It was here, but somehow I missed it…

I suppose with all the travel this month I did, in fact, miss two full weeks of April in the garden. I’m seriously behind. I have little seedlings in the family room that I am desperate to take outside. I have blueberry bushes to transplant. Heirloom tomatoes are on their way from California. There is still some tidy-up work to be done.

Nevertheless, those plants seemed to have carried on without me. So here’s my April pictorial update.

The front flower beds are on the north side of the house, so they don’t get much in the way of sun. I’ve been trying to morph them away from traditional landscape plantings toward more of a true garden setting. It’s slow going as I experiment with plants that work…Oh, and find the time.

front-beds-with-solomons-seal.jpg Solomon’s Seal, Azaleas and Impatiens

The azaleas have finally started to take off, as has the Solomon’s Seal. The hellebores are extremely gorgeous–So much so that I’m thinking of taking advantage of the hellebores sale from Hersonswood Nursery. They have two hellebores called Kingston Cardinal and Gold Finch that would be fabulous planted in a large group, especially since hellebores seem to like living here at Bumblebee.

front-bed-food-dogs.jpg Hellebores and Foo Dogs

The Dead Nettle (awful name/fabulous plant) around my adorable foo dogs is covered in little pink flowers. Tiny little plantlets are coming up around the plant through the mulch.

hotei-garden.jpg Dead Nettle and Hotei

I love the Dead Nettle so much that I planted a mass of it alongside the driveway–another shady spot. The whole area is in dire need of some planning and planting. It’s a very large area, which means a LOT of plants. I’m still scratching my head about how to tackle it.

side-garden-bird-house.jpg Side Garden Birdhouse and Foam Flower

A few years ago my then-early-teenage son took it upon himself to whack down a small tree by the driveway with a machete. Typical boy. I left if there as I pondered what to do with the side garden. When I saw this birdhouse from Walpole Woodworkers, the little lightbulb over my head went off.

Unfortunately, the foam flowers that I planted there last year aren’t as robust as I had hoped. Perhaps they are like the hellebores and just need some time to settle in.

lawn-and-field.jpg Green lawn and hay field at Bumblebee

Then there’s the lawn, which you heard about before. This is the view from the front of the house. Although you read a lot about lawns not being practical, when you have this much room, a lawn is a very practical thing indeed. If we ever need to have an impromptu football game, there’s room to pass the ball. And I can cut it in less than an hour when I have a working riding mower. Since there’s not a chance that I’ll ever be able to garden all this space, a pretty green lawn works quite well and gives us a nice view up the hill.

After the drought last summer the lawn looked hideous. But with aeration and seeding in the fall–and a good amount of rain this spring–it has bounced back quite nicely.

Back in the Colonial garden, the veggies are thriving. I’ve also been cutting tulips and putting them all around the house.

herb-garden.jpg Herb Garden with Columbine

The herb garden is a bit mangy, but it’s still early. The columbine that I started from seed didn’t do much last year. But this year the columbine is EVERYWHERE. I had forgotten that I tucked a couple of little seedlings in the herb bed last year. But this year–here they are!

And last, but not least, the compost bins are currently under a canopy of Dogwood. Yes, that’s my clothes line. And yes, I use it.


Well, so there you have it. There are a couple of other photos of the Colonial theme garden from the last post if you want to see more.

That was a bit of a ramble, but it gave me a chance to spew out all the photos.

And as you can see, April was here because it left behind the evidence. I hope I don’t miss May!

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  • […] Sean wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe front flower beds are on the north side of the house, so they don’t get much in the way of sun. I’ve been trying to morph them away from traditional landscape plantings toward more of a true garden setting. … […]

  • […] Dawn wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptfront-bed-food-dogs.jpg Hellebores and Foo Dogs. The Dead Nettle (awful name/fabulous plant) around my adorable foo dogs is covered in little pink flowers. Tiny little plantlets are coming up around the plant through the mulch. … […]

  • Isn’t it great to come back from vacation and find everything fresh, green and growing? The lawn looks like it recovered too. Your shade garden is filling in nicely and the Solomon’s Seal look great against the bright colour of the azealas.

  • I love your Foo Dogs nestled in the Dead Nettle. I’ve decided I need to rein in mine, as the garden is rapidly becoming a Lamium garden with a few other plants. I just got ‘Kingston Cardinal’ this year, so I say go for it! (You can never have too many Hellebores, right?)

  • Layanee says:

    All looks lovely even the lawn which had that bad haircut. I have been toying with the idea of showing the solar clothes dryer and wondered if anyone else had one. Now I know that someone else does. Everything looks pretty tidy for a garden whose mistress has been away for two weeks. I know ‘the boys’ didn’t weed!

  • kate says:

    Your Solomon’s Seal with the Azaleas are a striking combination. I like the birdhouse on the machete-inflicted tree stump. The Columbines are attractive with the gorgeous Climbing Roses in the background.

    The Dogwoods look incredible in bloom. You have a great clothesline!

  • vertie says:

    I love your dogwoods, and the compost bins! When I lived in North Carolina as a kid, I loved the dogwoods there, but they just won’t grow here in Austin.

    And I just got up on your trip to Geneva. I’ll have to add that to my list when (if?) the dollar rebounds.

  • Kate says:

    So beautiful, Robin! And your home is lovely, too. I especially liked the birdhouse you got from Walpole. It’s perfect in that spot! Walpole came out 12 years ago and did a huge fence job on an estate that my husband and I were employed. Such good work, too!

  • Brenda Kula says:

    I absolutely love that birdhouse! That’s making lemonade when you have lemons, girl. My cat tore down one with the baby chickadees still in it, darned him. So I need to get another birdhouse that is higher up. Maybe one like your’s!

  • Lisa says:

    Your home and gardens are just lovely. I love, love, love Solomon’s Seal.

  • Jennifer says:

    I love your birdhouse – so unique! Everything looks so lush. Our trees are just starting to leaf out (oaks mostly) at the Jersey shore. I love your columbines. I usually have a few small plants but the moles love them so they never grow to a mature size. I like the look of the dead nettle. I don’t know if I’ve seen that before. I have plenty of shade and I can always use some groundcover.

  • ewa says:

    I still can not believe that 16 people chose the answer: “Ugly, but what did you expect since you were shopping in Switzerland?”
    I really can not…

    Harumph. I can’t either. How insulting!

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • Diana says:

    Wow. Your garden is stunning. Even without you there, your plants are sure performing for you. I ordered a Hellebore from Heronswood this Spring — Helleborus ‘Phoebe’ — it’s my first one! I don’t know if they will grow here, and I’ve now added one from Frances from the Fling, so my fingers are crossed. They are so beautiful. I hope mine will look as good as yours.

    I’m interested to hear if the hellebores grow in the heat down there given that they bloom here in January/February!

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • RuthieJ says:

    Gosh I love your yard Robin! Everything’s so green and I can imagine it must be very peaceful with just the sounds of birds chirping all over. Any martins yet??

    Sadly, no martins. I’m stumped. What do I need to do?

    I did sign up for a mentor at the martin site you recommended. We traded emails, but I need to invite her out to see the setup.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • rosemarie says:

    I had never heard of a Foo Dog??! I have a love/hate relationship with dead nettle. It started with love, then hate, now I’m back to like.

    Foo dogs are mythical guardian lions in China. They are supposed to have protective powers and are placed at important places such as palaces and shrines. Sometimes it’s spelled fu dog too.

    These particular foo dogs are antiques. I love them! They protect our front door.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • April was beautiful at your house. Too bad you were traveling. Wait a minute, who took those photos? Did your camera go outside itself. Well, it did a great job.~~Dee

    You’re funny. Well, I was home two of the four weeks…

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • Santa says:


  • I live near Seattle and have many hellebores. Most of them came from Heronswood when it was in Kingston, WA. I have a double red which looks exactly like ‘Kingston Cardinal’. It has just gotten bigger and bigger with wonderful blooms in Feb. Anything ‘Heronswood’ should grow if the location is right. At least, I was sure of that when Heronswood was still under the direction of Dan Hinkley.