Friday, April 11, 2014

Ready for the Library Plant Swap!

The car is loaded with baby Loquat trees, palm seedlings,
mint plants, Japanese iris clumps, daylily fans,
tomato seeds, pepper seeds,
flower seeds....
oh, my!

This is the mother of the hardy palm seedlings.

This is the mother of the Loquat seedlings.

How fun it is to know their daughter trees
will be going home with gardeners!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Signs of Spring: First Toad in the Swimming Pool!

 The brilliant red Cardinal is fighting it out with the mirrored gazing ball, 
claiming the back yard as his nesting territory, 
the latest daffodils are finally out, 
the hellebore continues to bloom beautifully 
and the first little toadie was madly swimming in the pool this morning.
Signs of Spring!!

The toad guardian statue in the garden was not amused.
I was amused.
It's a matter of days before the happy puppies
discover that there are kicking toads
in the pool.
And leap in after them.
It should only take one cold dunk to cure them of it.

I have the puppy rescue net ready.
Be still my heart.

Meanwhile, the puppies are once again
in their glory, digging in the newly muddied garden.

A face only a mother could love.
Bath time for everyone!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prop & Swap Fun Will Overcome Winter Blues!

This has been a rough winter and early spring.  Even our southeastern, ocean and bay protected, moderate area of Virginia was hit by repeated late freezes (not frosts, mind you - freezes) and the damage is still depressing.  We won't know until later this spring what plants will releaf and recover and/or how far others have been killed back.

Our bay tree (Laurus nobilis), growing wild and free at the edge of the property, has survived many "cold" winters - until this one.  Looks pathetic, doesn't it?  We'll see what changes over the next month.

Same, same for gardenias almost 20 years old and "marginal" plants like the Pineapple Guava.  Survival on the P. guava (Feijoa sellowiana) is largely a measure of how protected they were, out of the winds on the south side of the house.

Ditto the Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica).  No harvest this year but the trees will survive.

On the bright side, speaking of the Loquat trees, the seeds that I planted last fall and overwintered sprang to life with great joy and have turned into a wonderful set of  seedling trees for the library's "Prop & Swap" plant propagation and plant swap meeting next Saturday!

I think I'll have enough to give to every gardener who wants one!  They are sturdy, healthy-looking little trees and very fast growers - although they maintain a very reasonable adult size.

Evergreen, fragrant flowers, bee food in the off season and delicious fruits - what's not to love??

Below is a photo of the mother Loquat.
Possibly my favorite tree on the farm!  And this is a November shot!