Little By Little

kwanzan cherry

     Well, our ten days of warm weather are gone with that storm front that moved through two nights ago.  Now we are back down in the 30's at night and only in the 50's during the day.  There is a frost warning tonight.  This cool weather is going to continue for a week.  But during these recent warm days, I've watched my yard come into bloom.

     Just as all the Yoshino cherry trees lost their blossoms, the one kwanzan cherry tree in the yard burst into bloom.

white dogwood
pink dogwood
     There are two dogwood trees in the yard, one white and one pink, and they finally bloomed after the cherry trees.

Japanese maple
     The Japanese maple suddenly had leaves when I looked at it this past week.

tulips four days ago

tulips today
     The tulips I planted last fall are finally blooming.  I planted early, mid, and late blooming tulips, and they are all blooming at the same time.  Late in my opinion.  It is almost May.

        The daffodils have all blossomed now.  Here are some in the back garden.

     I threw several daffodil bulbs in these three beds in the side yard late last fall, just after we closed on the house.  This area is going to have a makeover.  The wood is coming out, and the area will be one large, irregularly-shaped garden with perennial and annual flowers, and some bushes and grasses.

azalea bushes
     The azalea bushes in front of the house are ready to bloom.  So little by little, everything is coming into bloom, but it sure has been slow this spring.

Finally, Spring

Yoshino cherry blossoms

     It sure took its time, but spring finally arrived with a vengeance here.  We went from the 50's to the 80's in five days.  And every plant and tree that has been holding back has finally burst into bloom.  The famed cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in Wasjington, DC finally bloomed three days ago.  So many tourists have come to see them in the last two weeks and have missed their blooming.

     There are some Bradford pear trees in the neighborhood that just put out their flowers today.  I know they are a problematic tree, but I love their blossoms and their chalky fragrance.  Here are some photos from my yard of what has just bloomed.

      These are some of the Yoshino cherry trees in my front yard.  They just bloomed today.




     These tulips in the back yard are up but not a one is blooming.  I still have some hyacinths that are holding out also.

My Brother's Florida Garden

Star begonia
     During our recent Florida trip we spent a couple of days at my brother's home in Lakeland, Florida.  He and his wife have taken out all the grass in their back yard and have put in plants, bushes and trees, making this a wildlife-friendly area.

     These photos were all taken in their yard.  Most of these plants were new to me.

Bridal bouquet

     This Bridal bouquet bush has unique leaves that look like a spoon with a long handle to me.  It wasn't flowering while I was there, but it produces lovely white flowers that would make a beautiful bridal bouquet.

Nun's orchid
     I have never lived in a tropical area, so it was surprising to me to see orchids just blooming away in the yard.

     This Snowbush brightened a corner of the yard with its snowy-colored leaves.

Winged elm
     One of the trees they planted in the front yard was this Winged elm.  This tree was new to me.  If you look closely you can see corky wings along its branches.  This elm grows in the southeast US, and it is susceptible to Dutch elm disease.

Prayer plant
     Many gardeners grow this as a houseplant, but in Florida and the tropics it can grow in the ground outside.  It is also known as arrowroot.  There are many species of this plant.

Japanese blueberry
      This Japanese blueberry is in the front yard.  It is evergreen and grows in zones 8-11.  It produces a fragrant, creamy flowers and a blue-black, olive-like fruit. Older leaves can turn bright red in the fall before dropping.

      This bromiliad has purple flowers, name long forgotten.  Many of these plants were given to my brother and his wife from neighbors up and down the street.  Another surprise I saw was a beautiful, red stand of amaryllis blooming in their next door neighbors yard.  I have only grown them in a pot in winter.  Oh the things you can grow in Florida!