Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April, 2016

Is it really April 15th already? It seems like such a short time ago I was rushing to cobble together my March Bloom Day post. This month I spaced things out a little better, knowing that I'd be gone most of the week before Bloom Day. I actually planned ahead and took photos over the last couple weeks.

A couple days over 80 last week brought out a profusion of blooms. So many, in fact, that this will be the first bloom day post I've done in some time where I didn't include buds. There are just too many flowers to share to include buds. I am rather excited about a few of those buds, though, so I might o a separate post for them later. Another heat wave this weekend may well wipe out many of the flowers in this post, but there are a lot more buds waiting to open. What an odd spring this is turning out to be (a nearly annual saying of gardeners the world over). Right now it looks to become a rather abbreviated season as heat waves take us rushing into summer, but things could cool down again. We'll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of waiting, I've been waiting and waiting (and waiting) for months for these two phalaenopsis to open indoors. Phalaenopsis stuartiana 'Sogo' on the upper left and Phalaenopsis Philishill (a cross between Phal. philippinensis and Phal. schilleriana) on the lower right. These are both young plants that will produce many more blooms per spike as they mature.

And Phalaenopsis schilleriana var. purpurea

Thanksgiving in April. Poor thing was confused by its aborted stay in the greenhouse.

The red kurume azalea on the deck is blooming a bit early.

Out in the greenhouse, clivias are blooming. Both the variegated form I got from Cistus two years ago...

And the family heirloom clivia. This one has two spikes, but it also has more fans.

Hutchinsia alpina looks fantastic this year. No major freezes after a really warm period, no deer trampling on it when it's frozen.

For comparison, this is what it looked like on April 13th last year. Some combination of stresses, mostly the two mentioned above, caused it to die back to this. In just a year it rebounded to the state seen in the photo above.

Leptinella squallida 'Platt's Black' has become a winter-growing plant in my garden, going dormant in summer because I don't water the bed it's in enough but resprouting in fall to form a winter carpet. Such odd little button blooms.

This is the first time Viburnum davidii has had leaves to back up the spring blooms! The last few years, deer have stripped the leaves (and most of the flower buds) in winter. Thank you, fence.

This is also the first year I can remember seeing blooms on Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, another victim of winter deer browse. Does it normally have that pink rim?

I love the color of the aging bracts on Euphorbia rigida.

And the chartreuse of Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'.

I have two of these red and yellow-orange tulips. Apparently they were inherited with the house, though no one knew for the first seven years or so that we lived there. It wasn't until a year after I dug up a clump of daffodils and planted the bulbs separately that I saw tulip foliage popping up in the bed I had moved the daffodils to. Whatever it is, it's been reliably perennial, and a reliable bloomer when I managed to protect it from the deer.

Helleborus x sternii 'Silver Dollar', purchased from Christianson's Nursery at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show for the silvery leaves, also produces a rather photogenic cluster of flowers.

The rapidly expanding leaves of the red laceleaf Japanese maple have since obscured the flowers. I managed to snag this shot before they were engulfed.

Last weekend, the family got together to move some poorly-placed rhododendrons to more amenable locations, among them this inherited early bloomer. It's one of the first large rhodies to bloom in my garden, following the really early bloomers like 'PJM' and 'Bob's Blue'. Incidentally, there was a nice little rooted branch  that will turn into a shapely plant if anyone wants it. This rhody also features tidy foliage and attractive, slightly flaky bark in light grey and reddish brown.

Epimedium wushanense beginning its long bloom season.

Most of my x hybridus type hellebores have faded to less-exciting versions of themselves, but this double white remains pristinely beautiful.

I'm enjoying this vignette of Rhododendron 'Yellow Moon' (I think, fuzzy memory), Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost', and several hellebores.

I got this plant as Epimedium davidii, but it looks nothing like the pictures I find online. Whatever it is, it's a wonderful, low evergreen ground cover with rather large flowers.

It's warm enough now that the primroses can outgrow the slugs.

I like this bicolor one, but it always looks a bit ratty.

The heat last week pretty much finished off the blooms on Magnolia stellata, though it was fading anyway.

Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' still looks good, whether the flowers are fresh or not.

Luzula sylvatica 'Marginata' has intricate, airy inflorescences. Some of the native Luzula species occasionally seed into my garden. I'm going to try to encourage them.

Epimedium 'Amber Queen' is one of my new favorites.

Mukdenia rossii 'Karasuba' (aka Crimson Fans) has little pinkish white saxifrage flowers.

Earlier this year I ordered a few plants from Annie's Annuals, among them three Primula veris 'Sunset Shades'. Fortuitously, I ended up with three different colors:


Yellow (Honestly rather small and unimpressive. I might cull this one)

And a beautiful orange.

Rhododendron roxieanum var. oreonastes has beautiful blooms of white just barely shading to pink, with darker flecks that are actually visible from the back of the flowers, too, but here's a view looking straight in. The spider is oreo-colored, black and white, but I wouldn't call the poor thing nasty.

Andromeda polifolia 'Blue Ice'.

From Keeping it Green at the NWFGS, I picked up this Arisaema nepenthoides. Love that patterned spathe.

A small form of Iris japonica from Far Reaches Farms.

Tiny fuzzy red female flowers of Comptonia peregrina, with a blurry male catkin to the right.

These Rhododendron impeditum seem to appreciate their new home in the cool, deep soils of the Acer griseum bed. This is almost as good a show as when we first planted them.

A couple red Saxifraga x arendsii, picked up at Means, blooms nearby.

And on the other side, 'Tophat' blueberries are loaded with blooms.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice'

Lithodora diffusa 'Blue Star' from Little Prince. This common parking lot plant is sometimes maligned, but I love blue flowers and I found a place where I can use a smothering carpet of foliage to my advantage.

Apparently my camera doesn't handle blue well. Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue' is a stunning, deep cobalt.

Rhododendron 'Emma and May' has fragrant, 6-lobed bloooms.

The heat last week really opened a lot of flowers on Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (aka Eternal Fragrance), and with a light breeze the scent can waft for several yards.

So excited to have this Grevillea x gaudichaudii, from Cistus. Now I just need to figure out where to plant it. Last I saw, there were still a couple plants left at the nursery. Hurry up before they're gone.

Ceanothus gloriosus v. porrectus 'Mt Vision' is full of fuzzy, fragrant blooms of denim blue.

Wild strawberries are blooming everywhere.

And more Iris tenax appear in the woods every day. Interestingly, the plants that have volunteered in my garden beds are behind compared to the ones in the natural areas.

And a few last-minute additions that I photographed today:

Cercis canadensis is still a small tree in my garden, not especially showy from a distance yet.

But beautiful close up.

This green beetle seems to appreciate the blooms on Grevillea victoriae 'Marshall Olbricht'. I hope it's just a visual appreciation. No snacking!

The Erysimum I planted last year are loaded with flowers. The first blooms are starting to fade, but many more are waiting to open.

The first bloom on Potentilla fruticosa (aka Dasiphora floribunda, aka Dasiphora fruticosa).

Globularia cordifolia just barely made it, with a few flowers opening in time for bloom day.

I left for work earlier this week with a mystery bud just about to open. I had no memory of planting this bulb with terete foliage, nor where it had come from. I came home today to find the bud opened to this small, yellow narcissus bloom, powerfully fragrant for such a tiny thing. It looks like Narcissus 'Baby Moon', and the bloom time and fragrance seem to back that up, but I'm still at a loss as to how I got three small swaths of it growing along the front of the house.

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. For more blooms this month, follow the link to see Carol's April blooms and those of bloggers around the world.


  1. Oh, the abundance... That Blue Ice Andromeda is scrumptious, to say the least. Don't you love the Comptonia Peregrina? I made the mistake of moving mine last year. I guess they don't particularly like that. Half of it is still there, but still... it bums me out!

    1. My favorite thing about Comptonia is the cinnamon-scented foliage. I could defoliate a plant just rubbing the leaves to get that fragrance. I've held back on mine because it started out as a spindly discount plant. It's starting to take off, though. Hope your half becomes whole again.

    2. I hope so too, thanks. How on earth have I missed that is it has cinnamon scented foliage???

  2. Those little flowers on the Leptinella squallida 'Platt's Black' are adorable! I might have to try that plant again -- maybe as a top dressing for a container. And I've long loved the foliage of Helleborus x sternii 'Silver Dollar'...your photo makes me think I need it for the blooms too!

    1. That leptinella is a tough plant. It's survived a lot of abuse in my garden. 'Silver Dollar' is now one of my favorite hellebores, because it has stunning foliage and great blooms.

  3. It must be almost as exciting as the first year on a new property to see what comes on without the marauding deer taking bites out of everything. I'm particularly taken with the Arisaemea (mine continue to struggle in the woodland). What are your growing conditions?

    1. It absolutely is! I have no idea if my arisaema will last, but it's in open shade basically growing in the compost I mulched the bed with. Right now it's just sending up the flower and leaves that were already stored in the corm.

  4. Hutchinsia alpina Before and After is a joy to see. I am also happy the Tulip was resurrected; Don't you just love those happy accidents?
    I've been away for a couple of weeks, still not back states side and hardly keeping up with posts. I miss so much in my own garden this time of year... this BloomsDay blog makes me even more garden-sick. The double white hellebore is stunning!

    1. I'm behind in blogging and reading others' posts, and I'm not even out of the country. Hope you're enjoying your trip!


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