Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Growth, Buds, and Sparkles

I had to share this tiny bit of growth, this little bud, this emerging leaf from my tiny crabapple tree.  This is one of the watercolor brush sized trees planted last month.   It is alive!  It is growing!    I had been hauling water up the driveway to take care of all these little babies.  Thank goodness we have had some good rains to help as well. 

Also growing nicely is the Quince...I am not asking for gangbusters right now, just growth.   It feels like spring here in South Carolina.  I am enjoying working outside as much as possilbe.  What a change from last winter when we were buried in snow.  I will take spring awakening anytime! 
Right next to the Quince is this fun little mushroom.  Looks like someone has been eating the edges of it.  The gills are so neat.

Winter's sweet fragrances are in the breeze.  My Edgeworthia chrysantha is just starting to open.  I love its fragrance and the bright sunny little blooms on the bare stems are just super.  Isn't this great against the clear blue sky? 
 While in the backyard I checked the Hellebores....still waiting to open, the buds getting larger and taller.  I can't wait for them to open.  Last year they were kind of late might be the variety, though last year I thought it was late because I had moved them. 
 Just down the hill a little is my one Witch hazel.  She is starting to open, I really like the shape of the bloom and this variety is more pink-ish orange.  It is Hamamelis x intermedia  'Feuerzauber'.  I hope to find a good native to put in the edge of the woods out front.  Would love to have that clove scent wafting on the wind. 
 After some good thunderstorms, yes I know, in January! I found a lot of limbs in the garden.  This one was especially interesting.    There are so many fungi and lichen on the trees in our area.  Wonder why?
 These brown specimen are kind of gooey looking aren't they?

A walk around the backyard is like a treasure hunt.  So many treasures... look at how sparkly the Muhly grass is in the sunshine.   It is hard to capture the twinkling of the seedheads in the breeze.  So happy I have this grass in my garden.

Another great find in the walk around was all these great berries on my Wax myrtles.  Well, one of my Wax myrtles...Myrica cerifera is dioecious, meaning male and female plants.  Thankfully I have at least one female.  The bayberries are a good food source for the birds.  *Fun fact- Myrica californica is monoecious.  It has both male and female flowers on one plant.

Also getting ready to open to its full glory is my Blue Leaf Isu, Distylium myricoides.  It is an evergreen Chinese Witch hazel.  This was a great happenstance --- I came upon this plant at the nursery while in bloom....had to have it.  Stay tuned for more photos as it opens.
Finally a little rearranging in the landscape.  I have had a section in my front garden that nothing has done well.  Could the soil be bad there?   Maybe this is where paintbrushes were cleaned?  Who knows.  I have had three Gardenias 'Frostproof' die in this area.  Finally have one replacement gardenia that is doing well, but it is off center.  The Nandina domestica 'Blush Pink' was another gardenia replacement.  Well, I got some new garden soil and dug out the soil that was there.  I moved the remaining gardenia and added two Loropetalum 'Daruma' from the back slope by the lake.  The Loropetalum wasn't blooming where it was, so moving it should be a good idea. 
See how large the other Gardenia 'Frostproof' are?  They are happy......



The Loropetalum will grow to about 3- 4 feet tall and about the same width.  With the reddish purples in the stonework on the front of the house, I think the summer colors of the Loropetalum will be a nice repeat of color. 
Tomorrow?  Mulch hauling..... I am switching out the pinestraw mulch in the beds around the house to hardwood mulch.  As the hardwood breaks down it will help amend  the clay soil.  It won't be done in one day...but it will be a start. 

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


  1. Janet,

    Good call on the mulch change, it will help. One day we'll addEdgeworthia to the garden,your is further along than what I saw last Friday at Duke. Hey today our third type of crocus opened, it just appeared!

  2. Dear Janet,
    thank you for that beautiful post - it gives me hope that spring will come soon, feeling a bit drab on a frosty winter morning! I have a tiny, tiny crabapple on my balcony - and now I know how the buds look when they start opening (not now please, we have minus 2 degrees today, too cold for fragile buds)

  3. Your edgeworthia are quite a bit ahead of mine but my hellebores are already blooming and quince too. I think it's so neat how weather and conditions affect bloom times. The frontyard looks nice. Maybe it was all fill dirt where the gardenias were located. Frustrating when that happens.

  4. Great to see spring is coming sooner for some folks...I can live vicariously through you..

  5. are your winter weeds going nuts like mine? i need to get out and do something about them! my edgeworthia hasn't opened yet. have hellebore buds but no blooms, a couple of daffodils have opened and snowdrops are blooming. spirea is almost full bloom and i saw my first forsythia bloom the other day. crazy! now watch winter hit with a vengeance. meanwhile, we will just have to enjoy this great weather!

  6. by the way, which lorapetalum did you get? i've seen them get 15 feet tall!

  7. Janet it looks like spring around your house with things budding out. I bet it feels good to be working outdoors. It is warm enough here but raining and flooding in the valley. I love your pink hellebore bud. The bloom is going to be so pretty.

  8. How wonderful to see buds on your new trees. I'm not sure there is anything quite as exciting as planting really young trees, ones that look more like twigs, and watching them gradually turn into sturdy, recognisable trees. Hope your change of soil works on that bed, so frustrating when you don't know what is going on exactly.

  9. testing one, two....

  10. Yay ~ it worked!!! We are back in business. Thanks Janet ~ I don't know how many others were affected but I appreciate all the tweaking.

    It definitely looks like spring there! I'd say I'm jealous but I found a snowdrop yesterday so that is making me feel pretty good for the moment (or until the next snowstorm!!)
    I bet that area near your house did get the grout water, paint cleaning and possibly more fill dirt too?? You'll get it figured out ~ you've been working so hard, it will all be amazing very soon.
    Thanks again and sorry I didn't get back sooner. You know what I've been doing!

  11. Randy, I agree with you on the mulch. We did four cubic yards this week...our hill killed us. I really need to add some crocus.

    Britta, I love a taste of spring this time of year. You are really having a cold winter!

    Tina, I look forward to the Qunice being mature enough to bloom. The newly moved shrubs are doing well.

    Donna, Glad to oblige.

    Daricia, Some of the winter weeds are coming on strong. Poa anna is the one that drives us crazy.
    The Loropetalum is Daruma, which is supposed to be 3-4 feet tall at maturity...hope so.

    Lona, We have been working outside all week, it has been wonderful.

    Janet, Spring is really coming on strong...lots of trees are budding. I hope my soil change works too.

    Kathleen, Yaaaaayyyy! Crazy internet stuff. Glad you were able to come and comment. The soil problem could have been all sorts of stuff, if I had done a soil test I might know better what the problem might have been.

  12. Hello,
    Great post!
    I love the lighting in the Hellebore photo - those buds are so beautiful! The promise of Spring!


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