Tuesday, April 15, 2014

E-"vase"-ive Maneuvers

Last year, I carefully cultivated a huge patch of weeds.  The rest of the property had been so intentionally landscaped that I couldn't believe that the one really sunny area, edged in irises and bordered by shasta daisies and lantana, wouldn't be utilized.  I waited and watched while the 8' x 4' bed filled out with lovely green variegated seedlings.  They grew and grew, and by fall had become a hideously rangy, drooping mess.  There was no mistaking it:  these were weeds.   They returned with the first warm weather, filling in the tidy arc beyond the lawn.

They filled in so nicely and had such beautiful leaves that I had to ask myself:  were they REALLY weeds?

I just had to remind myself of their appearance last fall.  No doubt about it:  these were weeds.

It took me several days to weed the area, because the weeds, true to character, had a vast underground runner root system, which means that I will still need to plow it up and get every last bit or they'll sprout again.  I don't mind working there, though, because I like seeing all of the little scurrying things.

Little pillbugs, running for cover.

Little flying things, woken up from their naps.


...and millipedes.

Even a little frog!

I love being outside in spring.  Last fall I planted six or seven peony bushes, and they're all coming up.

Sedum is starting to fill in the blank space around the rocks.

The air is filled with the buzzing of little wings. 

Bees love our flowers...

...and so do butterflies.

Our clematis vines are all starting to bloom.

I love their little clenched centers.

This .50 Goodwill vase is perfect for them.

 Of course, I have many...



...other vases in use.  I love the sheer variety of azaleas here, from tiny and pink...

...to sprawling and fuchsia.

It's nice to be outside amid the flowers, looking out over the water.

We've started eating our meals out on the sun porch again, just so we can catch the sun in the morning and listen to the tree frogs at night.  Bosewichte (our cat) heartily concurs with our decision.

Hope you have a great week! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The View From My Window

Todd and I recently returned from two back-to-back trips.  I'm always a bit anxious about traveling in the spring, because I just hate to miss early spring growth.  If you're a gardener, I'm sure you understand.  For example, our snowdrops reached their prime two weeks ago.

The redbuds came and went...

Same with our forsythia.

Thankfully, we're back just in time for the true glory of a Southern spring.  The dogwood blossoms that were just starting to unfurl a week ago...

...are now in full bloom.


The tentative hostas...

...are now up and running.  That's a hydrangea in the background...we're hoping to keep the deer out with these tomato cages!

Ferns are spiking up their new growth.

Last year I scattered muscari bulbs all around the front yard, and we've caught the tail end of their flowering.

They make the perfect miniature bouquets.

I'll never get tired of them!

Trees are flowering everywhere.  This is the view from the street in front of our house:

I couldn't bear to miss our mass flowering of purple irises, and thankfully they aren't ready to flower for another two weeks.

A few camellia trees are still blooming...

And oh, we missed a week of it, but it's still AZALEA TIME around here!  Gratuitous azalea shots:

These delicate light pink ones are my favorite.

The view from every window in the house shows color and more color.  The view from the greenhouse window in the kitchen is my favorite:

I like the back dining room window view, too:

We've had friends and family visit in the summer and fall, but I highly encourage them to consider the spring.  It's just amazing!

I hope you've got some color wherever you live.  Have a great week!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Surf's Up

Todd and I recently returned from a trip to California.  Even though it's been nice here in South Carolina, it's nothing like San Diego.

It seemed like every tree, bush, and stalk was in bloom.

We saw so much wildlife.  This rabbit barely moved as I crept up with my camera.

We especially love seaside nature.  So many birds!  Cormorants...


Other miscellaneous shore birds...

I never get tired of watching harbor seals.

Sea lions, too!

Every day was sunny and 75 degrees.  The coast was just beautiful.

We got a kick out of watching the surfers.  They never did catch "the big one"!

It was beautiful...just beautiful.  California, we'll see you next year! 

Hope you're having a sunny week, wherever you are!