Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blooming Tuesday

Happy Blooming Tuesday! Here is a snapshot of what's blooming in my yard in late March. These blooms are all about a month late due to our unusually cold winter.
An assortment of daffodils:

Sugar snap peas, coming up! Yum!

Wild violas - so delicate and precious.


More assorted daffodils:

I can't quite capture the brilliance of this lorapetalum from afar. It's really a vibrant hot pink (while in bloom). These shrubs blend well in a perennial border with their informal, almost sprawling habitat. Just beware they can get huge, so plant them 5 feet apart even if it seems like a big gap.

Long-time readers will remember my laments about the azaleas the previous homeowners stuck in clay holes in full sun. We moved them to the shadier backyard, and three years later, they are finally blooming! I'm thrilled we were able to rehabilitate them, though it sure took some patience.

For more Blooming Tuesday, visit Ms. Green Thumb Jean.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to NOLA (yes, already)

OK, maybe I have a problem... Just a few days after our recent one-night trip to New Orleans, I found a reason to go back - a conference for work! So, we went back last Wed.-Sat. Unfortunately, I was in the seminar from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:15 to 5:05 each day, but I still got plenty of good eats in (highest recommendation for this trip would be a small eclectic restaurant in East Carrollton called Boucherie).
Before we left Saturday, we took a nice long stroll in Audubon Park. This is a park with a huge jogging and biking track, a golf course in the middle, and the most amazing live oaks you've ever seen:

A few are swathed in Spanish moss.

There is also a large, long lake, with lots of birds, ducks and turtles.

Great Egrets nest here en masse, and it is a sight to behold. Last year when we went down for Jazz Fest in late April, the babies had hatched and were learning to fly. This time, mating and nest-making was in full swing. Notice the plume-y feathers and green area around the eyes - these features appear in mating season.

Watching these birds (like the one below) fly with branches in their beaks for their nests was awesome.

This one is also carrying a stick.

Only a few were already actively nesting.

There were hundreds of these birds. It was mesmerizing. If you're looking for a trip to take in late April or early May, go to New Orleans and check out the babies (and take pictures)! Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to make it back down there until the Louisiana Bar Exam (UGH) in late July.
Have a great week!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2010

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, March 2010! My yard still looks pretty dead from the street, but a closer look reveals many harbingers of spring.

Above: an unknown daffodil. Below: precious white flowers that crop up in the grass before mowing time.

Above: a lorapetalum bloom. Below: one of three HUGE bradford pears we have. Every year I just know they're going to fall, but I can't cut them down when they are this beautiful.

Above: pansies thriving in an old compost pail. Below: a hyacinth forced a few years ago and then planted in the garden.

Above: This came with the house - bridal wreath spirea, I believe. Below: more unknown daffodils.

Above: grape hyacinth (muscari). Below: a different lorapetalum.

Above: pansies. Below: blueberry bush.

Above: the camellia that's been blooming since late October. Below: the azalea that is preparing to bloom for the first time ever (prior homeowners planted it in full sun in a hole of pure clay - we transplanted it three years ago).

Above: violets popping up in the yard. Below: a two-story camellia beginning to bloom.

Above: tiny and precious new daffodils! Below: a bradford pear branch forced inside.

For more March blooms, visit Carol at May Dreams Garden.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

At last, spring!

It's finally warming up and greening up. Better late than never! And just in time for the time change this weekend.
Fuzzy baby lambs ears are proliferating:
Crocosmia and daylilies are racing for the sky:

I was delighted to find, under the deceased foliage of last year's sedum, a healthy lil' one!
(Thanks again to KMG of Garden Tips for the sedum, a family heirloom.)

I'm pleased to report butterfly ginger survived the cold winter:

Our wedding mums are coming up between the pansies:

This was a real shock: pineapple sage, which is only marginally hardy here, survived the cold winter! I had to rub these tiny leaves and take a whiff of the tropical scent to believe it.

Black-eyed susans started in the fall from seed are looking good, though none of my established black-eyed susans are showing signs of life yet.

Veronica bought last fall on sale is back. We bought this because bees were swarming it at the nursery!

Butterfly bush, cut to the ground this winter, is rebounding with gusto:

My unknown clematis bought at a plant sale for $1 last year - can't wait to see this bloom!

Oregano has always been evergreen for me, so I was sure my mass of it was dead, and started oh, about 50 new plants! Anyone around here need any?!

Daylily foliage is significantly lusher and fuller than in the past. Maybe it's just age, or maybe they enjoyed the cold?

And finally, asters are popping up everywhere. In the early fall, these will be three feet tall and covered with lavender flowers.

TGIF! Have a great weekend!