At last the snow has all been washed away and the grass pathways of my garden walk are greening up nicely. The April showers have carried over into May, but when the sun came out in the afternoon, I took a walk around the yard to check out the action. It doesn’t look like a lot is happening, but on closer examination, there is plenty to see.
The spring bulbs are well underway. My favorites are the little scilla, such a gorgeous shade of blue.
The crocuses have nearly finished blooming, while the daffodils are just starting.
The Pasque flowers didn’t quite make it for Easter, but are blooming now. That’s Pulsatilla vulgaris, above, and the hybrid Pulsatilla vulgaris ‘Pearl Bells’ below.
Last summer, I added half a dozen new peonies to the garden, so have been watching anxiously for their shoots. They’re all present and accounted for now, but most just have little red tips poking through the soil. A couple are way ahead of the other peonies. This is Paeonia lactiflora ‘Starlight’ (A.P. Saunders 1949, Herbaceous Hybrid, Single, Cream, 26″ Early). You can see the flower buds forming.
Another early peony is the Fernleaf Peony (Paeonia tenuifolia), which features a display of charming mopheads.
The hellebores are all blooming. This is Helleborus niger. Many hellebore flowers face downward, and you have to lift the blooms to see their pretty faces. Some of the newer hybrids have upward-facing flowers.
And here is Helleborus ‘Peppermint Ruffles’. At least, that’s according to its tag, but the flowers don’t have as much burgundy as I was expecting, thus casting doubt on this attribution. Still pretty, though.
The shoots of spring-blooming Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) are well started.
Here’s Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense). It always amazes me that seemingly-fragile leaves can push through a thick layer of leaves and mulch.
This Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans ‘Stairway to Heaven) is so attractive, it doesn’t need flowers to show off. It’s a selection of Bill Cullina of The New England Wild Flower Society.
All of the geraniums are looking lush, though they won’t flower for a while yet. This one is Geranium macrorhizum ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’.
The bergenias are also early starters. This one is Bergenia ‘Eden’s Dark Margin’. You can see the cluster of purple-pink flowers forming at the heart of the leaves.
And finally, here are some daylily (Hemerocallis) clumps. Although they won’t bloom until July, dayliles get off to a gratifyingly early start, in contrast to hostas, which make you wait for their first shoots. We had a pleasant, sunny day earlier in the week and I spent quite a bit of it resettling these daylilies. Over the years, their roots had been invaded by grass, and lupins and even a few hollyhocks had self-seeded themselves in the middle of clumps. The only way to effectively remove the invaders is to lift the whole clump and dig them out. Fortunately, dayliles are hardy plants,and not offended by this rough handling.