Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vernal Equinox... Spring is finally here!

Google has a cute Spring banner up today, announcing the first day of Spring this year. My yard is showing hints of coming around to Spring, at long last. Still keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have a freaky late freeze, but it feels good to reach this point.

Here's the vegetable garden, plugging along. I managed to assemble a salad of spinach, beet greens and mint yesterday, which was very satisfying.

A few strawberry flowers are hinting at the possibility of strawberries to come. It'll be a miracle if I get to them before the birds do.

The purple elements of the chimney garden are coming back to life. Huechera (a.k.a. "Coral Bells") is showing some lovely new purple growth up from the center. Purple Oxalis and Purple Heart are showing signs of a second rebound as well.

Catmint, twice shy from frost bites, is slowly daring to return.

The bees are still loving the Meyer Lemon. My camera phone isn't the greatest for capturing them in action, but here's the profile of one deftly hanging on to a flower.

Another pollinator in action.

Nothing like your garden variety Geranium to perk things up with some early spring color.

Cardinal Vine transplants are hanging in there, flanking the Blanc Du Bois grape which is starting to leaf out this week.

Close-up of the Blanc Du Bois grape leaves. Will have to try making dolmas this year. I'd be surprised to see grapes in this second year, but anything's possible.

Another shot of the same mulch bed along the Western fenceline. I have been giving it TLC lately in the form of fresh mulch and daily rainwater for the transplants and their neighbors perking back up for spring.

Cute little Cardinal Vine. I love the spiky shape of the leaves.

One of my harbingers of spring - Cedar Elm leafing out for the year. Yay! I'm noticing that its taller Cedar Elm neighbors are about a week behind in leafing out. So this one might leaf out later in the season as it matures over the years.

A promising surge of green is showing at the top of a few of the Crinum bulbs I planted over the weekend. This is my first run with Crinums, and I ordered several from the Southern Bulb Company. Excited to see how these shape up, though I understand flowers might not be forthcoming until next year.

A closer look at Crinum. I believe this one is 'Ellen Bosanquet'.

Each of the Yellow Columbines I recently transplanted from the too-shady Eastern fenceline appears to be perking up in terms of new, slightly larger leaves. Again, not sure whether flowers will follow this year, as I'm bringing these back from what appeared to be the brink of death.

Not pictured here--I was delighted to notice some definite new growth on the buds of the Amethyst Falls Wisteria I planted along the Southern fenceline last year. It was a grocery store purchase (almost never a good gamble for plants), and it wasn't thriving last year, so I had little hope for this season. I'll take a photo when it greens up a bit more.

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