Total Pageviews

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Few Signs of Spring

It was nice and mild outside this morning as I was putting some fresh seed out for the birds.  While I was outside, I noticed that there are starting to be a few welcome signs that spring is finally on the way.

I had stuck this metal daffodil, purchased in Hobby Lobby I think, in the ground several weeks ago, and was very pleased to notice that the real daffodil next to it is starting to show some signs of life and leaf out.

The only blooms in the garden at the moment are still the pansies that were planted between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My only regret was not planting more of them.  They are such happy flowers, they always make me smile.

While most of the perennials are still no more than sticks in the ground, I was happy to note that the Turk's Cap Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, is putting out some new growth.

The real stars, though, are the daylilies in the island bed.  They starting coming up weeks ago and seem to have shrugged off our freezing weather.  Looking at these photos - I need to do some clean up work of last year's leaves and also get to work dividing these up.  

Not sure when is the best time to do that, if someone could give me some tips, I would appreciate it.

What signs of spring do you see in your garden today?

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Little Sunshine

How do you like my new gardening shoes?  Aren't they cute?

Such a lovely day - and more to come this weekend.  I'm ready to get out in the garden and get planting!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Icepocalypse 2014, and Birds in the Winter Garden

You might have heard that we had a little weather here in Houston recently. 

The Houston Chronicle ran a great photo gallery of some of the internet memes going around making fun of us, which I got a chuckle out of.

In truth, the only reason I ended up staying home on Tuesday was because Metro had decided not to run any Park and Ride buses.  My thought was, since the weather was supposed to get worse during the day, I didn't want to drive into downtown and then get stuck there, or get stuck in traffic on icy roads coming home.

As it happened, it wasn't too bad at all and I had a fun day at home, watching the rest of the country poking fun at us on Facebook.  (My heart goes out to the poor souls in Atlanta who did get stuck in the ice and snow)

That's not to say it didn't get cold here.  As I went out to feed the birds in the morning, I could feel tiny little ice pellets landing in my hair.  They accumulated in plant containers and on the roof of the house.

Our back garden was certainly popular that day.  I stood inside the back door and took quite a few photos of the birds, availing themselves of the seed I had put out for them.

Not all the birds were welcomed. I was not happy to see this brown-headed cowbird out on the feeder. Their habit of laying their eggs in other birds' nests, often pushing the host bird's own eggs out of the nest, does not endear them to me. He was just a passing visitor though, and he appeared to be on his own.

Our most numerous visitors in the past couple of weeks have been American Goldfinches, although of course, we mostly see them in their "olive drab" winter plumage. Trying to get an accurate count of these, and of the house sparrows, for Project Feeder Watch, is a bit of a guessing game.

At first I assumed these birds were some sort of sparrow but couldn't find them when trying to ID them at What Bird?  I posted a photo in the forum there and discovered that these are, in fact, female red-winged blackbirds.  I would never have figured that out on my own!

Of course, we enjoyed visits from our regulars like this red cardinal all fluffed up against the cold in the Southern Wax Myrtle and our old friend "Woody", the red bellied woodpecker.

So that was "Icepocalypse 2014" and since then our weather has been like a roller coaster ride.

Yesterday I was pottering in the garden in a t-shirt and my husband and I sat on the patio with a bottle of wine in the evening. 

This morning we got woken up by rain pounding on the bedroom window and it was cold, wet and wintry when I went grocery shopping earlier.

The forecast is for highs of 40's and 50's with lows in the 30's, so I think I'll be putting the T-shirt away for a couple of weeks.

And of course, when summer does get here, we'll all be complaining about the heat and humidity.

But this is Texas, after all :-)

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.