Best Blooms in April

Chloris of The Blooming Garden invites us to share our top ten blooms each month although I have to say that I don’t usually count because that might mean excluding something equally praiseworthy. There are certainly no end of delights this month, and that’s without including the gracefully fading hellebores, a smattering of pulmonaria, a single erythronium and goodness knows what else.

Top of the Pops, however, must surely be the tulips despite not yet being at their peak. Clockwise from top left is a very pleasing purple mixture from Aldi, ‘Little Beauty’, various bargain tulips bought in late December and another elegant species tulip, probably T linifolia. There will undoubtedly be tulips in a vase on Monday!

In front of the purple mix is Viola ‘Cool Wave White’, grown from seed as has Cool Wave Purple and Frost (below). I have grown these each year for the last 4 years or so and they are so reliable with 100% germination in almost every case and months of flowering. I was thinking I was late sowing the seeds  because they are later flowering, thus perilously close to being evicted when their troughs and pots will be required for something else, but I have checked the last few years and each time they have been sown at the end of August or early September. They will be replanted in borders around the garden once they have been homeless where they should flower for most of the summer although they get a bit scruffy after a few months.

The Anemone blanda have been wonderful, both the white form shown below and the blue which I am trying to establish in the blue & white border. If they have been wonderful, the wood anemones in the woodland must be stunning, forming a carpet all down the one side, camouflaging the primroses but allowing the fritillaries to stand proud and tall above the carpet. I am pleased to see a few white fritillaries amongst them, although in reality they are nowhere near as pretty as their pink checkerboard brothers and sisters. Down the left hand side of the woodland there is even a hint of blue from the first bluebells, but not yet evident in this photo.

A couple of weeks ago there were no buds to be seen on the clematis colonnade, but now all the alpinas are breaking into colour, some growing more strongly than others. Below are C alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’ and ‘Constance’. I keep trying to improve the performance on the colonnade but the soil is drier than it could be and even the hardy geraniums at their feet don’t really thrive. Perhaps it would be worth replacing some of the soil here, or removing everything in turn and digging deeply, incorporating more compost before replacing them….something to think about.

In the greenhouse the Winter Sunshine sweet peas have been growing apace and  getting closer to flowering each day – but today was The Day, with the first flower (singular) on each of Mauve, Navy and Opal…and a hint of sweet pea scent…mmm

Finally, something I so often miss because the blooms are so ephemeral and I tend to ramble around the garden looking DOWN at the borders rather than UP – so it was catching a glimpse from just outside the house of a frothy white mass peeking out above a neighbours’s pigeon loft that sent me hurrying down the garden to admire the Amelanchier lamarkii which may be well take the Number One spot at this precise moment because it is absolutely STUNNING! Later in the afternoon a gentle breeze removed a number of petals, giving the impression of a warm snowstorm as one walked underneath and justifying one of its alternative names, the ‘Snowy Mespilus‘. Amidst the petals the new leaves are also emerging, a delicate copper colour when they first appear. What a delightful small tree this is!

Chloris will be posting her own top ten April plants in due course, so do pop over and have a look and perhaps choose your own favourites too. Thanks for hosting, Chloris.

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28 Responses to Best Blooms in April

  1. Chloris says:

    Thank you for sharing your April beauties Cathy. I set out to do my top 10 blooms today but it turned into a different sort of post because I found it difficult to narrow it down to ten as there is such an abundance at the moment. But I have saved 10 special ones to post very soon. I love pansies and I will copy your idea of sowing some in August. What a fabulous carpet of wood anemones you have. And how wonderful to have sweet peas coming into bloom so early. I agree amelanchier is a lovely tree and with the bonus of good autumn colour too.

    • Cathy says:

      We must have been writing our posts at the same time Chloris – I was later than I meant to be (past my bedtime) because I had done a bit more outside after we had eaten. I shall change the link once you have posted your Top 10 – and hopefully have the time to read your newest post later today. I made good inroads into my current List yesterday – no doubt you are rattling through your garden jobs too 😀

  2. Hi Cathy, I very much enjoyed reading post and seeing your top plants at this time. It would seem all is just a wee bit more behind up here – we are still enjoying daffodils and eagerly awaiting seeing some colour in our tulips. The Amelanchier tree is indeed lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      The timings (which I still don’t remember to write down!) are interesting as the bluebells in the woodland are earlier than than normal, whereas most things are later – especially the Clematis alpina. Hope you get your colour soon!

  3. Kris P says:

    I’m glad to see that spring has made a proper entrance, Cathy! I look forward to seeing tulips IaVoM.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    I am determined to avoid the memes. They are so addictive. I already do two ‘when I feel like it’. It is cool to see what others are growing though. That amelanchier in the last picture is exquisite! Is that also known as saskatoon (servicberry and shadbush)? Someone else just mentioned it. I grew a few small ones a few years ago, but there was no market for them back then. I wish I had them now for my own garden.

  5. Pauline says:

    Lovely wood anamones, they have spread beautifully! My Amelanchier has hardly any flowers, was it the ice storm we had back in March or was it the bullfinch eating all the buds, Prunus Kojo no mai is the same, hardly any flowers this year, yours is truly wonderful!

    • Cathy says:

      No bullfinches here Pauline, and perhaps the Amelanchier has some protection where it is. Hope yours is back to normal next year, and your prunus too

  6. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Alemanchier is something (else) I’d never heard of until recently. Not common here at all and probably difficult to get. It’s a really lovely tree that I’d like to have in my garden. No room now, of course! And that navy sweet pea is a very striking colour.

    • Cathy says:

      It is a fairly small tree, so good for small gardens but not especially well known here either. The navy is my favourite of these sweet pes too, Jane

  7. Ali says:

    Your amelanchier is stunning, and planted in such a lovely location too.

  8. Cathy says:

    Your tree really is glorious Cathy! A lovely sight when caught unawares. There are quite a few flowering trees near us and those petals have been snowing onto our patio recently too! Love all your tulips and the clematis as well. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy. I do want to improve the clematis colonnade somehow, as the clematis don’t perform as well here as they do in other locations

  9. ” Later in the afternoon a gentle breeze removed a number of petals, giving the impression of a warm snowstorm as one walked underneath …” lovely!

  10. How does one share their blooms of the month?

  11. Cathy says:

    The amelanchier is superb Cathy! I planted 4 little ones a while back, but they were disappointing this year – the spring was very late and by the time the flowers were out (forced by the sudden heatwave), so were the leaves (hiding the flowers). Always next year. I shall try some violas and pansies, I miss them and your are so pretty! Don’t know how I’d get anything to germinate in late summer, however!

    • Cathy says:

      That’s a shame – the blooms certainly are so feeting it is cvery easy to miss them. You would need to keep the viola seedlings cool if you were going to grow them from seed – and they could probably be planted outside much earlier than mine usually are, as they often start having flowers in December. Perhaps they could be sown even earlier?

  12. LisaDay says:

    How lovely. Our spring blooms are so far behind. Last weekend we had an ice storm and then snow. Blah. But this is glorious.

  13. Cathy your Amelanchier lamarkii tree is divine, I love it, wonderful. It is planted in a beautiful place. I also really like your wooden anemones that form a carpet that is a treasure like all sweet Peas and the variety “The Day” that has bloomed and is beautiful the flower. All the flowers you have chosen I love. Greetings from Margarita.

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