“Signs”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana  


There seems to be no end to the signs that winter must be just about over here on the Gulf Coast.  Today, the high temperature was 73 degrees, honeybees were buzzing around the camellia, and the citrus trees have started to bloom.  I think the warm-up we had last week, just before the hard freeze of Wednesday night, must have broken the dormancy of many plants, and this week’s warm temperatures will finish the job.  The lime tree doesn’t just have buds; it has flowers.




This is a small lime tree we bought last spring, and it is now ready to go into a larger container.  Since limes are the least hardy of the citrus trees, we will keep this one in a container.  Even in our mild climate, it is not safe to plant a lime tree in the ground because our rare temperature dips into the teens could kill it.  When hard freezes are predicted, into the garage it goes.


The satsumas are not blooming yet, but I expect that any day now, we will see the buds starting to show on those branches.  The fragrance of citrus trees is just wonderful especially after winter when, except for the sweet olive, so few fragrant plants are blooming.  These lovely, white, sweet-smelling flowers seem to announce spring is here.


  1. Jon said,

    February 9, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I agree….the fragrance of citrus flowers is just wonderful. My outside Meyer lemons trees are still dormant, but the variegated lemon I have on my back sun porch is starting to bloom and perfumes the whole room.

    Hooray for signs of spring!

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    • Jan said,

      February 9, 2009 at 11:37 pm

      Jon, my parents grew lemon, grapefruit, and satsuma trees in their garden when I was a child. I can remember the heady fragrance from these trees when they were in bloom; it was wonderful. I imagine that is what your sun porch must smell like now. It is amazing how an aroma can conjure up so many memories.

      Tina, I, too, am hoping a late freeze does not appear. We seem to be about a month early with some spring-blooming plants. There have been years, though, when winter here was extremely mild, and spring came early. I can remember putting out my Boston ferns in February and no cold weather came around to bother them.

      Janet, when you see and smell the citrus flowers, you realize why orange blossoms were used in bridal flowers. The flowers are so lovely, white, and delicate, and their perfume is indeed heavenly.

      Jan, I do love those warm days in late winter. They really do allow you to get out and get a head start on garden chores.

  2. tina said,

    February 9, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    It seems a bit early to me. Up here in Tennessee we are also seeing signs of spring, way too early. I sure hope a late freeze does not come but I am trying not to stress about it. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled citrus trees but I am sure it is a wonderful sign of spring. I like your lime flower very much.

  3. Janet said,

    February 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    OOHHHH I bet the flowers are so fragrant on that lime. Heavenly.

  4. Jean said,

    February 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Don’t you just love this weather we’re having? I do hope the end of winter is nigh. I also love citrus blooms. My Meyer lemon hasn’t done anything yet but I can hope. I can’t believe you’ve got so much azalea blooming going on!

  5. February 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    It’s so hard to imagine growing a lime tree! How lucky to have flowers on it. We had high’s of 69 degrees yesterday, and I took advantage of the weather to get some serious pruning done. I can’t wait for ‘real’ spring!

  6. andré said,

    February 10, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Ah, I can almost smell it! My citrus trees in the greenhouse look a bit sad right now, but at least they seem to be alive.

    • Jan said,

      February 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

      Andre, I am sure when your citrus trees get a little more sun and warmth, they’ll look better and be blooming in no time.

      Racquel, I do think that this is a good sign spring is here. Of course, I am going to keep an eye on the weather to make sure nothing cold surprises me or my plants.

      Nancy, I am sure it seems like winter has lasted forever where you are. Whenever I see the weather reported for northern areas, I just can’t believe how much snow and extreme cold there has been this year. I know all of you northern gardeners are really looking forward to spring.

  7. Racquel said,

    February 10, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Wow that is a good sign Jan!

  8. nancybond said,

    February 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    All these wonderful signs of spring! They give hope to us Northerners, you know. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us.

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