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Friday, March 25, 2016

Enjoying the Spring Garden

With the recent rains, and now the bright sunny weather, the back garden is really starting to take off.

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.

Other than the Nutsedge, which I have complained about before on this blog, the most prevalent weed in the garden is this:

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.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Signs of Spring

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted!  Of course, for a while there, nothing was happening in the garden, so each post would have been more or less a repeat of the last one.

But all of a sudden, Spring has Sprung!  New shoots and buds are appearing everywhere.

This little clump of daffodils somehow manages to survive getting flooded every year and reliably pops up in March -- encouraged, no doubt, by the metal daffodil staked into the ground to mark their location.

The Angel Trumpet I transplanted from the pot that fell apart to a half barrel is leafing like crazy.  I hope I get some blooms on it in the fall.

The Sam Houston peach is starting to put out blossoms.Hopefully this year the fruits won't get beaten by a hail storm like they did last year.

All of the Rose of Sharon bushes are leafing out, including this one on the west fence. This came with me as a cutting from a bush I had at my previous house.

This volunteer sapling is a bit of a mystery.  I have no idea what it is and can only assume it was "planted" by the birds that like to hang out around the Southern Wax Myrtle, in the midst of which it is growing.

I was going to hack it down a year of so back, but my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to let it grow and see how it does.  At this point it's about as high as the Wax Myrtle - 15 feet or so - and has deeply lobed leaves. 

Over by the utility boxes, the Homestead Verbena is spreading nicely across in front of the trellises that hide the utility boxes (and the brush pile).  It's also spreading the other direction, under the Vitex tree toward where we have the grape vine.  I love the purple flowers and so to the butterflies and bees, so wherever it wants to spread is okay by me :-)

That's it for today - I need to get out and weed -- the nutsedge is taking over the island beds!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Did you remember to move your clocks forward one hour last night?

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