Thursday, April 19, 2007

April Blooms Part 2

April is the month in which the garden truly comes alive. So much is happening then and this year especially, because of the weather we've been having. It's been a very mild winter in the Netherlands with only a few nights with some light frost ( minus 1 to minus 3 C) after which we moved into a very mild spring as well. Recently we even had 5 days of summer with temperatures from 25 to 28 Celsius. And nature has responded to this in a big way; flowers, plants, shrubs, bulbs and trees are at least 4 to 6 weeks ahead of their normal schedule.

This is part two of my contribution to Garden Bloggers Blooms Day because I'd like to show you all, how all the different areas of my garden are looking at the moment.

This is the south border in the back garden that wraps itself around my conservatory. In flower are grape hyacinths, tulipa tarda, Lily of the valley, Iberis, arabis, leucojum, cloves, forget-me-not, geranium,
the first columbines (see first picture), anemone blanda, clematis montana (second picture), rosemary and the last of the daffodils, some lovely white ones, called Thalia.
Of course many tulips are in flower in my south border too, such as Angelique, tulipa Greenland as shown here,
tulipa kaufmanniana Lilac Wonder,

White Dream, Queen of Night and Spring Green.
This is White Dream with forget-me-not, kind of an unforgettable dream.

The star this spring is, of course, my lovely, blossoming pear tree. Behind it is another seating area, this time in a cool and shady position, so it's lovely to sit there in summer when it's hot.

On the table are some plants; a lovely frilly Violet, a pink Chrysanthemum and a pot of mint. It's nice to pick a few mint leaves and put them in your cup of tea on a hot summers' day, very refreshing.
A close up of the pink Chrysanthemum, cute isn't it? I bought it last week at the garden center, just couldn't resist it, such a happy looking thing to cheer up even the shadiest spot in the garden.

But it's not only my pear tree that is in flower with such pretty flowers as you can see here, but also another tree,
my walnut that has flowers that are very different to those of the pear tree, but beautiful in their own way. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

One of my favorite plants is in flower already, and it's called Cymbalaria muralis, a very tiny plant with lovely soft purple/lilac flowers. In Dutch it is called muurleeuwenbek or wall snapdragon, as it can grow in walls and the flowers look like miniature snapdragons. My Cymbalaria is a descendant of a cutting a friend of mine took with her from England more than 18 years ago. When hers had grown, she took another cutting and gave it too me. Since then it has always been in my garden (my previous and current one) and I grow it everywhere.

Quite close to the walnut tree and the birdbath, there is a little feline friend that doesn't need all that much looking after.
My shy little friend is peeking from behind the Lamium with silvery white and green leaves and soft yellow flowers. Peek-a-boo, we see you!

The birdbath is at the moment surrounded by the Lamium and the last of the deep pink flowers of the Hellebore. There are a lot of grape hyacinths too but they have almost finished flowering and so has the aubrieta.

Violets are great flowers to have in your garden. It is possible to have a violet in flower all year round. Here's one I also bought at the garden center. Cute, isn't it? I love violets with their sweet and cheerful faces and they come in so many colours too. And there's another reason why I like them, Yolanda means violet.

If you would be happy your whole life long, become a gardener. Old Chinese Proverb


Carol said...

Yolanda Elizabet, how lovely your part II flowers are. The columbine is especially beautiful, another one of my favorite flowers. Thanks for sharing your garden with us. It looks like it is at the peak of perfection.

Entangled said...

Beautiful plants! I love to see what everyone else is growing. Would the Cymbalaria muralis make a good ground cover? I have no rock walls, alas.

marl1 said...

De chinese wijsheden bevatten zoveel waarheid!!!
De muurleeuwebek is ook mooi 'watervallig'....Prachtig plantje.
En- er bestaan ook booskijkende viooltjes. Nu je dit hebt gelezen ga je er vast op letten :-))

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all,

Carol: the peak of perfection, eh? How I wish that was true, but thanks for your lovely compliment.

Entangled: Cymbalaria muralis grows almost anywhere. It grows in my strawberrypot, in cracks in the pavement, in one of the beds of my kitchen garden and in a hanging basket. So yes, it will do well as ground cover too, especially if you plant a few of them so that they can cover the earth quickly. It will disappear in wintertime though.

Marleen: dat muurleeuwenbekje is een fantastisch plantje en op zoveel manieren toe te passen. En het is ook nog eens een heel sterk plantje, wat wil je nog meer?

Booskijkende viooltjes? Hmm, ik zag er net nog 1 in de spiegel. hihi
Ik zal er eens op gaan letten!

Christian Wagner said...

My most favorite flower is the lotus flower. Its funny, ‘cause I just read some interesting info on another blog about this flower. Check out the blog at There is one kind that opens its buds at night and closes them during the day and another one that retreats below the water at night and re-surfaces during the day.

Bye, Chris.

A wildlife gardener said...

So, Yolanda means violet. I didn't know that, and I have so many violas growing in my garden, as they are great favourites of mine. I shall think of you when I'm looking at them now. I love your daffodil called Thalia....very beautiful indeed.

Ki said...

Very nice pictures. I love the white daffodils and the photo of the Nora Barlow columbine.

snappy said...

Your garden looks very inviting and the flowers all look lovely.My fav is the aqualegia, and the violet, which is my fav colours!I love the stone cat peeking through the plants.:)

stadtgarten said...

The white daffodils are really beautiful.I have never seen totally white ones before.
Groetjes, Monika

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Welcome all,

Christian: I saw the lotus flowers years ago when I was floating down the Nile in a feloeka. They are beautiful, no wonder the ancient Egyptians loved them so much.

WG: thank you, it's always nice when there's someone thinking of you.
This is the first year that I have the white daffodils and I like them so I'm going to buy some more Thalia bulbs next autumn.

Ki: the columbines are lovely, aren't they? And there are so many varieties, I wish I had them all.

Skippy: there's always room for a little cat in my garden, real or stone ones.

Monika: the Thalia daffodils are unusual by being completely white. I also like the elegant shape of the flowers and there are several flowers to every stem, mostly 3 per stem, so triple enjoyment from every bulb.

ginger said...

It is a privilege to be invited into your beautiful garden. Thalia is a beauty and I am going to add it to my list! Your garden is so far ahead of mine! To be expected given the location but I am getting anxious to see some color! Thank you again!

OldRoses said...

You and I seem to love many of the same flowers although my garden is nowhere near as beautiful as yours. Thank you for the tour of your wonderful garden in spring.

Gotta Garden said...

Last of the daffodils?? Say it isn't so! (We have to fix that, don't you think?!) Think late!

This is such a pleasant garden, I need to take a seat on that convenient chair!

Very inviting! Do you, by the way, have neighbors who drop in to visit your garden?

Kate said...

I agree with Gotta Garden ... it would be great to wander through your garden, looking at all the flowers in bloom and settle for a visit and a cup of tea in your lovely corner.There are so many beautiful blooms - I keep thinking, ah, this is my favourite, and then, no, wait, I like this one better. The lilac tulips are so delicate and cheerful ...

It is incredible that you have had such warm weather and that you are so far ahead of schedule. Hopefully, you will have a beautiful summer full of abundant blooms!

Tyra said...

Ones again a lovely walk in your pretty garden. The chinese....wise people. I practice Tai Chi and Qigong more of the chinese wisdom.
Favorite of the day, the daffodil.

Heidi said...

You have the most lovely garden Yolanda Elizabet! As we both know, land is a premuim here in Holland and your garden seems so big compared to our tiny postage stamp. But even the biggest of gardens will result to nothing without a special person to care for it. You have done a beautiful job!

I am going back and reading your blog from the beginning and enjoying 'getting to know you'.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all, and how nice to see you!

Ginger: you're welcome to visit my gardenblog anytime! Glad you liked it. I hope you will have some colour in your garden soon!

Oldroses: we have several things in common; cats, gardening and many of the same flowers.

GG: if you have any suggestions about some late flowering dafs, please do!

I started a gardening club a few years ago. Most members live in my village and some drop by regularly for a chat and a look at my garden.

Kate: one of the joys of gardening is to share your garden with others. I love it when my friends pop by who love gardening as much I do and we go out into the garden, have a good look around and then have a nice cup of tea or coffee and a chat. In summer, one of the joys is to spoil my friends with good food (lunch, afternoon tea or dinner) made from veggies, herbs and fruit from my own garden. Bliss!

Tyra: glad you enjoyed your walk thru the garden. The Chinese are wise, I agree.

Heidi: yes, unfortunately space is at a premium here in the Netherlands so not many people have a large garden. I feel very priviledged to have one. It's something I have been dreaming of all my life and 5 years ago, that dream came true. My previous garden was very small, but it gave me so much pleasure, that sweet little paradise of mine.

Enjoy reading my blog!

Annie in Austin said...

Super clematis, columbine, roses, Yolanda, the Violet! I looked up Yolanda, and read that's it's a form of Iolanthe, so you share your name with Gilbert & Sullivan's Queen of the Fairies...

very appropriate, since this sure looks like a lovely Fairyland to me.


Lis said...

Dein Garten ist wunderschön und ich schaue immer sehr gerne was es bei dir Neues gibt. Die weißen Daffodils gefalen mir sehr gut und das Vogelbad ist einfach toll.
Heute hab ich im Garten einige Vogelfedern gefunden, hoffentlich haben die Katzen keine von den Amseln die im Efeu brüten erwischt!
Happy weekend

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello all,

Annie: Queen of the fairies, I like it! ;-)

Lis: Danke! I see that most visitors liked the white daffodils. :-)
The birdbath is very popular with many birds in my garden, and I like it too. It's fun to watch the birds drink from it or take a bath in it.

Have a lovely weekend!

guild_rez said...

Yolanda, I wish you very nice weekend and Happy Earth Day.
Your flowers are beautiful..
Spring has sprung in our City, time to get busy in our garden.

cheers Gisela

Birgit said...

Immer wieder schön, bei Dir zu schauen was es Neues gibt. Dein Garten ist wirklich traumhaft schön auch mit sehr schönen Deko-Elementen. Auch mir gefallen die weißen Daffodils unheimlich gut, aber auch die weißen Tulpen in den Vergissmeinicht sehen so romantisch aus. Ich wünsche Dir ein schönes, sonniges Wochenende. LG Birgit

Bert said...

Hi, Yolanda,
What a nice spring garden. With such beautiful flowers. Have a nice and sunny weekend, with a drop of rain in the nights, to keep things growing.

Salix Tree said...

I love the little Cymbalaria flowers. I think I see these same flowers growing here in old walls and cracks of old houses. I've always liked them, but cuttings have never rooted for me. So I must admire them whenever I come across them. Yours look very healthy, full and beautiful.
I love your garden, so many gorgeous flowers! Your pear is lovely.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello all,

Gisele: I'm glad that spring has come for you too, enjoy!!!

Birgit: Die weisen Tulpen in den Vergissmeinicht sind sehr romantisch, nicht wahr? Und sie heissen: White Dream.

Bert: we could do with a bit of rain. My waterbutt is dry and so is the earth. Hopefully we'll have some rain soon and if at all possible only during the night. ;-)

Salix Tree: why don't you give the Cymbalaria another try? Just pull a bit out of the wall and put it in a pot on top of the earth (so not in it but on it). Then sprinkle a little bit of earth on top of it, water it and let it grow.

I'm so happy with my pear tree, I thought I'd lost it and now it's blossoming its sweet little heart out.

Green thumb said...

A dream, a fantasy, sheer bliss!

Dear Yolanada, Your Garden is so beautiful that it seems nature too has made it its permanent abode. With so much happening everywhere in your garden I wish I too could enjoy a corner, sitting there, doing nothing, simply lost in the beauty of it all...anyways I still am getting to do the next best thing; Enjoying it all through your Blog! Luv it all.

Sanni said...

Your garden looks really amazing. Wow!!