gbbd: april edition

Rhododendron oreotrephes

It’s Rhododendron time. This is R. oreotrephes, a dainty, small-leaved variety with pale lavender flowers.

R. 'Misty Moonlight'

I like to show the Rhodies in bud and in flower, because the color is usually more intense in the bud form. This one is called ‘Misty Moonlight’.

R. 'Markeeta's Prize'

Having said that, ‘Markeeta’s Prize’ is red from start to finish. I haven’t had the best of luck with red Rhodies, but this one seems to be bucking that trend. There are some excellent gardens where you can see Rhododendrons in all their glory. Two that come to mind are the Cecil & Molly Smith Garden in St Paul OR and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Milwaukie OR. Both are great sources of inspiration for companion plantings.


Always the first of the Irises to bloom is this short, deep purple one. You can see the full chorus of these little guys waiting in the wings.

Epimedium 'Lilafree'

The flowers on Epimedium ‘Lilafree’ are so dainty that they almost disappear. Worth the trouble to get down there for a frog’s eye view, though.


Weed? Wildflower? It’s a beauty, whatever it is. Any ideas?


Here’s another little weed that I prefer to think of as a groundcover. It rambles everywhere, so why fight it?

Ajuga 'Black Scallop'

Speaking of ground covers, Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ is one of the more satisfying ones. It is currently a sea of blue, but just as attractive when not in bloom.


I could easily go on and on, but instead I’ll leave you with the blooming redbud and pass you on to May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month. Happy Spring!

18 thoughts on “gbbd: april edition

  1. Love your little Iris, my dwarf one is flowering two, I’m not such a fan of the Rhodos but where they are the right plant for the conditions, they work well if consideration is paid to the colour combinations, often it isn’t! They must be perfect in your woodland.

  2. Angie~You’re right about the form of the purple flower. Maybe I can use that to find an ID. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy it…maybe that’s a better approach anyway.

  3. If you like little irises, have you ever considered Iris cristata? I have officially designated the wild violets in the back garden as wildflowers and not weeds, by the power vested in my by my subscription to Fine Gardening.

    • Jason~I have slowly been expanding my iris “collection”, having started with the tall beardeds. I will look into cristata…thanks for the tip. Several weeds around here are too pretty to banish but oh, those buttercups: who knew villians could be so charming?

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