Easter Flowers

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

Lilies are expected at Easter, but my traditional white Easter lilies (lillum longiforum) are not quite ready to bloom. But, we were not without lilies. The little red lilies were blooming in time for Sunday.

 

 

The more seasonal white was represented by the oakleaf hydrangea. The longer I have this bush in the garden, the more I like it. I am thinking I just might add a few more.

 

 

 

Another Easter arrival was the blooming of the walking iris. Last year they did not bloom that well because of late freezes, but this year promises to be a good flowering year for them.

 

 

Since I have this week off, it has been good to be out in the garden. I worked all day yesterday, but rain this morning prevented me from being outside. I guess Mother Nature knew I needed a rest. Tomorrow morning should be a good day to finish planting everything I bought last Friday. I’ll have to post about that later.

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Restful Easter

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

Happy Easter!

 

 

I hope everyone has a joyous and restful Easter Sunday. I know mine will have to be restful since after working out in the garden all day yesterday, I am sore, sore, sore. I thought I was in better shape. I guess a winter of inactivity results in a spring of aches. A little relaxation today will enable me to be back out in the garden tomorrow. (I have the whole week off to spend outside before the real hot weather arrives.) Enjoy your day.

A Perfect Perennial

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

“The Metier of Blossoming” by Denise Livertov

Fully occupied with growing–that’s
the amaryllis…
If humans could be
that intensely whole, undistracted, unhurried,
swift from sheer
unswerving impetus! If we could blossom
out of ourselves, giving
nothing imperfect, withholding nothing!

One spring-blooming flower that is certainly excelling this year in the garden is the amaryllis or more accurately hippeastrum. One of the advantages of living in a mild climate is that I can grow these in the garden as well as having a potted one or two during the winter to brighten up the dark days of December.

Most of mine have been pass-alongs from generous gardeners like my sister, people I work with, or friends. Of course, I do buy some during the fall, pot them up for winter flowers, and then plant them outside in April. My oldest amaryllis are solid red ones.

 

 

The red and white ones are planted nearby. Both of these were from my sister’s garden.

 

 

 

A friend from work shared several of these lovely soft orange amaryllis.

 

 

Appleblossom is always a show stopper. The flowers are numerous and huge.

 

 

Finally, the white amaryllis, which is just about my favorite, is the last to bloom.

 

 

Unfortunately, the last two summers have been a fight with the grasshoppers who love amaryllis. Last year, in particular, these pests really chomped down on the amaryllis, and I am afraid many of my bulbs were unable to set flowers. (None of my pink ones bloomed this year.) While there have been many bloom this year, a great many bulbs did not produce flowers at all, and I am thinking the grasshoppers and their appetite is to blame. In the last week, I have discovered and quickly dispatched about thirty small grasshoppers in the garden. Every day now, I go “hunting” to try and stay ahead of these voracious insects. I want to make sure my amaryllis bulbs are protected so they can bloom next year as they normally would.

Rainbow Goddess

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

Iris was the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology, and considering all the colors that irises come in, it is appropriate that they be named after this goddess. The irises I have in mind are the Louisiana irises, which despite the name, can be grown just about anywhere from the Gulf Coast to Michigan to England, Australia, and South Africa. Louisiana irises are very easy to grow. While these will grow in water, they also do quite well in the garden. If planted in water, they should be no deeper than six inches. In the garden, plant 1 to 2 inches below the surface and then mulch deeply to keep in the moisture. These iris start growing in the late fall and continue until bloom time in the early spring. They tend to go dormant once the warm weather sets in.

I started out growing these beauties with ones shared with me by my sister. Gradually, I have added more. I think these are such lovely flowers and anticipate the blooms in late March/April.

 

Bayou Classic

 

Heavenly Glow

 

Irish Bayou

 

Marie Dolers

 

Poverty Point

 

These flowers are often described as “precious jewels,” and after growing them in my garden for a few years, every time I see one of these colorful flowers, I have to agree that is a perfect way to describe them.

April’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

“April’s 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.

April has been a very busy month for me which is why I haven’t been posting very much. The good weather has me in the garden doing all kinds of chores and planting. I have to get so much done before the hot weather shows up, and believe me, the hot weather has already made brief appearances between cool fronts and will be here to stay in about three weeks. The middle of May is usually when the heat starts, and then it is good bye to cool weather until October. This month has been seen a bounty of flowering plants. I don’t know if I can remember them all, but I will try.

The amaryllis bulbs are blooming, but there are not as many flowers as usual. I think all that munching by the grasshoppers last summer on the leaves stopped many of the bulbs from developing flowers. This is only one of the varieties blooming right now. I’ll have to post later about the others. While Christmas time is when most people think of amaryllis, here in the Deep South, where they are planted in our gardens, spring is amaryllis time.

 

 

Also making a very nice showing are the Louisiana irises. Here, is one of my favorites, Marie Dolars.

 

 

A few roses started blooming in late March, but all are blooming now. Mutabilis (Butterfly rose), Penny Marshall, a pink climber, Iceberg, Caldwell Pink, White Out and the Knockouts: red, pink, and blushing. White Out is my newest rose, and it is doing so well. While not a Knockout, it was developed by the same company as the Knockout roses and seems to have all the good qualities of the Knockouts. It has been doing very well here even with our high humidty – no blackspot so far and tons of flowers.

 

 

The gerbera daisies have done so well this spring, that I bought more of them last Saturday. This is the best they have bloomed since I planted them three years ago. I guess they are finally a good size. Three of the plants have put out twelve to fourteen flowers at a time. I can’t wait for the other gerbera daisies to get as big as these.

 

 

The wild privet is blooming and perfuming the back garden. This bush is really in my neighbor’s yard, but it is drapping over her fence into our property. It is lovely at this time of year, but this is a highly invasive plant, and I spend a good deal of my time pulling its thousand of seedlings that show up all over the place.

 

 

Most of the azaleas have finished blooming by this month, but the rosebud azaleas are still going strong.

 

 

 

Snapdragons and violas are still blooming and should continue through May.

 

 

Other flowers in the garden on this 15th of April are the salvias, jasmines – yellow and star, even a volunteer impatiens or two, and the first daylily bloomed today. Old reliable Stella d’Oro showed up just in time for Bloom Day.

Not a Bad Idea

“Not a Bad Idea”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Busy, busy, busy. The cool, sunny weather has continued here the last few days and with daylight savings time, I am able to get a few things done after work and before it gets dark. Monday and Tuesday, I trimmed back the azaleas. I do not trim them back with hedge clippers. Instead, I cut each branch which gives a neat appearance but still keeps a more natural look to the bushes. Today, it was the loropetalums’ turn at a trim. Well, to be honest, it was more than just a trim. I do not believe that I got around to trimming these bushes last year which probably accounts for the lanky growth that needed to be cut back more than normal. I cut these back the same way I do the azaleas – no hedge clippers. I want the natural shape of the plant to show, so that means just cutting back the height somewhat.

On another note, the blueberry bushes have started blooming.

 

 

I think these are the prettiest, little flowers. These bushes are really dear hubby’s domain. He loves blueberries and was so disappointed that these did not bloom last year. Their blooming this year is, I am hoping, a sign that they are established and will bloom more each year. Hubby may like the berries, but I like the blooms better.

Usually, all I am able to do in the early evening is take a few photographs of what is new in the garden, but getting some gardening chores done this week has been very nice. I never thought I would say this, but after being able to work in the garden after work, daylight savings time may not be such a bad idea after all.

An Early Spring

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

A full time job, two sets of out-of-town guests, and great gardening weather equals no time for blogging. I can’t believe it has been so long since I last posted. The warm, spring weather has really sent the garden into warp speed. Everything seems to be blooming all at once. This is so different from last year.

The Kwansan Cherry tree bloomed better than ever this spring.

 

 

The azaleas were gorgeous this year, but now they are just about finished. Here are some photos of them at their peak.

 

 

 

The white Lady Banks rose also had its best year. It is finally big enough to make a nice showing. Also, this was the first year since I planted it that I could smell its fragrance. I guess before this year there were simply not enough flowers to have an aroma waft around.

 

 

 

The pink snapdragons that I planted last fall are also enjoying the warm weather and rewarding me with big, bunches of blooms. This color has worked out nicely with the azaleas blooming nearby and the Blushing Knockout roses behind them.

 

 

Flowers aren’t the only thing showing a great deal of growth. All of the hostas are up and seemed to show up overnight. This Blue Cadet hosta is a perfect example of tiny growth to big plant in hardly any time at all.

 

 

The Japanese maple also seemed to leaf out overnight.

 

 

We had a rather cold winter here for the Gulf South, but in the middle of February, winter went away for good, and it has been wonderful for the garden. Easter may be late this year, but an early spring was definitely welcomed.