A Garden Blog About Saying Goodbye

I'm a gardener in Chicago, IL, and I'm leaving my garden behind at the end of the year - The Last Garden is about my garden's final year. Share & Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden April 10, 2011

Helleborus x hybridus, either 'Solace' or 'Double Melody' -
I dunno.

These warm days have been good to the garden, and it's opened up, showing more and more blooms every day.

The 'Barrett Browning' daffodils grew a great deal while we were out of town. If you look carefully, you can see they're nearly ready to bloom.

I was pleasantly surprised to see these Anemone blanda (Windflower) coming up before I left - I wasn't entirely sure they would be hardy here in Chicago. Well, here's some proof. They literally made all of this growth in only a week. I planted these as bulbs last fall, and soaked them for a day before I planted them. The cultivars are 'Blue Shades' and 'White Splendour.' That's a bit of Scilla up in the corner there, invading the flowerbeds once again.

The peony shoots again! Expect many photos of these, just because, as I said last post, I find the first two months of peony growth to be fantastically beautiful. You can compare to last month's bloom and see that the shoots have lengthened and begun to unfold into leaves. This plant is a Paeonia lactiflora hybrid that I found and have been unable to identify.

I know a lot of people consider geraniums (the perennial ones) to be old fashioned granny plants, but I really can't see any fault in them. Their leaves are filled with beautiful warm red shades in spring and fall, and their flowers hang on without care for weeks and weeks. Here's Geranium x 'Johnson's Blue,' showing some spring beauty.

This is Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant,' emerging amongst the new foliage of Dianthus x 'Mountain Mist.' I used this photo in the March philosophy post, but I think it bears repeating. Chionodoxa is a fairly disregarded plant, and I can't honestly say that I'm a great champion of it, but over the past few years I've grown fond of it. My mother planted it one year in a few seemingly random spots, but it's become quite vigorous in those sandy, sunny spots, and I have a few plants loaded with blossoms (though, of course, I've been completely unable to photograph them without overexposing the pale blooms).

I felt like a moron last fall, planting this tulip when I already had a yellow-flowered, yellow-variegated tulip in the garden ('Garant,' a Darwin Hybrid), but I am definitely not feeling any buyer's remorse now. From the leaves alone, I can tell I made a good choice - this variegation is much more exciting than that of 'Garant'. It's stripey. I like it.

Somehow, despite my great love of tulips, I only found out about Greigii tulips (a species of tulips whose most prominent attribute is their striking purple stripes) last spring. This is 'Sweet Lady,' which hasn't disappointed.

I love seeing the new shoots of plants come up in the springtime. It fills me with a great sense of something or other, which might be pride, or perhaps awe, or perhaps inspiration, and possibly all three. These are Dicentra spectabilis (Chinese Bleeding Heart) shoots. They also come in white, and the white shoots are pale green, which completely tickles me, for reasons which would require another post entirely to explain.

Now, I'm sure that people can become disenchanted with Scilla, and I certainly prefer it when it's in the lawn and not invading the flowerbeds, but this is another plant that leaves me without breath, at least for a moment, when it's truly in its element. Right. Scilla siberica, everyone.

I'm definitely certain that you're all quite sick of seeing this Viburnum bud, but I've decided it will be one of my point-in-time photos, so you're going to have to suck it up. Viburnum trilobum (possibly 'Wentworth', I don't know), unfolding from its buds into proper leaves.

This is my largest colony of lilies, a pleasant pink Asiatic that I can't recall the name of. You can see where the bulbs are slowly forming small offsets between them. You can also see clearly that I ought to divide them. The colony's six years old - never been divided.

I love seeing red spring foliage, so you'll have to forgive me for this somewhat dull shot. The deep red foliage would be more apparent if I had some mulch down. Filipendula rubra 'Venusta'.

Hepatica nobilis var. acuta. I could try to explain how a crisp, symmetrical flower sings to my soul, but you would probably be obligated to come find me and cart me off to the loony bin.

Before we left on our trip, I swore these Juneberry buds would open and then die while we were gone. Come our return, they're still waiting. Today, they're still waiting. I remember this from past years - predicting and predicting and predicting that the juneberry buds would open the next day. Well, one of these days, anyway. Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance.'

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