Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2014

Tulip Princess Irene
Tulip Princess Irene

I notice that I didn’t bother with a GBBD post in April last year and I think that reflects the lateness of the season; how different this year has been. The garden is already colouring up

Tulip Ballerina
Tulip Ballerina

and the tulips are quickly taking over from the narcissus.  Tulip Princess Irene is one of my favourite tulips and this year I have it in large pots on the patio.  I love the purple markings on the petals. Another favourite, which interestingly is also orange, is Tulip Ballerina which I am establishing in the front garden. I discovered today when I was weeding around the plants how strong a scent they have.   I have also rediscovered Tulip Jan Reus and its rich velvety maroon flowers.  These plants were originally on the slope but were relocated last year partly by the badger but also by the rearrangement of the slope for the workshop.  I think I might add some more of these next year and risk the ravages of the badger if we have a cold winter.

Tulip Jan Reus
Tulip Jan Reus

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I obviously like the brighter colours as you can see from this orangey red primula.  I am pretty sure I grew this from seed a few years back but I can’t remember what variety it is.

White Bluebells
White Bluebells

The bluebells haven’t quite opened yet but the whitebells are looking lovely as ever.  The clump never seems to grow and I wonder if the white variety is weaker than the standard blue.

Anemone nemorsa 'Vestral'
Anemone nemorsa ‘Vestral’

I seem to be developing yet another weakness, this time for Anemones.  The trouble is I see them at clubs and shows and forget I already have a number waiting to appear in the garden.  The one above is Anemone nemorsa ‘Vestral’ which was an early acquisition and is clumping up nicely.

Anemone x lipsiensis 'Pallida'
Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’

I also rather keen on the pale buttery yellow of the Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’ which I am pleased to say is also clumping up.

Variegated white honesty
Variegated white honesty

I am in two minds about the variegated white honesty.  The variegation on the leaves is wonderful and almost white in places but the flower spikes aren’t working that well.  These are grown from seed collected a few years ago and I don’t remember them looking like this which is interesting.

Dicentra Valentine
Dicentra Valentine

I am also taken with the Dicentra Valentine I bought last year at Malvern.  The strength of colour is quite breathtaking – well I think so.

Brunnera Jack Frost
Brunnera Jack Frost

I might like the strong colours but I also like the more subtle and dainty flowers such as the Brunnera Jack Frost.  I think we need them to act as counterpoint to the brasher flowers and at the end of the day some times the most beautiful thing is the smallest and most inconspicuous such as the every day viola which self-seeds all around my garden.

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For more garden blogger bloom day posts visit Carol over at May Dream Gardens.

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely post – I’ll see if I can get some snaps of my own garden today to join in the GBBD fun.

    Really like your Anemone nemorosa – just bought myself an Anemone sylvestris from Crocus.

  2. AnnetteM says:

    Beautiful plant photos! I hadn’t realised that you could get a yellow anemone (Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’) . I will have to look out for that one.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Annette
      I have seen some lovely pale pink and blue anemones as well and I recently bought a yellow orangey one

    2. AnnetteM says:

      That is really interesting. I will try to find some.

  3. alderandash says:

    Beautiful. Interesting about the white bluebells – white varieties of things never seem to thrive for me, either eg white foxgloves vs the pink wild ones. I wonder what it is that makes them less robust…?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi A
      I wonder this too but I can’t think of a logical explanation

    2. Diana Studer says:

      We grow the Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia, as well as the species. I remember Ernst van Jaarsveld of Kirstenbosch gently explaining to a group of gardeners that the species will always be more vigorous than the new variety.

  4. Yvonne Ryan says:

    I gave my pots of bulbs worm weez yesterday. Still very dry and now windy – tail end of cyclone from Queensland. I resisted buying any plants or bulbs when visiting plant barn today! Kept telling myself ‘I am a plant-oholic and don’t need any more’ Oh well maybe next time! Lots of nice colour in your garden and I can smell the scent from here!

  5. Judy Mooney says:

    Beautiful! Another cold spell headed our way tonight in South Carolina so once again we are covering plants and presenting prayers that the new growth survives.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Judy
      I do admire your fortitude and determination. I get grumpy with a bit of snow and we haven’t even had that this year

  6. They all look so beautiful! I love Tulip Ballerina petals. I cannot wait to see the Dicentra Valentine fully bloom. I planted a plug of it this spring, I am very curious as to the color comparison and actually how much more darker it is. As the looks from your photo, much darker. I hope mine blooms this year. The Brunnera Jack Frost looks wonderful. I tried some last year and I think it just got too hot and humid for it here, I am not sure, either way it did not make it back this year. I might have to try again, I always love the blue flowers in the garden. Enjoy!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Flora
      I have the Brunnera in a very shady position quite moist maybe you need to see if you have a different location. I will post the dicentra again when the flowers open properly

  7. Loved all your photos of spring flowers. It’s such a great time of year and especially enjoyable this year after such a wet winter. I really love Tulipa Princes Irene too and we grow it here at Sissinghurst, quite often it is in the copper urn in the Cottage Garden. Your anemones are lovely, I wonder if we grow them here. I will have a look. Helen (gardener)

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Helen
      Lovely to hear from you. I would love a copper urn but I suspect one is a little outside by budget but I can see how the colours would work with the Princess Irene

  8. jackie says:

    Interesting to hear about your white bells, Helen. I have a clump of pink ‘blue’bells and they haven’t spread or increased even though they’ve been there for at least 10 years!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jackie
      I do wonder if there is some connection between the paler colours and vigour

  9. Pauline says:

    Lots of lovely colourful flowers there, I used to have a yellow anemone, but think someone pulled it out thinking it was a buttercup! They are so pretty, I might give it another try with a big label beside it!

  10. Pauline says:

    So many lovely spring flowers. I too love the little anemones that are flowering at the moment. One year I planted a yellow one, but I think someone who shall be nameless, dug it up thinking it was a buttercup! I might try again but it would have to have a big label beside it!

  11. Pauline says:

    Lots of lovely spring flowers all enjoying the sunshine. I once had a yellow anemone but I think someone dug it up thinking it was a buttercup! I might try again but it would need a big label!

  12. We have a very similar taste in tulips! I love all those selections. Have you ever tried T. praestans ‘Fusilier’? Brilliant red.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jason
      I haven’t tried Fusilier but I remember Fergus Garrett recommending them at a talk I went to. Thank you for reminding me

  13. hillwards says:

    Some lovely blooms. I’m enjoying the return of Jan Reus for the second year too, one of my favourite colours, and they glow bright red in the sunshine. Love your pallida, will have to try and find one in flower since my corms seemed to fail.
    I bought Dicentra valentine last year too, at a Crocus open day, but mine is flowerless with just a few leaves at the minute, though the standard pink one is in full bloom, and the white one has begun to burst into flower now too!

  14. Chloris says:

    I love that Jan Reus, I think it is a must have for next year, what a gorgeous rich colour.

  15. rusty duck says:

    Tulip Ballerina is really lovely, all the better if scented.

  16. bittster says:

    Valentine looks great, as well as the tulip Jan Reus. I must be leaning towards the dark side this spring! but also love the pallida anemone, that buttery yellow is one of my favorite colors.

  17. Cathy says:

    Oh you are tempting with with those anemones, Helen! Interesting to see Princess Irene too as mine are not quite ready to open yet

  18. Diana Studer says:

    hmm it’s the white! I remember I lost the white lavender almost as soon as I planted it. A few years later the pink has shuffled off. The commonorgarden grows great boughs that I prune then harvest for the next vase.

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