Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Delights

Spring is a time that heralds the reappearance of stars and old friends, a reappearance that may have been been anticipated for months or even all year. Some may only take the stage for a few days or a week but they are memorable nonetheless.

The flowers of Serviceberry are often fleeting. An unusually warm day will cause the fleecy white blooms to blow quickly. However the new silvery green leaves are perhaps even more beautiful. There are four Serviceberry in and near the gardens, and one between the pastures. There used to be one behind the old house in its original site, pushed over when the house was cleared, but lasted long enough for one final hurrah: in full bloom it looked just like the lacy train of a bride's dress.

The wild Crabapple is in full bloom. Not only is it gorgeous in full bloom, the flowers are long-lasting for a crabapple and commands admiration for about 2 weeks from start to finish.

The walk down to the creek is especially nice this time of year.

There is Lyreleaf Sage and Atamasco Lilies blooming in odd places, and the grass and new leaves are enchanting shades of spring green.

The Wood Ducks have returned to the newly filled slough (G. saw 6 the other day), and when I walked down to the creek yesterday to get cuttings from the crabapple and Possamhaw (Ilex decidua) I saw two Bobwhite Quail and a male Prothonotary Warbler. He was singing as he foraged. I couldn't get a good picture since I didn't have the right lens but take my word for it when I say he is beautiful. Glowing gold with slate blue-gray wing feathers.

And I discovered another crabapple! A big one, growing close to the creek. I don't know how we didn't see it before.

G. needs to do some chainsawing around it and a third one that's growing next to the path but it should be a relatively simple task. We need more firewood anyway.

The color of the Sycamore bark has changed from ghostly grey and white to caramel and cream.

Compare to March:

In the garden there is something new blooming every day. The pink and white Piedmont azaleas are finishing up and now the Pinxterbloom azaleas are open.

The Florida azalea to the left could use some company. It's one of the four that used to be in front of the house in its original locale and the one that fared the best. One was lost and another two are very much smaller but alive and growing to the east of the house. I have a 'Choice Cream' azalea (an atlanticum x austrinum hybrid) that I want to put next to it this fall. It has lovely fragrant light butter yellow flowers.

The bright orange sherbet flowers of the Florida Azalea could use some help playing better with the pink azaleas even if they're not that close together.

There are more flowers open on 'Old Blush' every day.

The Amsonias are blooming, both in the garden and in the floodway fields.

Next to the house the Coast Azaleas, Woodland Phlox, Virginia Bluebells and 'Homestead' Verbena are blooming.

When growing columbine from seed you never know what you're going to get, but I've never met one I didn't like.

Virginia Bluebells are such a soft heavenly shade of blue. We used to see huge clumps of these in the river bottoms when we lived for three years in western Pennsylvania. They were gorgeous. I have only one clump in the garden this year but this flower is so lovely that a little or a lot doesn't really matter.

This Common Lilac was supposed to be white (it was free, obtained in a trade), but to be truthful I'm happy that it's lavender. Even happier and surprised that it's actually thriving, tucked as it is in a damp spot beside a rugosa. Common Lilacs are notorious for not doing well here. I love that lilac fragrance.

I hope your spring is likewise full of good surprises!


  1. I love spring and everything you posted. The sycamores are beautiful aren't they? There are a lot of them in the woods where we want to build our future home.

  2. Oh how beautiful your spring garden is. The Bluebells are so dainty and lovely. Mine are budding but not blooming yet. You have so many pretty Columbines. I love the Red ones.Are they Cardinals? The blue star blooms on the Amsonias are wonderful. I have never grown those before.Just gorgeous!

  3. I do love all those native azaleas. Mine bloomed quickly this year. You can't go wrong with columbines. You have a nice variety. Those sycamore trees are so striking...I love the bark!

  4. You have a nice spring going on!

    Treasures everywhere you look, still shy and still sweet looking, nothing bold and brash yet (except that orange sherbet azalea). Nice.

  5. I have four native azaleas and two have bloomed already....waiting to see if number three will bloom...looks like it will. Number four is barely surviving from last summer....but it is alive. Minor success.
    I envy your lilac. I love them!

  6. Your spring is just bursting out beautifully. Love the Old Blush on the arbor. Just beautiful. And the columbines are so sweet. I have a yellow Florida azalea but it barely blooms. Perhaps mine needs more sun.

  7. You have so many wonderful flowers and make terrific pictures of them! We have had a lot of the Lyreleaf Sage blooming in our yard before the lawn boy came and mowed it down! I love those wild azaleas, especially the unusual gold one!

  8. Spring advances so quick, so much changes daily. I like the green best, before it gets baked and dry in Summer.

  9. Spring bloomers may be fleeting, but they are oh so beautiful while they're around. Such a magical time! I'd love to take a walk along your woodland path and take it all in. Love the columbines!

  10. I planted an Amelanchier last year and am looking forward to it flowering for the first time.
    Your spring is much farther on than ours. Lovely to see all your beautiful flowers. Everything looks so new and fresh at this time of yaer.

  11. Thank you for the tour, your garden is so lovely. I love the picture of Old Blush with the bulbs underneath. I have a metal structure very similar to yours on which I grow Mme Berard, but my garden setting is of course very different from yours. I enjoyed looking at your sweeping views, and the tender spring growth in the woods, so lovely and so unlike the arid desert where I garden!

  12. Your world is beautiful right now. I agree about the Amelanchier, there are many things beautiful about it, beyond fleeting flowers.

  13. I thought of you the other morning when I noticed that my woodland phlox made it through the winter. Hope mine looks half as pretty as yours did in that last post.
    I always enjoy touring your garden. The azaleas are gorgeous and the columbine are just as beautiful. I love that shot of the single flower.

  14. I love the spring green in the forest and all of the lovely flowers. I didn't realize sycamore bark changes color in the spring.

  15. Wow! You are so ahead of us Sweetbay! Gorgeous photos of your wonderful gardens. I see a skipper and what might be a hummer moth? Here the woodcock is still doing his wing song/mating flight. I too did not know of the changing bark of sycamores. Your walk to the pond is so lovely. I hope you are not going to be hit by the heat wave we are getting beginning tomorrow. Thanks for your comment on the vulture post but somehow blogger will not publish it.?? Enjoy your lush garden.

  16. Your garden is truly full of delights! I love the walk to the creek; it looks heavenly! I am trying to add more native azaleas to my own garden. They are all small and have not bloomed yet, though they are growing. I added another one today! I hope mine will grow up to look like yours! I also want you to know that I thought of you today when I planted my very first baptisia!

  17. Spring is knocking the door of your beautiful garden. Is a pleasure to me to visit and see all this colour in a early season.



  18. Lush green....lush....ahhhhh....and then to tease with a beautiful closeup of a lilac. Love that plant. Also love your ramada/trellis.....the vines are great. Now crabapples....can you eat the fruit in summer?

  19. Crabapples are too sour to be eaten straight off the tree but can be made into jams and jellies. I've never tried it though.

  20. Your azaleas are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Love the wild beauty of your garden. :o)


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