Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring is Just Around The Corner, 'Jane' Said So

We have had such a mild winter this year.  Some of my daffodils are blooming a month earlier than they have for the past couple years.  I know it is getting close to Spring because my Magnolia x 'Jane' is starting to open.  'Jane' is one of the Little Girl Series of Magnolias.  She is a hybrid cross between M. liliiflora' Nigra' and M. stellate 'Rosea'.  These 'girls' tend to bloom later in the spring, missing that late frost that causes damage to the delicate petals.

She isn't open fully, just a tease of color.  Love this tree. She will be a show stopper in a few weeks...and in years to come, wow!!

For those of us in the South who love lilacs but don't have a lot of luck with them, here is a nice color substitute.  Sadly it is not very fragrant.  Daphne genkwa is a sweet little shrub that blooms before its leaves come out.  Right now mine is full of light lavender tubular blooms.  This time of year I welcome all color!!


A little more color this time of year is the Pulmonaria, this one is P. 'Raspberry Splash' with its foliage sporting white polka dots.

and here is P. 'Diana Clare' whose leaves are silver with a green edge.  Will have to share the foliage later in the season.  Right now it is pretty ratty, but the blooms are great.  Pulmonarias bloom pink and age to a lovely dark purple blue.

A new plant in the lower part of the garden is a variegated Pieris.  This one is P. japonica 'Passion Frost'.  I bought three, one looks a little stressed.  Hoping these colorful beauties will do well and grow to their 4-5 feet tall mature size.  Pink blooms and variegated foliage....perfect!!  Another month or so and these pink buds will be open.

Like a new parent or a new puppy owner who is camera happy, I can't stop taking pictures of the Edgeworthia chrysantha.  She is in full bloom now and ever so fragrant.  If you live in zones 7b- 10 and don't have one of these babies, time is wasting!  Get one now!!!


Wanted to give you a wrap-up of the Great Backyard Bird Count-- had a lot of bird activity!!  My count was almost 180 birds in 45 minutes.   I got some feedback on the high count of the Brown-headed Nuthatch.  The seed mix in this feeder was popular with all sorts of birds.  At some points during my count I had 5 Nuthatches at one time on this feeder.


See the Nuthatch below?  Busy little guys.  They take a seed and fly off to eat it and return to get another.


Will be making the rounds to all the blogs I like to read, only have 113 posting in my Google reader right now.

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

46 comments:

  1. I am still in mourning for my Daphne genkwa. She was doing fine for years, then just like that she was gone. I think it was SDDS (Sudden Daphne Death Syndrome).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les, we have (had) a Daphne genkwa in the Learning Garden. It didn't really flourish. I am not surprised with SDDS.

      Delete
  2. Always love your bird pics.

    In recent conversation with a Master Gardener who has suffered through repeated SDDS, he told me he took cuttings from the most recent victim as soon as the shrub began to wilt and they all rooted! Thought this was very interesting. Sadly, I just do not grow daphne any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marian, thanks so much!! Have lots more on FB. Nice to know that Daphne roots fairly easily. I think you could grow a daphne on your front hillside near the Edgeworthia...seems to have good drainage.

      Delete
  3. We have had a normal cold, snowy winter that is still going...the birds were few but the last day of the count more arrived and more species...waiting on a few that will sinal spring for sure. Love your spring blooms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna @GEV, I know you all are getting more snow, as is the Midwest. We are welcoming spring with open arms.

      Delete
  4. I grow that Magnolia! But spring seems a long way off from views through *my* window. Enjoyed your peek at spring's arrival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ilona, isn't Jane wonderful? How large is yours? Hope your spring is a little closer.

      Delete
  5. We've also seen a lot of those little red breasted nuthatches this winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason, We have had such a flurry of birds, really love it.

      Delete
  6. This past weekend really did a number on our cherry trees that always bloom in February. We counted birds on Sunday morning in 25 degree temps but the birds were very active because they needed to keep warm too. Our highest numbers were the goldfinches and house finches but we also saw a lot of sapuckers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karin, your cherry trees are gorgeous!! My highest numbers were Goldfinches and Titmouse.

      Delete
  7. 180 birds in 45 minutes! Wow! That must have been hard to keep count. Love the pieris, especially that color. And I have ordered an Edgeworthia. I can't wait for it to be in my garden! Jane is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holleygarden, I know, it was pretty impressive. I am happy that I bought the pieris, is is great color. Am glad you ordered an Edgeworthia, good for you!!!

      Delete
  8. I love to see spring unfolding in your area. Then I know it won't be too long for us. I can hardly wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn, you all have been getting a bit more of winter than we have, hope spring pops through here soon.

      Delete
  9. Flowers and birds! What more could we ask for as we hurry up and wait for Spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ricki, Yes, I know birds and flowers, perfect.

      Delete
  10. Love the unfurling of that magnolia bud. It's like someone peeled back the furry coating just a touch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marguerite, thanks! I was surprised to see it, but after looking back to last year, it is right on time.

      Delete
  11. Oooh, I love your 'Jane'! I've just been looking at 'Black Tulip' magnolia photos and info online today. I wonder if the late frosts in my area would damage the flower buds too much to make it worthwhile to grow . . . will have to ask the local nursery what they think. Lovely trees, those magnolias!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VW, oooo Black Tulip sounds yummy!! Keep us posted.

      Delete
  12. I love the Magnolia bud photo. Beautiful picture, Janet Magnolia says so much about the advent of spring. Here, they bud just after spring arrives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna @GWGT, thanks!! I had a 'Jane' in Virginia and really was glad to buy another one for this house. They grow fairly quickly, so another couple years and she will really shine.

      Delete
  13. My 'Jane' magnolia is still tightly budded, but it always seems to get through without frost damage here.... zone 7 since the hardiness maps changed. Would love to have as many birds as you do! Thanks for the update on the count.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DJ, I bet within the next couple weeks your 'Jane' will be opening. Two years ago I have zero birds on the weekend of the count.

      Delete
  14. Hi Janet! I am the one who lives in zone 7b and doesn't have a Edgeworthia! Is it a crime? I need to find a spot for it. I guess it's time to reduce the lawn (when DH is not at home)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tatyana, yes, I am afraid it is a crime....hahaha. It is such a great shrub to have in a winter landscape. buy one!!! or two....or threeeeeee

      Delete
  15. That is a LOT of birds!@ I only counted 24 at my feeder in 15 minutes and here I thought I had a lot. Wowser! That feeder is pretty neat looking too. The pieris is very pretty. That is a shrub I really like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina, My feeders were so busy, it was a flurry of activity. I got the feeder at Lowe's -- seems to be pretty good.

      Delete
  16. Hi Janet, Wow! 180 birds in 45 minutes! That's a lot of birds! I can just imagine that they must love that industrial-sized feeder you have there.
    I must get out today and refill my own feeders. The squirrels have knocked all the seed to the ground.
    Isn't it funny that you can be having a mild winter there, and we here in Ontario, are having a typical winter (Cold with lots of snow)? Last year was so much milder. Hopefully, your spring-like weather is a sign that spring is not far off here as well.
    'Jane' is the most striking shade of pink. Your Daphne genkwa is so delicate and pretty. I can practically smell that Edgeworthia chrysantha from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, the feeder is from Lowe's -- not really that industrial. This is sure a crazy winter. I am glad we aren't buried under snow....one snow fall is nice, after that, it needs to go.

      Delete
  17. Ahhh...spring blooms are so sweet! I'm so bad, I've been so busy at work, and am SOOOO behind on my blogs...over 200 in my reader right now :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott, I finally caught up!! It is easy to get behind in reading.

      Delete
  18. Such lovely photos. I am still waiting to see my pulmonarias flower "properly" so that I can work out where best to put them, since they are growing in the rockery, which is to be dismantled. You will be delighted to hear that between the two of you, you and Les (Tidewater Gardener) have sold me on Edgeworthia chrysantha, the order goes in tomorrow!! Will look forward to seeing the magnolia in full bloom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, I think Les and I were double teaming you! I am so glad you ordered one!! I will be sure to share pictures of Jane when she is in full bloom.

      Delete
  19. Can't wait to see 'Jane' in full bloom, she will be so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweetbay, she is great when in full bloom. The one I had in Virginia was really filling out and putting on a great show as we moved.

      Delete
  20. Dear Jane,
    thank you for those lovely photos! In Germany sometimes pulmonaria is called "Hänsel and Gretel" after the fairy tale, because one often finds blue (boy) and pink (girl) stems sitting together in one plant. Wish that spring comes soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britta, I am glad you enjoyed them. I love that Pulmonaria is called Hansel and Gretel. Perfect!!! I like that as a common name far better than Lungwort.

      Delete
  21. Love, love, love tulip magnolias!!! We are planting 'Betty' at a customer's home. One day I will plant one at my house, just have to find the perfect spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gardening Under the Influence, I love them too! Betty is a good one as well, all the 'Little Girl' series are wonderful.

      Delete
  22. Lovely blooms and birds!

    I miss my daphne. She was glorious for a few years, then gone one summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Freda, Yes, daphne is a finicky one. Hoping mine live a long life.

      Delete
  23. I have a real soft spot for magnolias and wish I had one in my garden.winter has been about average here which is reassuring. Too warm winters are unsettling. I'm still hoping for a butt-kicking blizzard. I'm a little weird like that. ;o) Love all your bird shots. What seed mix was in your feeder?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, You need a magnolia in your garden, they are show stoppers in the early spring. Seed mix is what they have at Lowe's -- one side is safflower and the other side is a fruit and nut mix.

      Delete

If you use OpenID/Anonymous please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.