Early April Trio And A Test

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

During yoga practice today the teacher said to focus on your passion, what makes your heart sing. Immediately I formed a picture of my early spring garden.

We have had several ideal days for gardening and I have tried to take advantage of the opportunity they bring. Sometimes that means working, weeding, planting, but sometimes it means sitting quietly, noticing the warm sun, the soft breeze, the gentle sounds.

Three plants in particular are enhancing the garden this week with their flowers. One is Phlox subulata. ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ is blooming in the front side garden. Out back in the main garden ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ is paired with the darker ‘Purple Beauty’ where together they are creating mounds of color at the front of  the western border.

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

Nearby, and at long last, a few Anemone coronaria have survived and blossomed. The white anemone ‘Bride’ opened three or four days earlier than blue-violet ‘Mr. Fokker’.  Still no sign of dark pink ‘Admiral’ but I am delighted to see these.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Just as I realized with some sadness the King Alfred and Tete-a-Tete Narcissus are beginning to fade, another favorite sprang up with striking, pure white flowers: Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil).

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

 

Botanical Test

The test is one mentioned on the JC Raulston Arboretum blog, cited there as an April Fool’s  entry. In fact it is a very tricky botanical knowledge quiz, apparently an annual spring tradition of Irina Kadis, Arnold Arboretum’s Curatorial Assistant. If you enjoy this year’s quiz, annual quizzes from Spring 2006-2014 are also available.

23 thoughts on “Early April Trio And A Test

  1. mattb325

    I love the selection of flowers; phlox, anemone and narcissus….what a perfect combination…and yes, that test is tricky…but a great April fools tradition!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      This is the first year anemone have made it this far in my garden. They’re a nice addition. The test was a challenge indeed, but fun. Glad you checked it out.

      Reply
  2. casa mariposa

    Challenging test! I love the close ups of the phlox. They’re so low to the ground it’s easy to overlook their colorful eyes. I grew anemones when I lived in NY. Such a beautiful flower from such a weird little corm. 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The test questions were pretty esoteric. I love all forms of phlox. Fortunately the deer don’t seem to care for this one. I’ve admired anemones growing at Duke Gardens and at several homes on the local garden tour and am so excited to finally have a few. Mine don’t seem as tall as the ones I’ve seen elsewhere though.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Your phlox are all lovely Susie. Yes, that test was tricky! I got 4 right, but that was mostly guesswork! Have a relaxing weekend in your garden!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy, the phlox have cheered up the borders this week. Glad you tried the test. Since you shared your score, I’ll share mine too. I got 7, but also mostly guesswork! The questions were way too esoteric to answer without me guessing. Hope you have a good weekend too, with your snow-covered garden.

      Reply
  4. sweetbay

    I love your lavender/ purple phlox. I have ‘Thalia’ too and think it’s one of the loveliest of daffodils. You got great full sun pics of it. I love your anemones too.

    You asked about the pots and voles. I use 2-3 gallon plastic pots, cut out the bottom for root expansion and drainage, and mulch with sharp-edged gravel. Voles won’t chew plastic the way mice do and don’t tunnel deep enough to be able to get in from underneath. It’s not a foolproof system because sometimes the voles move the gravel aside and tunnel from the top, but without it I couldn’t have any baptisia or crocus at all.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Sweetbay, thanks so much for the tips about planting with pots to foil the voles. I’m going to try this. now that you mention it, maybe the voles got my baptisia. Taking photos is more challenging now that it’s not overcast all the time. Had to try several times to capture those Thalia.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! My grandmother always had a little patch of this type of phlox. Anemones have been difficult to get started here, but I’m so glad I tried again.

      Reply
  5. bittster

    I only guessed five right. Ouch!
    The anemones are beautiful. I’m glad you planted them last fall since they won’t grow up here and at least this way I can enjoy yours!

    Reply
  6. gardeninacity

    You are featuring three real beauties there. I grow P. divaritica but not subulata. I stopped planting them, though, because they are so often chewed to the ground by rabbits.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I like Phlox divaricata too–mine is a pass-along. Having rabbits nibble on favorite plants is enough to start rooting for Mr. McGregor over Peter.

      Reply
  7. hoehoegrow

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments on fading treasures! It is one of the amazing things about a garden, that the sadness of one treasured plant fading is replaced by joy as another starts to bloom. My real sadness comes at the end of the season when I realise that there is nothing left to bloom. But, hey, here we are at the top of another roller coaster ride of a new growing season, with all that it has to offer.
    Love your anemone and your Thalias!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your comment. Top of a roller coaster ride is an apt description. It’s an exciting time now, watching all the new growth. Susie

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I love all phlox too. Discovered yesterday one blooming that I thought was lost (Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’). Was so happy it came back.

      Reply
  8. Donna@GardensEyeView

    Everything is soaked so we will be waiting for gardening still longer. And the voles keep getting at my creeping phlox-sigh! But yours is lovely…I won’t see many daffs for weeks and Thalia blooms last here usually in May…what a wonderful sight your garden is for me.

    Reply

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