So many beautiful blooms are bursting forth in my garden this week! The season Spring brings with it renewed hope, springing from the knowledge that the garden did indeed survive Old Man Winter, despite all the fretting and despair...knowledge that we were once more victor over last year's nagging pestilence... knowledge that, yes, those little bulbs grew larger and multiplied, the trees eked out a few more inches, and Gardener gained a whole lot more insight. There is only one direction the garden can head over the next year...toward magnificence! We are sure of it. Such is the hope of spring. Oh, how I love spring!
The first blooms since winter have opened on the magnolias at PITV. It doesn't really feel like spring to me until the magnolias bloom. Pictured above is the 'Little Gem' magnolia...a great choice of a tree for small gardens like mine. The flower on 'Little Gem' is every bit as giant and magnificent and good-smellin' as the Southern Magnolia, though the leaves are a bit smaller. And ya know what? I think those littler leaves are a good thing! The Southern Magnolia on the north side of the house is lookin' good too. My new baby 'Little Gem' isn't really doin' anything. That's okay...it just needs to settle into place this year.
Look at the bird gracing our garden today! This is the first bloom on the Giant Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) since those freezes hit in December. So happy to see it again!
Texas sage has opened a few blooms here and there, but by the end of the week, the whole tree-bush will transform into a lavender cloud!
Crinum bulbispermum has opened up its first bloom today...right on cue.
And woohoo!!! Caladiums are popping up everywhere!
'Festiva' was the first to burst through the ground a few weeks back. It is always a miracle to see the heart-shaped leaves of my caladiums peeping through the soil. There is always a deepset fear during the long, long dormancy, that they are lost to the earth forever. There is no rational reason for the fear, as they always come back. I think it's just that six or seven months is a looooonng time for a plant to be dormant...in Florida, anyway.
Pentas are doing their thing again. Yay! They are staples of my butterfly garden. I need to add some more of these this year. Just wish they weren't so cold-tender.
Ahh...how awesome it was to watch two sulfur butterflies dancing around the Ruellia today!
(...when I was cameraless, of course...)
'Kindly Light' is glowing warmly in the southside garden. How glorious are the days of April and May, when one never knows which daylilies will greet them each morning.
It was a sad thing to see the Hymenocallis foliage melt into a mushy heap after those freezes. But I'm glad to report that the spider lilies are alive and well and no worse for the winter. I imagine we will see blooms in just a short few weeks.
Ugh. This leafy horror was created by Cycad Scale, not Old Man Winter. Do you see the splendid new leaves coming out? Every year, it gives me great hope to see healthy, scale-free leaves bursting forth on the King Sago. But every year, the awful scale attacks again. As you can see, the coffee sprinkling method did not work last year. Perhaps it was already too far gone when I started. I'm still tryin' it, stubborn as I am. Perhaps it will work better by applying it earlier in the season.
So anyway, I took the loppers to those old, nasty leaves. Yes, I know, the sago now looks bizarre, but I just can't stand the ugliness any more. The new round of leaves will open soon enough...hopefully before our big Easter dinner. Ugh. I really should be worried more about getting the house in order and planning the meal, but I have been so disappointed by this garden the last couple of Easters, that I've become obsessed with making sure we actually have blooms and butterflies on that day.
Please hurry, new leaves!
Oh, how I miss the days when King Sago was a perfect, easy-care Florida-friendly plant!
I went plant shopping with DIL again this past weekend. Oh my, I think I may have found a plant-shopping buddy after all these years! I do believe the plant bug has bitten her. : ) Anyway, we found some great buys for her landscaping, which I will post about later...some camellias, some podocarpus, a pink tab tree... And look what I found for myself! I promise you I could hear this Gryphon Begonia begging me to take it home. The leaves were so lovely, and begonias are sorely lacking at PITV, ya know. Gryphon now lives in my shady NW garden, where he seems to have settled in nicely, though it looks as though he has attracted a slug or two.
And check this out!!! DIL and I both brought home some Nun's Orchids. Woohoo! I finally have one of these coveted creatures! I bought a pot with a big clump and divided it into two. If you look closely inside this bloom, you can see the top of the nun's praying head. Isn't it the coolest thing?!! DIL chose to use hers for the pots that will flank her front door. The nursery lady said they do well in pots.
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