Category Archives: Forsythia

VIBURNUM

My current garden is my 2nd perennial garden.

We moved into this house shortly after

I quit designing garden for other people

So I brought with me all of that experience

Mistakes and good ideas

Successes and failures.

This garden is bigger than any other I’ve had

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So I made the conscious decision

To use more flowering shrubs.

And as is typical in spring

Every week something new would bloom

And I’d go out and buy 3 of them!

There was method to my madness

Flowering shrubs take up space

Lots of it

They also give literal armloads of flowers

Which are fun

To cut and share

So the bones of my garden are

Hydrangea & Roses

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Lots of these

Because they give you so many blooms

Off and on during the season

There are fewer Peonies

Because they just bloom once.

But who can live without them!

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Then there are those early spring-flowering bushes

That take on a life of their own

Forsythia, Quince, Spirea, Lilac

And Viburnum

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You may know it as Snowball bush.

That first spring I bought 3

I don’t actually remember where I first planted them

Somewhere in the middle I think

In a sort of triangle.

By the next spring

I realized I had made a mistake

They were going to get too big for their present home.

So we dug them up and moved them.

Now remember that these were all 3 about the same size.

Two were moved to the west gate.

Where they reside today.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Why the left side is not as healthy as the right

Is likely a conversation for another day.

Then there is the third one.

We couldn’t really come up with a logical place for it.

So we just put it in a hole on the far east side of the yard.

Along side of few other “homeless” plants.

We never did find it a real home.

Over the years it has driven me crazy.

I’ve actually wished it would die.

It’s under one of our big old cedar trees

And keeps growing into it.

I’ve whacked away on it

Year after year

Just to keep it kind of under control

Or so I thought

I guess I must have missed its annual haircut last spring.

Because this year

It’s well … GIGANTIC

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And loaded with blooms

Which is wonderful

Because with the late spring

My yard has been pretty void of blooms.

So I’ve been cutting and cutting.

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Armloads of flowers are such fun

To cut

And share

The stems are woody

So when you cut them

Be sure you either slice or smash them

And feel free to cut away

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Because a happy Viburnum

Is a big Viburnum

So why is it that sometimes

The things that annoy us the most

Turn out to be our best friends

When nothing else is blooming!

Enjoy this wonderful weather.

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bouquets, Forsythia, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Hydrangea, Peonies, Perennials, roses, Snow Ball Bush, Uncategorized, Viburnum

Easter Egg Hunt

I love gardens

And children

So it is with great joy

that once again we hosted

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The 1st Presbyterian Church Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

My friend Kay is my partner for this.

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She gives her considerable talent, creativity, energy and education

To the children of our church each week.

She does the lion share of the work for this event

Along with other talented friends.

Four generations of friends, neighbors and church members gather for the fun.

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When you think of it, what better place for an Easter event

Than in a garden.

But you may recall I was concerned that because Easter is so early this year

That my garden wouldn’t “look good”.

The grass was not picture perfect green.

Actually it’s mostly brown and still crispy.

Just a few things are blooming

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Forsythia, hellebore, pansies and violas

And plants are just emerging from their winter’s sleep.

When will I ever learn that I am not in charge here!

God has it covered…every time.

God…and Kay

She had many activities and stories.

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All of which told the story of Easter

Resurrection and new birth

From the live grass for the Easter baskets

Planted a month ago during Sunday School

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To the annual Lady Bug release

(Aphids don’t stand a chance in this garden)

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To enacting butterflies emerging from their cocoon

(A card table covered with a brown cloth)

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Learning about and experiencing nature

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Taking flight.

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Is there a better way to spend a glorious spring Saturday

Than to create memories for children and adults

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To experience nature

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And God

What a gift.

Happy Easter,

Gail

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Filed under Butterflies, Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Forsythia, Hellebores, Lady Bugs, Uncategorized, Violets

ANTICIPATION

Remember that old ketchup commercial?

An upside down bottle

Cap off

Carole King singing “Anticipation” in the background.

But the ketchup just wouldn’t come out.

This spring  feels like that ketchup.

It just can’t get started.

And so we awoke this Palm Sunday morning

To yet another snow.

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After all it is still  March!

But I’m just a little anxious.

The fact that I’m having the church Easter Egg hunt next weekend

And my yard hasn’t even been scalped

Is driving me just a bit!

So today I did a little “snow gardening”

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Yes, it was cold.

And windy.

But after putting on tights, pants, sock liners, socks, boots, wool sweater, coat, glove liners, gloves & ear muffs

Combined with sunshine and a wind block.

It was pretty toasty out.

Smiling violas kept me company

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Just waiting for companion tulips to appear

The leaves were wet with snow

But they rack up just like dry ones.

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And there is life beneath.

The hope of spring

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Of garden days to come.

Of blooms to breath in

And share

Of life!

Sunshine’s on it’s way.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

 

 

 

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Forsythia, Hellebores, Rake, spring, Uncategorized, Viola, Winter Garden

Garden Travels

It’s finally here…Spring!

Officially on Wednesday.

It’s just a bit soon here to begin digging.

You can start cutting back all that brown dead stuff

And racking back that protective coat of leaves.

But instead of standing at the window

Staring into the backyard

Wringing my clean hands

I’ve been lucky this past month

And gotten to visit not one,

But two glorious botanical gardens.

About 3 weeks ago Virginia, Debra and I

Spent an afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden.

I’m not really a desert person – Virginia is

It was after all a garden, so I was happy to tag along.

So glad I did.

There was a bit of Chihuly glass.

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If you don’t know Chihuly glass

Get to know it

It’s art…beyond belief.

Butterflies were another draw for me.

A butterfly pavilion had been added for the next few months.

Being in a small enclosed space with hundred of butterflies.

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Or…flutterbyes as I like to call them.

Is…well…like having God doing a fly by.

Really low!

Now, I’m not someone who travels a great deal.

Quite the opposite.

I love being home.

Somehow just two weeks later John and I were heading to Dallas

It was warm and sunny while we were there.

Yesterday on our way out of town we visited Dallas Blooms.

And bloom it does!

The Dallas Arboretum was lit up with no less than

500,00 spring flowering bulbs.

Bed after bed of daffodils and tulips.

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Underplanted with violas of every combination.

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Pots of Ranunculus

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Shouting “It’s Spring”

Planter boxes with the tallest ornamental cabbage known to man.

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We were in Texas after all

Brides taking their wedding portraits amongst the glory of it all.

And many princesses complete with crowns, gowns and velvet couches!

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There’s a tradition there I need to explore.

Then there were these two darling boys.

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Who I was certain had found a lady bug

or caterpillar

or some wonder of nature

Because they had turned their backs on this breathtaking beauty.

Look closely

It’s an iPad!

Somehow I kept from screaming at them.

It’s starting here.

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Hellebores are always first.

Patches of daffodils are beginning to bloom

Next will come forsythia and flowering pear trees

Then the big parade begins

I can’t wait

I’m just grateful for such a splendid preview.

Take in a little spring this week.

Gail

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Filed under Butterflies, Daffodils, Forsythia, Hellebores, Ornamental Cabbage, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips, Uncategorized, Viola

Lenten Compost

 

 Probably the most asked gardening question this time of year

is how soon can I start. 

We all get spring fever.

Wanting to dig up something

or plant something.

I have followed the same schedule for years

decades really.

“If by the middle of March the 15 day forecast looks good

Let the fun begin.”

And it’s worked.

I’ve saved myself from doing lots of damage over the years

Until this year.

After this remarkably warm winter

Everything is ahead

way ahead.

I have tulips blooming on St. Patty’s day ahead!

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Which I guess means I’m behind.

But I’m not going to think like that.

I’m going to pace myself

So today I broke out my friendly leaf sucker and began.

John had placed the blanket of chopped leaves and grass

on my garden last fall.

Now it must come off

and head to the compost pile.

But first I dug up the end of last year’s leaves fully composted and

spread them around my little “hill”.

This rich remnant of leaves has been home to worms the size of small snakes.

Three wheel barrows full are now enriching the heretofore ignored east end of my garden.

The hole this created has been filled with the contents of one side of my composter

and an endless pile of chopped leaves.

The beginning of the next batch.

A friend sent me a Lenten devotional about composting.

It says that the metaphor of compost is fitting for Lent.

From death comes life.

It’s true .

In gardening.

In life.

Gail

P.S.  The Redbuds are lighting up this part of the world.

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Filed under Compost, Forsythia, Redbud Trees, tulips, Uncategorized, Violets