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From the Patio

I am done with planting, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, transplanting, and all the other garden chores of spring. That doesn't mean I have completed these projects. In fact, there are a couple of big jobs I haven't even started. It's always a race to get the heavy gardening completed before the heat arrives. I never get it all finished, but I am grateful for what I have accomplished. And now the first, relatively gentle, wave of our Deep South summer has come. I feel it in the humid, warm days, with temps well into the 80s. I see it in the plants, the spring blooms receding, the deep green taking over. 

The great Southern Magnolia tree is blooming, a sign of summer's arrival.

Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, has taken over the former rose arch by the patio. Here is a view across the patio through the arch:

The sweet smell of the jasmine drifts upon the air. I like to sit in the shade of the big umbrella and take deep breaths of it.Near the arch is a candle-less lantern. (I put a candle in it when I first purchased it, but the summer heat soon completely melted the candle. It was a mess!) Behind the lantern is a large upright rosemary, which adds to the olfactory experience.

Another flower blooming near the patio in early May is Anthony Waterer spirea, a favorite low maintenance shrub.

From my vantage point on the patio I can get just a peek through the foliage of the Lady Garden down the hill. Peachy impatiens are blooming and provide some color amidst the textures and shades of green.
As much as I love flowers, I am most enamored by plants with beautiful foliage. Here are some that catch my eye from the patio:
The brilliant spring foliage of red Japanese maples is beginning to fade to more sedate rose and greens.

The lacy green leaves of a thread-leaf Japanese maple are also a delight. I love the feathery appearance of this small weeping tree.

Arborvitae fern is lush with new green growth.

And the silver foliage of Powis Castle artemesia will provide a cool accent through the summer.

There is weeding to do - that's like washing clothes and doing the dishes - and there's the vegetable plot to tend to, but nevertheless most of the chores are put on hold till fall. So now I have more time to sit on the patio and enjoy the sights. It's a great place to listen to and observe birds and other wildlife. I was lounging there the other day, and this little green lizard ran by my feet, across the patio, then up a small tree by the house. These lizards are called green anoles. They are native to the southeastern USA and live in trees. Males have a red skin flap called a dewlap on their necks which they extend for territorial display and courtship. 

 I think the green anole was eyeing a large green luna moth. Although its wing was a bit damaged, I was still impressed by its beauty. I know that lizards like to eat moths, but I think this one, which has a wing span of several inches, may be too much to swallow. I hope!

As I survey my comfy little world, I am reminded how fortunate I am that we were spared from the terrible tornadoes that ravaged Alabama and other southeastern states last week. For many, recovery will take a long, long time. My heartfelt prayers are with them and the tireless souls who work to bring relief and comfort. I recently posted about my visit to John's Native Nursery in Scottsboro. Check out the web site to see how these beautiful gardens came through the storm.  

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Reader Comments (22)

Your garden is so pretty with the jasmine and the fragrance is what I just love about the plant. I have a small one inside and I am waiting to put it in the garden. You have a lot of green in your garden besides the plants! I too like the textural qualities of the foliage pants, especially those lacy maples.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I know your garden smells as good as it looks! Bravo!

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Mmmm, I could smell the jasmine, and then the rosemary in your serene garden. A lovely escape for me from our wet, cold mid 40 degree day up here.

That arborvitae fern is amazing. Unusual and really interesting texture.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

How nice to be done...we have barely started and I fear because of the crazy weather, we will still be in the thick of garden chores and it will get hot and humid suddenly...oh well...as you remind us of the tornadoes and those who were not spared their wrath, I will take my lousy weather and be thankful..love the garden and critters!!

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Everything is so beautiful Deb! We are just a little behind you. Yes that Luna Moth might be a little big for the Anole...but watch out for the Tufted Titmouse. They LOVE to eat up the big fat Luna Moths!
Thanks for posting John's Native Gardens again. I hope her sale goes well this weekend!

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Your garden is a feast for the senses. The feel of the soil and weeds in your hands, the beauty of your plants, the scents mixed in the air, the sounds of the wildlife...

Do you have vegetaton? That would complete it.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom

I can almost smell the Jasmine from here, beautiful! I've made the same mistake with a garden candle, and ended up with a large wax puddle where the candle used to be. You're not joking about the mess, and it's difficult to clean up! I also couldn't agree more on weeding. In fact, I think I'd rather do laundry! ;)

Oh, what a bad girl I have been! I am not through with my chores, and you are right - there is a different feel to the heat. Summer has arrived. Love looking at green when it's hot - it can mentally cool me down. Great shots of the lizard and moth.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolley

Things are sure looking beautiful there - the jasmine on the arch is stunning. I think we are getting our very last sniffs of the confederate jasmine for the year. It came pretty early this year for me... I'm tempted to buy a night blooming jasmine bush, to extend the smell season.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I'm fighting to get my chore list done. I suppose it's the journey not the end. Right? I wish I had some gardenias, jasmine, or honeysuckle to smell now. My dianthus will have to do. However, getting on my hands and knees for a smell is kind of tough. lol.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

Done? You're Done! Be still, my heart. I will have to stop in the middle when it gets hotter. Everything at your place looks marvelous.

Those little tea light candles work pretty well, lasting about the length of time for a party or a visit. The little tin lifts out and there's no mess.Not as big and bright a flame, but festive.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

Your garden is beautiful - so many wonderful textures.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Beautiful garden and plants as always Debs! Coming from a fellow mainly foliage gardener, you have some lovely looking foliage plants there :)

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

With snow last Saturday and temps to reach 80 this Saturday, gardening is crazy crazy here. Still much to do. I enjoyed your southern hospitality in letting us take a stroll through your lovely gardens. Such peace. Enjoy the beautiful landscape you've created.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Oh Deb, I am so glad you were spared the horrendous storms and terrifying tornados. Your world is so lovely and a garden lovingly and truly tended. It is just stunning. I love the lizard and do hope the Luna will be OK. You can bring them inside to safety if you want. They sleep all day long and will not start to fly again till dusk or later. Your photos are wonderful and the Lizard reminds me of Enchanted April . . . especially when reading your words. Lovely to be able to visit your lush and fragrant gardens.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

The photo of the picket fence and the arch of C. Jasmine is beautiful indeed. I too am glad you were spared from those horrific storms. Blessings.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Consider yourself lucky to have heat, we are still chilly and damp, when it should be time to plant the annuals! I've always wanted to see a Luna moth, they are gorgeous! Yes, I did make my penny ball, it is simply two layers of pennies glued to an old bowling ball with E-6000 craft glue. Try one yourself!

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Your Jasmine arbor is magnificent! I wish I could grow it here but it's only marginally hardy.

I am always amazed by the diversity in your gardens.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSweetbay

Hi Deb, It must be wonderful to enjoy the drifting scent of the jasmine arch. I was very taken with the leaves of your Powis Castle artemesia--it is a plant I do not know. Like you, I rush to get as much done in the garden before the heat arrives. With the late arrival of spring weather, I am now weeks behind and wonder if I will manage to get everything done on time. I am glad you were spared from the tornados and feel for the families that were affected. Have a great weekend!

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I know what you mean about the heavy work. I've nearly finished mine (for this year - I still have loads to do when it suits me) so now it's just a case of ripping out things that die and watering.

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Idiot Gardener

thank you Deb for an enchanting interlude, I love wandering your garden be it only virtually, infact with heat enough to melt a candle I'm glad it's virtual, can't imagine it so hot to melt wax, glad you have come through safe and blessings to those you didn't and those who are helping, the rooted piece of powis castle I replanted after digging out the old woody plant as started to shoot so I am pleased, I love foliage, I love the contrast and it last longer your J. maples are beautiful, I also love aromas/fragrances in the garden, I have 2 spireas but do not know the type as they just had spirea on the lable, one magenta and one white, they have heads of flowers like candyfloss (sort of conical) the white is a trim little miss but the magenta is a flosey and suckering all over, I enjoyed reading your link to you past post on spirea, thanks, the moth is beautiful and I love seeing the little green lizards on blogs, Frances

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

You have a wonderful garden, Deb! I can imagine enjoying a peaceful afternoon in your patio. What a treat it must be to be able to sit under the umbrella, breathe in the jasmine scent and survey all of your plants around you.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom
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