Monday, April 1, 2013

It's April!

CAN YOU BELIEVE it's actually April, 2013 already? For those of you still dealing with snow, take heart. Spring is not far off now. We who live in the Pacific Northwest are seeing lots of sunshine and garden-friendly temperatures. Of course this means lots of gardening opportunities. Although I've got tons of work to do, my garden is looking better every day.  

Before we get to garden photos, I thought I'd share a few close-ups. On Saturday Carol, Vickie and I met at Fry Road Nursery and got swallowed up in possibilities. Check out one of my take-homes below. 
Clerodendrum x speciosum (C. splendens x C. thomsoniae) 
By my outer pond, look what's in bloom: 

Darmera peltata in flower but no leaves yet.

A few more bloomers:

Muscari are as blue as blue. 

My favorite Daffodils are blooming early this year:

Narcissus 'Geranium' are so fragrant!

Now, for the (imperfect) garden. Try not to judge me too harshly.

On the left are two 'Knock Out' roses with phlox, asters and gaura. 

Winter of 2012, I wasn't very diligent about cutting back my shrubs. This wasn't very smart. The overgrowth last summer was none too pleasing. Lesson learned. This year, I've been brutal.

On the left is Daphne odora. On the right is Berberis 'Crimson Pigmy.'
The sticks in the middle are a clump of Fuchsia magellanica.

Here is the same area last August. The Fuchsia and Solanum were smothering everything.  

August, 2012

Below is the area under the pear tree. Not much going on yet however, if you look closely, you'll see a few green spikes in the red container. These are the beginnings of Hosta 'Sum & Substance.' 

The little green tuft in the center area is Geranium 'Jolly Bee.' It gets surprisingly large.
There's also a Fuchsia and a Persicaria 'Red Dragon.'
By July, you can't see the ground. 

This time of year, all of my garden junk, er accouterments
remind me that I really should stay away from the thrift stores. 

I was brutal with this hedge (on the right). It was very overgrown.
A few posts back I showed a photo of extremely overgrown Clematis 'Polish Spirit.'
Those brown vertical sticks under the ladder are what remains. 

Ferns, hostas and fuchsias are still dormant here. 

Sheesh. What a lot of stuff... The ratio of organic vs. inorganic is a little
out of proportion, wouldn't you say? But don't ask me to part with any of it. 

One of my two ponds is on the right, behind the green grass (Stipa gigantea).  

The blue mound is Pulmonaria 'Reginald Kaye' outdoing himself. 

My lawns look like crap--the result of neglecting them last summer. 

My neighbor was moving and gave me the large wagon wheel.
For lack of a better idea, it became the focal point of this island bed.
I still haven't gotten this bed in shape yet. 

The Magnolia stellata flower petals are raining down on the area below. 
 There you have it. And not a dirty snow pile to be seen--my favorite time of year!


  1. I totally love your gardens and feel completely at home. I am sitting here with a huge smile on my face, as your gardens are absolutely delightful.

    Thank you for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  2. Lookin' good! Isn't it exciting? Everyday there's somethin' new to discover. I just love every second of it.
    And yes, funny how all the "junk" stands out this time of year. I think the same thing when I'm out pokin' around. But it will all be tucked nicely in foliage soon, and I'll forget that I thought there was too much. :)

  3. Oh don't worry about your lawn, it will bounce back. You should see mine, I've neglected it for three years. I'm going to work on it this year. There is only so much one person can do. :0)

  4. The muscari is have your own botanical garden : )
    Happy Spring dear Grace xx

  5. Did your fuschias die back to the ground or did you just cut them all the way down? Mine haven't died back the last two years, so they are pretty large, despite me even trimming them down a third. I even found a neglected fuschia basket that didn't get any rain all winter, that is alive. I stuck it out there, to see if it is worth keeping. We will see.
    Yeah for Spring!

  6. As always, inspiring and motivational! Makes me want to get back out there and tackle mine!

  7. Oh, I loved this look at your garden this time of year. I've been toying with cutting my Fuchsia magellanicas back to the ground. It's hard to do when it hasn't actually died back and is producing leaves even at the tips of the branches. But they do get to be rather monstrous, don't they? I should probably do mine too.

    I rather like your ratio of inorganic to organic. I love all your rusty metal. I'm intrigued by all those rake heads, is there a plan for those? They kind of look like enormous centipedes crawling on top of the rocks.

  8. Im a junker too...charming yard

  9. Your garden is great! I feel right at home with all of your objets d'junque. Every year at this time I have the urge to throw away most of my stuff because it is a litte overwhelming without all the green around. Oh well, we live through and as the plants grow, add more. Thanks for the tour! I think that your rakes look like eyelashes on the tops of the rocks. Your beds look nice and cleaned up for the season. Mine are still full of leaves and dead plants from fall. Oh well, if it gets left long enough,the green stuff will cover it up for me.

  10. It's nice to see your garden's rusty 'BONES" before they are engulfed by growing things. I'm getting a little bolder about pruning with each passing year. The deer have taught me a lesson by munching things back. They rebound with renewed vigor, it seems.

  11. I love how your garden looks right now! It's always amazing to look back and see what areas look like at different times of the year. I can find new things everyday right now. If you can believe I found a daylily with a bud already!

  12. Oh, Grace, it looks wonderful just the way it is . . . and you know by summer, you'll have it looking so yummy! I love that first photo above; I'm guessing it's a sun lover, right? We live under the shade of 20+ large Doug firs and cedars, where we grow lots of hostas, hydrangeas, impatiens and anything else that loves shade. I'm going to share your photos with Hubby Bob who's out working in the yard right now, while I'm in nesting into my writing corner.

    Blessings, Sherrey

  13. A foot of fresh snow today...wish I could keep all my garden art out but not with my weather...loving your garden bones.

  14. Hasn't it been a glorious week? I 'm sure all your "rusty bones" will be covered by greenery very soon!

  15. It is April indeed. WOW! your garden is quite amazing, a perfect place to unwind. The daffodils are blooming very healthy.

  16. "April showers bring May flowers" and you must have had a LOT of rain in March! Beautiful garden Grace! I love all the photos!

    I wish I could do something like that in our yard but it would just turn out to be a "snake haven" in South Central Texas. For that reason I am very careful with how bushy I let things get.

  17. Grace, Grace, Grace! For whatever reason, I thought you'd quit garden blogging (so glad you haven't!) when you began Subplots! Love your photos, Especially because they make me feel so much better about my place! SG

  18. Oh Wow! I love looking at all of the gardening decor items in your garden. Now I can see just how many you have before those beautiful plants start growing again. I am with you the more the better. I love all this rusty, chippy stuff in the gardens. I keep looking for an old bed post and bike. SO far around here someone always beats me to them. LOL! I love the new acquisition you purchased.

  19. Grace, you are in wonderful spring. I love you pictures, especially, muscary, green grass -- all that we have not till now, in April.
    have a nice weekend!

  20. Oh that beautiful Clerodendrum. I had one of those a while back as a houseplant. It moved with me from place to place for years, eventually growing to great lengths and drama. I never got it to bloom but I loved it so much. Yours is gorgeous. Keep us updated on how it goes.

    Also, I hear you on how this time of year our junk in the garden is so visible. I mean garden art. :)

  21. Only meaning that my place Never looks as great as yours, but when I see yours in a state of less-than- perfection, it gives me hope! :-)

  22. Grace, your garden is full of promise! Love that pulmonaria! And the new wheel too!
    This year, I didn't cut my fuchsia magel. as usual - I want it to grow as a tree! It kept its leaves through the winter. I'm curious if not cutting it all the way down will help.
    All the best to you, Grace!

  23. No, don't get rid of any of your garden "junk!!" It contributes to the over all fabulous scheme you've got going Grace. I love seeing it intermingled with your plants. I actually like the look of your fuchsia in it's "overgrown" state ~ maybe because I can never get them to get anywhere near that large here?! I am also inspired to plant a hosta in a container now ~ how long has 'Sum & Substance' been planted there?? Glad it's spring there ~ we are back to winter here. :(

  24. I love the photos of your bloomers, um, your buds. And the assortment of garden accoutrements, especially the bike. My husband is a minimalist and I am a maximalist yet somehow the union survives, as does our garden.


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