This post is for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, the one day each month where bloggers all share about our favorite flowers, the ones in bloom, that is. Carol Michel hosts this day each month from her May Dreams garden blog.
Two posts in one week! What am I thinking? It’s like the good ‘ole blogging days! Earlier I wrote that spring is here in all its glory.
In Oklahoma, Bloom Day is always all about the weather.
Maybe the same holds true for where you live too. We have rainy and cool weather this entire week in Oklahoma. Some parts of the state may even see a freeze, but in my garden, the low will probably hit 38°F at the end of the week. It all depends on whether the skies stay cloudy or clear off.
Bring on the blooms!
Many of the usual floral suspects are in bloom this April 15th. The daffodils have mostly come and gone. They didn’t like the warm and windy weather last week. Tulipa ‘Green Wave’ is still flowering. The cooler weather helped lengthen its time in the garden. After ‘Green Wave’ finishes, I’ll pull up the bulbs and throw them on the compost pile. I can hear you groaning. but honestly, ‘Green Wave’ won’t return looking the same next year if it returns at all. Modern tulips aren’t hybridized to be long-term perennials.
In the lower back garden, the one fenced with split-rail, Packera obovata, formerly Senecio obovatus, always flowers in April. Although it’s a pretty aggressive plant, round-leaved ragwort is native to much of the southeastern U.S. including parts of Oklahoma. P. obovata makes a nice ground cover for sunny areas. Plus, pollinators like it. It’s also easy to move or remove as you wish.
Another ground cover I often recommend for Oklahoma gardeners is Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ and ‘Black Scallop.’ I like ‘Black Scallop’s wider and darker leaves best. You can also find one of the variegated forms locally, but it constantly tries to revert to the darker form in my garden so I’ve given up on it. Also, there is ‘Bronze Beauty,‘ but I’m not into it–just a personal preference. Bugleweed will bloom for several weeks, and the wood bees will be so glad. I saw a queen gathering nectar yesterday, and her boyfriend tried to chase me off. Silly boyfriend.
Geum ‘Tequila Sunrise’ continues its floral display. It loves this weather.
Flowering shrubs and trees
Several shrubs and trees are flowering for Bloom Day.
Southern or Rusty blackhaw
One of the most prominent and important to the pollinators including my honey bees is Viburnum rufidulum, southern blackhaw, or rusty blackhaw. My tree is now quite large and happy in the northeast corner of the garden. It is near the beehives, and I find honey bees, hoverflies, and other pollinators on it when it’s blooming. I say the tree is happy because it is now suckering. I keep digging these up and placing them elsewhere. Now that I have it in my garden, I’ve also found two shrubs in the woods up by the barn. It is the host plant for Spring Azure butterflies, and its drupes (fruits) are eaten by birds. You need two shrubs to eventually have fruit. When I planted them, I wrote more about this shrub and other native shrubs to replace roses.
‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberry
The ‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberry I planted only last week is in flower and now on sale, and what pretty flowers they are! It has been raining profusely so you’ll have to take my word for it. It’s hard to believe one day that this tree will grow to 25′ feet tall and wide. Right now, it looks lost in the common violets. Yes, the violets are blooming, and yes, I love them. I consider them a good ground cover beneath the trees where grass refuses to grow. Yes, they are also spreaders. I just deal with them the best I can in the paths.
More about serviceberries on our podcast.
Carol and I spent a lot of time on the Gardenangelists podcast talking about serviceberries if you want to learn more.
What else is blooming?
Plants for shade
A lot of sweet spring things are blooming right now. In shady spots, we have hellebores, epimediums, variegated Solomon’s seal, lily of the valley, and woodland phlox.
Plants for sun
In sunnier sections of the garden, it’s all about the remaining daffodils. Most of the ones flowering now are the smaller types. Woodland phlox has also spread to sunnier sections because it was once shaded by crapemyrtles. We will see how it does this summer in full sun. Also, Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’ is in bloom. A. hubrichtii, which has more delicate foliage will bloom a bit later. I love them both.
If you’d like to know what to plant in April, I’ve got you covered there too. This is my wrap-up of my April Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day collection. I’ll float around the internet and see everyone else’s contributions. To find other bloggers head over to Carol Michel’s website. She’ll have a list.