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It’s all happening! Spring that is.

Here are my absolute favorite early spring blooms!

1 – Daffodils

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I haven’t met one I haven’t liked.  My yard is exploding with these fragrant, happy spring gems.  Talk about the value of delayed gratification – you plant these little bulbs in the fall around Thanksgiving, and they are usually some of the first flowers to bloom.

2 – Forsythia

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Enjoy them now, because they don’t last long.  Forsythia is one of those plants that will be growing at the gates of hell. Hardy and delightful.  Bright yellow and with delicate attitude.

3 – Red Bud

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These little purple pearls make me smile every time I see them.  Often when you go for a walk you can see them popping in the woods.  A little dappled color among the barren deciduous forest.

4- Witch Hazel

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This one isn’t so common, but I find it to be a true delight. So danty…I have a pair in my yard because the awesome little old lady said they needed a happy home to live….it was one of the best plant decisions I made.

5 — Spyria Bridalwreath

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They call it a fountain of flowers.  It is wild and wonderful.  Thanks Kathy for this amazing pass-along plant.  Such a spring joy!

What are your top 5?

Happy Spring!

m


First let me start by saying this was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received.  My friend and co-blog writer Chris, gave me time to help me in my garden.  These days I value time more than I have ever in my life.

Plus spring is a busy season for us dirt diggers. Here is what we did with that time in the garden. Two gardeners are always better than one.

Check out the before and after pictures: Incredible.

BEFORE

Look at this lonely chair that actually was missing a slat.  I painted it a couple of years ago and really haven't done anything with it.

Look at this lonely chair that actually was missing a slat. I painted it a couple of years ago and really haven’t done anything with it.

AFTER

WOW....we took chairs, pots and plants from around and look how it all turned out.  We even used my "Tiki Bar" sign.

WOW….we took chairs, pots and plants from around and look how it all turned out. We even used my “Tiki Bar” sign.

Here is the to do list:

AFTERNOON 1:

  1. We started with one bed at a time.  We weeded, added fertilizer and cut back all the perennials.
  2. Then we assessed if plants were happy in their spots.  We moved 4 shrubs into new homes. WARNING: be careful how many you move in the spring.  You must water them religiously during the summer.
  3. We moved pots and furniture  around. Chris has vision…I haven’t developed mine yet.
  4. We stopped, had some wine and celebrated our accomplishments. We scheduled next session.
Adding the bird feeder and pots together helped with the structure.

Adding the bird feeder and pots together helped with the structure.

AFTERNOON 2:

  1. We planted the shrubs and trees I got from various plant sales and swaps- another 5 in total.
  2. We added soil conditioner and mushroom compost to my soil…it was a little dense.  Good tip to remember.
  3. We planted my fruit bushes – blueberries and blackberries.
  4. We turned the rest of the veggie bed to prep for tomatoes and other summer goodies.
Beds have new blueberry and blackberry bushes.  Bring on the tomatoes!

Beds have new blueberry and blackberry bushes. Bring on the tomatoes!

AFTERNOON 3:  …which was a bonus and not really part of my present

Chris showed up with her wonder-man husband Bill to help limb up some trees to offer more sunshine.  It is a amazing what one can do with a bow saw, tree pruners and a ladder. NOTE…I held the ladder – it was a very important job!

WOW…it was transformative.  Thanks Chris. Thanks Bill. Best gift ever…

You should find a pal and help each other in each garden.  It’s more fun and you get soooooo much more done.

Happy Gardening!

m


Big Splash in my tropical garden – the plant everyone wants to steal.

What a name! Bear’s Breeches…being from the south “breeches” reminds of my grandma.  It is a common word in her vocabulary.  For those who may not know what it means…breeches are pants.  You use it in a sentence like this – “Your breeches are too big and are falling off of you.”

Now that we have had a southern language lesson, let’s get on to the plant itself and why you should grow it in your garden.

Just look at it…it rocks.  It is big…big leaves, showy stalk-like flower shoots.  Every time someone comes to my house and has a festive beverage on the deck, I can almost guarantee they will comment on it.  What’s that? I want one…

Acanthus Mollis is the latin name. It is natively found in the Mediterranean.  It likes partial sun and good soil.  It is a perennial so it comes back every year.  The flower stalks are taller than me…I would estimate almost 6 feet tall.  The leafy part of the plant is about 2 feet tall. It does require watering in the summer…but this plant is worth it.

You should grow your own Bear’s Breeches. It will be all the rage in your garden.

Happy Gardening.

melissa

PS: It would make a great Mother’s Day present.


Often I get overwhelmed by weeding and watering…but when things bloom in my garden, it all becomes worth it.

So here are the blooms that are rocking in my Raleigh garden–despite some minor neglect from my day job 😉

Flowering Tobacco

Amazing purple flowering tobacco dominates my garden.

Pink Roses

Pretty in Pink...these roses not only dazzle but are fragrant too.

Chinese foxglove

A biennial you all should grow - exotic yet classy--my chinese foxglove.

Yellow Wall Flowers

The term "wall flower" has a bad rap - but these yellow flowers offer such color in my garden this time of year.

I decided to take my own advice…and enjoy.  Yes, still lots of planting and mulching to do…but these buds keep me going.

What about you? What is blooming in your garden? What should we add to the list?

Happy Gardening.

melissa


So this time of year is awesome for watching things “pop,” but the opposite can be true too.  The next month or so will reveal what actually survived our super hot summer and do I have some exciting dirt from my garden.

So I tragically thought 2 trees I planted last year bit the dust.  They looked horrible. I knew I was going to have to go and dig them up and decide if I was going to replace.  Well in the last week are so, proved me wrong.  They survived.

Look at this baby pink dogwood- it will still need some major attention this summer, but it made it.

Pink Dogwood

This one looked like a goner...but it made it.

And this Chinese Fringe Tree came out with a vengeance.

Chinese Fringe Tree

I just knew this winter that this one wasn't going to make a come back. So glad I was wrong.

So take a lesson from me…don’t give up quite yet.  Your plants may surprise you.

Happy Gardening.

melissa

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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