Tuesday, April 20, 2010

El Niño showers bring April flowers

OK, so I missed Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, during the most glorious month of the entire year, I missed Foliage Follow-Up, AND I missed my one-year blogiversary on April 17. But here's some photos of my garden anyway. For the perennials, biennials and the heavy reseeding annuals, I've identified whether it's year one ('sleep'), two ('creep') or three ('leap').

Cilantro, an annual cold-weather herb, gone to seed. If you look verrrrrry closely, you can see numerous little bugs feeding on its wittle white flowers.
Bolted cilantro

'La Marne' rose, an antique polyantha rose from 1915. (Sleep)
'La Marne' rose

Purple columbine, a non-native hybrid. Or is it blue? (Creep)
Purple columbine

'Mutabilis' rose, an Earthkind-designated China rose from the 1890's. (Leap)
Mutabilis rose

'Old Blush' rose, an antique China rose circa 1752. (Leap)
'Old Blush' rose

Old-fashioned single pink hollyhocks. (Creep)

'Blackhawk' black raspberry canes, covered with flowers and baby green raspberries. (Creep)
'Blackhawk' black raspberries

Kennebec seed potatoes, making flowers, which hopefully means the plants are making potatoes, too!

A precious mound of blackfoot daisies. (Creep)
Blackfoot daisies

Four-nerve daisies, going nuts as usual. They NEVER stop blooming. (Creep)
Four-nerve daisy

White autumn sage (salvia greggii) going gangbusters. (Creep. The cherry sage died of unknown causes a few weeks ago; an unsolved mystery.)
Autumn sage

Rock penstemon, rising from the blackened ashes of last year's drought. Hooray! (Creep)
Rock penstemon

Another surprising return is this cedar sage. I planted one sprig last spring, which quickly perished within a couple of months. Well, that's that, I thought; you win some, you lose some. Fast-forward to mid-March--I notice all these seedlings popping up with leaves that look oddly like cedar sage, within a 2-foot radius of the original sprig. Two weeks later, they start blooming. Crazy! (Creep)
Cedar sage

Spiderwort (another surprise return from a sprig planted last spring), with Bath's pink dianthus in the back, and coreopsis 'Mayfield Giant' behind it. The dianthus smells glorious. (Creep)
Bath's pink dianthus, spiderwort

On the other side of the Bath's pinks, a field of assorted sedums, which are just starting to bloom. Very exciting as I've never had sedums bloom before. (Sleep)
Bath's pink dianthus and sedums

Fresh strawberries out of the garden--Chandler and Sequoia varieties. At the suggestion of Diana from Sharing Nature's Garden, I'm going to keep them in the ground in this very spot and see if I get an even bigger crop next year. (Sleep)

'Dame du Coeur' rose, from 1958. The light scent of these roses is reminiscent of fresh apples. (Leap) 'Hot Lips' salvia is to the left.
'Dame du Coeur' rose

Bright and perky damianita, a Texas native. (Creep)

Oh--and I entered one of these shots into the Gardening Gone Wild photo contest for March. This month's theme is "Green World". Can you guess which photo I entered? Never mind, don't guess - go check out the contest page, and all the entries (including mine), then enter your own!

Happy April!

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Exquisite hollyhocks! Purple blue columbine? What an exotic garden you have creeping and leaping along. I loved it that you also labeled each one with its age. And I've always wondered, if I move it after its first or second year to a hopefully better spot, do I have to start over with my counting? Caroline, your garden looks stunning.

  2. Everything is looking great, I love the Blackfoot Daisies!

  3. All of your photos are beautiful, but the purple/blue columbine is my favorite.

  4. Happy belated Blogiversary.

    I'm afraid I have mostly sleepers, along with a few creepers, here. Everything is pretty new. I'm not too good at waiting, either...ugh...
    Your creepers are looking good, and the leapers are great.

    Good work...

  5. Those rush bushes look beautiful!!!


  6. beautiful! i'm waiting for my red salvia to come back, but i'm doubtful. i've had it every year since we moved here though, so maybe it will surprise me! i seem to be a good 2 weeks behind in town anyway..haha

    love it all!!

  7. Happy Blog Anniversary. Isn't a rainy Spring great at long last? Everything in your garden looks fabulous. Remember what they say about some of those perennials - "root hardy". As it continues to warm more plants may surprise you with their return.

  8. Your four-nerve daisies look marvelous! I didn't think I liked a lot of yellow, but I want these :)

  9. Great photos - what amazing roses! I just planted 6 antique ballerina roses - they're definitely sleeping right now, but you've encouraged me not to lose hope. Love the columbines too - can't wait till mine bloom