Garden Views At Mid-April

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The past week was sunny, hot, rainy, cool—mostly splendidly spring. Dogwood branches dress the back northwest corner. At first the bracts opened a creamy yellow-green, but later changed to white.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

 

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

An afternoon thunderstorm passed through several days ago. That night another storm followed with rain pounding and prolonged streaks of lightening piercing the nighttime sky. Here is a garden view in-between storms.

 

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

The stones in the circle now need a good cleaning since the driving rain washed mud across the the labyrinth. The upper part of the the circle is filled with Viola that overwintered. Their purplish hue is continued along the back border by Phlox subulata.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Also in the circle are snapdragons that were planted last October. I have never grown them successfully but this year they made it through the cold and now look poised to flower. Dark clumps of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ are putting out fresh new foliage. This penstemon self-seeds freely. The mounds of bright green foliage are white and pink Dianthus.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

A few days this week I took my coffee outside into the very early morning just as the birds awoke. Those first hours of the day are often the best time to appreciate this little garden’s peaceful offerings.

Not often do I photograph the garden from the position below, that is, standing behind the dogwood at the northwest corner and looking east toward the back of the house.

 

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

The brick foundation seems rather bleak and bare from this distance, but move back up close and one can see the first of the native columbine flowers are nodding about. In this border Aquilegia is underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). Soon it will all fill in. I spotted our first hummingbird this week and this area is a big attraction for them.

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Returning to the dogwood corner, I could not resist sharing a few more views. Phlox subulata looked pretty waterlogged on this morning, but has since recovered.

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and 'Bride'

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and ‘Bride’

Close by the dogwood is where the Anemone coronaria are planted. Since last year only one survived I am happy this area is so colorful. Maybe someone will be able to help solve a mystery. I am curious as to why the centers of some of the white “Bride” flowers look so different.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Sadly the newly purchased Gardenia jasminoides ‘Summer Snow’ fell victim to a late freeze. It was supposed to be a hardier variety but the entire shrub turned brown. Fortunately I was able to return it for a refund.

Pine pollen is in full force, coating everything with a fine yellow dust. Not even the huge storms this week could tamp it down. This will go on for several more weeks.

On a happier note, elsewhere in the garden Irises are gaining inches each day and a few fat buds have appeared. And Peonies, baptisia, clematis and more are making promises for a beautiful spring.

36 thoughts on “Garden Views At Mid-April

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! The dogwoods are ubiquitous around here but I never get tired of welcoming them back in spring. I used to live among dozens of them at my last house so this one little tree often seems inadequate.

      Reply
  1. rusty duck

    Cornus are less frequently seen in England but I love them. I wish I could get Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ to do so well for me. I’ve tried two and neither survived. One more go I think..
    Everything is coming alive now and your garden looks so lovely.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. Cornus florida is native to this area so we are lucky to have them brightening up the roadsides and homes this time of year. Hope your third try at Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ will be a lucky one. It is pretty much evergreen here which is why I chose it for the labyrinth.

      Reply
    2. AnnetteM

      I have a Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ too which is still alive, but hasn’t done much for the 2 or 3 years I have had it. I assumed it was in the wrong place as it doesn’t get a lot of sun. I will try it one more year and then move it. Where have you tried yours? Or is it your wildlife that kills it?

      Reply
      1. rusty duck

        Mine was in sun. I put it down to my clay soil. It never put on any growth at all, just withered away. Was going to try some grit in the planting hole next time and see if that helps. It’s a beautiful thing.. I have to try again!

      1. AnnetteM

        I love all white flowers and I love anemone. I think the purple inside really sets off the flower too. I have planted some blue ones, but so far I just have a few leaves. Sometimes I buy them already in flower and even they only last one year! I guess I should give up and just admire yours!

  2. Annette

    It’s great to see things coming back to life! Love your cornus, who wouldn’t, and that gorgeous Aquilegia which I admired already last year, so pretty!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! It’s so funny–my posts this time of year for the last few years all show cornus and aquilegia. They’re quite interchangeable.

      Reply
  3. mattb325

    The garden looks lovely – it was great to see it from the dogwood’s point of view – I have planted two dogwood seedlings in my own yard; here’s hoping to have such a lovely display in a few years’ time! I’m sorry to hear about the gardenia – I was always told that they were warm climate shrubs, and I’ve lost many to the comparatively balmy cold that we have in Australia, so I have been fascinated to see your established plants shivering through bitter weather – is that brick foundation area in shade…if it gets a bit of sun it might make a protected gardenia growing area?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Matt, The spot against the brick foundation faces due west. In early morning it is in shade but sits in hot afternoon sun, so it’s difficult to place many of my favorite plants there. I’ve tried gardenias but the foliage burns from the sun. The hollies did great, too great. The roots were working too close to the the foundation for comfort. I do have a couple of gardenias along the north side of the house that do very well fortunately. Glad you liked the dogwood’s view of the garden. Hope you’re enjoying a nice autumn.

      Reply
  4. Christina

    It was fascinating to see the different views of the garden, I would hardly have recognised it apart from the Meditation circle. Sorry about the Gardenia, I’m afraid that is what would happen here. The violas look brilliant in the Meditation circle maybe worth adding more to complete the circle?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I should try to vary the views more frequently. Sadly the violas can overwinter, but they can’t stand the summer heat and will die. The rest of the circle is filled in by the evergreens. The nursery tried to convince me to keep the gardenia and prune back the damaged leaves, which was most of it, but I didn’t want yet another one to try to nurse back to health.

      Reply
  5. Cathy

    Isn’t that dogwood gorgeous! I realize now that our dogwood is a completely different variety as it has tiny yellow ‘fluffy’ flowers. The white anemones look lovely as well. I have sadly lost my red columbine. It disappeared late summer and has not regenerated. Yours is so pretty and has reminded me to look for a replacement! Love all your photos Susie!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Which species do you have? This dogwood (Cornus florida) is our native southeastern US species. It’s little flowers hadn’t opened in the pictures but they’re not very showy. Hope you find a replacement for the columbine.

      Reply
  6. Pauline

    Love your Cornus, we don’t often see them over here, I don’t know why? I also like the view of your garden from behind the cornus, it gives a different perspective.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. Don’t know if this species would do well where you live but it is native here. They grow best as understory plants just at wood’s edge (which you have but I don’t at this garden).

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Judy. I liked the cream color too but it just didn’t look “right” so was glad when the dogwood finally turned white. The red spots on the tips of the bracts eventually darkened to maroon, very lovely.

      Reply
  7. P&B

    Your garden is so lovely. You are so lucky that no critters take your garden as a free salad bar. It also gives me hope because I know within a month I will see colors up here.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, this is the best time for my garden. Everywhere I step there are holes where the voles are running rampant, but the deer have been discouraged by our fence (which they can easily jump). I’m still afraid to plant hostas again–don’t want to tempt them. You must be giddy with anticipation after such a long hard winter. Hope your spring will be perfect.

      Reply

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