Tag Archives: daffodil

Spring Again

March 20, 2014.  In the tiny speck of Northern Hemisphere that I call home the vernal equinox occurs today at 12:57 P.M. EDT.

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth)

Blue sky, sunshine and warm temperatures arrived on schedule to welcome the change of the season, although winter threatens to return next with a chance of snow.

After this week’s ice storm most of the daffodils remain bent over, some have broken stems, but at least one is reaching toward the sun this morning.

This Narcissus 'King Alfred' weathered the recent ice storm

This Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ weathered the recent ice storm

A couple of weeks ago a friend brought me some moss from her yard to add to the existing small bits of moss that have sprung up along one edge of the meditation circle. The new transplants appear to be doing fine, enjoying all the recent moisture.

Moss Edging Along Meditation Path

Moss Edging Along Meditation Path

One of my favorite evergreen plants, Iberis sempervirens, is finally starting to bloom. This has almost completely died out in the mediation circle but there are a few patches elsewhere that have thrived for many years.

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Happy Spring!

Crape Myrtle Glaze

Ice on Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Ice on Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle). Photo:dvm

My husband captured the current state of a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) this morning with this photo taken en route to retrieve the newspaper from the drive.

We had a light snow yesterday, tons of rain and awoke to everything bent towards the ground. This crape myrtle was blown over about 3 years ago during a summer thunderstorm, possibly a microburst. Despite being broken off at the base it is recovering pretty well, but has a long way to grow to match the stature of its mate just the other side of the walkway.

In the distance the bright yellow daffodils rest their heads against the earth.

In A Vase On Monday—Late Winter Blooms

Monday Vase

On this last Monday in February I am joining Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday challenge to arrange a container from plant materials found in one’s garden.

Today’s vase includes the first daffodils of the season.  These opened in my garden on February 21 and I cut them to bring indoors yesterday. Last year many daffodils were blooming on January 30, 2013, a full three weeks earlier. We had a warm, sunny weekend with temperatures in the high 60sF so more daffodils may be encourage to open this week.

Daffodil

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose) are in full bloom now and yesterday I took time to remove their large leaves so the flowers can be enjoyed more easily. There are lots of seedlings that have volunteered that I can use to make new hellebores plantings and share with friends.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

A simple glass vase holds today’s colorful flowers, which seem to need little more enhancement. I photographed the arrangement by the window where the cut glass lamp played with the light. A favorite dove sculpture that had belonged to my father-in-law completes the setting.

Monday Vase With Dove

My husband’s father died before my husband and I met, so I know little about him, but I admire his little white dove. He apparently subscribed to an art club that worked in the way many book clubs do—a sculpture of the month, I guess! This is the only example remaining from his collecting days that I know. It was fun to play with his dove and the flowers today.

Dove and Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Thanks very much to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Visit her site to see her arrangement this week and see what other participants are placing  In A Vase On Monday.

Leaves of Grass and Daffodils

The snow ended two days ago and yesterday was blue-sky sunny and 60 degrees F.  The snow is melting on the roads and sidewalks, but hangs on in the grass and gardens. This morning it has been raining and the day is colder, 41°F.

For weeks, daffodils have been emerging in many spots around the garden and last week I saw one in the neighborhood in full bloom.  Now after this snow the daffodil leaves appear to be boldly rising.

Emerging Daffodils

Emerging Daffodils

Snowy View On Rainy Morning

Snowy View On Rainy Morning

To frozen clods ever the spring’s invisible law returns,
With grass and flowers and summer fruits and corn.

from: Continuities. BOOK XXXIV. SANDS AT SEVENTY. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman. Project Gutenberg-tm

Dutch Iris And Other Blooms

My maternal grandmother grew rows and rows of flowers for cutting—Dutch Iris in spring and Gladioli in summer. When five or six years old I sometimes spent the night with her and every morning we would head out early in the morning to clip the flowers that were ready to be added to her large, tall vase.

I have only a couple of Dutch Iris, just enough to make me smile and be happy when they bloom. The warm temperatures of the last few days must be encouraging them. I first noticed their tall stems this weekend. By this morning buds suddenly were bulging and by late afternoon, a single flower had opened.

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Also Blooming

I added a few more Daffodil bulbs last fall, something I had planned to do for years and never quite got around to before.  These new Thalia Daffodils opened this week, in front of the Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold.’

Thalia Daffodil

Thalia Daffodil

At the street end of the side garden a large patch of Emerald Blue Phlox is almost in full bloom.

Phlox subulata 'Emerald Blue' (Emerald Blue Phlox)

Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ (Emerald Blue Phlox)

Sunshine and Weeds

Today was ideal for being in the garden, even if the task at hand was to weed a long strip along the fence on the north side. It was sunny, temperatures in low sixties and peaceful—no mosquitoes, no air conditioners running yet and only one neighbor mowed his lawn.

There is nothing new blooming at this time, but the daffodils continue to add brightness and cheer.

Daffodil

Daffodil

Daffodil

Daffodil

Recently there have been some very windy days, sending drifts of lemony fragrance around the yard from the Daphne odora (Winter daphne) The Winter daphne has been blooming for weeks. Most of the flowers are browned, damaged by cold weather, but the delicious scent lingers.

Daphne odora  (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Progress in pulling weeds today was slow as I have injured my left hand and doctor’s orders are to rest it and not lift more than a few pounds. The hand seems to be improving, but slowly. I could not waste the beautiful day so I weeded with the other hand. This was highly inefficient but it allowed me to enjoy being in the garden, thinking garden thoughts.

One thing I contemplated is where are all the early spring plants I added last year? There is no sign that Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebell) will return—I think it should coming up by now. It was among a group of natives I added to the garden last March. From that group at least the three Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) and three Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox) have survived.  Others which I believe likely did not make it are Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and Gold), Geranium maculatum (Wild geranium), and Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot). There is no sign either of Polemonium ‘Bressingham Purple’ (Jacob’s Ladder), which was crushed by a neighbor’s broken pine tree mid-summer. I hoped somehow it was tough enough to rebound.

It is too early in the gardening season to be discouraged I think. Tomorrow should be another nice day for gardening. With plenty more weeds awaiting, there should be ample time to ponder the fate of these lost plants and to work out how to fill the void, yet again, left by their absence. Better still, perhaps the plants will turn up.

Daffodils

Daffodil

Around the mostly rural area dotted with small towns where I grew up, daffodils were ubiquitous. There were no impressively designed massive swaths or huge naturalized plantings, but almost every house had a clump or two of these dancing yellow flowers announcing spring.

Driving in the country nowadays past these old homesteads, many of them abandoned over time as owners died out and children moved elsewhere, one sees the evidence of past lives. Even if the buildings are long gone, there is almost always a towering oak tree near where the house once stood and nearby, a patch of daffodils.

One spring as we passed by a stretch of road we had travelled for many years, I pointed out to my husband just such an old homesite. I never knew who had lived there, but the cheerful daffodils blooming near the old drive was a sight I knew to expect and watch for.  Those flowers had greeted me annually, as they must have the family that once inhabited the property. Intrigued, my husband wrote this poem.

Daffodils

Within this clearing rife with weeds,
No homely headstones stand askew,
But daffodils in patches tell
That here once worked a hand, a heart,
And there once stood a house, a home.

No headstones set this ground apart,
But daffodils in patches tell
Of heart and home as sure as bones.

(DVM, v.G, April 2007)

Daffodil Patch