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.