Gardener’s Log – April 2021

April 1st

April is starting off with plenty of plants in bloom. A couple of the little bulbs have shown themselves in the past couple of days. One is Tritonia deusta, a very pretty small flower in a delightful orange color with interesting markings on the petals. Those markings allowed me to identify it as being subspecies deusta.

Another flower provided a little surprise. This little Gladiolus came into bloom. It was meant to be G. watsonius, but as soon as the flower opened up, I knew it was something else. A little research led me to believe that it is G. virescens. IT really is quite pretty up close, but it is not something you would notice from more than a few inches away – but not everything has to be a show stopper.

Gladiolus virescens

Being that it is April Fools Day, I have a conundrum for you. Which came first, the tea or the tea pot? Find out here.

April 10th

So much is blooming, budding, and growing that it is almost a struggle to keep up with everything and to enjoy that special moment that each plant or combination gives us. The Dog’s Tooth Violets opened today and in Tuxedo lane the Leucadendron ‘Ebony’ is providing a backdrop for the white Fritillaria. We watched a seminar put on by the Rut Bancroft Garden this morning titled Proteaceae and Pals. While interesting, I am beginning to think that my knowledge levels are approaching that of many experts even though I known I don’t yet have the years of experience growing them.

In the greenhouse, cuttings of Grevillea aquifolium were potted up with 100% strike rate. Not quite so good on the Grevillea thelemaniana with 50% and one that may still root. Lots of stuff coming out to harden off and I managed to keep both of our peppers alive over winter, and are now growing on strong, plus it won;t be long before we get our first tomato!

April 21st

It is always difficult at this time of year to keep the activity log going. The weather is improving and there is so much to actually do in the garden that it become more difficult to write about it. Progress has been made on the garden for the “giants.” This garden area features plants where something about them is outsized. That may be in flowers or flower stalks, trunk shape or size, leaves etc. The garden is traversed via a boardwalk which is now finished. It is trimmed and stained, plus the transition pavers that connect it to Wimsey Way are finished. A fair amount of the space has been cleared for planting and the Bauhinia is in. This tree is a bit of a gamble for us, but hopefully it will do well. It’s common name is the Purple Orchid Tree and while it could reach 35′ it will probably stay a lot smaller in this location. If successful, it will have 5″ wide blossoms in September through November.

Lots blooming right now, including the cherry and this lovely German Iris. While it is in the cutting garden, it is just too nice to pick right now and this is the first time it has bloomed.

Iris germanica 'Halloween Halo'
Iris germanica ‘Halloween Halo’

April 22nd

Yesterday I noticed a bloom on one of my Leucadendrons. This is an important plant for me because it proves that I can grow and get it to bloom in our Oregon climate. All of the other Leucadendrons that have bloomed here had already set bud when purchased, but this one came from a cutting taken in 2019 and has been grown on from there.

Leucadendron floridum 'Pisa'
Leucadendron floridum ‘Pisa’


As the month comes to a close, we knew that April this year had been a year of extremes. We were hotter, colder and dryer than last year, but it was the rainfall that was the real standout feature – or lack of it. This year we saw a total of 1.34″ that came in 4 rain events across the month. Last year was 3.15″ spread across 13 rainy days. While that may sound like a dramatic difference, 2019 was very similar to this year and 2018 had over 10″ of rain. So, while Portland had their driest April on record, we were close to other years.

Weather for April 2021

Related Plants

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