April GBBD: How to Choose
Time is just flying by, and we have reached the middle of the month when I encourage each of you to walk around your garden and assess what you need to add to make early spring an exciting time in your landscape. Do you need more early flowering trees like magnolias and cherries to give you a reason to stroll in your garden? Could your garden benefit from flowers that bloom in early April like native spring ephemerals, bulbs, pulmonarias, and hellebores?
Make a list and take photographs so that when you are shopping this spring you know what you need and where it should go. It’s beautiful outside, and you never know what you might find hiding in your garden like this ethereal double-flowered hellebore (pictured above), which I discovered during my own inventory. Usually I recommend a local garden to visit for inspiration, but I have to say Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is pretty inspiring right now!
Today is Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for April when gardeners around the world show photos of what’s blooming in their gardens (follow the link to see photographs from other garden bloggers assembled by Carol at May Dreams Gardens). Here are some more highlights from my mid-April stroll through Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, but to see it all you will have to visit as Jean from Jean’s Garden and Jan from Thanks for Today are doing this Sunday.
My early magnolias are in full bloom. Magnolias are my favorite flowering trees, and I want to share these early-blooming varieties with you:
Northern Japanese Magnolia, Magnolia kobus ‘Wada’s Memory’, has the most beautiful form of any magnolia. The branches curve upwards to form an elongated pyramid, which is maintained even on mature plants.
There are so many beautiful hellebores in bloom that I made collages of my favorite flowers so that this whole post wasn’t dedicated to hellebores:
Clockwise from upper left: seedling petaloid hybrid hellebore, ‘Blue Lady’, Helleborus x nigercors ‘Green Corsican’ (cross between Corsican hellebore and Christmas rose), seedling in ‘Double Melody’ strain
I could dedicate the whole post to epimediums too so here are more collages:
I have a collection of about 15 varieties of European wood anemones, and April is their time to shine. They are very easy to grow in shaded woodland conditions:
I want to share so many exciting blooming plants with you that I don’t know how to choose the photographs to include, hence the title of this post. Here are other plants that made the cut:
The new leaves and flowers of Japanese coral bark maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’, are breathtaking in early spring. For the full story on this four season tree, read my article Coral Bark Maple.
For breath-taking beauty in early spring you can’t beat cherry trees:
A very mature Yoshino cherry, Prunus x yedoensis, that came with our property. I love the fleeting nature of the flowers and look forward to the day every spring when it rains petals in my nursery. Its orange fall color is spectacular.
Please let me know in a comment/reply what flowers are blooming in your early spring garden. If you participated in GBBD, please provide a link so my nursery customers can read your post.
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Nursery Happenings: My second open house sale is this Saturday, April 16, from 10 am to 3 pm, featuring early spring-blooming plants for shade.