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A Walk in the April Garden

I didn't see the garden for three days this week, since I left for work very early and returned well after dark each day. So this morning was a delight when I finally had a chance to stroll through the garden. April is a beautiful month. Early spring is over, but there are still lovely flowers to enjoy. Bare winter branches are fully covered with attractive foliage. We haven yet been hit by fungus and bugs and swaddling humidity. The air was unusually crisp with cool breezes. I wish I could can it up and then release it in August!

Imagine that breeze and the gentle sun upon your face. Think of a host of birds chirping. Conjure up the fragrance of flowers and fresh pine straw and bark, and breathe in all the sweet aromas of the good earth. Now you can enjoy, as I did, a walk in the April garden.

Beside the patio, 'Anthony Waterer' spirea is blooming. I love this shrub for its feathery leaves and lacy blooms:

Here are more flowers blooming around the garden:Top row: Another spirea, 'Goldmound'; A daisy, beautifully simple in a vase on the patio table. 2nd row: Purple salvia; foxglove. 3rd row: Confederate jasmine; Knockout rose. 4th row: A few pansies still bloom. Some I have tucked in the vegetable garden, others are in the front garden near my very old rubber lizard.

I am not a rosarian. All of my roses are simple, low maintenance types. One of the prettiest is 'Penelope':

More photos of roses blooming in April:Top row: More images of "Penelope'. 2nd row: 'Mutabilis', flower and bud. 3rd row: Species rose 'Agnes', bud and bloom. 4th row: 'Zephirine drouhin'; Rosa rugosa 'Alba'.

Heliotrope is a marvelously fragrant annual:

In the woodland garden:Top: Indigofera tinctoria grows as a ground cover in the woodland garden. 2nd row: A close-up of Indigofera blooms; Viburnum dentatum. 3rd row:Tiny blooms of Hearts-a-burstin; The very last camellia bloom of the season, 'Gunsmoke'.

As much as I love flowers, my garden is held together by its foliage. Here are four plants that in different seasons have beautiful flowers, but I also admire their distintive leaves:Clockwise from top left: Hydrangea "Lady in Red'; 'Dogwood 'Cherokee Sunset'; A variegated hosta, a seedling that sprouted in the woodland garden; A gold leaf heuchera - sorry, I have forgotten its name!

I recently purchased a fern that is not hardy, so it will remain in a pot. The big box store helpfully labeled it as: Houseplant, Fern. I laughed, but I think it will enjoy a shady spot in the garden. I really like its leaf:

Here are four hardy ferns that are growing well after several years in my garden:Clockwise from top left: Golden new growth of Autumn fern; Silvery Lady fern; Arborvitae fern; Holly fern

Finally, I came across a Japanese maple leaf, fallen too soon, bright against the pine straw:

It is a reminder to take time to enjoy the garden often, for it is ever changing and today's beauty is fleeting. (But tomorrow also has its own charms to reveal!)

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Reader Comments (16)

A lovely walk-around. You started with one of my favs, Anthony Waterer.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

Take time to enjoy - yes - I planted Abelia because I love those almost pink trumpets. Today I noticed as I walked past to water the roses, the Abelia is suddenly covered in more flowers than I have ever seen. Must pick some tomorrow!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElephant's Eye

In spring everything grows so fast. You can almost see everything grow. It must be a nice surprise to see all that new growth after three days. Your garden is ahead of mine. My ferns are just starting to unfurl.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

We've always been a fan of your garden Debs. Thanks for taking us for a mini tour again, we never tire looking at your photos and admiring your green haven :)

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

I really thought the lizard was real. So many pretty blooms and that is what caught my eye!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

For someone who is not a rosarian, you have the loveliest roses!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Cuban oregano, Plectranthus amboinicus
Wikipedia says native to Southern and Eastern Africa, but it is not yet in my PlantZAfrica list. 'widely cultivated and naturalised in the Tropics'. That sounds worth a blog post plant portrait?

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElephant's Eye

Beautiful blooms. Roses are stunning. Love your captures of fern.... very interesting details.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchris

I'm glad you were able to enjoy your garden, So much changes in three days in spring. It is all looking beautiful. I've never heard of Hearts-a-burstin; the flowers are sooooo delicate and such a really pure white. Your roses are early, mine, apart from mutabilis, are only just opening their buds. Christina

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

What a lovely walk! I love the Penelope rose - it looks like such a soft color. I think there is Hearts-a-Burtin growing in the empty lot next to me. I was wondering what it was, and you are the second blog I've read today to help me identify it! Apparently it has a few names. I wonder how well it would transplant, since they're eventually going to build a house on that lot and won't mind some missing plants!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

I love that AW spirea. I need more in my garden. And your roses are beautiful. I love that you included the foliage shot, too. It is so very important. Love that last paragraph!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

You painted the picture so beautifully, we could almost have been with you in your garden. Your garden is certainly more advanced than we are over here, showing your lovely roses which we won't have for at least another month. Love your last photo, almost identical to my header photo !!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

A joy for all the senses.

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

The Indigofera blooms are lovely, I haven't seen that plant before. The adjacent Viburnum dentatum made me a little jealous. I had three beautiful ones lining the fence behind our patio at our last house, and I think of all the Viburnums I've grown over the years, it was my favorite. It had such beautiful color in the fall!

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

Hi! How nice to virtually visit your garden, with the good company of your words it almost felt real!
I think you have some beautiful roses even though I am not sure your Agnes is actually an Agnes. Agnes is supposed to have more fully flowers and the leaves are more wrinkled and dark glossy green. I'd bet that is an hybrid spinosissima, something like Fruehlingsgold maybe. I have both but you can check here:
and here:

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

Beautiful prose aswell as a visual delight. My Anthony Waterer has just been prunned back and only came into leaf last month and my dark hosta bud points are just pushing through the soil. We've such a short season compared to you Deborah.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRosie leavesnbloom
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