Entries in spring flowers (26)

Wednesday
Mar232011

The Romance of Possibility

In his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation. Here is one spot where each may experience the "romance of possibility."                                                                                                                                                                  Louise Beebe Wilder

 My body is not so young any more, but when I walk outside and breathe in the fresh spring air and let my eyes wander across the garden, my mind rolls with possibilities. It is a new beginning, and it doesn't matter that a rabbit ate all the pansies in the lady garden last fall or that I have two dead dogwood trees in the woodlands. I am dreaming of new projects, some immediate and some far into the future, wishes only, but who knows what can happen with time and effort and an unexpected influx of cash!

I am fortunate to have lived in the same place for over a quarter of a century. I have worked my land less than it has worked me, but while a lot of changes are inside the psyche of who I am, the garden is visible to the world. Old dreams fulfilled. The garden still has plenty of wild, rough edges, but there is so much potential!

 From the patio, here is today's view across the front garden:

And this is what one sees standing on the front lawn, looking back toward the patio:

Another part of the front garden near the patio:

If one stands on the road and looks into the main part of the front garden, one has a good view of some of the Japanese maples:

It's hard to get myself inside the house, when the world is so wondrous outside. Is that a good enough excuse for not doing housework?

While most of the daffodils finished blooming a few weeks ago, a few late comers are flowering here and there. I can't tell you the names of any of my daffodils! The daffodil in the top photo was here when we moved in. It is lovely but the stems can't hold its floppy head up. I purchased all the others as  part of a group for naturalizing, and they were not individually identified:

There are lots of other flowers blooming:Top: A species tulip, the only survivor of several dozen I planted years ago. It blooms reliably every spring; Snowflake, Lucojum vernum. 2nd row: Rosa mutabilis; Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'. 3nd row: Loropetalum; Viburnum burkwoodii. 4th row:Grape hyacinth and woodland phlox; Flowering quince.

And spring couldn't be spring without the birds and the bees. Isn't that what it's all about?

Lots of people comment on how beautiful the garden is, but, of course, they see only the results. They don't see all the dead stuff. I hope that when people get to know me, they see something lovely, too, not the rotten junk that happened along the way. I want people to see the good results and know that, if they notice some rough edges, there are still lots of possibilities. No matter how old I am!

Happy Spring!   Deborah

Saturday
Mar122011

My Garden in Early March

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:

Above, row 1: Magnolia 'Jane'; Phlox divaricata. Row 2: Epimedium; Hepatica. Row 3: Camellia 'Red Candles';Camellia 'Something Beautiful'. Row 4: Pieris; Winter daphne.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.