Happy I Was Wrong

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

Spring flowers continue to show up. In fact, the last few days, I have been surprised more than once by new flowers. I’ll be watering the garden, look up, and am shocked to find a tree or shrub in bloom. I am beginning to think I am not the most observant person.

One of these “surprise” flowering shrubs is a native azalea (Rhododendron austrinum). Earlier this spring, I thought I only saw one flower bud on the bush and was so disappointed. I even considered digging it up and moving it somewhere less noticeable since it is taking up valuable space in a sunny area of the garden, and goodness knows, there are very few sunny spots in my garden. Since this is about the fourth year I have had this, I thought one flower cluster just wasn’t enough. Well, I don’t know if it read my mind or what, but all of a sudden this native azalea burst into bloom.



This native azalea is deciduous, and the brilliant golden blossoms have a lovely honeysuckle fragrance. As with all azaleas, this particular one likes acid soil, part sun, and moist but well-drained soil. Hardy to zone 6 and about six feet tall and two feet wide, this azalea makes a wonderful addition to a woodland garden.

This is still a small bush, but it is growing steadily every year. I am hoping in a few years, it will be large enough to really stand out in the garden.

I am so happy I was wrong, and that there was more than one bloom on this shrub this season.


Spring Day

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

Even though the weather has been warm and pleasant for the last month, we still look forward to the official start of spring, and the first full day of spring did not disappoint. Bright sunshine, a high of 80 degrees, and a light breeze made for a perfect day.

Just about everything in the garden has already returned from winter dormancy. There are only a few plants that haven’t awakened yet. The daffodils have now finished blooming, and the azaleas have started.

This weekend, I saw the first frog of the season, dear hubby saw our little black snake from last year today, and the first anole was sunning itself this afternoon.



Late this afternoon as I was walking around the garden, I saw the first hummingbird of the season. The first hummingbird on the first day of spring. Can’t ask for more.

Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold

“Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Being of Irish ancestry, this is one of my favorite holidays. Even though this is not one of the major holidays, I still like to decorate. This year I thought I’d have the proverbial leprechaun’s pot of gold for the front entrance.



I used two black cauldrons from Halloween and planted them last fall with gold pansies and violas. Two little leprechaun’s completed the Irish theme. I put these out the first of March with a St. Patrick’s Day garden flag. This really put me in the mood for this “great day for the Irish.”

March Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

“March Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”, 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.

More flowers are showing up this month, but even more are showing signs of getting ready to bloom in the next week or so.

The ornamental pear tree (Cleveland Select) started blooming a while back, but it still has flowers opening up.



Our Bartlett pear tree is also blooming with flowers that look almost identical to the ornamental pear’s flowers shown above.

The roses have also started showing a few blooms with many buds promising more flowers in about a week or so. The Butterfly Rose (Mutabillis) has just started blooming. The Knockouts (Red, Pink, and Blushing) have shown one or two flowers, and White Out, a rose very similar to the Knockouts, has really started blooming.



Our citrus trees are in flower and these blossoms along with the Bufford hollies, are perfuming the whole back yard. The satsumas and lime flowers look the same. Here are the lime tree’s. When you smell these flowers, it becomes apparent why orange blossoms were so popular as wedding flowers years ago.



The white petunias, that I planted last fall, have started blooming profusely since the weather has warmed up. The white petunias make a good combination with the red gerbera daisies. These gerbera daisies have been in my garden for about three years now, and this is the most blooms I have ever gotten. Most of the plants are putting out five to six flowers with more buds waiting at the base of the plants. I was afraid the cold would damage or kill them, but they do not seem to be fazed by the winter cold we had.



The shrimp plant that overwinters every year is flowering. It always amazes me that this plant survives freezing temperatures. I just never considered this a hardy plant at all, but it is for me.



The last of the camellias are hanging on, just as the first of the azaleas are showing up.




The flowers I have written about recently that are still blooming are the summer snowflakes, violas, calla lilies, lorepetelum, and a few tete-a-tete daffodils.

This month certainly seems to be kicking off the spring flowering that reaches a peak around here in April and May.

Be sure to see what is blooming in other gardens by clicking on the link at the beginning of this post.

Moving Day

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

I know I am going against conventional wisdom, but I don’t care. For several years now, I have been wanting to move my summer snowflake bulbs to an area where they will be in more sun. When the foliage dies down, that is the time to move bulbs, but by the time the foliage has died down, I never remember to move them since I am involved in other garden activities by then. Well, no more. Today is the day these babies get moved. They have just about finished blooming; the day is going to be perfect for gardening, and I have the perfect spot for them – what more could I ask?



There is also a clump of tete-a-tete daffodils that need to be divided, so I will probably do those at the same time.

I would like to move all my lycoris (Hurricane Lilies), too, but I don’t have a place for them prepared yet. Maybe I will get to them tomorrow and get one more chore that has been hanging over my head over with before the foliage is gone and the bulbs hard to find.

Yes, I think today will be a good moving day.

A Queen’s Bouquet

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

I always associate early spring with daffodils and violets. I guess this is because I grew up in the New Orleans area, and Mardi Gras comes in early spring. As you probably know, Mardi Gras is an important holiday in this area. One of my favorite memories of Mardi Gras is seeing the presentation to the queen of carnival of a huge bouquet of violets surrounded by daffodils and fern. Today, being Mardi Gras, will see this tradition continued. As a small child, I always wanted that eighteen inch bouquet, and even as an adult, I would love to have this bouquet sitting on my dining room table.

While I do have small daffodils in my garden, the violets are only the wild ones that pop up in the lawn, so I won’t be having an enormous table arrangement. However, that is okay as I do enjoy seeing the flowers outside.

The pale purple and the white violets have just started showing up.




But, the daffodils are just about finished.



I wish I could find a photo of this gorgeous bouquet to share with you. It is truly spectacular. This large, colorful, queen’s bouquet is the first thing I think of when Mardi Gras and springtime come to mind.

Garden Took a Cat Nap

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

With the warm weather we have been having for the last two weeks, plants have been growing by leaps and bounds. It seems like overnight the dormant daylilies go from just barely peeking out of the ground to being three inches tall. Every time I go outside I am greeted by something new.

Today as I rounded the house and went into the side garden, I was so surprised. Just two weeks ago, I took this photo of the calla lily leaves that were already about eighteen inches tall after being frozen back to the ground by the earlier cold weather. (In my garden, calla lilies can stay in the ground year round.)



I was surprised how fast they had recovered. Now, imagine my surprise when today I saw the first calla lily flower.



While I would have to go check my garden journals to be sure, I am fairly confident this is the earliest a calla lily flower has shown up here. This is just one more example of how all the plants seem to be coming back from winter earlier than ever. I am beginning to think my garden did not go to sleep this past winter at all; it only took a cat nap.

Flowering Trees

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

The spring flowering trees have already started blooming. One of my favorites and an eagerly awaited flowering tree is the Japanese Magnolia. I have written about this tree before, and my 2008 post is still my most visited post. This tree, with the big, pink flowers, is a standout in the early spring.



Another tree that has started blooming is the peach. We have two peach trees and both have open flowers where last week there were only buds.



When we were having those very cold days in December, January, and early February, I was sure that spring would be late this year, but I was wrong. Every day the flowers that appear show that spring is here to stay.

March Garden Blogger’s Muse Day

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

Today is March Garden Blogger’s Muse Day, day to post a poem relating to gardening , nature or whatever strikes you.

Thanks to Sweet Home and Garden Chicago for starting Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day.



Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
Oh March, Come right up stairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

Emily Dickinson