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Bloom Day in April, 2016

Hellebore

The first blossom in my garden this year was a hellebore. Of four varieties, one was in bloom in December and held its blossoms through January. The hellebore in this photo opened as the crocuses faded in March and has turned from nearly white to this green-pink look over the course of six weeks.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day celebrates flowers. The brainchild of Carol Michel, this blogging event has gone on since February of 2007 more than a year before I started blogging.

The idea of Bloom Day is for bloggers to share photos of what’s abloom in their gardens. Discounting weed flowers, there’s less happening in my garden than is typical for April. Extreme cold after flowering started reduced bunches of blooms to florist rejects.

Feeling particularly abused by a cold virus on top of my chemotherapy (which riles up the post-Whipple intestinal tract), I managed to drag myself around the yard and capture a few decent photos. Not much to offer, but it’s a start.

Candytuft

A new plant in our garden in 2015, candytuft surprised us when it was one of the earliest bloomers this spring. It continues to produce new buds and blossoms and may still be in bloom when nearby dianthus and foxgloves start their flower shows.

Snowdrops

Another early bloomer, blue snowdrops are nearly done. These got into the garden 2 years ago when I spotted some growing out of a dirt heap someone had moved from their yard to a public walkway. I was able to dig up one bulb which I set along the east side of the house. In two seasons, it has multiplied into, perhaps, 8 plants, so I’ve great hope it will spread widely through the planting bed in another six-to-ten years.

Primrose

The primroses have been in bloom for about three weeks. These have been in the garden for several years, and showed promise of spreading aggressively. However, as much as the plants seem to expand during the summer, by spring they look no bigger than on the day I planted them.

Viola

I set several violas in a new planting bed in late summer. Thankfully, they had time to get settled and they surprised me with an early display this spring. I love the golden glow at the center of the blossoms and would love to see the planting bed develop a carpet of these striking flowers.

Daffodil

Daffodils got beat up this year; they had just put up flower stalks when the temperature plunged from about 60F degrees down to 22F degrees. A few nights of punishing cold made many of the flowers droop—or simply fall over. A few stragglers have bloomed since the cold spell ended, but they’re disappointing compared to daffodils in more forgiving years.

Hyacinth

Hyacinths have suffered along with the daffodils. Cold made the flowers droop. Even without that, the spikes are generally “loose” with fewer flowers and wide gaps between them.

Peach blossoms

I’m so glad to be able to show a food photo on April’s Bloom Day. The peach trees have been in bloom for a few days, though many blossoms look abused and many others haven’t yet opened. With luck, enough buds were tight during the cold snap that they’ll still be able to produce fruit.

Cranberry blossoms

A surprise entry for 2016: cranberry blossoms! I received four cranberry plants in the mail and am nursing them along on the dining room table until the temperature rises a bit. Had the plants arrived dormant, I’d already have planted them in the garden. Unfortunately, they arrived awake and ready for action, and I don’t want to chance freezing the new growth by setting them out too early.

 
Small Kitchen Garden – Bloom Day in April, 2016

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10 Responses to “Bloom Day in April, 2016”

  • Wow! Love your spring flowers. I know its been extremely cold there and I hope it warms up soon. I never think of growing cranberries as they are grown on farms here. Its amazing to see how they flood the fields to harvest them.

  • Jeavonna:

    Great photos. It’s been a cruel spring. Glad you had something to photograph.

  • A lot of sweet spring lovelies. I’ve never seen a cranberry blossom before~thanks.

  • Alison Rolen:

    Daniel- beautiful photos. Love your post.

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Kristin – I’m glad you stopped by. I was excited to learn a few years ago that cranberries don’t need all that water to produce. Apparently they make an attractive ground cover and they’ll fill a spot I’ve been puzzling over for a long time.

    Jeavonna – Thanks for visiting! I think what you have going on is more impressive, but I’m managing to settle for the small things.

    Gail – So glad you had a look. Seeing cranberry blossoms was a first time for me, too! I’d no concept of these plants and was sold when I opened the box in which they came.

    Alison – Thank you for visiting and for your kind words.

  • What you call blue snowdrops I call Siberian squills. And the daffodils that got hit by the cold we’ve been calling droopadils. I was able to cut some of the droopers for the house and they were fine in a vase. Others were too damaged to look good. But the vast majority were saved because they weren’t as far along here. The crocuses were what got trashed here.

  • When we moved into our new house several years ago, there were many plants in it I didn’t recognise. I showed a friend several clumps of plants and she identified them as Hellebores. For some reason I thought I didn’t like hellebores, so I said she could have them. She dug them up immediately and went home with a big smile on her face. When visiting her one day I asked what the beautiful and unusually coloured flowers were. There where stunning. She said: “They’re the hellebores you gave me!” Ohh…lesson learned…if you don’t know what a plant in your garden is, find out BEFORE giving it away!

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Linda – A hard way to learn THAT lesson! I was fortunate to “discover” hellebores when I gave a talk at a botanical garden and found blossoms on fleshy stalks sticking out of the SNOW! Kind of fell instantly in love and have added them (slowly) with the help of friends and amazing late-season discounts at garden centers. Usually, a single plant costs more than I’m willing to pay…

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Kathy – Droopadils and hyadroops? Kind of just letting nature do its thing. We’re not real skilled with the ornamental thing, so cleaning up the droopies won’t make a dramatic difference… but there’s hope. The more we see, the more clever we get. Some year the Cityslipper ranch won’t be just about the food.

  • Thanks for reply Daniel. We’ve now moved to a much warmer climate, which is not so favourable for Hellebores, so I’ve probably missed my opportunity to grow them. And like you said, they can be expensive to buy!

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