I recently watched a flock of robins strip the last shriveled berries from the branches of a dogwood tree. Dogwood berries are high in fat, up to about 24% fat. This is important to birds who need fat for energy and to provide insulation against cool temperatures. But new buds are swelling and a few blossoms are already open on the same dogwood tree, signaling that spring is headed toward its peak.
Spring came in quickly during the first days of March. It's hard to believe, but one month ago we had snow on the ground! Yellow daffodils were among the first spring flowers:
Other flowers are now blooming throughout the garden:
Low maintenance trees and shrubs provide interest year round. A colorful shrub border in the front garden includes red camellia, yellow forsythia, and orange flowering quince, while redbud trees temper the background with pastel lavender pink:
It is a joy to be outside this time of year. Although the fickle weather has brought some cold temperatures and dreary rains, other days have been gorgeous. I have been busy, working hard to beat the warmer temperatures I know are coming. I have pruned trees and shrubs, raked leaves and spread new mulch, sprayed ecologically safe horticultural oil, fertilized, transplanted a few shrubs and planted many new ones. Yesterday I bought two serviceberry trees, a gift to the birds. I will plant them within a few days, along with an Alabama croton, a rare native shrub I also found yesterday.
An ongoing project is the removal of invasive nandina domestica and mahonia from the woodland garden and replacement of them with native shrubs and other non invasive plants. You can read about my decision to do this in Should I Rip Out My Mahonia and My Decision. Some of the new deciduous hollies and viburnum are still leafless and aren't noticeable yet, but here is a sneak peek at part of the renovated woodland garden:
I will do a more extensive post on the woodland garden later. Meanwhile, there is still much to do. Happy gardening!
You may also enjoy My Secrets to a Low Maintenance Garden.