Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Blooms in the Woodland Garden

The garden has really started to come alive the past few weeks. Not that it was completely dormant, but we do seem to be a few weeks behind the usually time frame. We have been anxious to see what survived our fierce winter and what perished. So far, things are looking pretty promising. But then again, we have another hard freeze warning tonight.

Southern Meadows
narrow view of woodland garden
Spring is the most exciting time in the woodland gardens at Southern Meadows and everyday there is someone new poking their head through the soil.

Southern Meadows

The Redbud trees are at the tail end of bloom time but our tree was spectacular, putting out more blooms than ever. We found this little guy two years ago while clearing part of the back garden. It was a very happy day.

Southern Meadows

The dogwood trees are still going strong. We have several varieties including Cherokee Brave which has a white center that fades to lovely deep pink bracts.

Southern Meadows

Lower to the ground the ferns and hosta are saying hello. They all appear in their own sweet time, some are out faster than others.


Some of my favorite combinations are variegated Solomon's Seal and Foam Flower. Unfortunately, I found it impossible to get a good photo of them together; so here they are separately.

Southern Meadows

Southern Meadows

I noticed the nodding trillium just yesterday. They are easily missed because their blooms hang down below the drooping leaves. This also makes them challenging to photograph. Stooping down in the leaf litter with one's camera is something every gardener does, right?!

Southern Meadows

The Celandine poppies are starting to put out one bloom at a time. One of our plants hasn't come up yet and I am thinking critters may be the culprits. These should spread in nicely in the woodland garden over time. I think they would look lovely paired with Virginia bluebells that I want to add.

Southern Meadows

I just love walking by the sweet shrubs because their blooms have the most heavenly, sweet scent. I describe it as pineapple sprinkled with orange. The shrubs were growing on the property when we moved here. On a whim, I purchased a sweet shrub at a plant sale last year and interestingly that one has a much spicier aroma and not a hint of citrus.

Southern Meadows

An adorable little plant that is tougher than it looks is the Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia). It starting blooming very late March to early April and lasts about a month. I shot this photo at the beginning of its bloom time just before it fully opened. The petals reflex upwards displaying a pointed yellowish tube with white and brown accents. Queen bumblebees are the most common pollinators to visit these flowers, but miner bees and green metallic bees will also visit. I read that they obtain the pollen through buzz pollination which is the rapid vibration of the bees thoracic muscles. This is another flower that offers no nectar reward so the bees are simply collecting pollen.

Southern Meadows

There has been lots of bird activity this month. The bluebirds have been actively visiting several nesting boxes and it looks like they have finally decided to set up in this box in the rose garden. Don't they make a beautiful couple~

Southern Meadows

The chickadees also showed an interested in this box but they decided on a box near the kitchen garden. I peeked in this morning and saw Mrs. Chickadee. One click of the camera from a precarious position and she was off.

Southern Meadows

I don't really like disturbing them during nesting time but I had to take a look to see what was happening  Isn't it a beautiful nest; filled with moss, dryer lint and some strands of dog hair...nice and soft!

Southern Meadows

How is your spring garden coming along? Is it slow to start or right on schedule? Be sure to check out what everyone has to share this month at May Dreams Gardens. Thank you Carol for being such a wonderful host!

9 comments:

  1. You have lovely things in bloom. I particularly love the dogwood.
    What superb photos!

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  2. My garden in upstate New York is behind - but I enjoyed yours, and so enjoyed your bird related photos. I will be checking you out on Pinterest shortly. Happy GBBD. Alana

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  3. Spring is looking great in your garden. I love that little Shooting Star.

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  4. Love the Nodding Trillium! That's one type I don't have in my garden. Great bird captures, too! Happy Bloom Day!

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  5. Nice to see things are moving right along for you and your gardens. We got snow Monday night so afraid the few things started here are now frozen.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  6. You have quite a few things going on in the garden! I love that dogwood. I don't normally see that color dogwood blooms. The bluebird are so pretty - that must be so awesome to have them nesting in your garden. I put up a couple birdhouses this year, but I think I put them up a little late. We shall see!

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  7. It's interesting that the wild sweet shrub has such a different smell than the purchased plant. I love those shooting stars, too, and have wondered if I had room to add them. Smart birds to nest in your garden! We're having a lot of work done to our exterior and I hope it hasn't scared off the birds.

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  8. I love the shot of the chickadee. Adorable! Beautiful shot of the bluebird too.

    Sweet Betsy can vary a lot in fragrance -- some of them don't even smell sweet at all, just vinegary.

    Your flowers and pictures are gorgeous.

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  9. I agree Karin spring woodland blooms are best...I adore the nodding trillium that I do not grow..so lovely. The birds are not playing nice here and I have had to intervene to help the poor bluebirds get one house...darn house sparrows are bullies and would take all 4 houses.

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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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