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Posts Tagged ‘springtime’

Born and bred in the Sunshine State of Florida I adored rainy days and loved the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering on the windows. There was joy too in the excitement generated with the onset of a tropical winter’s whistling winds and cooler temps.

I live now, in Virginia where there are actually four seasons. And sometimes winter seems extraordinarily long. This has been one of those howling unexpected seasons when Spring is a distant memory and the elderly who have been in self imposed Covid-19 isolation begin to yearn for the sun.

Is a visiting Robin really a harbinger of Spring?

Today I thought I saw a Robin flitting through the barren branches of a Virginia Winter, a winter which boasted its gloomy days and featured overcast skies, ominous clouds, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and a disappearing sun.

Was my visiting Robin a mirage or the result of wishful thinking?

Oh, I am so ready to toss the fuzzy slippers and the warm-as-toast sweaters and awkward scarves and gloves and proclaim the winter “Said and Done!”

Then again, snowfalls and spring flowers are landscape reminders of times past and times to come. Tired of one season? Wait a minute. The weather will soon change.

And whether or not my rockin’ robin visitor was real or a conjured image of the imagination, he cocked his head and said, “Get ready again my friend because sunshine’s coming your way!”

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There is a tree I love.

Most of the year it is a little spindly tree,  hardly recognizable and often mistaken for a common weed.

Then Spring arrives and the flowers of this tree are like decorative trimming on a fantastical wedding cake.

The metamorphasis happens right after Forsythia blooms here in Virginia.  A cloud of pink begins to line the roadsides.  And suddenly there are sparkling pathways of brilliant pink for miles around.

I think this is a special time when nature is transformational and with its magic wand,  even a frog can become a prince.

Beauty and the Beast

Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Copious clusters of fabulous pink to fuchsia flowers hug bare branches in early spring giving way to heart-shaped leaves. This Pea family member often grows as an understory tree in mixed forests in the Mid-Atlantic Region* from southern Pennsylvania through Virginia. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Eastern Redbud as Wildflower of the Year for 2013.

Print Version: Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud

 

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jessica-1st-grade-picasso

 A watercolor painting by a first-grader Grandgirl.

A child-painted bird house too sweet to expose to the elements.

painted-bird-house

And a trio of little ones painted this watering can to celebrate Spring!

painted-watering-can

Handcrafted gifts from young-uns are memories by design.

A nostaligic art form that makes our house a home.

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Pyracantha ViewI like to think my garden is charmed.  Some things actually grow and flourish in spite of harsh sun, drought, flooding rains and winds, all encompassing weeds, and benign neglect.

Our  Pyracantha, alias Firethorn,  is a prime example.

There are actually two of these standing near to each other but one has never bloomed.

I am assuming the boring one is the female (who is no doubt working too hard to be bothered with beauty).

After all, only the male of any species is stunningly adorned, right?

Anyway, the Magnificent Male bush next to its unattractive female companion is sometimes striking for its rusty red berries.  Perhaps that is its only job – to look good.  But in all these years we have never seen such magnificent white blossoms in Spring.

I am convinced this is the male version of plant attraction.

What do you think?

Pretty Pyracantha 1

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How green is my valley!  Each year I say it, but “This is the most beautiful Spring we have ever had.”

Redbud View 2

Redbud View of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Gateway to the Hills

Gateway to the Hills

Mountain Vision

Another Perspective – A Mountain Vision

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20160328_100532

Here comes Spring again!

The Daffys were a happy crew,

until Forsythia chimed in

just in time

for the Red Buds’ promising debut.

20160328_085142

 

 

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Casual Elegance

I imagined I was sitting on the porch of a mansion.

gazing out upon a sweeping lawn

marred only by a picnic bench just past the shade.

Shall I ring for tea or lemonade?

Still the scene is fetching don’t you think?

The question is, ” Is it Casually Elegant or Elegantly Casual?”

 

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Polka Dot Plant

I am sitting by a wide-open window now. I thought it would be a sun filled, air warmed day.  The breeze is calculated to delight but still casting a little chill.  I should close the window but never mind.  It is springtime.  Isn’t it?

The Sunshine Season

Yesterday I noticed the beautiful Lungwort/Pulmonaria is blooming once again in my front yard.  A friend came by and said, “I love that plant,” so I gave her a cutting.  I didn’t realize that Pulmonaria should  be divided every few years anyway or it gets leggy.  The sunshine reminds me to read up again on gardening.

Company is coming.  The house is tidy and the redbuds are beginning to show their pastel pinks.   Virginia redbuds form corridors of beauty all over our county.  Maybe the corridors will be in full bloom by the time my friend arrives on Monday.  What a greeting she will have!

Beauty and the Fence

 

I pruned the crepe myrtle yesterday.  I tried to follow the advice of a fellow blogger on how not to scalp the poor thing.  Actually, my crepe myrtle is taller than I am, so I managed to do some circumspect pruning among the lower branches.

I still have to put the umbrella back on the deck and tie the cushions to the wrought iron chairs and chaise.  My friend will want to read out there.

I am moving winter woolens aside in favor of linen.   Those suede boots look big and cumbersome and useless now.  Bring in the sandals.

How quickly I forget comforters and gloves, scarves and hats, hot chocolate and cozy fires.

For now, for this brief moment in time, only the sunshine is the light of my life and I am getting ready.

 

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Liriope in Bloom From Wikipedia

Liriope in Bloom
From Wikipedia

It was a warm sunny day here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  The wild birds were busy ignoring all the bargain seeds I sprinkled around to ward off avian starvation. The big snow is gone but the seeds are still here.  I checked.  “Ungrateful little critters,” I muttered.

My, what a wonderful day though, with the warm sun urging me to stay outdoors.  This is a first chance to think about springtime cleanup chores.  What needs doing?

  • ·         The voles or moles have been busy on our grassy lawn which is now full of holes.
  • ·         And things need trimming and hauling and raking and cutting.
  • ·         The old yellow jacket nest that a raccoon dug out of the ground is still a gaping hole and needs filling.
  • ·         Oh no, one of our Azaleas looks dead.
  • ·         Did I really forget to rake all those leaves by the back door?
  • ·         Maybe I should have stayed inside and enjoyed the sun through the windows.

But the real reason I went out in the first place was to work on our Liriope bed.

The February issue of Southern Living magazine insists I should be out now in February (which is almost over), “grooming” the Liriope.

Liriope is a grassy looking plant with long leaves, normally quite hardy and of course it would have to be quite hardy to survive our benign neglect.  The formal definition is:  One of several plants belonging to the genus Liriope, of the lily family, having tufted, grasslike leaves and clusters of small bluish or white flowers.

 Anyway,

According to Southern Living February 2014: 

“Is your Liriope (monkey grass) looking ragged? 

Then use pruners, a string trimmer, or your lawn mower to cut it to

an inch tall now to make way for fresh foliage. 

Don’t wait. 

If you cut the tips of the new leaves,

they’ll keep their cut ends for the rest of the year.”

 

Oh no, a cut-ended border would not look good for the rest of the year!  Heeding the magazine’s sage advice and laden down with shears, garden gloves and a determination to be a better gardener, I approached our winter weary bed of Liriope.

At first I couldn’t find it.

Could I have forgotten where it was planted?

But thankfully, there it was and much to my dismay (or relief), the little plants were already groomed and pruned (looking a little sad and weedy) to an inch above the ground!

It has been a tough winter for the deer here too.  I heard that no acorns have fallen from the trees this year and so the deer are hungry.  The brutal cold and a heavy snow didn’t help much either so they made a salad of my Liriope!

Normally this might have been upsetting.  It’s hard enough to keep things thriving around here when the deer keep dining on anything with a green tinge.

For instance, there is a tall leafless evergreen bush near the front of our house.  It is barren of leaves except for the top part where the deer can no longer reach high enough to graze.  That poor old naked bush has a slightly shocked denuded look as if to say, “I’m cold!  Why the x&%#/* did you let this happen?”

But back to the Liriope, I am not angry at the little “dears” since they are so lovely and they really are hungry and in this case they have done my pruning for me.   When Spring has finally sprung and the new Liriope shoots come up with the desired pointy ended leaves I will rejoice for the care they received from our marauding deer.

Meanwhile I am stocking up on deer repellent.

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