Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for April 2019

Arctostaphylos (Manzanita)

I have been dealing with a nasty head cold for the past few weeks but I am feeling much better and managed to get back out in the garden this weekend. We are having a rainy April which is fine with me but it does hamper the ability to get some much needed chores done. 

The April showers are bringing blooms out everywhere. My first time growing Arctostaphylos (Manzanita) (pictured above) and both plants have blooms! This is a shrub (or sometimes tree) that is well-suited for Mediterranean climates and they do well here. 

Also very popular here is Rhododendron 'PJM' (below). I fell in love with it after we moved here. It seems a bit old hat now but I still think that color is fabulous!

Rhododendron 'PJM'

I am disappointed that Rhododendron 'Vulcan' only has one bloom but that one bloom is pretty spectacular -

Rhododendron 'Vulcan'

Rhododendron 'Blue Baron' is very puny but the color of these blooms make me swoon -

Rhododendron 'Blue Baron'

Who knew that Skimmia was such a great shrub? It is covered with blooms and in complete shade. This was already here when we moved in. It is on the north side of the house.

Skimmia japonica
Close-up of the blooms and a berry -

Skimmia blooms and berry

Viburnum 'Spring Bouquet' continues to dazzle - 

Viburnum 'Spring Bouquet'

I talked about the Red Flowering Currant in my last post. In case you missed it, it is worth looking at again -

Ribes sanguineum (Red Flowering Currant)

The Florida Anise (Illicium floridadum 'Woodland Red') is doing very well along the back fence in shade - 

Illicium floridadum 'Woodland Red' (Florida Anise)

Spirea 'Ogon' in the background with New Zealand Flax (Phormium 'Rainbow Queen') -

Spirea 'Ogon' and Phormium 'Rainbow Queen' 

Camellia 'Nuccio Bella Rosa' has grown so much since last year - 

Camellia 'Nuccio Bella Rosa'

Camellia 'Nuccio Bella Rosa'

Daphne genkwa has been blooming for weeks now -

Daphne genkwa

Daphne genkwa

And finally, some perennials. I just purchased this native iris from my workplace last week. My goal this year is to add more natives.

Iris tanex

I am always amazed at how stunning Dicentra 'Gold Heart' is - 

Dicentra 'Gold Heart' (Bleeding Heart)

Just a few weeks ago, this Euphorbia looked horrendous. Now, it seems to get better and better every day. I don't know whether to prune it or not but I need to check -

Euphorbia myrsinites

Flowering Quince -

 Chaenomeles 'Double Take Orange Storm' (Quince)

Corydalis 'Purple Leaf' -

Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf'

Euphorbia wulfenii -

Euphorbia wulfenii

Epimedium versicolor 'Sulfureum'

Epimedium versicolor 'Sulfureum'

Lamium 'Herman's Pride' is a bit of a thug and I have already removed quite a chunk of it. I'm not sure if I will allow it to stay but it is certainly attractive -

Lamium 'Herman's Pride'

Veronica 'Georgia Blue' -

Veronica 'Georgia Blue'

In my quest to find cascading plants for the retaining wall, this is one that fits the bill - Vinca 'Illumination' -

Vinca minor 'Illumination'

And last, but certainly not least, are the tulips -

Be sure to check out other blooms from bloggers around the world at May Dreams Gardens.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. All of your Rhodies are spectacular. Even the one with just one bloom. Does that blue Corydalis spread like the native yellow one? That would be fun if it did. I will have to try it. I hope you are well soon. Happy GBBD.

  2. So gorgeous, gorgeous. My eyes thank you for the candy! The color of the Rhodies, yes, delicious! Your Camellia 'Bella Rossa', sigh. Perfection. Mine died (sob, tears).

    I wonder if your area is cool-summer enough to grow Stachyrus chinensis? Now that is a stunner of a spring-show shrub.

    Had a thought about retaining wall drapers from your comment on my post--what about Geranium either 'Rozanne' or 'Ann Folkard'?

    1. I will look up that shrub. I grow 'Rozanne' geranium in other parts of the garden. I had not thought about it as a cascading plant but I bet it would.

  3. Oh, my. You have fabulous things! I've never seen a rhododendron that blue! The fancy orange flowering quince! That amazing flowering current! I want them all! And I will be researching them today.

  4. Beautiful blooms, every one of them!
    I don't think I have seen a double Flowering Quince before.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

  5. your Epimedium versicolor 'Sulfureum' may be Epimedium p. ssp. colchicum. Lamium 'Herman's Pride' is the lamium i needed because i kept it alive. My skimmia is a sad little thing in too much shade and redwood tree root competition. It's mate died so now i will never get berries. So excited about Illicium this season. Hoping i really will manage to get 'scarlet skirts' from Xera. Illicium anisatum 'variegata' baby blooming in my garden now. Beautiful plants and photos, as usual.

    1. Possibly, I have a few other epimedium and wasn't exactly sure if I was identifying the right one. I don't see that name listed however.

  6. Hi Phillip, greetings from Alabama! You have some amazing spring blooms. That blue rhododendron took my breath away. My Rhodies haven't bloomed much, but I am ever hopeful. I planted one many years ago, and the foliage is lovely, which is why I keep it. Every year it puts out one spectacular bloom. I have 3 others, supposedly bred for the South, and after 3 years they are yet to bloom. But at least they are alive, and the foliage, like the other one, is very nice. I had to research my euphorbia too. Says I should cut it back after it flowers. I have grown euphorbias only a couple of years, and I am falling in love with them.

    1. Hello Deb, it is great to hear from you. Have you tried 'English Roseum'? It was one of the few rhododendrons that I was able to grow in Alabama. It did really well underneath a dogwood tree with dappled shade most of the day.

  7. How bountiful blooms of Rhododendrone at your place,even camelias are astounding too.
    I envy your collection of them since we cant sustain them here in scorching summer days .
    Have a great week ahead.


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