Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- April, 2015

It's hard to believe April is already half over. Where does the time go? Although I've been slowly but surely making changes in the gravel garden, I did take two or three days away from that to do a whole-hog makeover on one of the shade beds in my front garden, under the pin oak tree. This makeover has been in the planning stages since last fall, when I started collecting plants for that purpose. Many of them spent the winter under the hoop house away from the heavy rain, and when they started leafing out, I took them out and let them get a good watering. Then I basically dug everything out of the bed, planted many of those plants elsewhere, or gave them away, and re-arranged the entire bed. The only plant I left in place was a clump of Syneleisis aconitifolia, and I added two more clumps several feet away, for the sake of continuity. The bed is now heavy on repeating combinations of Primulas, Trilliums and Hellebores, with some interesting foliage plants, such as Podophyllum pleianthum, P. hexandrum, Mukdenia and purple-leaved Ligularias thrown in as well.

Shade bed after the makeover

Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'

Primula veris 'Sunset Shades'

Both Podophyllums have produced their interesting maroon flowers, which will eventually turn into a fruit called a mayapple, with seeds for ants to spread throughout the bed.

This weekend at Hortlandia I'm going to pick up some Primula prolifera and P. wilsonii var. anisidora from Far Reaches Farm to also go into this bed. I have high hopes that it's going to be an interesting spot when everything matures and fills in.

Elsewhere in the front garden:

Lunaria annua (Honesty) a biennial, whose flowers are already making small, coin-shaped seedpods thsat give it the other common name of Money Plant

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' with an early grass whose name escapes me

Erysimum 'Winter Sorbet', which I've used to underplant orange Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Akebono'

In the back garden, there is still a lot of green. But there are a few flowers.

Serviceberry flowering profusely

Pulsatilla vulgaris

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'

Erythronium oregonum

Many of the spring ephemerals that I thought would not last till Bloom Day are actually still flowering, to my great delight. I won't show them off again, though. You can see them in this recent post.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens, on the 15th of every month. Bloggers all over the world leave links to their posts celebrating flowers. You can see her April post here.


  1. Great work with the shade bed, and nice blooms on the other parts of the garden too!

  2. That Primrose Path bed is gorgeous. What will it be when it fills in?

    Your spring is so different to my spring -- winter zones do not tell the whole story.

  3. The shade bed looks fabulous!!
    I love that primula too. Sunset shades is right.. gorgeous colours.

  4. Your shade bed is looking smokin' hot hot hot, Alison! Loooove it.

  5. Oh the primula's!! So so pretty! The shade bed makeover is really gorgeous. I love the vivid color choices!

  6. Your new bed looks to be full of interesting and lovely plants. It will be fun to see it fill in.
    April blooms are still very special, before the abundance of May and June.

  7. You've certainly not wasted anytime this spring, I feel like a super slacker with all the changes you've made. Nice work!

  8. Shade bed looks great all the plants look like jewels in their rich brown soil setting! Lots of beautiful blooms! Isn't April grand?

  9. Upit different Primulas in the new shade bed are really lovely and I never saw before a Podophyllum flower.

  10. I really like the first picture, it looks great!!! I wish I had access to so many beautiful plants. I've seen some posts about your garden but can´t really make a mental idea of how it is like...but It looks as if it is a great and beautiful garden.

  11. Your new shade bed is gorgeous and must feel so rewarding after all that heavy lifting! I feel the same as you about the lack of flowers in the back garden - ours just gets so little sun now that the trees and shrubs are maturing. Sun makes all the difference. Happy GBBD - maybe I'll run into you at Hortlandia!

  12. Your newly made over shade area is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love it.

  13. Your shade bed is already magnificent, but you're right: it will only get better.

  14. The shade bed already looks great, Alison, so I expect it'll be spectacular when it matures. I love the Erythronium but can't even dream about growing it here. Happy GBBD!

  15. The shade bed looks fantastic, Alison! Great job!

  16. Love your new shade bed, it is already looking good. Shade gardening is my favourite sort of gardening, such beautiful flowers and so many interesting leaves.

  17. Looks like an installation at a garden show -- the good, cool kinda garden shows! Love the Sunset Shades primula.


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