In My Garden – April 2023

Spring is finally here, weather-wise. It has been (and continues to be) an unusually cold winter and spring. Temperatures still drop into the high 30s to low 40s F at night, we’ve even had frost warnings. But, during the day the sun is shining and we are up into the low 60s F. This morning I walked around the garden, examining dead stalks of plants to see what has survived.

Last fall I planted three Cuphea micorpetalas (candy corn plants also sometimes called cigar plants) in the pollinator garden. Only dry branches have been showing for months. I feared that they were victims of the wet and cold as they are not particularly hardy. But small shoots are starting to burst from the root area. Joy! Signs of life and spring. On researching their hardiness I read that they are evergreen to 25 or 30 degrees F, but root hardy to 0 degrees.

Take a look at this plant…

Centaurea Montana

Centaurea Montana

Aren’t the flowers striking? Centaurea Montana is a species of cornflower. They are also in the pollinator garden.



Also poppies in the pollinator garden, and…

Geranium purenaicum Bill Wallis

Geranium purenaicum Bill Wallis

Geranium Bill Wallis, which self-sows itself all over the garden.

There are lovely pops of color within all that green.

The first rhododendron has a few blooms.

Everything is late this year.

Polemonium carneum - also called Royal Jacob's Ladder

Polemonium corneum – also called Royal Jacob’s Ladder

I planted several Jacob’s ladders last spring and this is the first time they have bloomed. They are doing well both in a half barrel and in the ground. The foliage is very ferny-like and I didn’t think they would be very hardy. But they have thrived. The flowers are sweet, pink with yellow centers. They look fabulous mixed with hellebores.

These trout lilies are blooming in partial shade under the tan oaks and Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’.

Yellow Trout Lily

Yellow Trout Lily


Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps',

Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’

The bumblebees are happy with the flowers.

Last year’s (at least I think) tree swallows have claimed their same birdhouse, and chickadees are hovering around another. I saw the first Rufous hummingbird at the feeder this morning. Signs of an actual spring!

Here is an update on our decks. The supports for the back deck are going in after 6 days of work and the pilings for the side have been placed.

I have a question for the gardeners who are reading this. There was a lemon tree in a half wine barrel on the old deck off the kitchen. It has been in that barrel for around 10 years and has been unhappy for the last year (at least). When we moved it off the deck the barrel partially disintegrated. You can see the tree under the bottle brush in the picture on the right, and below.


There is a spot for it at the corner of the new deck (near where it is right now) for it to be planted in the ground. Should I try and save it? Or should I bite the bullet and purchase a new one? It’s a Meyer Lemon and strawberry plants have seeded (seemingly out of thin air) themselves under it.

What do you think? I would appreciate your thoughts.


2 thoughts on “In My Garden – April 2023

    • Thanks, I would give it lots of good soil. It’s probably completely root bound in the barrel.

Leave a Reply