April in the Garden

The garden is coming alive, and more things are blooming now, too. It is lovely to have warmer days while still having cool nights. It makes me want to go dig in the dirt just a bit. It was a busy time for the garden this week, so settle in for a long and picture heavy post. Last week, a warm day with a cool breeze was perfect for getting some of that clean up done that I talked about last week. As I hauled some tools out to the front, the beauty of the azaleas made me pause, and then head back inside for the good camera. This group is on the island in the middle of the driveway circle and faces the house.

I just adore white flowers! These had a tinge of discoloration here and there from a late freeze after the buds were formed, but it really isn’t a lot.

Next to this one is a cotton candy pink.

A deeper pink blooms next to those. All were alive with large bumble bees.

Here’s this same grouping from the other side.

We have lots of azaleas! On the other side of the island, and going all the way down the right side of the driveway, azaleas in multi-colors are beginning their spring show.

More white beauties on the lower azalea bush.

While I was taking photos, I looked for my lady slippers to see if they would come up again, and I was thrilled to find them. At least I think these are the ones. They are in the right place and the leaves look right.

And then, oh my, can it be? Another one? Just about a foot away from the other two, the fairies may have touched the ground again, I’ll watch this bud carefully.

The lady slippers are in the island, and as I was walking toward the house, I noticed these hostas all lined up in a row. They are volunteers, likely seeded from the hosta bed across the driveway. But they will need to be dug up this year and moved. I do not want them to take over that section as the delicate lady slippers cannot compete. So I’ll get them moved this year before they get too big.

I went back to the veranda, and noticed some furry movement in the meadow among the blooming ajugas. I was hoping it was our resident rabbit, who is elusive and not often seen. But the zoom lens revealed it was just a squirrel. He noticed me and sat up, hopeful. Cuteness on display.

Ah, but I had work to do. The iris beds were full of dead leaves, and I waited too long to clean them out. They were already leafed out and producing buds.

Carefully using a rake, and my gloved hands, I pulled the leaves away from the rhizomes, opening them up to the air. These are white ones, just days away from opening up. I also have some deep purples, and a burgundy with yellow. All gorgeous when they bloom.

Next was to rake the leaves out of the rest of the bed, and prune back the daisy. While I was raking, look what appeared in the pile – my cake topper art project from my post Creating Yard Art. It needs a touch up of paint, and I’ll get that done soon so it can once again be an interest point in the flower bed.

Moving on to the hydrangea, it needed deadheading badly.

I pruned back about a quarter of the branches to rein in its growth through the stair railing, then topped off the dead flowers at points where leaves were beginning to show. It looks a lot better all cleaned up! All done with cleanup, I filled up three lawn bags with debris!

Time to rest in the rocker for a moment on the veranda. I noticed the purple pansy now has three beautiful blooms.

While I rested, I waited and watched the redbud for wildlife. I was still hoping to get a good photo of a goldfinch among the pretty pink blooms. The goldfinches wouldn’t cooperate, but I did see a chickadee. I still couldn’t get the focus to do what I wanted as I wanted more depth of field to bring more of the flowers in focus. But overall, not too bad. With my camera, the more you zoom in, the shallower the depth of field becomes.

He moved to another tree after grabbing a seed from the feeder. I must have taken a half dozen shots of him. Each time he lifted his head to look around, I snapped the shutter. But, every picture is like this one, with him pecking at seed between his toes.

Oh, well. I finished putting away the tools and bags, and went to the Carolina room to clean up my pots there. I got the dead fronds out of the toad lilies, and cleaned up some dead leaves from the spike dracaenas and gardenias.

Out back, our little stand of wild May Apples has come up again. They will bloom in a couple of weeks.

As the garden comes alive with color, it is a reminder that spring is ever hopeful. And hope lives at our home right now. The stress of the past couple of months is reaching its end, as My Sweet Babboo had major surgery which took 8 hours on April 11. He was home the next day, though, and is recovering well. The pathology report came back 10 days later with wonderful news, the margins were clear, the surgeon got it all, so no additional treatment will be needed. It will be months before he is completely back to normal, but we are past the biggest hurdle. The other issues in the family are also reaching a conclusion, and I look forward to May, when all the deadlines will be past, and all the problems will be solved in one way or another. We hope for the best outcome there, but are prepared as best we can be if it doesn’t. I look forward to having some fun again, playing with my sewing machine and my stamping projects, painting more rocks and hiding them, playing pickleball, having lunch with friends, driving our MINI on our beautiful mountain roads, and being free from worry. Soon, very soon. Like my orchid which is slowly opening, I feel like I am almost able to bloom again, too.

What is blooming in your garden?

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24 thoughts on “April in the Garden

  1. The azaleas are so beautiful, Carole. Ours have finished their bloom time. I am glad to read of the good news about your husband. I certainly hope all will work out well in the other situation. Happy Sunday!

  2. Mary Stori

    Beautiful….it’s not happening quite yet up at our elevation but a few more warm days and we’ll catch up!

  3. Patricia Evans

    Wonderful news for your husband. Hopefully his recovery proceeds smoothly. I was in NC two weeks ago and the azaleas were spectacular. Here the daffodils are beginning to fade as the rest of the garden awakens, despite the slow appearance of spring temperatures.

  4. Sue H

    My azalea is blooming this week also and I love it. Funny you chatted about the hydrangea as I was out yesterday pruning mine back and deadheading as much as possible. Wonderful news on your husband’s surgery. The pathology report was such a relief for all, I’m sure. We’re still waiting on word from my mother’s surgery but I’m confident it will be fine too. Have a great weekend!

  5. Rosemary B

    I am SO HAPPY for your hubbs and for you !!
    WOW that news made my day.
    Your garden pictures are marvelous Carole.

  6. Linda Rattie

    Beautiful pics of your flowers. Thanks for sharing. Hope hubby feels better fast. Stressful time for sure.

  7. Oh, Carole – you left the best for last! Such good news about your husband! I don’t think I knew the two of you were going through that, but having experienced cancer with Mike, including surgeries and treatment, I sure understand your worries. I’m so glad the news is good for your DH, and wish him a strong recovery, too. Your beautiful blooms on the trees and bushes are joining in the celebration! Love your tries at photographing the chickadee – they are busy little guys!

  8. Great news about your husband!!!
    Spring is popping out all over here too. My daffodils are blooming and the primroses too. The buds on the trees are bursting. We did a big garden clean up yesterday and put out the patio furniture. We had snow on Monday –check out my blog for pictures. It’s supposed to be 25 degrees today–shorts weather!!
    I love seeing your wildlife and flower pictures.

  9. karenfae

    somehow I missed that your husband had surgery and you had a bad couple weeks waiting for a pathology report – that is stressful to no end I’m so glad the report came back with good news and now the healing time comes. I’m glad you have your gardens and other projects to help you de stress! I think I have the same color azaleas that you do – the only thing I don’t like about these plants is how they look for a couple weeks when the flowers die.

  10. Joan Sheppard

    Thank you for the breath of spring. Still a little gray in Chicago, but tulips are popping up and the grass is greening. So glad things are getting better for you. We are all sending best wishes your way. Thanks.

  11. Mary Ed Williams

    You are truly an amazing woman! Your husband has a wonderful time of year to recuperate. Unless he is an over achiever – my friend’s husband had triple bypass surgery and a week later she had to hide the tractor keys to keep him off of it!
    Love your garden – how do you keep the deer from the hostas? Mine are in pots on the deck and I caught one climbing the steps to get to it. Chocolate to a deer!
    See you next month in Chapel Hill!
    Mary Ed

  12. Michele Bretz

    Carole, I’m happy that our family emergencies have come out with great outcomes! When I accepted the quilt repair referral, my multiple issues started. Like yours, mine are slowly returning back to normal.

  13. Julie

    Lovely garden. That squirrel was probably on the search for a buried nut. We have a Goldfinch with no black feathers – over winter he looked like a ghost with white feathers instead of soft olive tones. Celebrate your good news!

  14. I started doing yard work a few days ago also, trying to take advantage of a few warm days to weed and mow and clean out winter. I made a dent; but so much more to do. Your flowers are sooooooo pretty. We don’t have that much color yet. Still a bit early for mid Ohio. I tried to have inside azalea’s, but had no luck.

  15. Hurrah for the good news! I loved seeing your flowers today, as it is still brown, brown, brown here. We did finally get some rain this weekend, the first precipitation for 2022. I have 2 hyacinths blooming, they are about 3 inches tall.

  16. Jean McKinstry

    The pathology report news must have lifted a huge weight off both of you, so glad the surgery was a success. And the garden, those flowers, hostas shooting up, azaleas full of colour, spring is a delightful time in the garden, and even the bushy tailed fellow thought a visit was warranted. Take care for yourself, worrying and waiting is so stressful, now time to relax and enjoy those outings, some quilting, and watching as more flowers bloom.

  17. Joy B

    Your azaleas are beautiful! And the lady’s slippers will be – please post some photos of them when they bloom. I miss the ones at the wooded areas around my former home. I do have some may apples, though and some “wakerobin” trilliums that I brought with me. They have spread and it brings me happiness to find new ones each spring.
    I am so glad your husband got “all clear” news from his surgery and pray he continues to heal well.

  18. Kathleen G.

    Wow! You have lady slippers? That’s fantastic! I envy those. I’m sure more pictures are to come!

  19. Judy

    What a weight off you and your husband with his good report! Prayers that he continues to feel better and that both of you can enjoy the blessings of a WNC spring.

  20. I must admit I missed this while attending a quilt retreat & just now catching up. So glad the surgery went well with good reports! Waitiing can be exhausting but good news is worth it. Prayers for your Sweet Babboo and you as he gains his strength. Stress comes in cycles but is managed one day at a time. You are in our prayers even when I get behind in my reading. I love seeing Spring open up the colors. It always brings promises of new beginnings.

  21. Lynda Duncan

    I so enjoyed your garden pictures and chat! Here in the PNW we also have lots of azaleas and Rhodes blooming, while the daffodils and tulips are just about gone now. We hav had a very chilly March and April, also very wet, so it has been difficult to get out and work in the dirt, but hopefully May will be warmer and drier, and it will start feeling like spring here! Thank you for sharing your lovely garden photos.

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