Before we left, in the last week of April, I was photographing the spring bloomers like my favourite tulip 'Spring Green'.
I like it so much not only for its crisp green and cream stripes, but also for its longevity. Other tulips I've planted last two to three years at most, but 'Spring Green' just keeps coming back as strong as ever every spring.
Muscari latifolium is another bi-coloured bulb that was blooming in April.
Like all the grape hyacinths, this one will seed itself around as long as I leave the seed pods alone. I'm hoping for a swathe of these under our old plum tree in a few years.
The same is my plan for a little wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa 'Allenii'. Of course I bought it for its name, but it's a pretty little ground cover for a shady spot.
Hostas were breaking ground by April and 'American Halo' was lighting up another dark corner.
Slugs are less attracted to its thick blue and cream leaves than to some of the other, more fragile hostas. Unfortunately since I took this photo, it's been hidden behind perennials that were scarcely visible a month ago. When it's dormant this winter, I'll move it further forward in the bed.
Finally, the day before we left, Paeonia obovata 'Alba' opened two lovely flowers among its milk-chocolate-coloured leaves.
When I fell in love with this plant, it was quite expensive to purchase one ready to flower. I had to be content with a very young specimen that came with a warning it would take three years to reach blooming size. Part of the pleasure of gardening for me is anticipation, so I was prepared to wait. It's been worth it!
Next up: the garden at the end of May