A menagerie of useful plants and things handmade….
2021 April Flowers! Hooray! They are back!!!
Here are a few of my favorites now blooming at Barbolian Fields. How did I forget Dandelions? They’re everywhere!! (Had to include a few of my granddaughter, who is almost 5)
Nanking cherry blossoms - delicate, soft, light
This particular Red Flowering Currant blossom just really seemed to stand out among all the other zillions. Can't get enough! One of Barkley's favorites, too.
A Goumi blossom, Elaeagnus multiflora, in the morning sun. Is it related to honeyberries? Their blossoms are similar.
An old-fashioned gooseberry flower - so simple and yet so complex - who knew?
Manchurian Viburnum - not quite open - what a transformation it makes! Like a starburst!
This Manchurian Viburnum looked so soft in the morning light!
Ok ok. One last photo of the the Star Magnolia blossom. It seems like it should be growing in the south or maybe Hawaii, not up here in the drizzly Pacific Northwest!
When the little tree is in full bloom, it is a site to behold! The Star Magnolia is one of my favorite April flowers here at Barbolian Fields. I don't see many of them elsewhere, and I have no idea who might have planted it - but I thank them.
I never knew the Star Magnolia blossoms were edible until this year. They almost seem to glow in dark as the sun sets!
Rhubarb buds are bold.
Who doesn't love cherry blossoms??? When the wind blows and they take flight, it seems to be snowing!
Daffodils are iconic April flowers - bringing a splash of yellow wherever they pop up - sometimes far from where originally planted!
Some of the Mahonia blossoms are starting to fade. Aka, Oregon Grape, it is a native plant that is a reliable early food source for pollinators.
Red Flowering Currant cluster up close. What bee or hummingbird could resist this April flower? A native treasure!
The Red Flowering Currant shrubs have grown HUGE. A hummingbird, bumblebee, and kid attractant!
Red Flowering Currant trilogy - the flowers were SO dense this year and the shrubs, HUGE!
Brassica flowers grow taller than my granddaughter. So tasty!
Leila by Currant blossoms
Ok – this was crazy – some of the warmest temperatures on record! Everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING – but most particularly the mustards and dandelions, seemed to be on steroids! And who can weed a garden that is covered with hungry bees? So that was my convenient excuse for April, but seriously, we were just grateful to see everything around us burst open in the brilliant yellows of spring: daffodils, dandelions, mustards, and forsythia, and the air scented with an abundance of cherry blossoms, particularly sweet because I thought we had lost them forever…a tale for another day. For now, enjoy the flowers! Our bees certainly did! How we all rejoice in Spring!
FLOWERS & BEE PLANTS
Ceanothus, Blue & White
2019 Was a Very Good Year for Red Flowering Currants and Magnolias
Some Photos from the 2018 April Garden
Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is up! Hooray! A great bee plant, medicinal plant, and mulch provider.
Nettles! Nettles! Everywhere! Pick them now while tender and fresh! Dehydrate what we can't eat now for nourishing teas next winter. (Urtica dioica)
Lovage, Levisticum officinale, has a strong celery flavor, but is great when it is young. And I love the "lovage forest" that it makes.
Over-wintered chard is a reliable standby in early spring. And who can resist that beautiful red!
Turkey Rhubarb, aka Da-huang, Rheum palmatum tanguticum: This important medicinal plant likes rich, damp, soil in somewhat shady areas. It grows huge! I am happy that it made it through the winter (along with regular rhubarb)
Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus: I mostly grow this for the blooms, which look like giant artichokes. The bumblebees love them. The early stems are edible.
Magnolia Star, Magnolia stellata, is such a beautiful pure white flower with a blush of pink. This shrub almost glows in the dark.
Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium: The little pollinators are all over this. Love this bright yellow near the red flowering currants!
Nanking Cherry, Prunus tomentosa: These bloom so early and are like the breath of spring! I thought I had lost them.
Wild mustard? Feral turnip? These came up in the compost. I leave them for now for the bees.
Daffodils: I would plant them for no other reason than that they make me happy.
Honeyberry blossoms, Lonicera cecerulea edulis: This early bloomer will bring wonderful blue berries around June. I will definitely plant more of these.