Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring, Please Stay!

Like so much of the country, our spring has been quite temperamental this year. I didn't think it would ever get here! I'm sure you thought the same thing where you are. But here in Central Ohio, the worst is finally behind us. We're not past the frost free date yet, but almost. I think I can make it now. Whew!

Despite the frequent return of winter weather, spring flowers slowly appeared. The earliest bulbs wore snow hats several times, but then shrugged it off and continued on. One good part of a chilly spring is that the blooms lasted much longer. My first daffodil showed up at the end of March, and it was nearly a month before it finally faded away. The early daffs are gone now, but the late ones have arrived in their place. You just have to love their sunny faces.

I do have some miscellaneous bulbs out there, and they bring me joy regardless of their small size. I especially like these charming checkered lilies. Nature is amazing sometimes. How does it "print" this checkered pattern on these flowers?

At my house, tulips are the queen of the spring bulbs. I anxiously await their arrival each year. I'm so glad that I got a few nice pictures of these first tulips, as some nasty deer came along and ate them up! Grrrrr. I hurried out to spray the rest of them with stinky Liquid Fence, as there were many other tulips just about to pop open. I would have been devastated to lose them all.

I'm sure you've seen sedum Angelina here on my blog many times. Since I have such a sunny garden, it's a good fit for me. I have it everywhere. I've always called it enthusiastic, and not invasive, since it's easy to remove. But I'm beginning to wonder if invasive might be a better description, as it's trying to take over many parts of my garden. I have some work ahead of me to rein it in. I have to admit that spring is the main reason I grow this particular sedum. It turns into shades of yellow, orange, and red, right when your winter weary eyes need some color. And it looks lovely underplanted with early spring bulbs. Look back at the other photos on this post, and you'll see it featured several times.

Most of the spring garden is focused on bulbs, but there are a few highlights that do not come from bulbs.

I am inordinately fond of spring flowering trees, and this is where it all starts. Soon there will be redbuds, then crabapples. Those are my real favorites.

If I haven't told you lately, I am pleased and honored to have you here reading my blog. I started keeping it about ten years ago, as a way to journal what is blooming on any given day. In that time, blogs have gotten very popular, then faded somewhat as other forms of social media took over. I still like to keep track of what's happening in my garden each year, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm wasting my time. Blog comments have steeply declined, and I don't really know how many others are here reading. In case I decide to discontinue blogging, please take a minute to follow me on Instagram or Facebook, so we don't lose touch. For me, it's my photography in particular that I like to share, so that's why I've stuck with it. And if you still enjoy the blog format, by all means, feel free to add your comments. Most of all, I like to share thoughts and ideas with all of you here in Robin's Nest!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Marching into Spring

Spring is still pretty chilly here in Central Ohio. The whole month of March has come and gone, with very little improvement in weather. Temperatures are ever so slowly creeping up, but not nearly fast enough for us to enjoy any soft, spring sunshine. And yet, my spring flowers are blooming. It's as if they've thrown up their petals in frustration and said "Okay, I give up on this chilly weather. I'm blooming anyway!"

Iris reticulate with sedum Angelina
Pickwick crocus with bee visitor
Jetfire daffodils greeting crocus and sedum
While it hasn't been warm enough to get any serious garden cleanup going, it's still nice to see each one of these beauties popping up. Maybe I'm just wimpy when it comes to the cold, but you won't see me working out in the yard when it's this chilly. Brrrrrr, no way! I think my lower limit is about 60 degrees.

Crocus and sedum Angelina
Crocus, perhaps "Tommies" 
Dandelions count as flowers this early on
Loving this color combo! 
One good thing about this cooler spring weather is that the flowers stay in bloom much longer this way. My daffodils have been slowly peeking out since the beginning of the month, and here it is the end of the month and they still aren't all the way open. I hope that I still see this type of slow blooming once the tulips come out.

Unknown hellebore
Lenten rose hellebore
Yellow crocus
Another unknown crocus
Crocus and iris combo
Viola basket
We did slip away to Florida for a spring vacation, and the cool weather even followed us there. Okay, so it wasn't even close to being as cold as it was in Ohio, but it was still pretty chilly. Thank goodness the weather there is still warm enough for flowers. To me, flowers are one of the main attractions to a Florida vacation. And I saw many of them there. First we enjoyed a beach walk on Siesta Key, where we saw all of these beauties.

Dune sunflowers
Trumpet tree
Queen's Wreath
Then we went to visit Selby Botanical Gardens, and saw many more flowers. My winter weary eyes were grateful for it all.

Air plant garden art
Monarch on pentas
Butterfly garden at Selby
Selby garden art in Sarasota
Vinca garden art at Selby Gardens
Blue Sky flowers trying to match their namesake
But my favorite spot to see Florida flowers is at Epcot Center during their Flower and Garden Festival. Honestly, we didn't go on a single ride, although it wasn't for lack of trying. I just couldn't be bothered to wait in endless lines when there were flowers to see instead.

Wow spot at Epcot
Butterfly topiary at Epcot
Figment topiary with lovely flowers
Impatiens tower
Monarch in butterfly house at Epcot
When we returned from our trip, we found snow on the ground. My own flowers had basically remained in suspended animation the whole time, which wasn't all bad. Before we left, my daffodils were just about to burst forth, and it was somewhat warm, so I figured I'd miss them completely. Instead, they just stayed tightly closed until now. We're barely hitting 50 degrees lately, but we've had so much sunshine that they bloomed anyway.

First Jetfire daffodils
Jetfire daffodils
Jetfire daffodils
I'm hoping that April will finally warm up here. I'm grateful that we've avoided the endless snowstorms that are plaguing the east coast. But I'm ready for spring to feel like spring! Let's get this garden season in gear around here.

JB Boondocks in Howey-in-the-Hills FL
Sunset at The Plantation in Leesburg FL 
Ohio sunset
Siesta Key sunset
Leesburg FL sunset