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Well, I did not set out last October to ignore my blog for over six months, but I’m afraid that’s just what I’ve done!  Amazingly, my stats show that people still stopped by during my absence, and a few even left comments!   So thank you, readers, for continuing to visit, despite a lack of new material!

I’ll hop right in now and show you what April was like in my gardens.  Be prepared for lots o’ daffodils!

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These King Alfred type daffodils along the back edge of my lawn were the first to bloom, very early, beginning the last week of March.  They were bright and beautiful, and then . . .  this happened:IMG_0008

We had plenty of warning the snow was coming, so I picked several stems and brought them inside to enjoy while Mother Nature got whatever was bothering her out of her system!  The others were beaten down and lay on the ground for some time afterwards, but most eventually recovered.  Happily, none that were in bud suffered much, and I’m enjoying a multitude of blooms now!

Here is one of my favorites, Narcissus ‘Fortissimo‘ (click the link for more details!):DSC_4023 (2)

These big, bold beauties are blooming here in the rock garden for their fourth consecutive year, and they are as strong as ever.  I originally planted nine bulbs here, and this year there are at least twenty-seven blossoms!  DSC_4024 (2)

I highly recommend ‘Fortissimo’!  It’s as strong as its name!                                                   DSC_4030 (2)


At the other end of the rock garden,  here’s a small patch of Narcissus ‘Sorbet’, blooming for a third year:  DSC_4033 (2)I am not happy with how many of my daffs are blooming with their heads hanging down this year.  I can only guess it’s a factor of the weather?   In past years, ‘Sorbet’ has stood up straight and shown its lovely face!DSC_4032 (2)

Up in the lasagna bed, another favorite, ‘Double Fashion’, is blooming nicely:DSC_4093 (5)

‘Ceylon’ is also blooming well with its lovely orange corona:DSC_4094 (2)

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And this Jonquil type is Narcissus ‘Quail’:DSC_4097 (2)In my garden, ‘Quail’ sports two blooms to a stalk.  Its bold, solid yellow blossoms are about two inches across, and it averages thirteen inches in height.  It started blooming soon after ‘Double Fashion’ opened, this year at the end of April.  ‘Quail’ is blooming for a second consecutive year in the lasagna bed.

But wait!  There’s more to see besides Narcissi in the lasagna bed!  The old-fashioned Bleeding Heart is starting to open:DSC_4105 (2)

And the Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ is gorgeous!DSC_4088 (2) - Copy

Unfortunately, the blossoms of Hellebore ‘Pink Frost’ were a weather casualty this year.  There were buds, and then there was snow and freezing temperatures, and then there were no buds.  The plant itself seems to have withstood nature’s vagaries, at least!IMG_0021

Now let’s take a jaunt down the hill to the Terrace Garden, where the forsythia is a bit of a disappointment this year.  As any reader of the garden blogdom must now by now, winter in the northeast United States was a roller coaster of temperatures, and some places had little to no snow.  Temperatures in the sixties saw daffodils poking above ground at New Year’s, and late season snow and frigid wind chills killed buds and caused sparse blooms on some shrubs.DSC_4037

However, the daffodils down here are doing great!  This is Narcissus ‘Pueblo’:DSC_4053 (2)

‘Pueblo’ is a Jonquil that opens pale yellow and transitions to white as it ages.  It’s also another who wants to hang its lovely head:DSC_4051 (2)

The creeping phlox is starting to open up:DSC_4062 (2)I’m looking forward to seeing it expand and eventually hang over the edge of the terrace walls.

At the lower edge of the Terrace Garden, in Dogwood Corner, an assortment of daffodils are blooming–‘Sorbet’, and ‘Ceylon’ most notably.  You can also see the remains of the hyacinths in the background–the snow and cold came at just the wrong time for them, I’m afraid, and they were a bit less than beautiful.   DSC_4071 (2)

There’s also a little trail of Muscari armeniacum (grape hyacinths) wending its way through the area:DSC_4080 (2)


So now it’s May, and I plan to write about my gardens frequently again.  I have at least two new-to-me daffodils I want to show you, and some tulip varieties coming along.  Perhaps I’ll even rewind a bit and show you some of the Amaryllis that bloomed in the house over the winter!  For now I’ll leave you with a picture of pure bliss– a certain “Bad Kitty” enjoying the catmint on a warm, brightly sunny day in late April!DSC_4057 (2) - Copy