April 15, Bloom Day

After our unseasonably warm early spring, we returned to some frosty days (and nights).  Some early risers got nipped.   The Dutchman’s Pipe lost some new foliage, but it will bounce back with a vengeance.  I’m not sure about the old cherry tree.  It’s too soon to tell whether the frost killed a lot of “cherry hope.”  But things are still ahead of schedule, so April’s Bloom Day is bountiful compared to last year’s.  A year ago, only the heather and a few brave violets were blooming.

The old cherry tree hanging onto some blossoms after several frosts

The heather still gets the early bloomer prize.  But the brunnera macrophylla are blooming, too.

Looking Glass Brunner (brunner macrophylla 'Looking Glass') and lots of maple seedlings

There are a few white daffodils, planted last fall, that are hanging on, but the early spring woke them up far sooner than I anticipated.

White Daffodill

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

Also  blooming are the Bleeding Heart.  They look like little Christmas ornaments.

Bleeding Heart

I’m not sure why I don’t have more Esther Staley French lilac blooms, but the three lilacs I planted in that area never seem to do as well as I would like them to.  The President Grevy French Lilac only got one bloom last summer.  It’s a later bloomer and I can’t tell yet whether it liked the pruning I gave it last summer.  The  Mme LeMoine French Lilic is doing ok, but I count only about 10 blooms.  The James McFarlane lilacs continue to do great, though.  And they are just starting to bud out.

The new trellis now stands at the entrance to the Secret Garden.  I’m hoping the clematis bounces back and covers it by the end of the summer.

New trellis entrance to the Secret Garden

Bloom Day, Sept. 15, 2011

The male yellow finches have begun to shed their brilliant yellow plumage in favor of their winter wear.  Temperatures this morning hovered around 40 F.  A few timid leaves have started to give up their green and the bald cypress in the front yard is trying to decide when it should turn bronze.  Fall is here, if not officially, then spiritually.

Below are today’s bloomin’ stars.

Julia Child Rose

New This Season, Sweet Autumn Clematis and Delphinium Against the West Fence in Lower Garden

Limelight Hydrangea Gets Ready for Winter Bouquets

Honorine Joubert Anemone

A Couple of Volunteer Sun Flowers Left By the Birds, And White Carpet Rose

Rose of Sharon Buds Catch the Morning Sun


Potted Mums and Geraniums in Entrance Garden

The Morning Sun Catches Sweet Autumn Clematis

Bloom Day, July 15, 2011

It’s been a day!  A friend and I launched Cookies and Hostas today at Grand Rapid’s Fulton Street Market.  We had hostas and other perennials from our gardens and I baked buckets of cookies to sell.  This idea began back in a blustery March when snow still hid our gardens and my friend pointed out that between the two of us, we probably had enough hostas to divide and sell.  And because I AM the cookie lady, another friend suggested we sell cookies and hostas.  Hence the name.  My friend sold several hostas.  I, on the other hand, sold tons of cookies.  I sold out of the red velvet cookies first.  The oatmeal cherry pecans were popular all day and I only had broken cookies by the time we packed up.  The oatmeal cherry chocolate chip were pretty popular, too.  My friend will be out of town next week, but I’m going back with more cookies.  It means I have to prepare them in a licensed kitchen, but I have access to one and will do a marathon baking session.

But today is also Bloom Day, and the garden is, indeed, blooming.  Below are pictures of most of the blooms.


A Ruby Stella Day Lily That Has Hybridized With A Yellow Lily

Prairie Blue Eyes Day Lily and Crocosmia

A New White Echinacea That I'm Too Tired To Look Up

Red Carpet Rose, Zagreb Coreopsis, Echinacea

Crocosmia with nameless yellow day lily and First Night Day Lily (far right) and Crystal Pinot Day Lily (far left)

Zagreb Coreopsis and Rosy Returns Day Lilies

Kim's Knee High Echinacea

Annabelle Hydrangea with Dark Knight Caryopteris Just Beginning to Bloom

May 15, 2011 Bloom Day

It’s been a sing-y kind of day.  I sang two solos at the 8:30 service, with the choir at 11:00, and then at a concert at 3:00.  I almost missed Bloom Day!  And while the gardens are full of promise, there isn’t a lot blooming today.  Storms knocked the lovely magnolia blossoms to the ground where they are turning into brown mulch.  And the same storms took out the cherry blossoms.  And because the temps have been so cool, I wondered if any bees would find the cherry tree.  But, we had several warm and sunny days and the tree vibrated with bees.

The brunnera are still blooming.  It was well past 9:00 p.m. when I took these and I could barely see.  I had to guess on the focus and it’s obvious I didn’t guess well.

Esther Staley Lilac

Also blooming are some of the early lilacs.  The Esther Staley and the Mme LeMoine are blooming.  But the President Grevy has one bloom.  It is the tallest of the three bushes and was planted at the same time as the other two, but it has been the most reluctant bloomer.  I think I’m going to prune it back and feed it and hope for the best next year.

I broke down and bought annuals this week.  So, the front entrance garden has a hot spot of red geranium.  And, I planted marigolds along the side and in front of the boxwoods.  While I would love to see red in front of the hedge, neither salvia nor red petunias filled in enough to give me the look I wanted.  Marigolds have done the job in the past, so marigolds it is this year.

The Bleeding Heart (dicentra) are bl00ming, too.  They are a bit late, I think.  But spring is late.  I always buy pots of purple petunias because they usually have the most wonderful vanilla scent.  In the evening, one of my favorite times in the gardens, I can walk past those pots and breathe in that heady scent.  I love it.

Purple Petunias in Front of Bleeding Heart

Red Geraniums in Entrance Garden Pots

Mme LeMoine Lilac

Looking Glass Brunnera

Bloom Day, August 15, 2010

Well, we’re not in July anymore.  The day lilies are all but done.  The hydrangeas are darkening.  And the anemones are beginning to bloom.  A friend did some phantom gardening in the secret garden a couple years ago.  He plunked two little bits of anemone, one pink, the other white.  This is the first year they have bloomed.  The pink ones are in a sunnier part of the garden, so they have come on first.

Below are the today’s bloomers.

The Ever-blooming and Sweet-smelling Wild Berry Breeze Hansa Rose

Julia Child Rose

Wild Spice Hansa Rose

Tardiva Hydrangea


Hidcote Lavender in Front of Cannas

Veronica and Moonbeam Coreopsis

Phlox, Purple Fragrant Angel Coneflower, and Pink Anemone. Red Geraniums Add A Little Heat.

Datura, Nicotiana, and a Pot of Red Geraniums, All Fuzzed Together.

Phlox, Red Carpet Rose, and Red Geraniums

Red Impatiens with Stitch in Time, Allegan Fog, Dream Weaver, and Ghost Dancer Hostas

Cannas and Marigolds

Assorted Pots in the Entrance Garden

Despite a Hard Pruning Several Weeks Ago, White Dawn Continues to Bloom

Only the Coral Bells And Impatiens Are Blooming, But I Love This Shady Bed Under the Magnolia