Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A spring day...

Today was absolutely beautiful. I didn't really do much in the garden - I mostly just enjoyed the day, which is something that I do too little of as I usually keep myself way too busy. I did plant out a six-pack of Lobelia into the container of Wintergreen that I had planted with my nephews months ago. I think that it will look charming with the trailing blue flowers later in the spring and summer.

I saw a yellow swallowtail butterfly visit this clump of Muscari. It was only for a moment, but it was enchanting. Like a reminder that often things are fleeting.

And as I was driving today, I realized I was completely wrong about my neighbor's trees; they are definitely not Redbuds. I saw Redbuds blooming today and remembered how much I love their color, which, by the way, is not red. Yes, I came home with another plant: a Creeping Phlox. Oh, and here is a pretty corner of my garden that I will tell you about some other time. It just looked so nice today.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, March 29, 2010


How glorious!!!

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


My daughter, Julie, wrote this poem, upon being inspired by my garden.


Dewdrops on a rose leaf,
Such a wonderful thing.
The sun is shining brightly,
Oh, the glories of spring.

The light upon the buds so new,
The mist that brings the sparkling dew.

The scent of Hyacinth and Daphne;
The young birds sing their songs, free.

The new life that grows,
And dewdrops on the leaf of a rose.


Have a beautiful day!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tulip kaufmanniana...

O.K. As I promised several days ago, here is the name of that tulip. It is Tulip kaufmanniana 'Stresa.' And, yes, I have more pictures of it. I bought the bulbs in the fall in a pack that also contained purple Crocus and the two together were marketed as "Mardi Gras Mix." The combination in reality turned out to be a lot prettier than it looked on the package.

Not having a bed prepared for them, I stuck them in this container with, of course, my Johnnies for the winter. Now they make quite a stunning vignette at the bottom of the steps leading to the back door and the deck. The detail in the Tulips is amazing. You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

I wanted Tulip kaufmanniana because they will naturalize if they are happy with their living conditions. (T. kaufmanniana also comes in other colors.) Now I just have to convince these Tulips that they actually live in a place with cold winters and dry summers. I think I will do o.k. on the cold winters, but it will take a little more work to make the humid, rainy summers palatable for these guys. What I do for plants, huh?

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New leaves...

Once again, life is racing on at an outrageous pace, leaving me with no time to garden. Therefore, I really have nothing to say today, well, about my garden anyway, so I will not bore you with inane drivel. However, if you would like to enjoy these photos of some of the new leaves happening in my garden, I will leave you to that. You are welcome to guess as to what they are and I will let you know if you are, indeed, correct.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring blooming trees...

The trees that are blooming right now are amazingly enchanting. They are light and airy and perfect for the new season. And somehow, their colors look so nice with the fresh green of the spring leaves. I wonder if that was planned?

I love seeing all the trees in flower as I go driving around. This is one of my neighbors and I think the pink trees go well with the cute little yellow house. I haven't quite figured out the names of all the trees yet, so I am not sure what these are. They might be Redbuds, but I don't know.

Another one of my neighbors has this stunning Bradford Pear. The Bradford Pears are so beautiful. They are spectacular when they are planted in rows. Lining a front walk, for example.

This tree is on our property and I think it is a flowering plum. As I was taking the pictures, there was a faint fragrance, but I am not sure if it was the tree or the scent of my Hyacinths wafting over to me.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daphne odora...

A number of days ago I said that I would do a post about my Daphne bushes, so here it is! Not too long after moving to North Carolina, I was wandering around the plant section of a store when I smelled a most amazing fragrance. Of course, I had to hunt it down. And, then, of course, I had to bring the plants home with me. Not one, but two small Daphne bushes. One had white flowers and one had pink flowers. I have to admit, I hadn't heard of Daphne before. And I bought the plants without knowing a thing about growing them. When I got home, I looked them up in my Southern Living Garden Book and found out that they had a reputation of being picky prima donnas. Ooops! I felt doomed and decided then and there that I would not ever again buy a plant without researching it first.

Until I was ready to plant them, I put them out under some trees with other plants waiting to get planted. I forgot to water them. The wind blew them over so not even the rain fell into their containers. They wilted. I up-righted them and watered them. Then I repeated the whole process. Probably for about a year. Yup. And then they bloomed! Would you believe it? I was accidentally giving them what they needed: not too much water. When I finally did put them in their pots, I mixed sand in with the potting soil to make a very well drained soil for them. Just about the only water they get is rain. I also planted a living ground cover to shade their soil; I used a Campanula that I brought from California.

(The plant started to tilt so I used the brick to hold it upright.)

They are on the east side of the house and when the shadows shift in the Fall, they get a little more sun than usual and end up with their leaves sunburned. And even though I am supposed to feed them each year after they bloom, I always forget. Did I mention that I have had them for five years now? Despite my neglect, or maybe because of it, they continue to bloom every winter for me. And their fragrance is absolutely wonderful.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, March 22, 2010


My Forsythia has bloomed. I guess it doesn't look too bad, considering I have never pruned it. I always forget to prune it when I am supposed to (right after it has bloomed) and then when I do remember I was supposed to prune it, I don't want to prune it at the wrong time. Maybe this is the year I will get it right.

The bush was already here when we bought the place. It was one of the very few things actually, purposefully planted on the property. I guess it is not surprising that a Forsythia was chosen, since the others include Myrtle trees, Lirope, Hosta, and Nandina. I don't think you can get much more Typical-Landscape-Plants for this area!

I am thinking of transplanting the somewhat invasive Vinca to grow underneath it. If the Vinca gets out of bounds, it will just get mowed as it is in a location that I am not currently working on. And I do think the blue Vinca flowers will look so pretty with the yellow of the Forsythia. Maybe I could put some Daffodils and Muscari under there, too.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A tulip...

This Tulip bloomed today. I think it is stunning. There are so many pictures of it on this post because I couldn't decide which ones to take out! I don't remember the name of the tulip right now, but it is one that will naturalize. I will look up the name and let you know. Enjoy my Tulips and Johnnies! Oh, and be on the look-out for Luca!

The one below will bloom tomorrow. You can also see it in the back of the picture above.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Farewell, Winter...

We should have a Going-Away Party for Winter. We could build a bonfire out of snow shovels. We could toast the removing of the tarp from the pump house. And we could give gifts ... of heavy coats ... to the closets.

I have a feeling that it wouldn't be a tearful, sad farewell, though. Everyone I have spoken to is long tired of cold and dreary Winter. The "So long 'til next time" would probably be more like "Good bye and good riddance."

However, I must admit that we should give Winter a hug and say thank you for the chill that helps some plants grow better. And the extra little bit of nitrogen that the snow added to the soil. And especially thank you for helping us to more fully enjoy the beauty of spring.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Beautiful blues...

Some days are just long and a bit too much. Today was one of those days. It wasn't a bad day. Nothing terrible happened. It has just been a long day.

So it was such a balm to pull into the driveway and see the soothing beauty of cheerful Johnnies and bright yellow daffodils and gorgeous blue Hyacinths and Muscari.

Their wonderful fragrance only added to the serenity.

I hope they bring a bit of cheer to your day, too.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More plants...

Getting more plants is a good thing, right? So this morning I went to a very well done, 3 hour class given by the local extension office on the topic of plant propagation (a.k.a. - more plants). Without trying to sound vain or conceited, I have to say that almost all of it was a review for me. But I enjoyed it anyway.

{Buddleia and Rosemary}

And there were goodies. The instructor brought in different plants for us to practice what we had discussed. I came home with just a few. I have thought about growing Lemon Balm, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend money on something that would become horribly invasive. However, I did take a cutting of her Lemon Balm to give it a try - in a container.

{Melissa officinalis}

Only yesterday I had looked at this same variety of Hen and Chicks (with the extra red in it) and thought it would be cute to have, but I didn't want it bad enough to buy it. Today, I got to pull a little plant away from its clump to start its own colony. How cool is that!

{Sempervivum tectorum}
Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Muscari botryoides update...

They're alive! They're alive!

You have to imagine me holding the clay pot and bouncing around the garden in excitement. Or not, if you would rather. But, anyhow, I am just thrilled! A couple of weeks ago, I poked around in the soil to see if the bulbs were still there. (Surely you've done that, right?) But all I came up with was a mushy bulb so I figured that was the end of that experiment. But then, a couple of days ago, I saw about half a dozen little leaves starting to stick their heads up. Hence my uncontrolled joy.

There are my Muscari botryoides 'Album' bulbs that I wrote about in a post months ago. I have tried several times, unsuccessfully I might add, to get these to live and grow and multiply, so maybe this is the time I will actually do something right and they will perform beautifully for me. Now to wait for their white flowers.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bloom Day March 2010...

Thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for once again hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

In addition to these flowers pictured on recent posts: Camilla, Purple Crocus, Variegated Crocus, Yellow Crocus and False Crocus, Daffodils (and other Daffodils that aren't photographed), and, of course, my Johnnies, which I've had all winter, I also have more beautiful flowers!

First, in my greenhouse... A yellow Calibrachoa is blooming, which astonished me. I expected it to live, but not to bloom so soon, even in the greenhouse.

Also, I have Nemesia that is covered with flowers. Doesn't it look great with the Agapanthus behind it?

The Alpine Geranium (Erodium reichardii 'Charm') blooms are actually more pink than the camera will pick up.

And there is a Loropetalum blooming, too.

Outside, a somewhat invasive Vinca minor has one blue flower.

My Daphnes are blooming. This plant is in sad shape; it desperately needs to be fertilized, but the flowers smell absolutely amazing. Both the pink and the white bushes are blooming. (Coming soon: a post about my Daphnes.)

Let' see. What else? Oh, here is a Scilla siberica that is planted in completely the wrong place, but it still comes up and blooms, although on a much shrunken scale. It's so cute!

My blue Hyacinths are getting ready to bloom.

And, of course, I have Muscari.

You aren't surprised, right?

Have a beautiful day!