Home Gardening Spring Garden Tour: This Bud’s for You!

Spring Garden Tour: This Bud’s for You!

Spring Garden Tour: This Bud’s for You!

magenta red magnolia blossom country sceneVulcan Magnolia front and center, taking  its long-awaited bow

The old place is draped in spring, and may I say it’s most becoming. Thanks to some unseasonably sunny days and my need to plant more spring bulbs each year, the garden has never looked more cheery in April.  And after five years of nurturing, coaxing, watering and deer spray applying, my Magnolia x ‘Vulcan’ has decided to bloom.  The wonderfully rich colored flowers stand out like little garden punctuation marks. Granted I only have two blooms on the entire tree, but each has well been worth the wait. As gardeners know, Rome (and the Villa Borghese gardens) were not grown in a day.

Daffodil Salome unveils a dance of color and light.

Trail to the gate garden, amid white daffodils (Ice Follies) and soon-to-bloom bluebells.

My favorite view from the back porch at its greenest!

This drift of sunny daffodils started out as a small clump of flowers, and after six years of separating and replanting the bulbs, a constellation is born.

Blue violets, the sweet perfume of spring (unless Boz and Gracie assist with the watering).

Here are some of my favorite online bulb sellers: Van Bourgondien & Sons, Van Engelen, EasytoGrowBulbs.com, and John Scheepers.


  1. How beautiful is this! Paradise …really. The magnolia is amazing, and I love the daffy’s too but the violets brought me to tears. Ah…sweet memories of home and I mean the home of my birth. The fields were full of wild violets.

  2. Holly, and Tamara thank you!
    And Scott, your kind words are the cherry on this fine sundae of a day.
    Now Brion, trolls and munchkins? I believe I’ve been through this with you before; they prefer to be called fairies and pixies.

  3. All these photos are stunning, Tom, but I’ve never seen (or even heard of) a Vulcan Magnolia before … unbelievably gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. The photgraphs look even more beautiful than photographs, if that is possible. They look like they’ve been painted by a Dutch Master. So very lovely.

  5. Gorgeous Tom, I can’t wait for the bluebells…
    I laughed at your comment about the violets – there must be ‘something’ about them that attracts the animals because our cats ‘water’ them too!!! XXXOOO

  6. I forget how rich and luscious the plant life in the NW can be… thanks for the visual reminder. We still have snow covering half our yard and garden but it is finally retreating and the sun has been out nearly every day for the past two weeks. My chickens finally have some dirt to scratch around in and yesterday I saw new red growth coming up in my rhubarb! I’m sure the fairies are celebrating too. 😉

    • Patty, you have a good eye. The “branches” are really crunchy, thick-stemmed shoots from dead wood removal from my false bamboo, or more accurately Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica). It’s super invasive and I wouldn’t recommend. It makes regularly bamboo look wimpy and sedentary. I break off last years shoots before the new growth appears and line the paths with them. It sound like you’re walking on cornflakes for the first month.

  7. Lovely post, lovely garden!

    Thanks for the link to Villa Borghese too, which somehow gives me license to quote the Roman poet Virgil:

    “Each gathers close to himself those things that he loves.” (Trahit Sua Quemque Voluptas).

    It’s why we garden, after all.

  8. The most fun way to rid yourself of old Japanese knotweed is to throw them on a fire-they pop like firecrackers!!! FUN!!! Save some for me Tom

  9. Congratulations on your Vulca Magnolia bloom, she graced you with her beauty after all your TLC.
    Beautiful garden, makes all the difference in life.

  10. Jan only if they’ve added an example of an abandoned garden. Time for me to get out there and weed! I’ve been planting, but not weeding.

    Actually I’m going to be a guest speaker on the tour on Sunday.

  11. Tom, your garden is terrifyingly beautiful. I have been enjoying your site for weeks, though I’m not much of a commenter. Your pups are precocious and good friends, at least. And your antics and sage writing are a breath of fresh air. I so look forward to new posts and enjoy diving into previous ones. Thank you for risking and being vulnerable in sharing your life with those of us so unlucky as to reside outside of magical Vashon. Happy Spring! From Franklin, TN…

  12. Guest speaker. I knew you were on display at the Garden Tour somehow! I’ll make a point to be there. And cross my fingers for the weather gods to shine that day.


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