I am at a bit of a loss as to where to start with my April In The Garden update. The garden is an explosion of color and so I am kind of all over the place right now. In the winter i spend my time thinking ahead to Easter and working to have a beautiful display for the Easter Bunny. A Few weekends before Easter I cleared out the weeds and trimmed the dead stuff away, leaving me with a bit of free time to have a bit of fun making little bunnies with the the X-Carve.
Walking through the garden I realized I just lied to you all. The explosion of color? Yaaa… it’s mostly purple. I really have to make a better effort to buy plants other than purple ones.
Lets start with the veggies. The cucumbers that I got from my friend are still pretty small, but they are going strong. I have never grown cucumber before, and when my friend said she had an extra lemon and Japanese cucumber, I jumped on the opportunity. Right across from the cucumbers my loofah and bird house gourds are just getting started as well. I am happy to say that every seed I planted has sprouted. I soaked the seeds in a hydrogen peroxide/ water mixture and it seems to have worked pretty well. You can read about that method by clicking here. As you can see in the pictures below, they still have a bit of growing to do before they reach the hog panel, but so far so good!
Just outside my youngest chil’s bedroom window the lavender, salvia, sage, and hydrangea that I trimmed back so hard late winter have come back strong. They are all about to explode with blooms, but right now only a few salvias are sporting any purple flowers. I am hoping everything will bloom in May and attract some honeybees. I have only seen a few bees here and there so far. Last year in March I had 13 swarms land in my yard, this year…nothing!
For the past two years I have not grown tomatoes. I got kinda bored with them and as a family we just weren’t eating them enough to make it worth the work. Plus I was more into lavender and basil. This year, the same friend who gave me a few cucumber starts, also gave me six tomato plants. Free tomatoes means I feel free to experiment. This year I planted the tomatoes in the back of the raised flowerbeds, up against the hog panel. Yes, I love my hog panel! I am going to try trellising the tomatoes. My goal is to have more tomatoes, less tomato plant. I have never done this before, so I have no clue what I am doing. I couldn’t bear to pull up the lavender that was there from last year, so it’s going to be crowded! That little white snapdragon that popped up out of nowhere isn’t going to help the situation either. Can we talk for a second about the thorn-less blackberry growing up the side? Yaaa… not helping the crowding issue either, but i really do love blackberries.
The shade garden is going strong. I really have to fight the urge to buy more shade plants. I really do not have an inch of room left for anything else. I love the Gnome peeking out from under a blanket of ground-cover. Cute or creepy?? Hmm. I believe the ground cover is called baby tears. I have been having a lot of fun with it. All of it is from one plant and I just keep taking little pieces from an established section and planting it where I want a new section to grow. If it gets too crazy it easily comes up. As you can see I have been having a bit of fun placing it between logs and rocks along with other ground covers that flower. One thing to note is it hates the sun. A little in the morning is okay, but that’s all it can take in my region here in Northern California.
The little section of the garden that was once a foxglove garden, but now I am turning it into a Hydrangea garden is… unimpressive. At the end of last Summer I bought a few small hydrangea for this area knowing I would have to wait until the following Spring before it looked like anything to smile at. During the winter the hydrangea were just little sticks, but I was satisfied with the little primroses I planted as filler. Unfortunately as the rest of the garden really started to fill in, I grew less and less satisfied with this section. This is the time when I have to have a little bit of patience. The hydrangea are growing, and I will just have to wait a little bit longer before I see the full potential. What I should be focusing on is just how fantastic the clematis is doing up against the fence. It is an early bloomer, and my favorite master gardener, Monty Don from Gardener’s World, advised not to prune early bloomers. He of course was right, and this is the best burst of blooms I have ever seen from this plant.
Before I leave you with some pictures of my favorite blooms around the garden, I want to show you two plantings I am very excited about. For years I had this huge white pedestal bowl that I just HAD to have, but have never really figured out what to do with. After years of not knowing, the answer was simple. Put a plant in it (a variegated Silene u. Druett). I had been trying to find a place for the bowl in the house for so long, it didn’t occur to me to use it outside as a planter. I loved it so much I bought a second metal pedestal bowl at a garage sale, and did the same thing with it. CUTE CUTE!!! Hopefully I don’t kill them.
April In The Garden is certainly start to the warmer seasons, and I am very much looking forward to all those little flower buds blooming and the honey bees returning. Until next time, here are a few pictures of my favorite little plants. Enjoy!!