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April 2013
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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: April 2013

Virginia bluebells (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Yes, it’s spring, but boy has it been a seesaw.

A long cool March led to a slow, low spring, where plants emerged, flower buds opened and lasted for days, if not weeks.

Barrett Browning daffodil. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Then wham, in true Hoosier tradition, the temps hovered in the 70s for days, taking daffodils from flower to fried in about two days. Daffodils absolutely do not like the heat. All that’s left are the late blooming ones, which are some of my favorites.

Last fall, I planted a couple of dozen anemones (A. blanda) for about the umpteenth time. But this time, I think they may actually do something besides feed the critters. Ferny foliage is above ground and I’m awaiting the flowers.

Last fall, I also planted guinea-hen flower—sometimes called checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris), which I like because it is so unusual.

Fritillaria meleagris. Here it's planted with Narcissus of-unknown-name. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

And, as a photographer, it’s not always a good idea to shoot top down, but rather, it’s better to shoot closer to ground level. However, if you do that, you miss the truly exquisite beauty of the inner tulips.

In all its golden glory for a few short days is the Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’. I love epimedium, a four-season beauty that is just not used enough.

Tulips and hyacinths (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Long-time survivors of my early attempts at bulb plants are the lipstick red tulips (Tulipa) and deep blue Dutch hyacinths (Hyacinthus). The colors are so intense, even after more than 20 years, and they keep getting closer together. With spring bulbs, I’m always reminded of Sally Ferguson, one of the first public relations professionals I meet when I started writing about gardening. Lilies remind me of Scott Kunst of Old House Gardens, whom I have never met, but feel as if I know because I have interviewed him many times and because he writes sweet little notes with his catalogs and orders. And he gives members of Garden Writers Association a discount on orders.

The inner beauty of tulip (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lastly, the Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), my favorite spring ephemeral, have begun to bloom. I started with five corms at least 20 years ago and now, these beautiful native plants fill the whole back portion of the yard. They have begun to spread into more areas and I transplant those that root in the pathways. These are hard to find in garden centers and even in spring bulb catalogs, but the latter is where to start looking, if you want some for your yard. Or, ask someone who has them to share. Now would be the time to transplant them.

Thanks to Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens for being the host of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, when gardeners all over the world post a snapshot of what’s going on in their landscape on the 15th of the month.

Epimedium (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp