April Fruits and Flowers

Oakleaf Hydrangea: Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) flower.

Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) flower.
Laura Lee Rose, ©2022, Clemson Extension

April is such a great time of year to garden in South Carolina. It’s hard to have favorite flowers or shrubs because there are so many from which to choose. This month, flowering shrubs really take the lead as azaleas, spirea (bridal wreath), Lady Banks rose, and oakleaf hydrangeas show off in yards and garden centers. I still have some late Camellia japonicas blooming. As you visit garden centers, keep in mind that they may have things blooming earlier than those in our gardens because they anticipate what we want and force them to bloom in hothouses or in a warmer zone.  I have already seen mophead hydrangeas in full bloom in garden centers when I know they aren’t supposed to be blooming until late May or June.

Lyre leaf sage: Lyre-leaved sage (Salvia lyrate) blooming in my landscape.

Lyre-leaved sage (Salvia lyrate) blooming in my landscape.
Laura Lee Rose, ©2022, Clemson Extension

Most dogwoods and redbuds have finished blooming, but the southern magnolia, sweet bay magnolia, and fringe tree are the upcoming attractions. Ferns are popping out of the ground, and so are the wildflowers. My grass is littered with violets, lyre-leaved sage, and spiderworts. I have a hard time keeping a neat lawn. Instead of pure turfgrass, I’d rather have a composition of plants growing that can be visited by pollinators. I like mowing grass, but there is usually something more interesting to do. Some might call it lazy, but I call it diversity. For more information on embracing a wild landscape, see HGIC Let’s Go Wild!

Along with beautiful flowers filling the landscape, some of the best things come out of the garden in April. Strawberries, peas, new potatoes, and asparagus are getting ripe and ready at the U-picks and farmer’s markets, even if they aren’t in your garden. Luckily for us, farmers also anticipate what we want. They plan and plant at the right time so that we don’t have to. If you plan to have a summer garden, check planting dates and get things in early enough to beat the pests and the heat. For more information, see HGIC 1256, Planning a Garden.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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