In these end of the month roundups I am focussing on the area that surrounds the Tea House. You have to look closely to see any changes between these photos and the ones taken at the end of March.
In this first image, the plant that looks dead is bamboo. It took a beating in the winter of 2013/14 and should be starting to come up green any day now. This slope would look a little less pathetic, however, if I cutback the browned foliage. The area on the right side of the Tea House has a fair amount of shade. So much shade that the Hellebores are not flowering to the degree that others in the garden are doing, so they may get moved. You can just see the clump of white flowers on the far right.
Those two little white makers visible in the picture note where I planted the Hostas that I put in pots on the deck for the summer. Since nothing was planted here, it seemed an ideal "holding bed."
Meeting the gravel bed on the left side is a swath of Iris cristata. More of it is on the slope but a little behind in growth. On the lower right is a big patch of Gallium odoratum (sweet woodruff). The bare spot between these two ground covers is under a dwarf Ginkgo tree. I try to keep it bare as the tree is so short that the ground covers tend to touch the lower branches and distract from the shape of the tree.
Coming down the slope between the shrubs was supposed to be a stream of Ajuga 'Caitlin's Giant' which appears to have taken a beating last winter. I think I may need a more reliable plant to fill in this area; currently Epimedium is at the top of my list.
If you click on the picture below you can tell that those yellow spots are the unfurling leaves of Cornus alternifolia 'Golden Shadows.' Last fall I planted an assortment of ferns in this area. Though you can't see them the Maidenhair ferns are up a few inches. I also put in Hakonechloa 'Kabuki,' Arum italicum, a few Hostas and Aralia cordite 'Sun King.' At this point most things seem to be alive and just barely visible.
The ivy around the Mica rock still has not recovered from the winter of 2013/14. I am going to take some of the growing ends and weave them back into the bare spots and see if that helps. Under the big Honey Locust tree to the left is a patch of dwarf Solomon's Seal that is just poking up.
I am hoping there will be a dramatic change by the end May as I have great hopes for this area. Meanwhile, to see what's happening in other's gardens at the end of April, visit The Patient Gardener who hosts this meme.