Early spring gardening

These are the best of days.

From the back deck of our house on top of the hill, I can see the woods are beginning to fill with an elusive green mist where fairies play.

Our duck couple has returned again. I saw the mother with babies trailing in a neighbor’s yard our first spring here, before I knew this fine pair liked to nest near the creek that flows behind our house.

Closer to the house, I can see the green mist is actually a delicate veil of early leaves on honeysuckle bushes that have infiltrated our woods.

This tree near my St. Francis garden outside my kitchen windows sports a single blossom, an early harbringer of spring too impatient to wait.

The early spring woods provides a beautiful backdrop from the emerging iris in my St. Francis garden.

The daffodils have opened to greet the day. Mark moves the black pole that supports the bird feeders and cleans up the remnants of the birds’ winter feast. We leave a feeder on the front port and back deck. I’m going to miss watching the birds from my kitchen table.

In the spot to the left of the daffodils and owl, I plant three hyacinths, not pictured here. They aren’t fully developed or in bloom yet.

Impatient for flowers, I plant this columbine in the lowest level of the St. Francis garden that receives nearly full shade.

It is the level below the rocks on the right. You can just barely see the little red flowers at the bottom edge of the photo. I’m going to have to talk to the photographer about this. First the hyacinths, now the columbine. . .

I fill our six deck flower boxes with pansies and make a fine mess doing it.  They’re a nice flower to have around in early spring and hopefully will survive any foul weather Mother Nature throws our way through March and April.

Out front this little tree blooms white. I see it from the desk where I work in my study. I think it is a Bradford pear. I don’t know if the previous owners planted it or it came out of the woods on its own. Mark and I have talked about planting other flowering trees in the strip of land we own across the private drive.

What do you think? Bradford pear? Truthfully, I don’t care much for the fragrance.

These hyacinths border one of our landscaped areas in our front yard. Most of the plants were here when we arrived a little over two years ago, as were these.

The tulip tree at the corner of our house sports many blossoms on its top limbs.

Most are not quite ready to open.

The little purple flowers on what I believe to be Vinca Minor or Creeping Myrtle create a magical look to the edge of woods across the drive.

And to the woodland garden. I’m waiting for something magical to happen here,

with gnomes, and fairies, and a walking path with bench.

We need more magic.

These barely budding oak leaf hydrangeas separate what I consider the woodland garden from the angel garden.

I call the hillside garden the angel garden because I put angel statues in it, one of which has taken a tumble and lies on its side in the yard.

The flat land at the top I call the woodland garden. When we first moved in, it was a dense tangle of overgrown gnarly honeysuckle, hawthorn trees, sticky bushes (probably wild roses), and poison ivy. We cleared most of that out, leaving as many trees as we could. I hope to create a nice little space to walk and/or sit up there someday. But we have more pressing matters for now, like the ivy.

Tell me it ain’t so. . .Chameleon ivy.

I had to dig out some of the ivy with its runners just to plant two daffodils. This flattering photo was taken by my daughter. Although it looks like my head is in the refuse container, it’s not. Even so, you can still see what hard work it is to extract the invasive ivy from the garden.

Arthur feels the same way.

But the work is worth it, when I see my garden blooming ivy-free. Although I’m not sure exactly how long it will take us to make the garden completely ivy-free, perhaps forever. The runners are under these beautiful and incredibly heavy landscaping boulders. I feel towards the ivy runners like Wile E Coyote felt towards the Roadrunner. And you know how far that always got him.

The birds always love it when I garden.

See more posts about gardening in my series.

25 thoughts on “Early spring gardening”

  1. What a lovely space you have for your garden and it is so exciting when things start to appear after winter. Your dog is also very cute!

    1. We are very fortunate here with our property. The surrounding woods make it nice, although we don’t actually have a lot of sunny areas to grow flowers. I’m not complaining.

    1. Me either. I hope we get to enjoy it a little more this year. Last year we spent an awful lot of time digging out the ivy. I fear we will have to do a lot of that this year too. I look forward to the day when that heavy work is done.

  2. What a fantastic place to live! This would have to be the best of country living. You work hard to make your property attractive. The landscape is lovely. I enjoyed the reference to green mist where fairies play. You live in a storybook land! Blessings to you, Christine…

    1. Technically we’re not in the country, only on a private lane off of a subdivision. But we like it. And I do live in a storybook, in my mind.

  3. Oh, Christine, these photos are so lovely. Our tulip tree is blooming. This reminds me that I need to get some shots of it. Glad to see Arthur is enjoying the sunshine.

    Happy Monday to you, my friend!


    1. Please do. I’d love to see it. Arthur would enjoy the sunshine a lot more if he had a haircut, but not anticipating the warm air arrival rush, I can’t get him into the groomers until next Wednesday. He’s going to be one hot shaggy dog by then.

    1. I think I’ll go out and get a picture right now. It’s not quite full, but I’d hate to have a windstorm or ice storm come along and ruin it before I get a picture. Weather is so unpredictable this time of year. Hope you are able to get outside and enjoy it.

  4. If you don’t like the fragrance (of that tree) it’s likely to be a Bradford pear. Unappealing scent! haha All the kinds of growth & growing you show (yours, the forest’s) are so beautiful. SUCH an energetic time of year!

  5. thank you, thank you for sharing the beauty around you with us. it is a lot of hard work and I’m impressed with all you have and are creating here. Our season is about a month behind yours so it was a joy to walk around your property today.

  6. Isn’t this March just glorious?! I look out my kitchen window and I am simply amazed to see how fast the woods are filling out! …I enjoyed your photos as always! Keep them coming! (Arthur is a great assistant!)

  7. Thanks for the stroll through the gardens. You have a nice big area to work in. It’s nice to have a dream for a space and see it come to fruition.

  8. What a lovely space for the garden you have (and the view right into the forest)!

    Your planning of the garden spaces and where to plant the flowers so that they get enough shade or sun is inspiring, I mostly plant the seeds depending on my mood or the future image of the garden in the full bloom, but this doesn’t always work out, of course.

    I have read in many articles lately that when preparing the garden for the spring, you should use fertilizers with slightly lower nitrogen content. They say that these are good for the roots. Do you have any experiences with them?


    1. Thanks for visiting, Kristina. We love the view of the woods we have, and feel very fortunate for it.

      Technically we didn’t plan the garden spaces. I suspect the people who built the house did that. And I agree, they did a good job of it. And the sun exposure is not always the best here, especially for plants that need a lot of sun.

      That’s interesting about the nitrogen. I usually just use a general fertilizer. I usually sprinkle granules around before we mulch.

      Let me know if you learn anything.


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