As I write this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, it is 29°F this morning. Yesterday was a howling, cold day with a high of 43°. We burned another fire in the fireplace, and I was grateful not to be a settler or one of the native tribes who lived in Oklahoma around the turn of the last century. Every time the wind howled, it reminded me of wolves.
The western Oklahoma prairie has been on fire for several days because of a stray spark and that howling wind. Two nights ago, the wind blew the smoke from those prairie fires into the central part of Oklahoma, and we could hardly breathe. I feel for my neighbors in Vici and Woodward, along with everyone else in the fires’ path. We have two more days of the wind tomorrow and Tuesday. Then, things should calm down on that front. Prairie fires are not new to our state. They devoured acres of the grasslands for eons, even before the bison roamed. It is how the prairie was renewed each spring and fall. However, it’s sad when the high winds take people’s livelihood, homes and sometimes even their lives.
Oklahoma needs rain, especially western Oklahoma. Please pray for rain and safety for our firefighters and citizens.
In the garden, April is way behind because we’ve had freeze after freeze. No, they’re not late freezes, but they might as well be. In between the freezes, warm temperatures and strong southern winds made everything in the garden grow as if it were May. My Japanese maples, toad lilies, and hostas are wilted and shivering, but nearly everything else is okay, considering. Plants will quickly rebound if the freezes stop–and they will–and we get rain.
In Oklahoma, it’s always about the rain. We get most of our precipitation in spring and fall with a long, hot and dry summer in between.
Surprisingly, my roses are fine. The new growth on several is sad. I’ll go around and remove it this week, but the main leaves are untouched. Of course, they’re not blooming yet.
‘Major Wheeler’ coral honeysuckle is one of the stars of the spring garden. At the end of the garden where the purple chairs sit, I once had ‘New Dawn‘ roses planted on either side of a previous arbor, but sadly, they both succumbed to Rose Rosette Virus. However, I like the honeysuckle. It’s a lot less trouble and has no thorns. The hummingbirds also like it. So that’s two of us. How about you?
[Click on the photos in the galleries to make them larger.]
No, on to what else is blooming in the garden. As I took photos out in the wind, I would have told you not much really. However, when I uploaded the pictures, I realized there’s a lot blooming here. It’s just miserable and cold, and I’m sick of it. We do have blooms though with Phlox divaricata, woodland phlox, being the star of the show. Thank goodness for this splendid native. I saw it for sale at TLC Nursery a couple of weeks ago which hardly ever happens. I mentioned it on Facebook, and poof, the plants were soon gone. I guess you do read my posts! Thanks so much!
The last photo is of P. subulata, creeping phlox, which a completely different plant just to let you know. It’s still pretty, but grows best in sun.
You might go over and follow me on Instagram though. I do a lot of videos on there. Sometimes, I share them on Facebook, but sometimes, I don’t. I also answer questions in both places. I’m not on Twitter as much as I once was. I need a little downtime.
We even have blooms in the lawn. Yes, those are common blue–really purple–violets. People often use herbicides to kill them out of their grass and gardens, but I don’t mind them. These grow in a shady spot where no grass grows. They are also a good pollinator plant for early spring. If you are still skeptical, read “Underused Native Plants: Common Blue Violets” from the Penn State Extension.
My lawn is full of early natives and weeds that most people shun. I hate Bermuda Grass so bring on chickweed, henbit and the other little weeds that nourish wildlife. Almost all of them die out as soon as the weather warms. I just mow them and go on. That way the rabbits and other creatures don’t eat my garden so much. That, and our dog. Pup Francis, is a wildlife chasing machine. He even catches moles.
No, I don’t feel sorry for the moles. Not one little bit. I hates the moles, Precious. So does Francis.
Back to blooms. Although my tulips left something to be desired, my daffodils were extraordinary this year. They were front and center in my March Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post. Now, they are on the wane, but they are dying beautifully. As their blooms fade, I snap or cut them off so they don’t produce seed capsules. That way, they spread more quickly.
Japanese kerria, both the double and single forms, is doing its thing with panache. I love this spring bloomer. I really do. It lights up the shade gardens. We also have the first lilac blooming. The other ‘Miss Kim’ lilacs should bloom in a week or so.
Okay, that’s it for this month.
Oh! Did I mention we’re getting honeybees? Yes! We are! I’m excited.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by my dear friend, Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens. Hop on over there to see what she’s got cooking.