In previous years, the island beds were completely taken over by weeds by this date, but I've been more or less able to keep them in check by weeding five minutes here, five minutes there.
I don't know what it is, but it's everywhere -- in the lawn, in the island beds, in the veggie garden. It's fairly easy to tweak out but it does involve bending over and hand picking, as trying to hoe it only ends up with the roots of the River birch, Vitex and peach trees getting disturbed.
I got most of it out now, which is better than I have done in previous years. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know.
The pansies I put in at Thanksgiving are coming in to their own now and really looking lovely. The yellow, purple and white set the tone and pick up those colors elsewhere in the garden - such as the Homestead verbena under the Vitex and the snapdragons in containers by the birdbath.
Along with the purple Homestead verbena under the Vitex, this Achillea is blooming. I planted this a few years ago and it's spread along the back border, enjoying the dappled shade provided by the tree in the summer. I haven't really seen many blooms on it before, but it looks like it's getting ready to pop now. I started some seedlings of this in different colors so I will be interested to see how they do in future years.
Isn't it funny how the smallest birds can make the most noise? I was indoors this morning and heard what at first I thought to be a mockingbird singing outside. I realized it was something else and took a peek outside to see who it might be. It didn't take me long to spot this Carolina Wren sitting at the top of the tree behind our back wall, singing his heart out.
That scraggly old tree is quite a favorite with the birds. The woodpeckers love it, and I happened to see this flock of Cedar Waxwings land in it yesterday. Funny how I had never seen one of these birds until just before this year's Backyard Bird Count and now I see flocks on a regular basis.
Another garden visitor I was thrilled to see was this squirrel. Squirrels used to be regular visitors until the lots either side of us were cleared and built on. It's been quite a while since we have had such a furry visitor. This one was partaking of the buffet I had put on the wall for the birds.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.