A Burst of Spring Color!

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.

You know how it is with an April day.”

~ Robert Frost

Hi Friends!

With the arrival of April rainstorms and warmer temperatures, our Midwest garden is displaying its first burst of color. Gardening season is just beginning here… but garden happiness is in full bloom!  Wherever you live, I hope you can feel the excitement of new beginnings, too!

Springtime is definitely my favorite season in the garden. I can see the changes each day as new foliage emerges from the dark, wet soil. The burst of color from each blossom lights up early Spring garden beds! I love to take slow, daily walks through the garden, just to take note of all of the new growth. On the heels of our cold, snowy Winter, this burst of new growth feels like a miracle. Each Spring, my heart is simply filled with delight!

Come take a peek at the early Springtime colors in our garden this week….

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The garden is all abloom, with tiny bursts of early Springtime blossoms! (Top: Crocus, Daffodil, Crocus; Bottom: Scilla, Miniature Iris, Pulmonaria)

Just last week, hidden beneath a clump of dried leaves, I spotted miniature Iris in full bloom. I couldn’t help doing a ‘happy dance’ right in the garden! Seriously! Day after day, the parade of color has continued ~ Crocus, Daffodil, Scilla, and today I discovered Pulmonaria in bloom.

Beauty is in the details ~ especially in the Springtime!

This week, I wanted to spotlight two of these early Spring bloomers.

They always bring a bright burst of color and it’s really fascinating to watch them grow!

Scilla siberica  {Photo Credit}

A few years ago, I planted several tiny bulbs of the eye-catching blue Scilla siberica (also known as: Siberian squill). Unlike my other Spring flowers, Scilla blooms while it is emerging from the soil. It’s such fun to see a tiny, blue blossom practically touching the soil. Growing to 8 inches in height, Scilla lifts its bloom as it grows. Within a few days, the blue, star-like flowers are dancing in the April breeze!

Pulmunaria officinalis  {Photo Credit}

For many years, I have enjoyed growing Pulmonaria officinalis (Common name: lungwort) in my garden. This shade-loving plant grows happily beneath our towering pine trees. It spreads very slowly from the original clump and thrives in soil rich with organic matter. I am always fascinated by the pink and blue flowers growing on the same stem in early Spring. Cutting off the leaves immediately after the bloom time encourages new white-speckled leaves to grow.

This Spring celebrates my 28th year of gardening happiness! It warms my heart to look back on all of the changes in my garden over the years. The ‘seasons’ of my gardening life have brought big changes to my gardening style. I learned to garden by planting flats of annuals, providing bright, season-long color throughout the garden. Neat and tidy, growing in staggered rows, annuals filled my border beds with instant color. Annuals were a perfect choice for a brand new gardener!

When I began visiting our Wednesday farmer’s market, I would treat myself to a new perennial each week. Before long, my neat, tidy annual beds evolved into old-fashioned perennial cottage gardens. What could be sweeter surrounding a cozy 1922 Bungalow? I adored the crowded, old-fashioned look of big, beautiful blossoms all tumbling together in my garden beds. There were so many flowers filling my collection of vases, that I began using stoneware crocks and pitchers to display the garden blossoms!

After several years of happily growing cottage gardens, my style changed again. I wanted to enjoy the beautiful form and unique foliage of each of my perennial charmers. I think I spent that entire summer digging ~ dividing and moving the perennials to different parts of the garden, allowing space to walk amongst the flowers. I made repeated trips to the garden center to buy bags of mulch, stacking six bags of mulch into my small car each time. Ahhhh, it felt wonderful to have room to breathe in my cottage gardens.

This long journey has been brimming over with garden happiness!  My garden teaches me wondrous, new things every day. I truly love my perennial, cottage-style beds. Now I enjoy them so much more, with freshly mulched paths, encouraging me to walk through the garden admiring each individual plant. On Summer mornings, you will often find me walking amongst the blossoms, with my snips, and a basket filled with flowers. It is so exciting when the gardener grows…  along with the garden!

Garden happiness will be in full bloom soon.

It all begins with a burst of Spring color!

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What is your favorite gardening style? How have your gardens evolved over the years?

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I always enjoy our visits in the garden!

Scatter sunshine!

♡ Dawn

Lilac Time!

Come celebrate Lilac Time 2014.

Hi Friends!

It’s Lilac time in the Midwest!  Our cool, rainy Spring brought a few hours of sunshine this week. So, I knew it was the perfect time to visit one of my favorite places ~ Lilacia Park! This little gem of a park is the home to over 700 Lilacs and 25,000 Tulips. During mid-May, the park is at its blooming best!

Lilacia Park is an 8.5 acre horticultural gem, just steps away from downtown Lombard, Illinois.

Lilacia Park is an 8.5 acre horticultural treasure, just steps away from downtown Lombard, Illinois.

All I needed was a jacket and my camera! Lots of other visitors had the very same idea. There were toddlers, just as tall the as tulips, wandering through the flowers. Two preschoolers danced along the park paths singing, “Oh, I love nature!” ♬  I couldn’t resist joining in with a group of kindergarteners on a class Nature Walk, as they sniffed the Lilacs. (Once a teacher, always a teacher!♡)  There were small groups of gardening experts studying the abundant variety of plants. We had all come for the same reasons… the heavenly colors and scent of Lilacs!

Today, let’s visit Lilacia Park together. Feel free to bring a cup of tea for our walk through the park…

'Abraham Lincoln'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Abraham Lincoln’

'Alba'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Alba’

The lovely scent of Lilacs are simply intoxicating!  The Tulip beds, planted last Autumn, are also at their prime this week.

'Prairie Fire' Crabapple blossoms highlight the river of Tulips flowing along the walking path.

‘Prairie Fire’ Crabapple blossoms highlight the river of Tulips flowing along our walking path.

What a breathtaking sight to behold!

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‘Martha Stewart’ in the midst of a sea of pink and white Tulips

Allium

Allium in various stages of bloom

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Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Pocahontas’

The Tulips were as eye-catching as the Lilacs in bloom!

The Tulips are as eye-catching as the Lilacs this week!

Tulips 'Sun Lover'

Tulips ‘Sun Lover’

Tulips waving in the gentle breeze.

Tulips waving in the gentle breeze.

There are many other Springtime treasures to admire along the way…

Daffodils 'Tahiti'

Daffodils ‘Tahiti’

Fritillaria imperialis with its stunning blooms

Fritillaria imperialis, with its stunning blooms

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Syringa vulgaris 'Macrostachya'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Macrostachya’

Syringa x persica

Syringa x persica

'Green Wave' Parrot Tulip

‘Green Wave’ Parrot Tulip

Syringa vulgaris 'Primrose'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Primrose’

Groupings of Lilacs in stunning colors are everywhere.

 

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So much color inspiration! We are planning to plant three small Lilacs in our yard this year, to celebrate the fond memories of  the Lilacs that surrounded my husband’s childhood home. I can just imagine an antique enamelware pitcher, overflowing with purple, pink, and white Lilacs, on the front porch. Next Spring, we hope to celebrate Lilac Time right here ~ at our little ‘Home Sweet Home!’

It was delightful to stroll through Lilacia Park together. I’m so happy that you could come along!

Wishing you colorful, fragrant Springtime days!

♡ Dawn

P.S.  What flowers remind you of your childhood home?

New Beginnings!

 

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Iris Reticulata were the first to bloom this Spring!

Hi Friends!

Springtime is just filled with new beginnings! Tiny, green shoots are emerging in the garden after a very long winter. Early Spring flowers brighten each day! So many new techniques are helping me grow as a cardmaker. The small moments of each day are the perfect times to enjoy the quiet, simple joys of life ~ a cup of tea, a long letter from a friend, a lovely quilt, or the time worn patina and stories of a treasured antique.

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Daffodils are like rays of sunshine in the Springtime!

 

 

 

 

This Spring also celebrates my first steps as a new blogger! It has been such fun to create a little place where kindred spirits can gather, learn, and share. I look forward to sharing my love of gardening, paper crafting, and the simple pleasures that make life sweet.

 

Come visit often! I hope each post will feel like a letter from a friend… and that you will leave a little comment.   I look forward to hearing from you!

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