Top Ten April Blooms.

Top Ten Bloom Day falls on St. George’s Day this year. Why somebody who was born in Turkey should be the patron saint of England has always baffled me, even if he was a handy man to have around if you had dragons  to be slain, or ‘worms’ as our ancestors called them. I know the early crusaders adopted him and had a red cross on their tunics in his memory as they embarked on their murderous campaigns, but nowadays this dark part of our history is not one that should be celebrated. I think we should reinstate St. Edmund who was King Of East Anglia and our patron saint for 300 years. He was beheaded by those dastardly Danes led by Ivor the Boneless and his head was thrown into the forest. But a talking wolf magically led his searchers to the head, saying ‘hic, hic, hic.’ I think that is a much more impressive trick than slaying worms.

And what has this to do with my top ten April blooms you might ask? Sorry, nothing at all.  Really, it is impossible to pick out just ten blooms for this month when every day brings new delights. April is blossom time and apple, cherry and quince are all looking fabulous but crab apples are my favourites because not only do you get blossom now but you get decorative fruit in autumn. My biggest  one was here when we arrived, it is Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ and it is huge and full of bloom. It looks splendid sitting next to the glorious Acer ‘Brilliantissimum’

My favourite is one I grew from a seed of Malus transitoria. As far as I can see it has come true from seed and it has the daintiest blossom followed by small yellow fruit that look like little beads.

Malus transitoria seedling

My newest crab apple is planted in the large area of garden rescued last year from an ever encroaching hedgerow. I have planted trees and shrubs here and put down a weed membrane and wood chippings. I can’t ask the Pianist to play dodgems with all the trees on his lawn mower, it would be carnage so although a primavera  meadow would be nice I can’t have one. The tree is Malus ”Wedding Bouquet’ which has lovely pink buds opening to creamy white  blossom followed by red fruit.

Malus ‘Wedding Bouquet’

The first rose to bloom in my garden is the primrose- yellow, single ‘Canary Bird’ and it is a welcome sight as it sits in a froth of blue forgetmenot. It is an old bush and was here when we came.

Rosa ‘Canary Bird’

Rosa ‘Canary Bird’ with apple blossom.

I have planted another early flowering yellow rose which is more of a buttercup yellow. It is called Rosa ecae ”Helen Knight. It has lovely ferny foliage.

Rosa ecae ‘Helen Knight’

I have talked about my love of magnolias on this blog and I have three April blooming ones which are much appreciated, specially as they usually miss the frosts which can ruin March -blooming ones. Magnolia lilifora is a dark pink one and I am pleased with this one because it is one I propagated myself by layering the tree in my old garden.

Magnolia liliflora

Magnolia ‘Susan’is one of the ‘Little Girl’ series created by crossing Magnolia liliflora with Magnolia stellata. They all have girls’ names and they are all lovely. Susan is four years old and she is only just starting to get lots of blooms.

Magnolia ‘Susan’

I also love the primrose yellow one called ‘Elizabeth’ and this year it is blooming quite well.

Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’

The prettiest white-flowered shrub at the moment is Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ which is sometimes called the Pearl Bush. It has a nice weeping habit and is smothered in pure white blooms.

Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’

I love anything fragrant and the scent of Genista spachiana from the Canary Islands is fantastic. I kept it in the greenhouse for a couple of years because I wasn’t sure how hardy it is. But it came through outside this year with no die- back at all.

Genista spachiana

Nearby I have the lovely lilac-flowered  mallow, Abutilon suntense. I think it can be short -lived but it is easy from cuttings or seed.

Abutilon x suntense

And now for some smaller treasures, earlier in the month I would have been writing about erythroniums, epimediums and and anemones. But we still have gorgeous trilliums. This is a clump of Trillium grandiflorum that I have had for years and it gets bigger and better every year.

Trillium grandiflorum

Another treasure which spreads is the double form of the Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex ‘Plena’ which is a bit of a mouthful for such a pretty little plant.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex ‘Plena’

I like to show at least one climber in my monthly top bloom round up and this month it will be the chocolate vine, Akebia quinata. I believe this has become a noxious weed in many parts of the States, but not here in the UK, although it does need a large area to scramble on it. It is supposed to smell of chocolate but I can’t detect it but it is a pretty and unusual flower.

Akebia quinata

and I also have a cream form.

Akebia quinata ‘Cream Form’

I will finish with an orchid as orchids always thrill me and this is the first time this has bloomed for me. It is a Lady’s Slipper Orchid, called Cypripedium ‘Lucas’.

Cypripedium ‘Lucas’

I am sorry to have left so many beauties out this month, I did try to make a video today because the garden is looking so beautiful. But when I sat and watched it I felt sick for an hour so my video-making skills need a bit of work. Please join me and show some of your favourite April blooms.

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37 Responses to Top Ten April Blooms.

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Genista spachiana?! It took me a second to realize what that is. I mean, I know what it looks like. I just do not expect to see it in a garden. It is the same genus as two of the tree brooms have become such aggressively invasive naturalized exotic species here. It had not been available in nurseries for a very long time, just because people dislike it so much. However, modern cultivars are not so intimidating. Some are low and mounding. Some have pale yellowish white bloom.

    • Chloris says:

      Goodness, I can’t imagine this being invasive, it is slightly tender here and I have never seen any seedlings. Bees love it and so do I, it smells fabulous.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Garden varieties are not invasive, and some are sterile hybrids. If yours makes no seed, it is likely one of the sterile hybrids that is not too extensively hybridized to be uninteresting to bees or lacking fragrance.

  2. snowbird says:

    Oh goodness, thank god you’re around in these strange times…you had me laughing! Totally agree re we should reinstate St. Edmund!!!!
    Just loving everything, sighs…oh to have a garden like yours. When this is over I shall, whether you like it or not walk your gardens!!! All the plants you sent me are thriving in chloris’ corner! On dog walks lately I’ve admired a magnolia, only three blooms but stunning. Of course you have it …Elizabeth!xxxx

    • Chloris says:

      Well, I should like it very much if you would come and walk in the garden, although it is difficult to imagine when we will be able to do such things again. We were planning to visit brother -in -law this summer and I was hoping to come over to see you, but that probably won’t happen this year. Yes, I had to have Elizabeth and a yellow magnolia is unusual.

  3. bcparkison says:

    So so pretty.Must be wonderful to sit a spell and take it all in.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, we have had such wonderful warm weather and we have been outside all the time, although I’m not very good at just sitting, there is always so much to do.

  4. Oh yes, it’s impossible to pick a top 10 when it comes to plants! But you’ve shown some luscious ones here. The Lady’s Slipper Orchids are so magical!

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Your garden is truly a wonder, Liz. Gorgeous 10!

  6. Pauline says:

    Your garden is certainly bursting with blooms, how beautiful they all are! This is a wonderful time of year in our gardens, thank goodness we have them to isolate in.

    • Chloris says:

      I agree, late April is fantastic and the garden is a constant source of delight. We are the lucky ones with our own personal paradise. And the warm weather has been a bonus.

  7. Anna says:

    You have some beautiful April blooms and blossoms in your garden. Not only have have you planted many gems you have been most fortunate to inherit some too. Just how tall is that acer and the malus ‘Golden Hornet’?

    • Chloris says:

      The Acer brilliantissimum is about 30ft and the crab apple a bit less, I think they must have both been there for many years. Yes, we have many mature trees which really set off the garden.

  8. Brian Skeys says:

    As always, Chloris, you have an interesting and different, from the norm, selection of plants to share along with horticultural knowledge. The history is very interesting as well.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Brian, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your video and as I said I did try it but it was so jerky. How on earth did you keep yours so smooth, did you edit it?

      • Brian Skeys says:

        It is difficult Chloris to film with a steady hand. The majority of the pictures in my second film are photos, in Apples iMovie, you can add photos and film to create a video.

  9. Your garden is so beautiful. It must be hard to be inside. I liked the history lesson and it was certainly something I never knew.

    • Chloris says:

      The weather has been so wonderful lately that I haven’t spent much time inside. The garden is looking so lovely I don’t mind not being able to go anywhere.

  10. susurrus says:

    I love the idea of dragons being called worms. The picture of Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex ‘Plena’ is wonderful. I hardly know whether to gaze up at the flowering trees or down at the flowers at my feet on my daily walk, but it’s a good problem to have.

    • Chloris says:

      Actually, in the Anglo Saxon, they were ‘wyrms’. It is a fabulous time of year isn’t it? It’s my favourite, everything’s so fresh and green and sparkly. The double sanguinaria is gorgeous.

  11. Pingback: Sunny Side Up: April Blooms | Rambling in the Garden

  12. Kris Peterson says:

    It’s interesting to consider how stories of dragons originated. Could those “worms” have been big old nasty snakes? As usual your bloom collection is magnificent. I just sigh as I see what you can grow. I went as far as looking up Exochorda but, when there isn’t even a listing of the genus in my (US) Western Garden Book, I take that as a sign that it’s not a plant that would like SoCal. We’ve effectively leaped from spring into summer this week, with the temperature here at nearly 5pm reading 94F (34C), so I won’t be taking any flower photos at the moment. I’m just hoping that some of my late blooming cool-season flowers last the weekend. It’s as if Mother Nature has been listening to that fool in our White House and has jumped into action to burn up the coronavirus.

  13. Chloris says:

    Yes, in the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, the ‘wyrm’ was a kind of serpent. What a pity you can’t get Exochorda, it is so pretty. We have had lovely warm weather this week but 34 is really hot. And if the hot sun doesn’t burn up the virus you will be OK as you can all drink bleach. What a clever and resourceful president you have.

  14. Cathy says:

    Amidst your wonderful as ever top ten blooms we do at least have Susan in common (oh and Golden Hornet too) – although I am thrilled to see that the teeny bit of Sanguinaria canadensis one of the Golfer’s golfing buddies gave me is flowering (not sure if it is a double version). And it’s always good to have a history lesson alongside the botany so thanks for making the time to share your knowledge and your plants with us. My April blooms are here: https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/sunny-side-up-april-blooms/

  15. Chloris says:

    Goodness, I didn’t mean to give a history lesson, I started to write about my April flowers, then it occured to me that it was St. George’s Day and the I went off at a tangent or ‘on a tandem’ as a friend who was known for her malapropisms used to say. Your sanginaria will soon spread, it is such a pretty thing. Thank you for sharing your lovely April blooms Cathy. Your Susan is looking wonderful. I always count my blooms too.

  16. The lady’s slipper is glorious, no wonder you are pleased! Thanks for the tour, it was wonderful. 🙂

  17. His name was Ivor the Boneless? How strange, but you can’t beat real history (and current events as well) for strangeness. Your blooms are magnificent, love all the Malus flowers, and I have never heard of Exochorda. Glad to see that T. grandiflorum makes itself at home in the UK. It can be hard to please.

  18. Cathy says:

    Glorious! And I always learn so much from your blogs too! We have Cytisus as opposed to Genista growing wild here, and I love the scent of it. I amazed at your patience, growing trees from seed. But then it must be so rewarding when they flower for the first time. 😃 Thank you again for sharing your garden blooms and knowledge regarding them.

  19. Gosh, Chloris: I’m here wondering how many varieties of flowers, trees and shrubs are in your garden – and they’re all so lovely. As to your patron saint being born elsewhere, I say cheers to that — since your English ancestors went around the world giving their names to so many things! Plus, talking wolves do not compare to dragons. Both are dangerous, but one is simply fantastic.

    • Chloris says:

      Well yes, I do have a lot of plants, I pick them up wherever I go. At least I did when I was allowed out. My ancestors went round the world, not just naming things, but exploiting and pillaging. Our colonial past is utterly shameful. We even nicked some other country’s patron saint.

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