A Yellow Flame

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

 

The yellow Florida flame azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) has suddenly burst into bloom.  This is considered a native azalea and is deciduous.  The golden yellow flowers start blooming just before the leaves emerge.

 

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This azalea is not a full, thick shrub like the evergreen Indica azaleas but has clusters of sparsely branched stems.  When in flower, it is a stand out, however, when winter comes and it loses it leaves, it really does blend in to the background.  It grows as  a very upright shrub which can reach six feet.  Mine is only about three years old and is about three feet tall.  I am really looking forward to its growing taller so I will have more flowers.

 

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The blooms do not last too long, but while they last, they seem to glow especially in the shade.  I would love to add more to the garden, but I don’t often see them offered at our nurseries.  I have planted this one in the circle garden which has mostly yellow flowers, so it does have other plants around which blend in well with its vivid, golden yellow blossoms.

 

I wasn’t aware of deciduous azaleas until just a few years ago.  I am so glad I discovered these wonderful shrubs because they really add another dimension to the spring garden.

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Damage

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

 

I love our pine trees.  They give wonderful, dappled shade which is perfect for growing azaleas.  I use the fallen needles as mulch all around the garden.  But, there is a downside to pine trees, and that is dead limbs that become heavy after a rain and fall often crushing whatever is beneath them.  Crushing things hasn’t been too much of a problem with falling limbs, but when it does happen it can be pretty bad.  We have had small trees damaged by heavy limbs that have fallen on them, and two years ago, a large limb fell on the windshield of our vehicle which necessitated a rental car and a visit from the insurance adjuster.

 

Yesterday, I discovered some damage from a six foot, five inch diameter, dead branch that had become too heavy with the weekend’s rain and fell right in the middle of a row of azaleas.  The two azaleas that were damaged had just about recovered from being uprooted with a large tree that toppled during Hurricane Katrina.  In August of 2005 when they were uprooted, their roots were exposed for about two weeks before I could get them back in the ground.  They have slowly recovered, and by the end of last summer, you could barely tell they were not as big as all the others azaleas in the row.  Now, they have been smashed, and several branches have been broken off.

 

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At least the azaleas had finished blooming, so with a little fertilizer and water, I am hoping they will recover and there won’t be a hole in the middle of a lovely row of azaleas.  One of the Easter lilies on the other side of the azaleas wasn’t so lucky.  The biggest of the lilies had its top, with a flower bud, of course, sliced off.  Several other lilies lost leaves on one side as the limb sliced through that area. 

 

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I am sure the lily flowers will be fine, but the plants might not look so great with the beat up leaves.  It is a little disappointing to have this area damaged like this, but, I guess, it could have been worse, and I am sure everything will recover for next year.  Right now, I am not too happy with our pine trees.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

” Happy St. Patrick’s Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

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Wishing you always—
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire—
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you—
And all that your heart might desire!

 

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Today everyone is a little bit Irish.  I hope you have enjoyed the day.

Mama’s Roses

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

 

I have written about these roses before.  These were the first roses I ever grew.  They are ones that my mother rooted for me from her rose bush.  I have two of these old climbing roses bushes, one in the back garden, and one on the side of the house.  We are not sure of the name of this rose since my mother got a cutting from a friend’s neighbor about forty-five years ago.

 

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My mother has about five of these pink climbers growing around her home on arbors and fences.   My rose bushes have just started blooming well and should do so for several weeks.  These are very easy to care for roses since nothing seems to bother them.  Even though I do not know the name of this particular rose, I know it must have been very popular in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s because when you go through neighborhoods that were established about that time, you see large specimens of this climber.  It also looks like this must have been passed from neighbor to neighbor in these areas just as my mother received hers.  She has given rooted cuttings to my sisters, my daughter, and to countless friends keeping up the pass along tradition. 

 

A large piece of this rose rooted in water for me several years ago, and I gave that piece to my daughter.  This year I did try to root several cuttings the traditional way, and two survived.  I guess I am just keeping this rose alive because every time I see these small, pink roses, they remind me of my mother and how she loved her garden.

March GBBD

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

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for coming up with GBBD.  This is the day (15th of the month) in which we post everything which is blooming in our gardens.  This is a good way to keep a record of what is flowering each month.

This weekend was a rainy one, but this didn’t stop Bloom Day.  This Ides of March, the amaryllis planted in the garden have started flowering.  The red and white  ones are the first to bloom, and one of the solid red ones opened today with more to follow any day now.  I am expecting the Elvas and Apple Blossoms to open by the end of the week, and the white-flowering amaryllis are just showing buds and should open by the end of next week.

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The pyracantha is blooming and keeping the bees happy.

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The Carolina Jasmine has been blooming for about a week now which seems a little later than normal.  It seems that it should have bloomed before some of these other plants.

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Next, the big indica azaleas have just about finished blooming, and the rain we had today probably finished off the last of the flowers.  They were so pretty while they lasted.  The rosebud azaleas are just showing color and probably will open any day now.  The yellow flame azalea is flowering, but the rain prevented any pictures.

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The Baby Duck petunias are really starting to come into full flower.  These are very floriforus and spread out so much that they should look really great in about a week or two.

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The Texas Bluebonnets have also started flowering.  This is the second year I have these in my garden, and I really love the color and the shape of these flowers.

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Trees are also putting out their flowers.  The peach, pear, lime and satsuma trees are blooming.  The ornamental pear tree is blooming, and the quince still has some flowers.  But, the pink peach flowers are still my favorites.

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Also blooming are the Lady Banks rose, Cherokee rose, pink climbing rose, and Knockout and Blushing Knockout.  Violas and pansies are still going strong, and maybe by next month the Louisiana irises will be blooming.  With all that is blooming now, there still is so much left to look forward to in the coming months.

First Roses

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

 

The first roses of the year have started showing up.  They are the Cherokee roses, the Blushing Knockout, and the Lady Banks.

The Cherokee roses are large, rambling ones with canes up to twenty feet long.  These do not grow on my property but do grow on the road outside our subdivision.  Cherokee  is a once a year bloomer, but the many, large flowers certainly makes an impression that lasts a year.

 

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The first Blushing Knockout rose has bloomed.  This is my favorite Knockout which is a softer, shell pink.  I just saw the newest Knockout, White Out, in a catalog, and that is one I want to see in person.  I love white flowers, and if it looks as good as the photograph I saw, it just may replace Blushing as my favorite.

 

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Finally, Lady Banks has just started opening her roses.  I have the white cultivar of Lady Banks which does not seem as popular as the yellow, but then, I have a weakness for white flowers.

 

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After several months of no roses, it is good to be able to welcome them back to the garden.

No Bradford

“No Bradford”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

More trees are starting to flower.  I have already posted about the peach trees, Japanese magnolias, redbuds, and now the Callery pear has started flowering, almost overnight it seems.  I know there are many who say that this tree should not be  planted, but come springtime and the appearance of the hundreds of small flowers it seems worth it.

 

 

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Our tree has just started flowering, and it won’t be long before it is covered in white flowers.  The most common cultivar of Callery pear is the Bradford, but I don’t think we have a Bradford.  I think we have another cultivar.  Our tree does not have the dense, upward growth of the Bradford.  Our tree has a more open pyramid growth pattern.  When we bought this tree, it was just labled flowering pear, but it was also about the time that people were being discouraged from planting the Bradfords, so for all these reasons, I don’t think we have a Bradford.

 

With the temperatures reaching 80 to 85 degrees for the last three days, it does seem that spring is here to stay, and this blooming pear tree just seems to reinforce that belief.

Updating

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

 

They always tell you to backup everything on a computer.  Well, what happens when you don’t even save it? 

What brings this up, was the glitch that happened on Blotanical.  When Blotanical went down a few days ago, I panicked.  What if Blotanical was gone?  How would I find some of my favorite new blogs?  I’ll admit it, I’ve been lazy or maybe just unthinking.  I haven’t added many blogs lately to my blogroll or bookmarks because I have come to depend on Blotanical.  This site made it so easy to check out what other bloggers were writing about without having to keep track of all the blogs.  But no more.  I am going to update and keep current my blog roll so I don’t have that panicky feeling again.  I’ll still use Blotanical like I did before, but I’ll have a backup just in case.

I’ll slowly be updating a few each day.  I know I could subscribe to feeds, but I just rather hop from blog to blog as the feeling takes me.  I consider this a lesson learned.  Are you keeping a record of your favorite blogs?

On another note, my sister from Northern Virginia is flying down tomorrow for a visit.  It will be so good to see her.  I can hardly wait.

 

Here are some photos of my favorite kind of flower, the pansy, which are planted in a neighbor’s garden.  Enjoy.

 

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Hello/Goodbye

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

 

Right now, when we are on the cusp of spring, there are many winter flowers that are telling us goodby till next winter, and there are many more flowers that are telling us hello.  I hate to see the last of some of our winter bloomers.  Today, I took a photo of the last Yuletide sasanqua camellia.  This little camellia has been blooming since the first of November when I bought it.  You can’t beat almost four and half months of blooms.

 

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The Lady Clare camellia has also been blooming for a long time, but it, too, is coming towards the end of its bloom cycle.  While this is not the last one, it looks like there won’t be many more blooming.  Probably by the end of this week, this camellia too will be finished blooming until next winter.

 

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But, spring time is a time of renewal, so what is now just starting to bloom as the ones above are finished?  The first of the amaryllis plants opened its flower today.  This particular variety is always the first to open.

 

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Along the road, outside our subdivision, is an area that is left wild.  The Cherokee roses along this road have just started blooming.  This is a spectacular sight when you see the area covered with these large,white roses.  This is a very large rose bush with canes 10 to 15 feet long.  It does take a very large area since it can grow so big.

 

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So, just as Mother Nature has slowly taken away our winter bloomers, she thoughtfully has provided new ones to take their place.

A Day in the Garden

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

 

Today was a gorgeous, spring day here on the Gulf Coast.  I was able to work in the garden all day.  First thing this morning, I fertilized all the cool season annuals which is definitely helping them to stay blooming.  Next, I tackled the patio garden.  I cut out all the old holly fern fronds (two garbage cans full that went on the compost pile), weeded, and dug out some blackberry vines that had shown up as volunteers.  Tomorrow, I am hoping to start cutting back the lirope that edges the beds.

 

This year we did have some hard freezes, but I am surprised at the plants that made it through just fine.  Most of these are tender perennials.  All of the white wax begonias are coming back, as are some of the red wax begonias.  The Lady in Red salvia is coming back strong, and one plant is putting out flowers already.

 

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The white Lady Banks rose should be blooming any day now.

 

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The wild white onions are blooming in the lawn.  This really reminds me of when I was a child, and my father would mow the lawn for the first time in spring.  Boy, you really could smell those onions.

 

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And, the violas are still blooming, and I will be sorry to see them go when the hot weather starts.  Pansies and violas are my favorite flowers.  I love all the colors they come in, and besides, they seem like such happy little flowers.

 

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Well, tonight is the night when we spring forward our clocks for daylight savings time, but after working out in the garden all day, I don’t think I’ll be springing out of bed tomorrow.

 

 

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