Garden in April – Making it Ready for Spring

Goldfinch

Yes, it was a long winter here in Niagara Falls with low temperatures and mounds of snow. This morning we had snow flurries, so we are not out of the woods yet. Trees are still tightly in bud. Spring has been on hold and plants were snuggled in the ground waiting for a few days of warmth to break loose.

Anemone-blanda

With temperatures in the 50’s during the day and thirties at night it is still not advisable to be planting or even digging as the soil is still wet and not easily workable.

House-Finch-Male

The songbirds on the other hand are pairing up and starting to find nests. As I have been showing at nature preserves, some like the eagles and osprey have young in the nest. Some, like blue birds have laid eggs.

Red-Tulip

I too am preparing the garden for all the nestlings to fill the trees in my garden, stocking up on seed for the adults and mealworms for the young chickadees, wrens, robins, Juncos, woodpeckers, and nuthatches which will be arriving in about three weeks.

Chickadee

House-Finch-Female

Hummingbirds are almost here as some have already been spotted in northern PA, so time to get the feeders clean and ready. What is really grand at this time of year is the chorus of birds singing each morning.

Pasque-Flower

Flowers are just starting to come up and attract the native bees. I am not one to show those little nubs in the ground and instead wait until a bit more is showing, just like the bees do.

Chipping-Sparrow

The native sparrows are visiting in the pear tree, and…

Starling

the starlings and grackles are pairing up to nest here like years before.

Grackle

Maybe new to the list of nesting robins, woodpeckers, blue jays and nuthatch might be the house finch pair and goldfinch pair I keep seeing daily. Lots of trees and large shrubs on my tiny property, not to mention the Black Walnut and Mulberry behind the garage that play host to many songbird nests and downy woodpecker nest holes.

Male-Female-House-Finch

It is why the garden is lush with plants, a place for wildlife to make their homes. Springtime is a fine time of year.

Hyacinths

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About Donna Brok

Love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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46 Responses to Garden in April – Making it Ready for Spring

  1. These are great photos. They lift my spirits!

  2. swo8 says:

    I sure wish it would warm up here too. I’m seeing a lot more birds now and the early morning birdsong is louder than last year, I think. I was worried last year because I don’t think there were as many birds as before. Lovely to see nature reawaken to the season.
    Leslie

  3. Laurin Lindsey says:

    I love the bright yellow bird : ) I read recently that the songs of birds help the plants grow!

  4. Debra says:

    Love them all but that starling is adorable!!
    What a great idea to use mealworms. I wonder if you have to use a special kind of feeder.

  5. I am enjoying the birds so much now that spring is (finally) here. An oriole is a regular visitor — a bird we haven’t seen here for several years. Having been out of the country for nearly a month, my garden is a disaster zone. But as you say, it is too early for digging and planting. So I’ll do some pruning and enjoy the birds! P. x

  6. these are such precious pictures donna!….donna do you think that in your travels you can find some wild jack-in the pulpits?…..your sea gull still graces our desktop and bernie just loves it..he talks to it every morning…ha!…love terry

  7. patricksgarden11 says:

    It also took it’s time in Kansas too but noticed my two drifts of 150 daffodils is starting to wane but oh, how they were beautiful. Enjoying being out there enjoying my tastes of freedom, my dear friend,

  8. quarksire says:

    when i get mny featured wedsite quarked greeting cards up an running i would like ur stuff to maybe be contributed utr name would be on all the werk as a matter of a fact ud be featured in the photographers pages:) i am developing this site on the back side of reality right now will publish someday soon…. peace out Q aka mike in colorado :) another piece of dust in the wind in the rockies lol :) i am :)

    • DO NOT USE MY WORK on your cards. I would have to take legal action. No commercial use of any of my work allowed or use of my work on any other website. I would print my own cards if I were inclined, but I would not use my photography in that manner, EVER. Greeting cards is not an appropriate use of my art.

      • quarksire says:

        like i said ONLY if u submitted them,,,,oh well, to each his er her own, was jest an offer , please exsuse me complimenting ur art! god bless

        • Sorry to snap, but this happens often here, even with use in books without permission. Thank you for asking, but no I do not submit my photos to other sites. I have had abuses just allowing bloggers to post an image, so it had to stop.

          • quarksire says:

            i can understand that, i never take images that are not mine anyhow, the only images that end up on my site of others is on re-blogs and i ussually always aske before i even re-blog i don’t like the fact ya can re blog without askin but is what it is,,,anyhow ur werk is award winning lots of it i do photo shows a lot and urs has its on comparable style,,keep on keepin it up, and hope u never get any images illeagally stolen , take care, mike

  9. quarksire says:

    did i say! “Posty Kard Purrfekt!” nope so there ya go ! is what it is kewl stuff u gots nice werk , really!

  10. Perfect way to start a day! Thank you, Donna! :-) xx

  11. It must be a joy to have a real starting of spring after a so long winter. Enjoy it!

  12. I just love all the small birds – the colours on the starlings are just beautiful. Great post. :D

  13. Phil Lanoue says:

    Terrific birds and wonderful Spring scenes!

  14. Ah, spring. We are on the verge of things coming to life, and I am too busy packing and purging to be one with my camera right now. Drat! Soon, maybe soon.

  15. bittster says:

    I’m so glad to see spring coming your way finally! The singing birds, first blooms and the warmth of sunshine are so welcome after the cold. The birds look great and I love the pasqueflower, it looks all bundled up still, just incase another cold spell hits ;)

    • We are still going down to freezing with current weather predictions, so Spring is still a few weeks away for us. I planted poppies and the 1/4 inch seedlings just might get nipped. The Pasque flower just was under snow and still is blooming.

  16. Fine, indeed! The light in most of these photos is that lovely oblique light that’s common in spring and fall. Your temps are similar to ours. We’ll have one warm day tomorrow, and then back to the 50s, which is a little cold for late April. Oh well, it keeps the flowers pretty for longer. :)

    • We are probably going to get the hot weather all at once and the tulips and daffs will not last. The red tulips in the post are already gone because the squirrels beheaded them to eat the petals. I am not too happy about that.

  17. Annette says:

    Lovely pics as always, thank you, Donna! Is spring always that late in your area? What will you feed the hummingbirds? Honey solution? I once saw some in a garden in Brazil and they had feeders with sugar water or something. Beautiful birds. Look forward to seeing your garden awake :)

    • It is often later than surrounding areas due to the ice coming our way from the Great Lakes. The air blows cold over the ice and keeps us cooler for a bit longer. Yes, I do feed the hummingbirds nectar (sugar water) but it took years for them to accept the feeders because I have many plants they like. With drought years, the supplemental nectar was a godsend for them. The flowers could not replace the nectar fast enough being dry themselves.

  18. Roger Brook says:

    Good to see what is happening in your garden over the pond. Judging by your pictures you are about two weeks behind us here in York UK. My naturalised hyacinths are now dying down but your pulsatillas and anemones look about level with mine.
    I wonder what is different over there that you say you cannot plant yet. I admit I never stop planting if the weather is ok even in the middle of winter (Perhaps you are under snow!) but I would say over here even ‘conventional’ opinion has recommended planting herbaceous perennials over the last month and it is not yet too late for shrubs. Perhaps you mean bedding plants and then I am on your side!
    And what’s all this nonsense about working the soil! But then I am a no dig gardener!
    Love your posts and pictures Donna.

    • Planting is not the issue, I too move things even in winter. But right now with wet sticky red clay it makes nothing but “concrete” digging in that muck, so I wait until the soil drys a bit and is workable to dig the hole for plants being moved or installed. Otherwise, the clay makes a basin to hold water and plants root-rot in the hole. I already dug out boxwood a month before the “wet” season came, so in my post, I meant just waiting until the soil is workable at this moment. It has nothing to do with temps, just beds that are filled with clay. Even compost only helps until the clay takes hold each year. Time for compost now too. I wish more was blooming. We are going to get hit with spring running right into summer blooms at virtually the same time this year likely. That happened once before and the garden was gorgeous in so much bloom.

  19. Hyacinths are still in bloom down here. The really cold weather we have been experiencing is holding everything in suspended animation.

  20. Beautiful photos, Donna. I didn’t realize the birds that ate the mealworms. I thought it was mostly just the bluebirds. Thanks for sharing this information. Will have to put some out.

  21. I love the finch pairs they are so sweet here too and I see many new bird pairs this year….pileated, flickers, downy woodpeckers, cardinals to name a few that are nesting in or just behind the garden…still cold here

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