Thanks for bringing me, a late comer to your garden, up to speed. Quite lovely. I am looking forward to the next chapter. I think you are giving me an idea.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      John, glad you enjoying the garden review–maybe you’ll be inclined to join in? I didn’t remember this as a particularly good spring, but looking back it was fine.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    It is lovely to revisit your garden in spring, May and June are such glorious months so I’ll look forward to your second post. Your Irises are perfect, It’s funny that although I know that you have several I didn’t realise until I saw them all together quite how many. They are one plant group that I don’t think you can have too many, they are all lovely.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Christina. It’s always a surprise to me to see the different irises too. And I agree it wouldn’t be possible to have too many, but I never get around to ordering more.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Oh, this was lovely Susie. Thank you! Your irises are always so lovely, and I remember you posting about that ice early on too. I adore those aquilegias, and found one here to plant this spring, but by autumn there was no foliage at all to be seen, unlike my other aquilegias… I do hope it comes back next year. “If only the garden could stay like this” were my thoughts exactly last night, as I started to look through my June photos for next week. 🙂 I’m so glad you joined in! 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m glad I joined in too. Thanks for the inspiration. Hope you Aquilegia canadensis surprises you next year and shows up again. Actually though mine stay evergreen and keep a nice little mound of foliage. Will be fun to see your next post, I’ll try to have one also.

      Reply
  4. Julie

    Hi Susie, I agree with Christina, your Iris collection is wonderful. My overriding impression is that your garden looks cherished and really healthy. Lovely reflection Susie, makes me realise I need to be more organised with record keeping too, scribbles on envelopes just don’t cut it.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Julie, thanks so much for your special comments. I do cherish my garden sometimes, other times I want it to be something that it is not (because I’m not always an attentive gardener). The garden brings a lot of joy to me though.

      It is hard to keep up with what one’s planted isn’t it? I made a plant inventory and started titling and tagging all my garden photos in iPhoto years ago. It’s extremely time-consuming though. Works well for me, when I look back for a certain plant it’s easy to search by name.

      Reply
  5. P&B

    This is really lovely. It’s like looking at beautiful plants in a catalog to see what I should add to the garden for next season. Your iris collection is superb. I will make a note to put ‘Batik’ in next autumn. You have given me a good idea. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: A Garden Review of 2014: Late Summer/Autumn | Words and Herbs

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