Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Early Morning Stroll in the Garden

This has been an incredibly mild winter in Atlanta, and the spring is also seeing temperatures well above normal, which means the spring flowers are just bursting all over the place!  Here are a few photos from early Friday morning in the garden.  As always, click on them to make them larger if you'd like.

The Carolina Jessamine completely engulfs a black iron fence each year; this season is no different.

The view from the gate of the walled garden across the creek is a beautiful greeting every morning.  The little helicopter-like seedpods on the maple, the Easten redbuds, and requisite Azaleas stand out in this shot. 
Mexican Feather Grass hides some of the mess in the area near the "critter feeder".....don't tell the neighbors that we put out peanuts and corn for the squirrels and crows!  The concrete leaves are little little headstones to plants from past seasons in the garden. 
I'm tempted to put a sign near this bed of narcissus repeating Queen Victoria's quote, "Nothing succeeds like wretched excess!"  If 25 narcissus are good, then 75 must be better! 
The pansies in these beds near the greenhouse are loving the early burst of sunshine and heat....pity we're going to tear them out of the ground in a few weeks! 
This patio peach is called "Bonfire" and was in a container for a couple of seasons before being transplanted into the garden.  Pretty amazing color! 
The Eastern redbuds and Yoshino cherries are both bursting with color around the greenhouse at this time of year. 
Senstive Fern and Heuchera that we thought were gone seem to have reemerged this year. 
This broken pot of Solomon's Seal lives under a cluster of Southern magnolias, and is incredibly tough, despite its delicate appearance. 
The variegated iris positively glows in the early morning.  That coreopsis gets torn out every year and comes back with more vigor than ever again in the spring! 
A view toward the swing across the creek 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't Forget to Stop and Smell the Viburnums!

I was all set to do a post about gardening tasks, calendars, journals, etc., etc., and decided to play hookey from responsibilities!  If the weather is as beautiful where you are as it is in Atlanta at the moment, take time to enjoy the garden you've created!  (And if the weather isn't so nice, hang in there for another week or so!)
Here are some shots that are literally things between my driveway and my front door.  Not glamorous, but definitely welcome sights at the end of winter.

This is Kerria japonica, which is lanky and sometimes weedy looking, but one of the happiest plants I know.  It blooms heavily now, and then will continue to bloom on-and-off until the frost knocks it back a little.  When we have a warm week in the dead of winter, it's likely to pop out a few little blooms, as well.  This one is in the part of the Stepchild Garden I call "The Wild."
Leftover narcissus bulbs from the Big House were potted to go on the tables around the pool, but this pot cracked.....oh, well, Mr. and Mrs. are away for a few days, so these blooms get to sit on my little rock wall next to the garage. 
Mohawk Viburnum is one of the most fragrant plants I know, and the scent is just overwhelming when the sun hits it.  They are incredibly common (I bought eight of them for $50 a couple of years ago), and will reach 12 feet if you just let them be. 

Stop looking at your computer and go outside!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Chelsea Question

I'm hoping some of the readers of this blog can help with some advice.  I'm seriously considering an England trip next year (2013) to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show.  I've nver been.  Are there certain days of the Show that are better if I'm only going to be there one day?

Any advice would be most appreciated!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Some Pretty Pictures from the Glass House

It's that time of year when the tropicals are putting on their respective shows in the glass house.  Since some of them prefer these shorter days and cooler temperatures than those of July and August, it's a pretty awesome place to start my workday!

Clerodendron thomsoniae ("Bleeding Heart Vine") is just covered with flowers right now, and will stay that way until around Thanksgiving.  This particular plant just adores the heat, and will continue to climb toward the sky until it finally fizzles out in late November, at which time we cut it back to about 24 inches, and the process starts again.

The Penta below was taken from the pastel border at the end of the season last year and brought into the glass house.  In one of Christopher Lloyd's books he had mentioned that Pentas make great flowering plants through the winter.  Go figure....he was right!  (It's obviously doing better than the latest Gloriosa lily, which died the same sad death as its predecessors....)
The Cane Begonia "Sophie Cecile" is just exquisite right now, when the blooms are backed up by the beautiful green and pink mottled foliage.  The original cutting for this plant came from Callaway Gardens (I won it in a raffle....really!)

The phalaenopsis orchids are in their glory at this time of year!  The white one below is just one of many that grace the glass house and the Big House for winter beauty.