The weather for the past few days has been cold, grey and miserable - definitely not the sort of weather to encourage one to head out in the garden. Today, however, the winter sun is bright and although it's still chilly, my mind is wandering out of doors!
There's a LOT of tidying up to be done - freeze damage to cut back, weeds to pull, beds to mulch. Being out in the garden on a nice, brisk day is invigorating. And sitting on my scoot, pulling weeds, I can watch and listen to the birds in the garden.
I was happy to hear and then see a Carolina Chickadee - the first I have seen since the houses either side of us were built last year. I had feared, with the loss of habitat, I'd also lost the little birds, so it was great to see they are still around.
The red-bellied woodpecker visited the suet feeder this morning too. And we have not one pair of Northern Cardinals but two, jockeying for position along the wall where I sprinkle bird seed each morning. And my beloved Chipping Sparrows are back en masse.
While much of the garden is brown, soggy mush, some things came through the Christmas freezes remarkably well.
The Homestead verbena, located up against the wall and underneath the Vitex, is a carpet of healthy green foliage. I hope to see lots of purple blooms on that again in the spring.
The Silver Mound Artemisia is the only non-brown thing in the island bed. The Cat's Whiskers, which was next to it, is brown sticks at the moment. I planted them too close together, so I'll need to do some rearranging and I'll probably move the Cat's Whiskers and hope it survives!
Under the crepe myrtle, the Spearmint is still going strong (I don't think it's possible to kill spearmint, is it?) Luckily, it's confined in that area and I like how it looks, so I'm not worried about it being invasive. I am very glad we didn't put it in the veggie garden, like we planned to!
Speaking of the veggie garden, my husband went out and did some clean up there last week. We're looking forward to planning and planting this year's garden.
While I specifically did NOT make any New Year's resolutions this year, I did go ahead and prepare my garden journal so that the pages are ready for me to add to them as the year progresses. I had done really well keeping the journal, noting what I was planting and where, throughout 2010 and 2011, but it seemed like each time I was in the mood to write last year, I didn't have any paper, or ink in my printer. So I've printed out a page for each week of 2013 and all I have to do is jot down my notes.
Finally, here's something else that's growing well in the garden - I'd like some help identifying it.
It's side yard, by the downspout. Not only is it green now but it's blooming and has berries. It almost looks like a wild, miniature strawberry.
Any idea what it is?
No more photos from me this week. My camera decided to quit working while we were in San Antonio before Christmas. My husband ordered me a new Nikon Coolpix P510, which should be arriving Monday. I can't wait to try it out!
I'll show you the results next week!
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.