In My Garden – April 2023

I am not sure where to start…there is so much going on in the garden. While we were away for almost four weeks, spring sprung.

The tulips are up with their cheerful blossoms.


There are wildflowers as well, some volunteers and some planted.

The sweet peas in a half wine barrel are starting to twine up their supports. I plant them each year in memory of my English grandmother. She had a long row of them along a trellis in her garden in Teddington. She put a sweet-smelling vase full of them next to my bed whenever I visited. It’s one of my favorite memories of her.

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

I don’t expect blooms until late May or June.

This is Silene,  I planted them last year after seeing them at the Botanical Gardens. I love their pink flowers and they bloom continuously for several months.

Silene dioica

Silene dioica

Much to the pleasure of the hummingbirds, the salvia is finally blooming.

But the rhododendrons are not blooming. It’s been an unusually cold winter, but in the past, at least one has been blooming by now. I hope to have some pictures to share next month.

One of my favorite flowers is the hellebores. They don’t seem to be bothered by redwood roots, bugs, or drought. The clumps get bigger and more glorious every year. Even better, they bloom in partial shade in winter and early spring, a time when their blooms are especially appreciated. I only regret that their flowers are downward facing.


The kale and arugula in the vegetable garden went to seed during our long absence. The good news is that the native bumble bees love the flowers.

Gone to seed

Gone to seed

I did plant a few lettuce starts this past weekend in one bed. I am delaying planting more until we have completed a total revamp of the raised beds.

I am tired of digging the redwood roots out of the raised beds. Additionally, any remaining rootlets make the soil acidic, not good for vegetables. We intend to raise the beds at least a foot off the ground and replace the soil. It’s a job that will have to wait until we have the time, or rather my husband has the time as he takes care of any hardscaping. We have a bunch of cinder blocks that were under the old hot tub, and we will also have a lot of lumber left over from the replacement of the deck.

This brings me to the big news from the garden. We finally started the project of replacing our old fifty-year-old deck. We spent Easter weekend clearing it off and removing plants from around the perimeter. Here are some ‘before’ pictures. Since Covid we have spent a lot more time entertaining outside, making that space very valuable. As it goes almost three-quarters of the way around the house, it dramatically expands our living space.

The back patio is piled with deck furniture.

The old hot tub was at the end of the deck off the kitchen. Eventually, we will purchase a new one that will go on top of the deck at the end.

You can see the circle on the left of the deck picture below where the lemon tree was located in a half barrel. It hasn’t been doing very well and I intend to plant it into the ground once I know where the final location of the deck. Hopefully it will do better there. The front and back decks will be connected with a new walkway.

lemon tree in its temporary location

lemon tree in its temporary location

When we moved it we discovered that the barrel containing the lemon tree was rotting. It was time to do something.

Workers removing the dock, Shanna enjoys the company

Workers removing the dock, Shanna enjoys the company

Since the workers bring their dog with them, ours have a new playmate.

Quinn, Shanna and friend

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for updates from the garden and deck. And I love comments of all sorts and will reply,  I love reading them.

I hope you are all well and enjoying your spring or fall weather. The shoulder seasons are my very favorite times of year.


4 thoughts on “In My Garden – April 2023

  1. So wonderful to read about what is going on with you and your wonderful place.❤️ A new deck will be so fun to see – looking forward to what you and your handy husband will make happen!!

    • Thank you MM, there is certainly a lot going on here right now. They’ve almost finished dismantling the deck off the kitchen. In the course of it, they discovered what was probably an old chipmunk nest and a den for a raccoon or possum. Nothing there right now, thankfully.

  2. Everything looks lovely – Spring was a favorite time of the year when so many wildflowers appeared in our woods, prairie and swamp. This was before I did much planting such as sweet peas (or regular peas). I miss all the gardening I use to do – you will enjoy taller beds (not so far to bend over).

    • That’s another reason to raise them, saving our backs! I look forward to seeing the plants on your balcony.

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