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“Maypril” Blooms: GBBD, April 2012

April 15, 2012

One year ago, my Gettysburg, Pennsylvania garden was a vision of sweet early spring, with blooms of forsythia, daffodils and hyacinths at their peak (Sometimes April Is the Sweetest Month). In the warm, early spring of 2012, however, those early spring flowers have already gone by and have been replaced by flowers more typical of late April and early May. My walks to work these days provide an opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of flowering dogwood and eastern redbud, cherry and apple blossoms, and blooms of lilacs and bearded irises. Large specimen of old-fshioned Bleeding Hearts blooming in my Gettysburg garden (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

The old-fashioned bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) hold pride of place in my garden right now, with both pink and white versions in bloom. A large specimen of this plant expands to fill almost the entire width of the front flower bed, accompanied by blue flowers of Pulmonaria on one side and Brunnera on the other.

Flowers of old-fashioned Bleeding Hearts (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Brunnera 'Frosted Glass' with bleeding hearts (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
In the back flower bed, the bleeding hearts are much less prominent. Not only is the plant growing in this part of the garden younger and smaller, but its flowers are being upstaged by the showy blooms of Viburnum x burkwoodii.
Bloom of Viburnum x burkwoodii (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Viburnum x burkwoodii (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

To the right of this flower bed, in my neighbor’s adjacent garden area, a young Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) that I never noticed before is also in bloom. (It’s hard to imagine how I could have overlooked this tree in the past; perhaps this is the first year it has bloomed?)Flowers on Eastern redbud - Cercis canadensis (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

In the stone circle, the blooms of Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ blend quietly with the white and green foliage of Hosta ‘Francee,’ just unfurling its leaves. And at the front of this flower bed, Phlox subulata has begun to open its pale lavender blooms.

White bleeding heart and hosta (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Spring flowers of Phlox subulata (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

I know that many parts of North America have been visited by an unusually warm and early spring this year; and I imagine that others are also experiencing this mix of late April and early May that I’ve been thinking of as Maypril. Is it Maypril in your garden?

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month in gardens around the world.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2012 6:22 pm

    Pretty creepy, the weather you’ve been having back East. Really makes our rather dry winter seem fairly benign, Well, we get what we get, and the flowers are lovely regardless. Happy bloom day!

    • April 23, 2012 10:34 pm

      Town Mouse, It has been strange weather. After an unusually warm and dry winter and spring, some parts of Pennsylvania (thank goodness, not here!) got hit with more than a foot of snow today as part of a classic winter weather pattern.

  2. April 15, 2012 8:19 pm

    Jean it is Maypril here as well but I still have forsythia, daffs and hyacinths that have been blooming for a month now along with wildflowers, brunnera and creeping phlox…hosta and bleeding heart just starting…so strange.

    • April 23, 2012 10:35 pm

      Donna, How nice that after their early start, your forsythia, daffodils and hyacinths had an extra long bloom period; I’m hoping that’s what will happen in my Maine garden (which I get to go check on this coming weekend). I hope you didn’t get hit with today’s snow.

  3. April 15, 2012 8:36 pm

    Jean, it’s always a pleasure to see what’s blooming in your gardens. I have violets blooming in the lawn and elsewhere and narcissi, but not much else. It is very dry and with no rain in sight I’m spending much of my limited spare time watering the few perennials I dared divide and transplant. Praying for rain.

    • April 23, 2012 10:36 pm

      Joene, Looking at the weather map, it looks like your prayers were answered! (We certainly got a good and much-needed soaking here.)

  4. April 15, 2012 8:51 pm

    Happy Maypril Bloomday to you, Jean! I’ve been a life-long fan of bleeding hearts, strange considering I’ve never grown one! (We have some California versions of it that I might be trying out soon.) The Left Coast weather has been strange and capricious but the season hasn’t come egregiously early or late as it has for you. It’ll be interesting to see if next month you’ll be celebrating Mayune…

    • April 23, 2012 10:39 pm

      James, I don’t know what it is about bleeding hearts, but I’m just enchanted by them. Today we seem to be celebrating Marchpril, with temperatures about 25 degrees below normal and soaking rain. (At least we escaped the snow they got a little further west in PA.)

  5. April 16, 2012 8:20 am

    It’s interesting what we pick up from other’s posts. I think it is fantastic that you can walk to work. What a source of inspiration to see your neighbors’ gardens up close.

    • April 23, 2012 10:41 pm

      Mary, I agree that being able to walk to work is special. The distance (a little over a mile) is longer than most Americans would consider walking distance; but at this time of year, the walk is an absolute delight.

  6. April 16, 2012 12:40 pm

    It would have been a little more Mayprily if April had continued in the same vane as March Jean. We do have the bleeding heart and the Brunnera in bloom also though..

    • April 23, 2012 10:42 pm

      Alistair, It’s fun when your gardens in different parts of the world and different climates have the same flowers in bloom. I am especially enjoying the bleeding heart and the Brunnera.

  7. Nell Jean permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:52 pm

    Your Garden is lovely, out of sync or not.

    It’s SummerPril here. Lilies and southern Magnolias are blooming. Curiously, here Hostas wait until really hot weather in hopes there is going to be more cold before they emerge. I used to read about Hostas unfurling in the north and wonder if mine were dead. Hostas are just not suited to a climate where Gingers thrive instead.

    • April 23, 2012 10:45 pm

      Nell, Plant adaptations intrigue me, so I’m fascinated by the way Hostas behave in your hot climate. In cold climates, they’re one of the last plants to emerge; and there’s always that period when you’re holding your breath wondering if you somehow managed to lose them all. But they always show up in the end. I don’t have any gingers in my garden, although there are some that do very well in cold climates.

  8. April 17, 2012 5:25 pm

    Not quite Maypril here (I love that word). Soon it will be though. Love your images today, Jean.

    • April 23, 2012 10:46 pm

      Diane, I hope Maypril is arriving in your neighborhood. It really is a lovely time of year.

  9. April 17, 2012 8:10 pm

    We’re certainly having odd swings in temperatures this year but nothing like others are having. Our 20 degree days have been punctuated with snow storms so no blooms just yet but I”m really enjoying seeing all the lovely flowers in warmer gardens like yours.

    • April 23, 2012 10:47 pm

      Marguerite, The flowers will be all the sweeter when they bloom for having made you wait for them.

  10. April 18, 2012 4:31 pm

    Beautiful Jean! I love viburnums and redbuds. Especially love the phlox and white dicentra among your hosta leaves also edged in white – lovely combination. I wouldn’t say it’s Maypril here as our unusually warm weather has been squashed by cooler temps. My hostas aren’t up yet and the bleeding hearts are just beginning to bud.

    • April 23, 2012 10:50 pm

      Kathy, The white dicentra with the hosta leaves is one of those serendipitous combinations, but I’m charmed by it. Things have cooled down some here, slowing down the garden progression. It will be interesting to see how far ahead of schedule we are by mid-May. Did you get hit by today’s freak snow storm?

  11. April 18, 2012 4:46 pm

    Well, of all the quirks to experience in a very odd year, at least this is a pleasant one! Actually, our spring hasn’t been particularly quirky at all–the crocuses were a few weeks early, but everything since then has been bang on schedule, within a day or so of last year’s blooms. (Boy, are digital cameras handy for keeping track of those kinds of details!) I love the white bleeding hearts with the hosta–what a lovely, serene echo, especially with the generous, large shapes in green and the small details in white.

    • April 23, 2012 10:52 pm

      Stacy, I love that combination, too. I could pretend that I planned it, but it’s really a gift of Mother Nature. I’m hoping that one benefit of our unusually early season here may be that my Siberian irises will start to bloom before I leave for Maine.

  12. April 18, 2012 9:38 pm

    I am intrigued by your Phlox subulata – are they fragrant? I tried them last year from seeds which were like a fine powder and supposed to be very fragrant, (they were not.) Are they perennial?

    • April 23, 2012 10:54 pm

      Ray, Thanks for visiting. I don’t think the Phlox subulata are fragrant — or if they are, it is a very faint and subtle fragrance. These bloom in big carpets in my Maine neighborhood, and I have never noticed any particular fragrance while walking by them. They are perennials.

  13. jessiegoes permalink
    April 19, 2012 10:10 pm

    I just read this week that while North America had its warmest March ever, the rest of the world was actually cooler than average! The weather is endlessly fascinating to me. We seem to have moderated from being way warmer than average to just about normal now. I even heard talk of a MODERATE summer… joy of joys I hope this is true!

    • April 23, 2012 10:56 pm

      Jess, I can believe that warmest ever March statistic; it was certainly amazingly warm in Pennsylvania, and I was out pruning shrubs in mid-March in Maine! A summer of mild sunshine and normal temps would be a treat.

  14. April 20, 2012 11:32 am

    I nominated your blog for The Versatile Blogger award. Here’s some information:

  15. April 21, 2012 6:22 am

    Looking lovely in your garden. Julie, Pam, and I will miss you today.

    • April 23, 2012 10:58 pm

      I hope the three of you had a good day. It looked as though the weather cooperated. (The soaking rain here on Sunday and Monday was much needed and good for keeping me inside focused on my grading!)

  16. April 21, 2012 9:22 am

    Love your new term – Maypril!

    • April 23, 2012 10:59 pm

      Jayne, When I look out the window today, it still looks like Maypril, but the temperatures feel more like the March temps we didn’t get in March.

  17. April 23, 2012 4:14 pm

    Gorgeous, Jean! We are experiencing the same thing us here… we are 4 to as much as 6 weeks ahead of schedule in terms of what is blooming. I worry about what will be blooming in June! (or won’t be, as the case may be….)

    • April 23, 2012 11:00 pm

      Cathy, Wow; 4-6 weeks ahead of schedule is a lot. I’ll be interested in seeing what’s happening in my Maine garden when I get there this weekend. I’m hoping it’s not so far ahead of schedule, since I don’t get there to settle in and enjoy it until late May.

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