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Images of Early Spring 2018

Many trees are still bare, and some oaks even now hold stubbornly to dead fall leaves; but those dried holdovers from autumn are destined to fall soon as new leaves push them out. And the birds are busy, singing and cleaning and preening to make themselves presentable and generally creating a ruckus as they announce: Spring has arrived!I am not sure these male bluebirds were enjoying their spring bath, but it was nescessary!By the way, I recently heard something I had never heard before: a Red-shouldered Hawk cooing! These hawks have the most unpleasant shrill call, but one day I witnessed a male and female hawk rubbing beaks (Kissing must be a universal sign of affection!), and the female was making the softest cooing sound. I bet her tone will change when she is nest bound and demanding food!

Every day brings more bright green, pink, purple, and yellow colors as fresh growth sprouts throughout the garden. I am in a flurry of activity, trying to get weeds pulled, new plants put into the ground, and other plants pruned or transplanted to new places.

But never too busy to take photos! Recording images of the garden is one of my favorite pastimes, and by looking closely at pictures I have taken, I can appreciate their beauty, as well as spot problems in design or identify problems with individual plants. (For example, I will sometimes catch white flies or aphids in photos that my naked eye missed. Or I will see that a certain shrub really looks terrible in its present location or that it needs a companion plant to bring out its best features.) So here are some recent photos of spring blooms in my garden. I hope you enjoy!

Early daffodils in the front garden:

Flowering Quince. Sometimes people ask me if these plants produce fruit. The answer is yes! But very bitter and best reserved for quince jelly:


Assorted Camellias:

Edgeworthia; I often say the blooms remind me of ballet tutus:

Cercis canadensis, or Eastern Redbuds are in full bloom. Despite the name, mine bloom purple:

Everyday I see new blooms:Clockwise from top left: Phlox subulata, commonly called Thrift; Unidentified variety of Euphorbia - a passalong plant from another gardener; Viburnum burkwoodii, a very fragrant species; Iberis sempervirens, also called Candytuft, a low-growing evergreen perennial that may be used a ground cover.

Clockwise from top left: Grape Hyacinth; Redbud blooms; Sanguinaria canadensis or Bloodroot; Magnolia 'Jane.'Many of these early spring blooms will fade as others come to life. I walk through the garden to see how plants have come through the winter. Some will have flourished; others I may never see again. Every spring day is an adventure!

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Reader Comments (18)

Your early spring garden is glorious, Deb! I love the daffodils, which make me wish I'd planted far more in my own garden. And the bluebirds are adorable - the birds enjoying baths in my fountain aren't nearly as colorfully attired. I also nodded in agreement as I read your mention of catching insect problems in photos that the naked eye missed - I had the very same experience this morning.

While my garden isn't lacking in blooms, I've noticed that it's not nearly as floriferous as it was last year at this time. Our rainfall total remains very low (although a storm IS expected tomorrow) and that, combined with several weeks of unusually cold weather (by our standards), seems to have shut down the bloom-fest that began during January's unseasonably warm conditions. In other words, the garden is confused!

March 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I get so excited seeing your blooms. I know that my garden is usually at least 2 weeks behind your garden. Everything looks so colorful, alive...makes me happy.

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

How I enjoy early spring! Your images are lovely, as always - thank you for sharing! xo

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Oh how gorgeous! I love the photos of the bluebirds enjoying their bath! We have several inches of snow on the ground still with more on the way, so it is lovely to see some photos of a coming spring. How awesome to hear the hawk cooing - I had no idea they cooed!

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

How fantastic to have Spring at this stage in early March. We are still at the Snowdrop stage. You are also very lucky to have Bluebirds, my wife Myra would love to see them in our garden.

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteraberdeen gardening

Your bluebirds are so colourful! Your garden is way ahead of ours, we still have snowdrops and the narcissus are just starting to flower. The quince though looks like the one by my back door that flowers from November onwards, until April. Spring has certainly arrived with you, we are just so wet, the garden is really boggy, I daren't walk on it.

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

the bluebirds made me laugh, great pictures! I am trying to snap a photo of my bluejays but so far no luck. Quince Jelly, with apples and cinnamon, yum!
Your springtime garden looks lovely :-)

March 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGoneTropical

Your spring pictures are gorgeous! Which camellias are those in the upper left and bottom right?

I've noticed that red-shouldered hawks have all sorts of vocalizations. They often seem as they are talking to themselves and sound a little like the hamburglar.

March 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Hello everyone, and happy spring! Thank you all for visiting and leaving a comment. I appreciate each one. Sweetbay, you asked about the camellias. The one on the upper left doesn't have a name. It started as a seedling. The parent is a dark pink that was here when we moved in. The one on the lower right is 'Something Beautiful.' Best wishes! Deb

March 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

I wish I was there visiting Deb! Everything looks stunningly beautiful! Our lives have become extremely busy and miss the days of enjoying every moment in the yard with a camera in hand. So glad you're still blogging your beautiful world and sharing it with so many!

March 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Spring has surely arrived with you while we wait not very patiently for our weather to show signs of some consistent spring warmth. Your garden is looking so pretty at the moment and it is great that you are enjoying it and recording it for us and for yourself.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Oh, I love those bluebirds! We don't have them around here, though you can find them once you get out to open country. Lovely photographs, all.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

1) Bluebirds = Adorable!

2) Your redbuds are a bit ahead of ours, but it cheers me to think ours might start blooming soon. I have a volunteer redbud that's a few years old that has flower buds for the first time this year!

3) Love love the quince. Hope to add one or more to the garden this autumn. Do you find that animals (e.g., squirrels) go for the fruit or are you able to harvest (for jam, jelly, etc.) without too much competition?

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

How wonderful that spring has arrived in your garden Deb.It looks so fresh and cheerful. And those birds are incredibly blue!.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

So many gorgeous early spring blooms! Love the bathing bluebirds! We have a western version but they're rarely, if ever, seen in town.

March 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Oh Deb-Your spring blooms are so beautiful and with Bluebirds, Camellias and Redbuds...oh my! It's so nice to see all these wonderful signs of spring.

Your spring there is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it.

March 18, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhb

These beautiful images of spring give me hope that it will arrive here soon. Right now, we have more snow in the forecast; but in Maine, April is the month that "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." I especially love your bathing bluebirds.

April 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJean

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