GBBD April 2014 – Spring is moving into Summer

Today is GBBD and gardeners all over the world are photographing what is blooming in their gardens today and linking with Carol at May Dreams Garden to share what they have found.

As much as I enjoy participating in this meme it has I think become almost too popular and I personally find it impossible to look at all the posts I would wish to. I use bloomday as a record of what is flowering on one day of the month but realistically during spring and early summer things change weekly if not daily so in future I will be photographing everything in flower every Wednesday and using the images as my Wordless Wednesday post. That way there won’t be masses to read and you can hopefully just enjoy the slideshow while having a cup of tea or coffee. I will find having this photo record more useful for comparing year on year changes and planning what is needed. On other days I’ll concentrate on particular areas of the garden or plants that are performing well at that time.

Spring is all about colour - looking across the Large Island

Spring is all about colour – looking across the Large Island

The other reason for deciding to opt out of GBBD is that seeing a lot of beautiful images of individual blooms doesn’t tell me anything about how the garden actually looks. I want to share with you more longer views of how the plants work together with the foliage to produce the ‘Garden Experience’. I have to admit that I enjoy seeing longer views of your gardens too. Of course, I will still sometimes highlight a particular plant and show it in more detail.

Tulip Lambada

Tulip Lambada

A garden is not, for me, a collection of individual blooms or plants but rather how they work together to create beautiful combinations and interesting vistas.

Dianthus wish I could share its perfume with you

Dianthus wish I could share its perfume with you

If you click on the image above of the Dianthus you will see a slide show of what’s blooming today in My Hesperides Garden, with some longer views too so it all makes more sense I hope.
I look forward to seeing what you have flowering today.

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46 thoughts on “GBBD April 2014 – Spring is moving into Summer

  1. Hi Christina, I love your Flickr slide show – you have some wonderful photographs. I am looking for better ways to show my plant photos as the template I have chosen doesn’t display very large pictures. I did a WordPress gallery on a recent post, but found that not very many people actually clicked on it. (Of course that could have been because my garden is not actually doing very much yet!) I would be interested to know whether you get as many views on your Flickr slide show as on your main page – can you tell from your statistics?
    Your garden is always a pleasure to see whenever and however you choose to blog about it.

    • Thank you Cathy, you are very kind. If people view the blog with an iPad or iPhone I know they can’t click through to see the slide show. I’m not sure if Flickr gives me stats, I just use it as a tool to show a lot of images full screen, I’ve never used wordpress gallery, I think because I used flickr first and because the images aren’t so large. Bacause I live in a place with slow internet conections I always size my images down to document size (about 300 – 400 kb) so that up-load is reasonably fast.

  2. Impressive tulip display! Your phlomis are ahead of ours. Everything goes so fast but it’s definitely still spring and I’ll enjoy it…although my first rose is out 🙂

    • The Phlomis has been flowering for at least a month already and the irises are all about to bloom so it really feels that spring is coming to an end. I wish it wasn’t!

    • Sadly strong wind and driving rain at lunch time has made a lot of the wisteria blooms drop so that this post will probably be the last time they will look so good this year. I was fortunate to go out to take the photographs this morning.

  3. Wait, you can’t move on to summer, we haven’t properly started spring yet! Give us a moment to catch up! I love those California poppies, plus that mix of orange, red and yellow in the bed.

    • The Californian poppies are such good value. I think the ones flowering now are last years plants plus there are masses of new smaller plants which should flower later.

    • I didn’t want to imply I was critical of others just that I need to know what’s flowering more than just one day a month but necessarily with a lot of text. I very much enjoy seeing what others grow so that I may learn about plants I’m unfamiliar with.

  4. Hello, I’m glad to read this thoughtful post. I think everything you said needed to be said and I very much agree with what you wrote. Two other things: It is much easier to take nice close-ups with today’s digital cameras than long shots. You’ve done a good job showing the middle view like 1140505. It is great to see how the individual flowers fit into the overall scheme of things. But I would like to see names in the captions, if possible? Also, it seems that it is cold enough where you live that you can grow tulips without refrigerating them as I would have to do in a mediterranean climate like mine. How cold does it get?

    • Thanks for your input Jane. I am lucky that even this winter, which has been mild for us, the temperatures have been sufficiently low for the tulips flower. I leave all the tulips in the ground and as you will see from past posts almost all my tulips flower for at least four years. I am only about 30 miles from the Mediterranean Sea but high enough for the climate NOT to be Mediterranean. Our winters can go down to as low as minus 10 – 15°C but this year they didn’t drop below zero except for one night. I would find it too time consuming to put all the names of the plants on every photo for ‘bloomday’ or every week when I show everything flowering; however I do give the names on most other posts and am always happy to answer questions.

  5. I have joined in with EOMV as well this year to focus on specific areas of the garden, but as much of my ‘plot’ is still under development there is not a lot to show on a more regular basis. I do get a huge amount of inspiration from looking at others’ gardens though, especially the long view. Whilst it’s the plants themselves that interest me most, I do try to put them together in a way that is pleasing to the eye, even if it stops short of ‘designed’!

    • I don’t think it is about a ‘designed look’, you’d hardly call my slope that; it is just what you say putting plants together and usually more than one of each that creates a pleasing garden. Sometimes when you’re starting a garden or a new border it is filled with one plant that you have masses of, whether from seed or cuttings or whatever and that year it looks fabulous because there’s a mass of something; then slowly one collects plants, sees things that can’t be resisted and the cohesion gets lost and one wonders why it’s not satisfying any more.

  6. La penso proprio come te Christina (se ho capito bene il tuo pensiero)! Le fotografie che faccio di solito non sono mai uno zoom sulle piante singole, perché quel tipo di immagini le possiamo trovare facilmente sui siti che vendono piante. Cerco sempre cogliere il contesto che è unico per ogni giardino. Quando non lo faccio è per delle ragioni precise ( privacy, le case vicine ecc..).

  7. Your video review is wonderful, Christina. Your garden looks so well established – how long have you been at it in your current location? I can see the merging of spring and summer conditions in your photos. My own spring bulbs are all gone – the freesia petered out a month ago and the anemones are mostly gone. I envy you the tulips but then you’ve heard that refrain from me before.

  8. Great to see such a lot of your flowers. I have my person favourites that I don’t have like your Cistus and Teucrium fruticans. I see your rose mutabilis is flowering, I’m waiting for my first bud to open. Amelia

  9. Ahah – I knew one of my regular contacts used Flikr, and this definitely less clumsy than the WordPress Gallery. Is it easy to set up with Flikr and link to your blog? Apart from your wonderful images it was a really thoughtful post, highlighting lots of different issues. Sometimes we lose sight of why we started a blog and it can take on a life of its own – it’s definitely silly to get to the stage when one feels one is ‘behind’ in writing and replying to comments and reading other blogs, which is what has happened to me this week. Thanks for your proactive decision, which has been a timely reminder to me!

    • Yes, its really easy to use Flickr; quick upload, you can create sets (eg GBBD – April, set up a slide show then link the URL for the slideshow to an image or to a word. I’m struggling to read all the posts of people I follow this week let alone any others for GBBD! But realy it must not become a chore. Joining in with too many memes can become like a straight jacket but then others really change the way we look at things – like everything, there needs to be a balance. I love doing the ‘in a Vase’, because otherwise I wouldn’t pick anything from the garden and it has given a lot of pleasure, I’ve even created vases not for the meme but just to have flowers indoors. I really enjoy keeping in contact (by commenting) on the smallish group who regularly leave comments. This is becoming a rather long answer so perhaps I should put it in a post soon.

      • Thanks for that Christina – I will definitely look into Flickr as that has given me the confidence to try it out. You are right about the balance and not allowing it all to become a chore – takes a lot of discipline though and I am still trying to work out the best way of reducing the time I spend on blogging related matters.

        • My husband thisnk I spend too long but I need to keep in touch with other gardeners and living here in Italy, this is really the only way to have meaningful dialogue.

        • The Golfer teases me about it at times, but he knows it’s more productive than playing FreeCell or Mahjong which he does a lot of!

  10. I think I’m in the same boat with blogging, it’s pretty much my only chance to meet up with other gardeners outside of a magazine, but it does take time. I can’t fool myself into thinking I’m organized enough to keep up with one, let alone several memes, but I enjoy the posts when I can and try not to feel guilty about not commenting or missing a few weeks here and there.
    The wisteria is really amazing, love the fancier poppies, and the fressias are cool…. plus some of the long shots really show off the mix of textures and colors in your garden. I’m one who tends to post close-ups mainly for the reasons others have mentioned- weak photography skills and not-the-best garden “design”! I would never think pointing that out would be criticism, and would welcome any comments as advice… plus I’m a big boy and can always use the delete key or unapprove!
    I’d be interested in a post on blogging theory, I always love to hear other opinions…. that and a vegetable/cutting garden update! hint hint, 🙂
    Frank

    • I don’t know anything about blogging theory so couldn’t possibly write about that. The vegetable garden, I’ll try this week, but don’t promise I have a heavy week coming up! which do you mean by the fancy poppies? The Eschscholzia ‘Thai silk’ series or the European red poppy (that’s not fancy at all. It is an annual of which there are so many millions in the soil that if the soil is turned (work by roads, field edges etc. (the trenches during the war) the poppies flower. In England the red poppy is worn on 11th November to remember the soldiers killed during the 2 world wars because the fields in France and Flanders were red with poppies where all the trenches had been dug.

      • On blog theory I just meant your thoughts on keeping in touch with gardeners, following many memes, finding a balance…..
        I mean the ‘Thai silk’! It has the perfect name for such an exotic looking bloom. But more interesting is the story on the red poppies, they’re used here for remembrance too but I thought they were just a local flower of the French areas, not so strongly tied to the trench digging and renewal(?) of the war sites. Sad yet very interesting.

  11. Hi Christina, you perfectly expressed my own feelings about GBBD, and particularly the comments about the longer view. As I am emerging from a period of stupidly hectic work that has kept me from most gardening, and certainly from contemplative gardening, I am returning to planning borders, and I get far more inspiration – and learn more – from seeing combinations of plants than I ever do from the admittedly beautiful plant porn. I really like your idea of the Wordless Wednesday slideshow though. I need to get more rhythm and pattern back in my life, I may try and follow suit, it would certainly make sure I had a more regular and therefore useful record of what is looking good where.

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