Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ April 2012

It has been a busy month in the garden ... for the gardener, the plants and wildlife. Everyday there are new buds and sprouts awaking to greet spring, more critters are arriving or awakening from their winter slumber and I am flat wore out at the end of each day in the garden. There is so much to do since everything is up early this season. I am very behind schedule.


Bearded Iris



The (biennial) foxgloves are blooming this year. I planted foxgloves in our garden in memory of my father. They always reminded him of his native England.


The blooms of the Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight'



and Salvia greggii 'Navajo Rose' and 'Hot Lips' are blooming on the walled hill garden.


I struggle growing Rhododendrons. I'm not sure why since they are relatives of our native azaleas which do beautifully here. This is the first time EVER that they have bloomed and I planted this one three years ago!


The Encore azaleas are one of the stars this month. The bees, butterflies and hummingbird moths approve of their abundance of blooms. They are covered with pollinators from sun up to sun down.


Jack is preaching in his pulpit. This native plant starts life as a male but after two years or more in poor soil conditions it will turn into a female, flower and then seed.


The Foam flowers 'Dark Star' are starting to brighten the woodland garden.



My garden is blooming in more ways than one.  The wildlife have been busy too...
I am seeing more and more butterflies everyday and I just love the little skippers...

Silver-spotted Skipper

Horace's Duskywing Skipper

And the next generation is starting...


Swallowtail caterpillars munching on bronze fennel


The loud calling we heard the past few evening paid off. Apparently the female (the larger of the two toads) approved. We found these two near the pond and egg sacks sinking to the bottom. Perhaps soon we will have some tadpoles! They hatch anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks.


I had to include a picture of the knock-out-roses before the Japanese beetles start to devour them. This is a shot of half the wall or pink. There are a total of 55 roses along this slope.


Be sure to stop over at May Dreams Garden to look at other gardener's bloom day blooms.

25 comments:

  1. Your wall of roses is stunning! I fight the Japanese beetles every summer, too, and usually go out early in the morning to pick them off. But I can't imagine doing that with 55 roses! I loved seeing all your blooms, but the photo of the toads really caught my eye--that is an amazing shot.

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    1. Thanks Rose! I don't have the time or inclination to pick the Japanese beetles off all my roses. They usually look pretty bad by mid-summer but rebound for the fall and another gorgeous bloom time.

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  2. I'm so envious of your beautiful irises. I have absolutely no luck with them. It looks like you're getting a nice crop of caterpillars there!

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    1. I usually have some Monarchs at this time too but I haven't seen any yet. I even bought more milkweed for them. Waiting patiently...

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  3. aloha,

    i also love the irises, i should grow some, but i never can find any being sold in our area...loved seeing the image with all those roses...wow!

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  4. Your white foxgloves look great, perfect for a moon garden. Congratulations on your rhododendron and your azaleas and roses look stunning - shame about the beetles. Happy GBBD! - to you and the frogs.

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    1. Thanks b-a-g! I am in the process of putting in a blue and white garden. I do love the white blooms at dusk and will be adding some more of these foxgloves.

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  5. Love your white foxglove and what they stand for flowers connecting to special people or events makes for sweet memories. Love everything your header is awesome.
    Have a wonderful week. hugs, Cherry

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  6. Your white foxglove is stunning! So spotless! I didn't know Jack changed sex! And the two toads - what a great shot! The wall of roses is fabulous!!!! That is a gorgeous sight!

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  7. Oh Karin I don't know where to begin..the azaleas which I wish could grow or the roses...I now those darn beetles...I hope my jack's keep flowering...our critters are beginning too...yours are wonderful...love the toads.

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  8. I love the look of your salvias, azaleas and roses. Sometimes the bigger view can really be so much more impressive. How did you even catch the toads?

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  9. I love your Bearded Iris and the color combos in your gardens are really beautiful. The nature shots are also such fun! Happy spring!

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  10. Oh Karin, so many things to comment on....love the frogs--- hope you have lots of tadpoles!
    I haven't seen white foxgloves before, very pretty. I have Carolina Moonlight, planted late last year. First time blooming. Hope it is happy where I planted it, love the sunny yellow blooms.
    happy bloom day!!

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  11. Your Azaleas are incredible! I wish they would grow that well here. My mom, believe it or not, had a Rhododendron that she kept going (in Wisconsin!) for years and years. It had to be covered in the winter and it was planted next to the house, but it was lovely like yours! So funny that our Jacks are nearly identical. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Right plant, right place...I saw a passionvine growing in Michigan. This shouldn't be a perennial there but it had just enough protection from the elements that it lived year after year. Sometimes plants can be so surprising.

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  12. I too am worn out with all this early Spring bloom, caught off guard a bit, I guess. You are right, a very busy month for everyone and everything in the garden, especially the little tadpole makers. She does not look so interested to me. His look is priceless. Lovely images, Karin.

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    1. I think she was rather annoyed with my camera lens. It didn't seem to bother him in the least! :)

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  13. Stunning gardens, Karin! In love with your top yellow iris and awesome wall of roses ... but my heart really fell for your 'Sweetheart Toads' :)

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  14. Beautiful photographs! Everything in your garden is so colourful, even the toads.

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  15. I agree - the toads are adorable, in their way. I wouldn't worry too much about your rhodys - I inherited a plant that didn't bloom for the first five years after we moved in. When it did, it was a stunner - with hot pink blooms almost the size of my head. Other ones I have planted seem to take a few years to settle in.

    I understand the feeling of busyness. I'm barely able to keep up with minimal gardening, much less blogging and reading blogs :(

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  16. Hi Karin, The 55 roses on the slope makes for an impressive display. What a shame about the Japanese Beetles! I assume that you must deadhead Knock-outs like all other roses. That would be hours of work for sure, but well worth it. I was particularly struck by the all-white foxglove. It is hauntingly beautiful in your shots. The salvia and azaleas are so pretty too.

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  17. The rose hedge is impressive! Love the white blooms of our foxgloves. White is so cool in the garden.

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  18. I love the Muir quote ..one of my favorites...You are ahead of where I am here in NY, but our american toads have been calling and I can only hope for some happy faced males like yours..that reminds me that I have to clean the tank that my daughter's frog lives in..for the past 11 years...Michelle

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  19. with that rose hedge, all the pre-prom photos will have to be at your house! that is a beautiful backdrop. have never seen pure white foxglove; very pretty. just planted tiarella yesterday. i haven't had much luck with it in the past but i have a better place for it now, so my fingers are crossed.

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  20. Hi! We'd love to share your Encore Azalea images here - with a photo credit of course! Please contact us if you're willing to share! http://www.encoreazalea.com/in-the-landscape/landscape-gallery - Corrina Murray, EncoreAzalea.com

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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