TWO WEEKS AGO, I asked you to join me for a mid-April garden tour. But spring has progressed rather dramatically since then. Now clumps of blue Scilla siberica (above) dot the lawn, the Yoshino Cherry is in almond-scented bloom, the adorable fiddleheads of ferns are emerging in the Woodland Garden, the species tulips have opened their fragrant cups, and…well, care to join me for a late-April stroll?
In the front yard, the ancient Forsythia that normally blooms in late March has finally opened its bells of screaming-yellow. I’m not the only fan of this easy shrub — finches and sparrows like to sing and prance on its gracefully-arched boughs.
Tip: To propagate forsythia, simply layer the stems.
And that concludes our tour of the front yard, a location I mostly ignore. The real gardens I’ve created are behind a tall, well-weathered cedar gate. Shall we proceed?
Passing through the garden gate, we enter the Rose Garden. As you can see, the boxwood hedges have grown so tall in recent weeks that we can barely see the rose shrubs. In May I’ll have the hedges professionally trimmed. Some of the trimmings will be used to make new plants.
And by the way, my office (where I write this website) is located behind the two corner windows over on the left. The long structure with “eyebrow” windows on the right is the old Kitchen Wing, with servants’-quarters upstairs. I’ve looked and looked, but can not find those servants anywhere. Perhaps they are working at your house.
And speaking of weeds — I welcome the spring dandelions. The flowers provide early food for honey bees. Meanwhile, the greens provide delicious salads for me.
Another welcome weed is the violet. In spring, these purple-petaled beauties sprout all over my so-called lawn. Usually they disappear after the first mowing. (Mowing keeps the dandelions in check, too. Who needs chemicals?)
In a corner of the Kitchen Garden, a patch of rhubarb is growing by inches per day. Do you love the tart stems of this early vegetable, too? Visit me in in May, and I’ll gladly serve you my favorite rhubarb dessert.
Tip: If you have rhubarb in your garden, be sure to cut off the seeds-heads whenever they emerge. Otherwise, stem-production will come to a halt. More details.
Oh. I’m so sorry about the mud on your yellow chiffon evening gown.
Yes, we can stand up now.
Let’s leave the Woodland, and head back to house via the Serpentine Garden.
The greatest feature in the Serpentine Garden just now is the in-bloom Yoshino cherry tree. The tree grows just behind a bench, and provides terrific shade in summer. The white flowers that appear in spring are infused with a touch of almond.
We are standing beside the garden shed now, between the Serpentine and Rose gardens. Peer into the Rosa ‘Super Fairy’ that grows against the shed’s clapboard siding, and let me know if you see anything of interest.
Need a hint? Look for a bright red beak. It’s the beak of a cardinal, who has made a nest in the rose. What a choice piece of real-estate! The thorny canes will thwart any curious cat. And because the rose grows beneath the eaves of the shed, mama and babies will be protected from rain.
Well. I hope you enjoyed this little tour. In the comments field below, tell me what’s blooming in your own late-April garden. As always, I love to hear from you.
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