In My Garden – April 2019

Spring is finally here and the rain continues, at least the weather has warmed somewhat with highs in the 50’s. But the skies are mostly grey and the garden seems to be a bit behind where it was last year. The daffodils have bloomed, and continue to bloom, in waves depending on the variety.

The lily of the valley bushes are putting out red and orange new growth.

Lily of the Valley Bush

These bushes make a lovely backdrop for the first rhododendron to bloom, a beautiful yellow one of shorter stature. This bush was on the south/west side of the house before we added the addition and didn’t look happy with the sun and heat. It is thriving in its new, shadier, home in the back of the yard.

Yellow Rhododendron

The azaleas are in full bloom.

And a lime colored fuchsia that was planted several years ago when we first purchased the house finally seems to be taking off. It’s especially lovely against the dark redwood of the deck.

Lime leaved fuchsia

Compared to last year, the bearded irises along the driveway have not shown the same growth. But it has been rainier and colder this year. I will fertilize them this month, as suggested on line, with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Much to my surprise, the tulips (not supposed to be cold enough for them here) have come back this year and multiplied. They are planted in a half barrel with a butterfly bush.

The sweet flowering peas I planted last fall have definitely taken off with the warming weather, although there are no flower buds yet. It will still be a month or more before I can harvest armloads of the wonderful scented flowers.

The half barrel of bush snap peas has just started to flower. I’ve been harvesting shoots of these edible peas for salads as well.

You can see both of them at the back of the vegetable garden.

Here’s a quick photo of the meadow, you can clearly see the chaos…which was my intention. This will be a pollinator garden once it starts flowering.

Wildflower and pollinator garden

The vegetable garden in raised beds continues to flourish. I’m harvesting lots of greens for salads and struggling to keep up with the kale.

Vegetable raised beds

I have four new bare root roses, planted in half barrels for safety and protection from gophers. Although we keep up with them by trapping, overlooking one for several days would be disastrous to the rose bush. The newly planted roses are shades of pink, apricot and orange.

Bare Root Rose Bushes

I thought you might also like a quick look at the wild part of the garden, of which there are acres.

A friend requested that I add a few comments each month on what I have planted or chores performed. Keep in mind that I am gardening in zone 9b and your own planting times may be different.


  • fertilize iris bed with low nitrogen fertilizer
  • cut back salvias and sages to encourage bushiness now that our last frost date has passed
  • fertilize citrus trees
  • add compost around plants
  • weed, weed, weed

April planting:

  • vegetables – from seed: lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes, carrots
  • 4 bare root roses for half wine barrel containers
  • 5 new dahlia bulbs
  • small annuals such as baby blue eyes and poppies
  • 2 orange rhododendrons
  • pink lily of the valley bush
  • 5 white rock roses

New plants coming later this month:

And lastly, a look at the garden this time last year April 2018 In the Garden. Just click on the title to see the older post. The deer fence was’t finished until mid-May of last year. The garden has changed a lot since then, as I haven’t had to worry about planting exclusively deer and rabbit resistant plants (there are very few deer proof plants).



12 thoughts on “In My Garden – April 2019

  1. I love spring and its colors too Liz! It is like magic, isn’t it. We are almost there weatherwise in the Boston area.

    • It is like magic, hopefully you will have spring soon. Your winter must seem endless at this point.

  2. A wonderful post Liz. Prior to moving to Europe, I had a very large raised bed “square foot” garden so reading your post brings back fond memories. I don’t know what it is, but once you get that gardening dirt under your fingers it’s always there. For now, I’ve only got room for a couple of potato rings, four large pots and a raised herb garden, all on the patio.

    • I’m glad you are able to do some gardening, fresh herbs make such a difference. Before we moved here I gardened on a strip of sunny land next to my neighbors driveway. It wasn’t our property and I used it by their permission, which could always be denied. It is such a freedom to have my own place without restrictions. Sometimes I think I have turned into that little old lady in her housecoat wandering through the garden at dawn, it’s where I want to go each morning with my tea, even before I am fully dressed. I am glad we don’t have any close neighbors.

  3. There are so many gorgeous flowers! I ad never seen a lily of the valley bush before, it is stunning 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! I am also picking kale at the moment, and the sorrel from last year is great as well, but for most of it, we have to wait a little while and hope for some nice warm weather to get everything going.

    • Do you have a favorite kale recipe? Unfortunately I have a lot of it and my husband is not crazy about it. The garden is much more prolific than anticipated, I may have to donate some to the local food bank as we can’t keep up with it. I hope spring makes it your way soon. Thank you for visiting.

      • hi Liz
        This is my go to recipe if I am in doubt about anyone eating kale and we could easily have it every day.
        Depending on size de stem about 8 kale but keep the leaves as whole as possible. Toss them with a little vegetable oil, about 1/2 – 1 tbsp and I use 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar but you can use less as well.
        Make sure the oil, salt and sugar are as covered as possible. Place in an oven at oven 250C or 482F for 7-10 minutes. Move the kale around to make sure it gets crispy, it will darken in color but fairly quick to make and it goes with pretty much everything 🙂
        It is a lucky foodbank!

  4. This is so much more than a garden, it’s like a cottage industry!! All in such a short amount of time and I know blood sweat and tears! Really, it’s amazing all you’ve done with the remodel, the two houses, the temporary living, the traveling! And now it’s all paying off for you – and although I know you’ve always had it, good for you Liz for finding your joy!

    • I’ve been using as my garden diary. It’s been fun to see the progress. Thank you for visiting, I also love looking at gardens.

Leave a Reply