Because April, New Plants

I realized there was a 10x10 space in the garden that did not have a hummingbird-attracting plant.  Quelle horror!  

I happened by a small family owned nursery on the way to somewhere else, so a few small plants came home for empty spaces.   Because, April.  

The nursery had a new salvia,  tagged 'Skyscaper Series Deep Purple' and described as tender perennial maturing at 18-24" tall.   Tender meaning to zone 7b.  Hah!

By the way, since when did plants become "series", as if they were TV shows?   Marketing ("collect all three!").  Oh, boy.   

 It got the recently removed Coprosma's spot.   We'll see how it does, and if the hummers approve. 
 I was over at a garden-buddy's garden that looked fabulous.  Complementing the garden-buddy, she replied,  "Oh, it's just April."  We are indeed having a beautiful April, despite the dry winter.  Except her garden is fabulous anyway, April or not.

Garden-buddy pointed out a newish purchase of her own, Euphorbia hybrid 'Space Blast White', a supposed advancement on the It Plant of a few springs ago,  Euphorbia hybrid 'Diamond Frost'.  Supposedly it is more compact and even more floriferous than 'Diamond Frost'.  They had one at the nursery I visited, so I picked one up also.  It went into a hot sunny spot near the front gate.  

Freshly planted, a bit dishevelled.  It perked up quickly.  
Maybe not totally necessary, but its good to try new plants.  Lavishly reseeding Alyssum (a weed for some) is my go-to for a touch of low frothy white, though summer heat kills them off.  The Euphorbia can perhaps take that role for the heat of summer.   Hopefully it is sterile.  I had an insane number of seedlings from Euphorbia characias ssp wulfenii, turning me off shrubby Euphorbias.  

The really choice shrubby Euphorbias like 'Blackbird' and 'Tasmanian Tiger' do not like our long stretch of summer and autumn dry heat.  They look stunning in April, but fry in July. 

Alyssum looking great.  Because April.  
 Had to try one more Garvinea Gerbera (another "series", sigh), this one a sort of lavender/mauve with white edging.  'Sweet something-or-other'.  The orange one photo-bombed this shot:

The new Gerberas are planted near the Mystery Seedling, and while I was futzing with the Gerberas, a memory flash told me the Mystery Seedling is an Ixora coccinea seedling of one of the 'Maui' series (there's that series thing again).  
 It's perked up planted in the ground in a warm sunny spot.  Time will tell, but I think that's it.

Because April, because of the beauty, mild air, and optimism April inspires, I finally found a spot in the back gully for long-languishing-in-a-pot Abelia grandiflora 'Confetti'.  It will get a decent amount of sun, can drape gracefully over the wall and attract hummingbirds in late summer, and there is even an irrigation dripper.  
What a relief, for both of us:
 The extremely-weeping Acer palmatum 'Ryusen' is adjacent, and has grown nearly enough to begin cascading over the wall also.  Searching back through the blog, I see 'Ryusen' was purchased and planted in April of 2013, in an earlier April episode of Springphoria.   'Ryusen' translates from Japanese roughly as "falling waters", or "flowing river".  

The Abelia is indicated by the white arrow.  'Ryusen' is to its left.  A wall like that could use some cascading.
 'Ryusen' gets a little scorched come August because the spot is slightly too sunny.  But, in April, fresh and pristine.
Exciting new plants of past Aprils.  The excitement is renewed every year.  'Golden Celebration', because April:
 The original Itoh Peony in the garden, planted April 2012, 'Misaka'.  Still here, still flowers!

 Clematis 'Jackmanii Superba' and rose 'Fourth of July', because April.
 April is the coolest month!


  1. "April is the coolest month!" Heh; good one.

    I've always wondered about the point of plant series. Sometimes it is genuinely based on special qualities of the cultivars, as in Darrell Probst's Big Bang coreopsis offerings (mildew resistance, sterile to obviate deadheading, perennial-only parents, and proven z5 hardiness). But most of the time it seems intended to urge us, not so subliminally, to "collect 'am all!"

    1. I'm glad someone got that reference! :)

      Not familiar with Big Bang Coreopsis so I went a'lookin', and now, want! Shame on you. With "series" I usually always go for the most vigorous and bloomist. Don't need them all.

  2. April is usually the best month in my garden too. I laughed at the series reference as it's SO true that it's become a thing. Osteospermum's '3D' series even launched a spin-off, '4D' series. What does "4D" mean when it refers to plants I wonder?

    Your buying spree now has me wondering what I'm missing in the week since I last went to a garden center. Both the Gerbera and the Euphorbia are intriguing but then yesterday's 80F temperature has me asking if I need to taper off. Soon, maybe...

    1. 4D. Hmmm. Bra size?!?! Dunno.

      Speaking of buying spree, are you going to the SC Plaza garden show?

      I'm hoping we get an extravagantly long spell of May Grey/June Gloom/July Swoon Yes, soon plant purchasing must cease for the summer. The heat will arrive and the sulking will begin.

  3. I guess it's just as well that I failed to make a visit to any of the local botanical garden spring sales this year-I brought home a car load of plants from socal and a full flat yesterday from Annies, plus a couple random garden center visits in between. I made headway on the planting his weekend !

    1. New plants are fun, no matter the source. Then the planting is so satisfying, isn't it?

  4. I can't seem to grow Euphorbias successfully. I tried to grow 'Blackbird' since I am a sucker for plants with bird names. It didn't like our winters and we are zone 6. Sounds like your hummingbirds will be happy with their new buffet. I expect a hummingbird in the garden at any time now. Their return from their winter hiatus is always exciting.

    1. Those shrubby hybrids seem to prefer mild weather for most of the year, 50s-60s-low 70s. Neither of which I think our climates have!

      Yes and you have Ruby Throats exclusively? We don't have those. We have a lot that are year-round and a few that migrate through. Enjoy your hummers! They really bring a garden to life, don't they?

  5. That space blast euphorb hybrid has been in bloom since I bought it, all throughout winter. Effect is almost like clover -- never see insects on it tho, and I'm pretty sure it's sterile. 'Diamond Frost' blooms year-round to, doesn't seed. I like them both with succulents.

    1. Thanks for your experience with 'Space Blast'. Sounds like it was worth trying then. Mine really perked up after recovering from being planted. Looks nice at the base of a rose, too. :)


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