Along the Coastal South of the United States, spring has definitely sprung. Although it’s possible to have another freeze, we also have some days in the upper 70s to lower 80s. The plants have gotten the message, especially the weeds.
Today, I’ll review what has been happening in February in my garden.
The weed vs. wildflower debate continues with plants like spiderwort (tradescantia virginiana), shown in the photo above. It’s a thug that takes over the lawn and beds, but the flower is so pretty. It sports shades from deep purple to light blue. I make an effort to control it, but it dies back anyway when the summer heat cranks up in May. Knowing those aggressive roots are spreading underground is still worrisome.
My bulbs have done well this February. I made a few bouquets to enjoy in the house. The collage shows snowflakes (leucojum) and Ice Follies daffodils on the top row. The bottom is an unknown narcissus and little Tete-a-tete jonquils. Please don’t ask me about clarifying between narcissus, daffodils, and jonquils. I’m always confused, but I think they are all classified under narcissus.
Most of my azaleas are starting to bloom. I’ve lost a few, but there are still plenty to put on a nice display. They won’t peak for another week or two, so I’ll show you the result next month.
In the photo above, you see three small red azaleas called Christmas Cheer, but they look like one plant. These early bloomers are at their peak.
Martha Stewart has a rule of never allowing red flowers in her garden. I kind of understand that, since the blooming reds are jarring amid the subdued colors of late winter/early spring borders. I still have red Royal Velvet camellias blooming near this Christmas Cheer azalea. On the other side of the yard is a small encore azalea full of deep red blossoms. Amid the pinks, purples, whites, yellows, and new green growth, the reds indeed call attention to themselves.
Behind and to the side of Christmas Cheer is my Queen Bessie camellia japonica that I planted last year. For now, her big blooms don’t match her small stature. But, she will continue to grow, eventually towering over those red azaleas, showing her white flowers in the background. I look forward to seeing it, should Jesus tarry.
I’ve been amazed at the long blooming season of this forsythia. It has a nice sunny spot at the corner of our tool shed and started to bloom in December. All through January, it bloomed more and more until it was a spectacular yellow ball of flames this month. I can’t remember it ever doing this well. The blossoms are fading now and putting out leaves this week.
Last, I want to show you a periwinkle blossom. It’s perennial vinca, but I’m not sure if it’s major or minor. It’s not much of a specimen plant. It spreads long shoots and looks messy most of the time. But when it occasionally has these purple blooms, I’m thrilled.
You know, we think we have a certain degree of control in our lives. We manage certain things pretty well but can’t seem to get a handle on other areas. Sometimes all our best efforts come to naught. For me, gardening over the past thirty-five years has helped me put things in a more realistic perspective. I do what I can, but there are so many things I just don’t have control over.
That’s okay. It keeps me humble. Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer is helpful. I know I have to depend on God, and that’s the best place to be.
I want to give credit to the guy who founded this fun Six on Saturday idea. He lives in Great Britain, and his Twitter handle is @cavershamjj You can find his blog at:https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/