This April has been one for the record books! Although temperatures have been more seasonal this month than they were in March, we have had our share of warm days and, with a little bit of rain, the yard has really started to explode. We have never seen this much in bloom already as we get ready to start the month of May. We usually don’t see things this advanced until maybe the third week in May!
So this will be mostly a photoblog entry, with pictures of some of the plants that have been blooming this month. Early in the month, Malta and Mary Fleming were in bloom. And we had honeybees in them too! It is unusual to see anything but bumble bees this early in the year.
Also blooming earlier than usual was our Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis). The buds started swelling in late March, and by the second week in April, they started popping open.
At another corner of the house, bursting into bloom before we even noticed it was getting started, was our Flowering Almond (Prunus japonica), also known as a Korean Cherry or an Oriental Bush Cherry.
Many of our PJM Rhododendrons popped open in March, but we have a couple varieties that
do open later. Usually, our row of PJM “Olga” opens up in late April, as does our PJM “Checkmate”, but this year both were open by the second week.
Last year was the first year that our Fothergilla, also known as witch hobble, bloomed, and this year it has twice as many blooms on it! I imagine that in about ten years or so, thanks to its position near the road, it will stop traffic. It is not a very common shrub around here.
There are two other groups of shrubs near the Fothergilla that also have white flowers on them One of them is a plant that visitors ask often about, since it is an unusual four-petaled flower. This thin shrub with a parabolic growth habit is known as Jet Bead, named after jet-black berries that it produces after it blooms. Its botanical name is Rhodotypos scandens.
No one ever asks us about the other shrub, which is a shame. Despite the fact that its flowers are much smaller and rarely noticed, Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) is prettier when viewed close up.
Moving along the stone wall, near the street, and adding a bit of color, is another new plant of ours. We’ve added a couple patches of creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), a native herbaceous perrenial.
That pretty much sums up what was in bloom by the middle of April. It is quite a lot, and April was only halfway over by then! In our next entry we will continue with more pics of what turned out to be an April quite like no other we have ever seen. Until then, here is a teaser.