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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2017

It's the 15th of the month, and to garden bloggers, that means one thing -- it's time to put together a post celebrating Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

I usually forget about it until it's too late.  I think I can count on my toes how many times I have posted a "GBBD" post!

But I'm pleasantly surprised that the garden is perking up, in spite of being largely ignored last year while I was recuperating from my surgeries and the few hard freezes we had over the winter.

I already showed you some of the signs of spring in the garden, now it's time to show you some blooms :-)

Our freezes didn't faze these dianthus one little bit.  They stayed lovely and green all winter and now are covered in blooms.  I've got several in various colors (although I don't actually remember planting them all!)

With it's delicate foliage, you would have thought that the Achillea would have succumbed to the freezes too, but they stayed a beautiful bright, feathery green all winter and are now starting to put out blooms.

it's sharing that section of the border, under the Vitex tree, with the purple Homestead verbena.

More dianthus in the island bed, along with either the Pineapple sage or Salvia Greggi.  I planted them together in the same area and neglected to make a good note of which was which.  So I'm not sure which is blooming here.  There's also a lot of Cosmos coming up so this area will be lovely and colorful soon.

Here's a closer look.

And finally, the Star Jasmine is absolutely covered in blooms.  Unfortunately, it's short on scent. We have always called it our "Scent-less Star Jasmine".  There are actually two of them planted side by side and one has no scent at all, which the other has a mild aroma.  I did catch a whiff of it a couple of times when I was out taking photos in the rain on Saturday but I certainly wouldn't call it highly aromatic, which is a bit of a disappointment.  But I like it anyway, the blossoms are lovely and the birds appreciate the shelter afforded by the thick vines and trellis.

So that's about all I have to show for this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  I hope we have nicer weather this weekend than we did last weekend.  I need to do some more weeding and add compost and mulch to the island beds and back border before the temps start heating up too much.

Seem more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spring has Sprung!

Ooops!  How time flies!  I can't believe I didn't post anything at all in February!  Although, truth be told, all I would have had to show you would have been weeds!

Since I was out of commission so much last year, with my surgeries and recuperations, the weeds really got the upper hand in the island beds (and the back lawn, come to think of it).

I've been making a concerted effort to get them back under control again, at least in the island beds, before we go ahead and add some more soil amendments and mulch.  One thing I love about my new job -- I'm home by 5:15, so even now I can get outside and spend a little time weeding when I get home from work.  Unlike my old job where I didn't get home until 7 pm because of the awful commute.

So now I'm beginning to see some signs of spring, I thought I'd show you some photos, but before I get to those, here are some photos of our winged visitors.

I love this photo of a pair of Mourning Doves.  At least, I assume they are a pair.  They hung out by the feeders and bird bath for a couple of hours together, whereas usually, there's a flock of them.

Here's another spring visitor -- a female Red-Winged Blackbird, if I'm not mistaken.  Amazingly, there weren't any males around the afternoon I took this.

I haven't seen any bluebirds taking interest in the new nesting box I bought especially for them after I had one pecking at the bedroom window a few weeks ago. 

But could something be showing an interest in nesting in this shelf?

Hard to tell whether the leaves just got blown in there by the wind, or whether someone is making a nest.  I'll have to check it out tomorrow and see if there's any progress on it.

And finally - the signs of spring I mentioned!  The Turk's Cap, that I had given a drastic hair cut, is sprouting like crazy.  I need to get after the ant hill in the bed, and also the millet or whatever it is that is sprouting all through that area (I put bird seed out on the wall right above it)

I even have some color in the garden, courtesy of several dianthus that weren't fazed by our December freezes.

I believe these seedlings are Cleome.  They're coming up in the general area of where I had Cleome growing last year, so I hope that's what they are.

And in this area of the island bed I've got some Cosmos that self-seeded from last year and elsewhere are some Achillea that self-seeded from underneath the Vitex tree.

In addition, I'm seeing signs of life in most of the Lantana, but alas, not the Milkweed.  I may have to make a trip to Plants for All Seasons and see if they have any on Saturday.

This last photo is of another little winged visitor I spotted on the dianthus.  I have no idea what variety of butterfly this is and haven't been able to ID it.  If anyone knows, please let me know.

So, for now my main tasks are of the clean up variety.  I've still got a lot of weeding to do in one of the island beds and the veggie bed.  Then we can add some soil amendments and mulch.  (It's amazing how the level of the soil has dropped since we first built the beds.)  But I'm determined to get ahead of the weeds this year, so keeping up with them isn't such a chore in the heat of summer.

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