Monday, March 26, 2012

Runaway Spring

Spring has taken the bit and run with it. Along the road to the grocery store the lavender flowers of wisteria are dripping from the pine trees and even the dogwoods are opening up, a good 2 weeks earlier than usual. All around the Red Maples are in bloom and the trees are beginning to leaf out, soft clouds of rose red, apricot, palest olive green, russet, gold, and bright spring green, making the landscape look like a watercolor painting half finished.

March is a month of contrasts in the garden. Fresh new growth in contrast with and at some times made even more lovely by the old stems of last year, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Although I'm trying to clear them away as fast as I can! ;) The garden underwent such a huge change five years ago when the house was moved that I'm still playing catch-up. The big perennial bed is no longer the only open sunny place other than the pastures, and I have been redrawing it and drawing other new beds with broad strokes, adding more woody plants and trying to make them lower maintenance. The only beds being painted with a fine brush are the new ones east of the house.

Although you wouldn't know it to look at it right now! lol

The bed besides the front sidewalk had to be completely redone last year, as the voles ate everything. Part of the new planting is 'Thalia', a very old Narcissus triandrus hybrid, just coming into bloom in this picture.

The flowers start out a pale green/ cream color and turn pure
white. G. can smell paperwhites but I just smell vanilla.

I have been clearing the last of the old stems and pulling weeds in the beds below the house. So many weeds. So much chickweed. Chickweed doesn't get nearly as much bee activity as henbit and Lamium and it's smothering.

I bet you'd never get how much effort went into creating this naturalistic scene. lol A lot actually! To the right of the tree there used to be a stand of Devil's Walking Stick that looked nice until it became completely enrobed with Japanese honeysuckle. There was a lot of poison ivy, greenbriar, and baby Chinese privet too. I love this Red Maple. It casts lots of seeds into my garden and it seems like all of them germinate but I love it anyway. It has lovely apricot-colored flowers in the spring.

The tree looks golden in the last rays of the sun.

Spring: exuburant and messy. Whenever I take a picture I see more stuff that needs to be picked up, pieces that I missed when carrying armloads of old stems from the garden. But the verbena is blooming! And the Mazus in the pathway! Originally it was under the rose but likes the pathway better.

When the wind picks up the amount of pollen that billows from the loblolly pines is amazing. One of the local radio stations always plays a homemade version of "Yellow Haze" when the pollen comes out. The amount of pollen has been calmed considerably by recent rains though.

This jessamine grows wild beside one of the paddocks. It's a much softer cooler butter yellow than the usual golden yellow. I used to think it was swamp jessamine that festoons so many of the trees here, since it often grows in wet places. But it must be Carolina jessamine because it is fragrant, more fragrant this year than in other years. I can't recall being able to catch the baby powder scent from far away before. I'm going to try to grow it from cuttings in case something happens to any of the climbing roses.

I love seeing these early spring beauties, like seeing old friends again that you haven't seen for a year.

Eastern Redbud and Carpenter Bee

Atamasco Lily


Crocus tommasinianus

Woodland phlox


  1. I just love to read your blog !!! Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to see all this beauty !!!

  2. How wonderful to see your spring beauties coming to life. I look forward to visiting you through the seasons. Do you grow from seeds and cuttings as well as buying for your lovely country garden? Once again, I'm inspired.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Spring has indeed taken off at a gallop. This year, instead of lagging behind, we seem to be in the same place as warmer zones--redbuds and flowering crabs are blooming, and all the tulips seem to be blooming at once. We're at least a month ahead of normal bloom times. I do feel like you, though--I'm way behind on getting everything cleaned up. Still, everything looks lovely at your place, Sweetbay, and I hope you're finding time to enjoy the pretties of spring. Love the bumbles on the redbud and serviceberry!

  4. As always your pictures are wonderful, but it was a couple phrases in this post that captivated me this time ---

    Spring - exuberant and messy.
    Spring has taken the bit and run with it.
    The garden looks like a watercolor painting half finished in spring.

    Lovely. And I really like your big red maple!

  5. I hope Spring will linger a little before summer takes over. Everything seems to be opening up and blooming at once and there's been dramatic change over the last three days. I want it to linger and take its time leaving!

  6. Flowerlady yes, the majority of the plants in the garden I grew from seeds, division or cuttings. The front porch gets filled up every year!

  7. I certainly don't envy you having to maintain such a large garden. I honestly don't know how you do it. Everything look beautiful!

    1. Randy, right now the garden is several lengths ahead. I'm inching up and hope to win in the end if my legs don't give out first. Currently the garden is in a state of transition and is a lot of work this time of year.

  8. I think the most naturalistic plantings are the hardest to achieve and maintain. Yours is gorgeous. That redbud is perfect in that setting. I, too, think Thalia smells delicious!

  9. Brava! Brava!! Sweetbay, Your world is gorgeous!! Your words are too . . . " All around the Red Maples are in bloom and the trees are beginning to leaf out, soft clouds of rose red, apricot, palest olive green, russet, gold, and bright spring green, making the landscape look like a watercolor painting half finished." Wonderful, wonderful posting. Stunning photography! Happy Spring!

  10. You do have a lot of garden to tend to. We have Devil's Walking Stick in the lot next to us, though I think all of it is out of my front woods. Very thorny.
    The one Serviceberry in our area (yard) is about done blooming. I love it. I am glad you said that the Carolina Jessamine is fragrant, I have noticed a scent on the wind and the only bloom I see it the yellow jessamine.
    I have Thalia and love its fragrance.

  11. Spring marches on apace.


    I've just returned from Cornwall in the UK (zone 9) It felt a good month ahead to here, same for you over in NC.

  12. Spring is looking especially beautiful in your photos. Love your insect close-ups. You get such wonderful detail!

  13. Nice bee shots.....but I really love that pink blooming trees against the pine trees.

  14. Spring is ever moving northward. You're in the stage we were in a month ago as spring crossed the Florida line. Beautiful, beautiful.

    I turned off word verification, too. Tired of frying spam, I eliminated Anonymous comments. There's a bug in here somewhere. I can't comment as a Google user on embedded and have to switch to my Wordpress persona.


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