Sunday, May 8, 2016

Spring goes so fast

The trees went from looking like this at the beginning of April, with the new leaves of
the red maples looking like pastel smudges of palest green, silver and warm russet red

to lush spring green everywhere.

Path to the slough with the wood duck houses.

Red maple leaves

Red maple leaves and young river birches

Creek that borders one side of our property.

Path beside the creek

Path between the floodway fields, headed back towards the pastures.

Recently loggers were working on one of our neighbors' land. That was a long couple of weeks. The loggers weren't that close, but the noise was intense and bothersome. I felt like The Grinch when he complained about the Whos on Christmas Day. "Oh the noise noise noise noise!" One of the members of the logging company had put tape on some trees on our land well over the property line so we took down the tape and left a note and our phone number.

There's a slough where the loggers marked the trees and I've found several species of wildflowers nearby over the years and put divisions in the garden: Amsonia, meadow rue, bellwort, and Atamasco lilies. Unfortunately the bellwort didn't do anything and the Atamasco lilies haven't increased the way I'd hoped/ envisioned, but the Amsonia and meadow rue have been very happy.

Ever since we moved here there's been a colony of Atamasco lilies.

The crabapple tree in the nearby field was in full glorious bloom.

Bees visit the sweet smelling flowers in droves.

The new oakleaf hydrangea leaves look dusted with pale spring green and silver.

I really loved the Florida azaleas in front of the house, but until there's a cultivar that tops
out at 8 feet (the height of the porch railings), I will "make do" with oakleaf hydrangea 'Pee Wee'.

The brand new leaves of serviceberry are silvery and downy too. Most of the wild
serviceberries here don't have much fall color but they are beautiful in the spring.

I moved this serviceberry next to the ditch several years ago and it's about 8 feet tall now. It does
lean a good bit though. I tried to stake it but I wasn't successful - I waited until it got too big.

I want to put in an 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry this fall. Only one serviceberry here (and
possibly some seedlings) has good bronzy gold color and I'm always looking to add more color in the fall.

American snowbells are the most fragrant tree I know of. When the temps are warm enough the sweet perfume carries a long way. I've grown several from seed I collected here and it's seeded itself around quite a bit too. This row of trees are volunteers next to the driveway between the house and the big bed.

I first saw Mazus next to the pond in the display gardens at Niche Gardens years ago. It made a lovely carpet of tiny lavender flowers. I tried it and it's been happy in the path of the garden east of the house.

My lilac (acquired in a trade) was supposed to be white, but I'm glad it's lavender. judging from the leaves and the fragrance it's Syringa vulgaris or a vulgaris hybrid, so I'm shocked it's done this well. Usually vulgaris is a miserable one cane wonder here.

The azalea from DH's grandmother's garden looks happy and is twice the size it was in its previous location, due to the motion detection sprinkler trained on the nearby potted plants (seedlings, cuttings, and divisions slated to go into the garden this spring or fall) every night that wasn't below freezing.

I've wanted to grow pearlbush ever since reading about it in Passalong Plants. I have it planted beside the drive above the house and it's happy there. I can see why it's a passalong. It's tough.

A few years ago Phillip of Dirt Therapy generously sent me a division of Alabama snowwreath. I fell in love with Al snowwreath after seeing it in the mountain section of the NC Botanical Garden. I tried planting it above the house in the half shade of some tulip poplars and it was miserable. As it turns out the only thing that has been happy so far are a couple of volunteer wax myrtles. I thought the site would be fine because it gets drainage from the field above, but the tulip poplar roots take everything. So I potted the snowwreath back up to recover and last fall planted it northeast of the vitex tree in the front yard. It was beautiful this spring!

Two other bits of good news: I thought I had lost my yellowwood and devilwood, one from being too dry and one from being too wet or getting frozen. I was especially bummed about the yellowwod since I started it from seed and grew it in a pot for 3 years before planting it out last fall. This week I saw that that both had sprouted new leaves on the lower stems. The Osmanthus has been moved to a drier spot and the yellowwood is back in a pot to size up. Keeping my fingers crossed that they will ultimately be OK.


  1. It is all so beautiful and peaceful.

    I'm glad your yellowwood and your devilwood survived for you.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  2. You have a lovely collection of trees on your property. Hope the loggers respect your note. Atamasco lilies are something I spotted at NCBG this spring and fell in love with. How wonderful you have a colony to enjoy. Thanks so much for identifying my Iris ’Helen Collingwood'--good to have a name to put with it. Would be pleased to share it with you sometime.

  3. Your wooded area is delightful. I'm glad you caught the logger's mistaken markers before they caused some damage there. You've got a lot of spring color still. Notwithstanding the early heatwaves we experienced in February and April, it's still relatively cool here but summer is clearly moving in. My Agapanthus are about to bloom and the Jacaranda trees throughout the area are covered in purple blooms already.

  4. So many exotic plants for me ! Graceful blooms and gorgeous surroundings !

  5. Trying again to leave a comment--sorry if this is a duplicate. You have lovely views and wondrous trees. How nice to have the Atamasco lilies too. Thanks for identifying my 'Helen Collingwood' iris. Really appreciate it.

  6. I totally agree, Sweetbay--you have to enjoy all these blooms while you can, because they often don't last long. My little serviceberry was full of blooms one morning, and I intended to take a photo, but by evening the wind had blown all of them off! You have such gorgeous azaleas! How wonderful to have the creek and the wooded paths near you to explore.

  7. I feel quite grinch-like too sometimes grumbling about noise in my neighborhood. There are developers busily knocking down trees on one of the few remaining undeveloped lots in our development to build another house. And an entire small woodland has been nearly demolished down the road, presumably to start another development.

    I can't kvetch too much. I know that developers must have done the same thing years ago to build the house where I live now, but it's still sad watching the trees fall and aggravating living with the noise.

    (And then there's the typical suburban noise aggravations - mostly the dozens of lawns within hearing distance that have their grass cut each week by gigantic mowing machines, accompanied of course by assistants with weed whackers and blowers.)

    In any case, I hope it's more peaceful for you now. It's a good thing you saved those trees on your property line from the loggers by removing the tape!

    There's lots of beautiful photos and interesting info in your post.

    Is the fragrant crabapple the native, wild crab - Malus angustifolia? I'd like to try one of those someday...

    Do you ever get any berries from the serviceberry trees? Or do the birds and other critters get them all?

    I had no idea that American snowbell was so fragrant. I'm not sure I've ever seen (or smelled) one in person. Is it true that they're essentially wetland plants? I have some soggy areas in winter, but my whole property tends to dry out in summer droughts, so I can't imagine they'd be happy here, unfortunately.

  8. Good news about your trees! The slough area that you photographed is so beautiful--is it a good area for hiking? It sounds like you have a beautiful property, but how frustrating that the loggers were mis-marking the trees. I hope they won't cut down too many on the neighboring property, either. You have so many beautiful blooming plants--the azaleas are such an attractive hue of pink!

    1. We do walk back there, just not much in high summer when the bugs are bad! There's always wildlife and/or flowers to see.

  9. Your property is gorgeous through all seasons. You have so many marvelous shrubs and trees, and a creek!! I have a friend with a stand of atamasco lilies. She asked me what they were, but I could not tell her. Thanks for helping with the identification! We are rapidly moving toward summer, but I am grateful that we really have had an extended spring his year.

    By the way, In your last comment on my blog, you asked about my pinks, whether they spread by themselves or I dug them and spread them around. Both!

  10. I'm hosting the 2017 Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling! I hope to see you there. More info on my blog. :o)


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