Entries in colors of early spring (2)

Sunday
Feb122017

Pre-Spring in the Garden

Temperatures here have fluctuated from near freezing to shirt-sleeve warm. On warmer days I have enjoyed the chance to kick off 2017 gardening with clean-up and late winter pruning. Early bloomers are trying to push the season into spring a bit early. I know hard frosts are still likely; but as more blooms open daily, I am getting excited about spring. I won't say spring has arrived, but we are definitely into pre-spring!

Here is a look at some early blooms. Daffodils and forsythia:

Flowering quince (chaemoneles) with forsythia in the background:

Forsythia is an old-fashioned, common shrub, but who can resist its cheerful burst of blooms on a gray February day?

Daphne odora 'Marginata' has a pleasing fragrance and waxy blooms that contrast beautifully with its variegated foliage:

My pale pink camellia by the mailbox has smaller blooms than usual this year. I am amazed it has any blooms at all. We were 3 months into our drought last fall before I noticed its leaves wilting and finally gave it some supplemental water:This camellia began as a volunteer seedling. Its parent has red blooms.

Magnolia 'Jane' began blooming this weekend. It is often called a tulip tree because of its tulip-like blooms:

Hellebores are reliable late-winter bloomers:

Anise (Illicium parviflorum) 'Florida Sunshine' is not known for its inconspicuous blooms, but its chartreuse foliage and red stems light up the winter garden. The leaves have a wonderful licorice fragrance::

Finally, I came across these colorful little mushrooms while walking in the woodland garden. They were a nice surprise that came from all the rain we have been having:

Happy pre-spring!

You may also enjoy my previous post:  Are You a Plant Snob?

Sunday
Mar232014

Early Spring in Deb's garden

Redbud trees are blooming.But the garden is a mess. Bales of pine straw are waiting to be spread. A large heap of mulch and sacks of sand and soil are off to one side. Heavy pavers for a new walkway are stacked upon a pallet. Projects are being attacked that should have been completed already but haven't been, because who wants to work in the icy temperatures that we were having until recently?

It is all very exciting, and my garden juices are flowing like the river that rushes over Niagara Falls; and I go headfirst, tumbling till I hit bottom and realize I can't do this. I am fortunate to have Lou, who is retired and is an eager helper. So I am the supervisor, and we will get it done when we get it done.

Every year is like this, and I wonder if the time will come when everything is completed, and all we have to do in the spring is to tidy up, then sit back on the patio and drink refreshing drinks while we listen to the birds chirp. I doubt it, for there is always another project on the horizon, whether or not we know it. When we become too feeble for gardening, then we will pass the garden to younger souls with stronger bodies and new ambition. Or maybe it will simply die away, a lost garden choked by weeds and held alive only in fading memories. I can accept that.

But for now, I still feel the rush. Washes of color are showing up in the gray landscape. The bright orange of flowering quince:

The magenta-pink and white of Jane magnolia:

The bright yellow of forsythia and the lavender-pink of redbuds:

Below left, the hellebores are fading but still beautiful; and though many of the daffodils have finished blooming, there are still lovelies out there, including the pristine white one below right:

Early spring in my garden is busy, busy, busy. We must get so much accomplished before summer's heat puts a stop to it. Yet what is that worth if we don't appreciate the beauty, if we don't watch the bluebirds and hawks and geese flying overhead, if we fail to hear the songs of nature or to smell the rich perfumes in the air? So I take time to sit with a refreshing drink, and I thank God for the earth He has given us to work upon.