I'm sure I'm not the only gardener who finds this time of year both exciting and frustrating. Exciting, because I'm starting to see small signs that spring is on it's way, but frustrated because other than those few little signs, the garden just looks dreadful.
The St. Augustine lawn (love it or hate it, that's what we have to deal with) is still dormant but hey, the weeds are growing rampantly, showing up as bright patches of green in our otherwise yellow lawn.
I made the commitment not to use chemicals of any kind on the lawn, so we have to live with the results. It doesn't look bad in summer as the weeds blend in with the green lawn and mowing can keep everything looking neat, but at this time of year, the weeds have a head start.
I can handle the individual weeds like dandelion etc. but great spreading mats of unnamed weeds drive me nuts.
How do other gardeners handle them without resorting to herbicides?
Anyway, since I have nothing to show you from the garden today, I thought I would show you something different I have been working on in recent weeks.
As you know, I enjoy taking photographs of the flowers and birds in our garden and elsewhere. You may not know that I am also a digital artist (www.jaynewilsonart.com) and over the winter I have been making some digital paintings from some of my photographs.
These are fun to do and quite addictive and involve using digital paint brushes, textures and filters to give photographs a painterly look.
This is a digital painting made from a photo of our island bed last summer. If you click on it to see a larger image, you will see that it has a sort of impressionistic look to it.
I've shown you these beautiful Cleome before. They were blooming against a lovely stone wall created by Edward Lutyens at Hestercombe in Somerset, England. This digital painting has the feel of a pastel painting, don't you think?
This digital painting is based on a photo I took of our other island bed last year -- the one that literally filled itself with Profusion Zinnias. The butterflies certainly loved them, including this Gulf Fritillary.
I love this digital painting of a Blue Jay in the Southern Wax Myrtle bush for two reasons. Firstly, we really haven't seen many blue jays around recently. They used to be here in abundance when we were surrounded by trees. It was a pleasant surprise to see a flash of blue in the garden and get a good photo of him. Secondly, I love the way this digital painting makes the ugly cinderblock wall at the back of our garden look more like stucco. If only it looked like that in real life!
I look forward to seeing the garden start blooming again so I can get outside with my camera and get started on some more digital paintings.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.