Monday, April 15, 2013

A Very Ornamental Bloom Day


Spring was slow to arrive, but it's definitely here now. All my favorite ornamentals are showing off! The brightest spot in the garden this April Bloom Day is a clump of petticoat daffodils (above). Narcissus bulbocodium is a species daffodil, native to Meditteranean regions. Big cup, tiny petals, grass-like foliage—it will reseed under the right conditions, and can be naturalized in lawns, if you like that idea. Mine are near the sidewalk, underneath the Endless Summer hydrangeas.


Close by is a very pregnant hellebore. This plant is superb at every stage, really. Sure the foliage gets kind of ratty by the end of fall, but you can cut it off after the weather gets cold and before long the flowers will come and then the new flush of greenery.


Violas of many species are blooming now. I love them all! I saved a dry, shady part of the garden by my hot driveway just for them. How thoughtful of me, right? What an awful place to try to grow! But they don't seem to mind—they're spreading. This year I have shades of purple I never had before.


Another favorite is fairy wings (Epimedium spp.). Remember when I posted this picture? Well, here is what happened to that flower spike! Heart-shaped leaves and spurred flowers are irresistible, and both on one plant at the same time? That makes fairy wings a garden must-have for me. There are lots of great Epimedium; there are many fans and collectors of the different types. It is a beautiful, satisfying plant to grow in dry shade.


Another bright spot in the garden, though a tiny one, is the maiden pink. This blossom is about a half inch across, but you can see it from quite a distance. I am so thrilled with these! They smell nice and bloom beautifully for months. The semi-evergreen foliage clumps are neat and attractive, too. You can see a long shot of them here.


The most impressive plant in my garden right now, I've saved for last. The Shasta viburnum looks like a bride at her wedding. It is glorious! Here you see underneath the lacy flowers, looking up into the sky...

...and now, looking down. Shasta viburnum is easy to grow in shade or sun, moist or dry soil; it's easy to propagate from cuttings, and easy to find at garden centers. Berries follow the flowers and good fall color comes after that. Birds build nests in ours every year, and love to perch in it as they flit back and forth to the feeders. If you don't have one, what are you waiting for?!

What's the best bloom at your house this month?

~*~