Friday, February 28, 2014

End of February View

Aren't we glad to get this awful month behind us? We had frost this morning.

 View of the Front where there are 5 good-sized beds in the broad lawn that the driveway circles. I learned early on to make berms bigger than 6' long, else they looked like graves. I've decided they need evergreens.added to the back of each. Behind the tree line to the left is the Upper Garden.

Upper Garden looking westward.

 A closer look at the Upper Garden. I've pruned the summer-flowering Spiraea underneath little Dogwoods. Hyacinths are blooming among them. Grass paths leading off the oval lawn are dormant.

Further down one of the Upper Garden Paths. There are
cross paths since last year that really made it easier to 
navigate. I don't know about looking better with paths.

Looking south across the upper garden.

... and a farther away Upper Garden View. Don't mention that the bench is backward. I like to sit on it this way and turned it around. .

I showed these daffodils in the previous post. Wider view
taking in the Stick House.

This is always my view for any month. There's a clump of daffodils in the left corner, Camellias and up close right is the edge of a limb of Loropetalum in bloom. The multi-trunked Dogwood to the left of the drive has a grey haze of buds ready to open as soon as it's time. T

he old Pecan tree in front of the house will let us know by leafing out when Spring is really here. You can't fool a Pecan.

Joining The Patient Gardener for End of the Month Views On her blog are links to gardeners all over the world taking a last look at February.

Some readers have trouble commenting on my Blogger posts. This post appears here on Wordpress.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stroll Among the Daffodils

Please take part in the poll on the right sidebar if you haven't done so. Check as many as you agree. Thank you.

I've been posting daffodils for a while now. I showed you every little one that opened, I felt like. These are new -- the pictures, not the Daffodils. My new Daffodils are fat Trumpets that are just sending up foliage tips now.

Little Tete a Tete under a Live Oak in the Upper Garden.

Ice Follies

February Gold with Sweetness Jonquillas behind.

Tiny Jonquillas along a path.

These are a King Alfred type, maybe 
Unsurpassable, here for 50 years.

Bags of mixed Daffodils are good if they all bloom together.

If you plant several different Daffodils, the season can be extended. Early Narcissus will be long gone when the late blooming kinds open, like Baby Moon, hardly with foliage out of the ground right now.

New plantings may open a little later than the same cultivars that are established.

Erlicheer are blooming. I didn't go 'round there to get pics. Double Daffodils are not my favorite except for Tahiti which has fat buds, and a fragrant one that was here for a long time. Ice King finally reverted to Ice Follies of which it is a sport. I like the single blossom better.

A tab labeled 'Daffodils' just under the Header Photo on this page will take you to pics of a number of previous years' Daffodils. Most are labeled.

Which are your favorite Daffodils? I would hate to have to settle on one or two.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Poll about Garden Blog Features

Over on the right sidebar is a poll. It's been months since I queried readers. I hope you'll join in. I'll publish the results when the poll is over.

There are 10 items in the poll. Please check the statements with which you agree. There are no wrong answers, just opinions.

If I don't tell you, will you know that this is Pineapple Sage cuttings growing in tins and how I got this notion?

Does this post need a caption? Do I need to explain the greenhouse floor? Does it matter what is on the picnic tray? Should I tell you what is blooming in this place?

Dramatic, or puzzling?

Everybody's blog and garden is different. Sometimes I wonder if I make myself understood and whether anybody except one or two who visit here regularly really cares.

Please remember to check the items you agree with on the Poll. I appreciate comments and discussion, too. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Camellia Season Picks Up Again

The recent freezes set Camellias back a bit. Open flowers turned brown. Those showing a little color started having brown edges when they opened. We're getting past all that.

Remember last summer when I got the courage to prune
old Camellias into trees? Hardly bothered this one.

After this view, I wanted you to see one far right,  up close.
All I had to do was step up on the 6" carport ledge and 
walk just a little way.... Wait! I clung to a post. 
Old ladies don't have the balance they had at fifty, or 
even sixty. I inched my way along and got it anyway: 

It was hard to find a white that didn't have a line 
of brown from frost damage.

Then I found this.

It was hard to decide what to blog about. Daffodils have burst out all over. Hyacinths in the ground are blooming. And like a proud parent wanting to show you the ultrasound of an anticipated baby, I want you to see the tiny buds down among the Tulip foliage. I guess baby Tulip buds can wait. 

Linking to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. Tootsie's greenhouse is looking good and she's seeding annuals.

Joys of Spring Bulbs

I was reading Noel Kingsbury's blog. Here's what he had to say about spring bulbs:
So often, a 'spring garden' consists of drifts of daffodils let loose in grass. Very nice, but so easy to do, it hardly counts as gardening once [it's] done, just mowing at the right time. 
Daffodils under a deciduous Crape Myrtle.

My take is that daffodils are a more or less permanent installation, so easy to do IF you have a gardener to plant the bulbs rather than an old lady on her hands and knees. The hardest part is getting he-who-mows to skip mowing until the foliage ripens after the blooms are gone. I stuck in a few hyacinths, too.

Mr Kingsbury suggested a mixed planting, bulbs among spring and summer perennials. That notion works very well for me, except I cannot grow the peonies and primroses that he suggests. It isn't as stunning to have Daffodils blooming among the dead stubs of Lantana but enough bulbs in bloom make it showy as it progresses. This is the early view before all the buds open:

There's a Magnolia in the background. 

This is the early view of my Tulip and Muscari experiment, planted where we ripped out box and wisteria last year. I haven't decided whether this will be a permanent mixed bed with perennials -- Tulips act as annuals here, Muscari may persist. There are late Daffodils not yet visible except for a few just breaking ground. Daffodil season lasts a long time if different cultivars are used and a few more dozen planted in fall because late planted bulbs bloom late the first year.

I always wanted a river of Muscari. I am settling 
for a couple of puddles and a trickle. 

I could not wait to show the Muscari before it fully opened. It usually puts up secondary blooms so I am hopeful that there will be a real display with Tulips. 

How do you manage spring bulbs? Planted in mixed beds or scattered in grass? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Constructive Staring

Sometimes I wonder if I'll live long enough to see all my plans completed. Too many are still in the constructive staring stage.

Sometimes I put up little flags to mark a line of grasses or a couple of shrubs or some other grand scheme so I can look at it from inside the house. I moved these 3 times and now I know where to move them again.

I ran across these as I was wandering around, staring.
'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths forced a couple years back and then planted out.
It is a delight to find blooms in forgotten spaces. These were marked
 with a piece of wood so they would not be dug by accident.

I keep looking at the space between the trees.
The borrowed view is of the woods across the highway.
When the crew cut the electric right of way, they left mulch. 

... as if I didn't have enough work, it just seems like the perfect 
place for planting something low that I can see from a long way.
Pines have grown up where we used to pick butterbeans.

This is the view back through the tree line. Magnolia is 
shapeless against big Junipers in the distance.

Meanwhile, there were limbs to pick up after the recent winds.
I planted beside the greenhouse white Hyacinths that finished 
blooming and moved another clump of Candytuft to that bed. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

We Ate the Bloom Day Buds

It's a conumdrum. You'll learn at the end of the post whether we did eat Buds.

Blooming now: Hyacinths

Magnolia 'Leonard Messell"



Camellia with dead tops of Brugmansia: winter vs. summer.
Brugs come back from roots, usually.


Daffodils among frost-killed tops of Lantana.

Narcissus and Hyacinths starting bloom here.

We did eat Broccoli buds, and Cabbage heads.
After the bigger Broccoli heads are cut, they 
grow more, smaller heads. So do Cabbages.

Happy Bloom Day. My brother used to visit Savannah this time of year to make sure that Spring might be on the way when Atlanta was having ice or snow. I promise, it will come.

Visit Carol's Bloom Day meme on the fifteenth to see if Spring is coming in other parts of the world.

Peek into my greenhouse to see more blooms.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Amaryllis in a Mirror

Spartacus knocked my socks off. Then I thought of this mirror.

Two stems, 8 blooms total. Spartacus.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Camellia Blooms Despite the Cold

The cold is not kind to Camellias in bloom. Tight buds are usually okay. When the weather warms they open out again with minimal damage.

Reds are my favorite. This today.

 Whites are lovely too but show slight damage. 
They remind me of the movie Camille.

Pinks are pretty, too.

Blooming today the big Camellia that 
I limbed up last year after it bloomed.

Compare it to last year:

Bloom Day, February 2013

If there are no freezing temperatures for a week,
I expect many open blooms this Bloom Day.
None are predicted through the 13th.

Mathotiana bloomed in December for 
an unusually warm Christmas.
No blooms now but buds promise
later blooms.

Camellias, February 2012

Camellia season lasts until mid-April. There are still many to anticipate that are full of  buds but have had no open blooms.