What’s on your agenda this spring? For me, it looks like a return to golf. Sigh.
My husband used a pro shop credit he’d won in a member-guest tournament in Greenville as a partial payment for this lovely set of ladies’ clubs. Golf and I have a mostly unpleasant history. He thinks that can be remedied by new clubs and lots of practice. Sigh.
Incidentally, those glass trophies and bronze statues you see in the background? All his, won in various tournaments over the years. There’s a hole-in-one plaque as well. He’s actually made two. Maybe one day I’ll break 100. Sigh.
Hope springs eternal, though, right? Walking around my yard these days helps me to forget about my lack of skill in the fairway. The azaleas are blooming! It seems early, but then my daffodils were at their peak in February. Are we on an accelerated schedule this year?
I have different types of azaleas, so my yard is a rainbow of colors ranging from pink to white to purple to red. A hodge-podge which reflects my tendency to buy azaleas on impulse. In addition to different hues, I get different blooming times, which helps to stretch the season.
These are just now budding. I wish I could rattle off the names of all my azaleas, the way my mother used to. She knew every species in her yard: Martha Washington, Coral Bells, Hershey’s Red, Snow. These were the traditional assortments. I’ve picked out newer varieties in the nursery, planted them, and then promptly forgot their interesting names.
These old-fashioned snow (?) azaleas are in full bloom. These were here when my husband and I bought the house, so I’m guessing on the name.
Unfortunately, the late frosts killed most of the buds on this lilac formosa-type variety, which dared to try to bloom too early. The same thing happened last year. It seems like this azalea would wise up. Its mate on the other side of the house is in better shape.
My never-say-die dogwood is lovely right now. I bought this tree as a sapling years ago when Home Depot was in Rocky Mount. My husband has cut dead limb after dead limb from it, pronouncing it a goner many times. It always rejuvenates. Given the story of the dogwood, that Christ’s cross was made from its wood, this new birth each spring seems appropriate.
The azaleas and my dogwood are not the only signs of spring in my yard. The blue-black salvia, a perennial, is sprouting. This plant draws the hummingbirds, and I have it in a couple of pots as well as beneath the spot where I hang my hummingbird feeder.
I bought the blue-black salvia at a Master Gardener sale several years ago. I got there late that day, and it was about the only thing left. It looked rather sad, with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree kind of appearance, and had been marked down. From its humble beginnings at that sale, it’s flourished in my yard.
That’s sedum, another hardy perennial that spreads each year, pushing through the pine straw. The deer and rabbits around my house keep the sedum “trimmed” during the summer. Fortunately, these rascals don’t seem to like the taste of salvia.
My emerging hostas, caviar to deer, are safe since I have them inside my fenced-in backyard. So far, rabbits, which squeeze through the slats in the fence, haven’t been interested in hostas.
The flowering quince my middle daughter gave me is showing off this spring. I texted her a picture this week, with the caption, “Blooming! The rabbits haven’t gotten it so far.” Last year, it was nibbled down to sticks before I got smart and put a wire cage around it. I should probably get that cage out of the storage building again this year to prevent another “pruned” plant.
I’m thankful that so much in my yard has bloomed early this year. I was afraid I would miss the azaleas due to an upcoming trip to Israel and Jordan. This tour was booked for spring of 2020 and due to Covid was re-booked for spring of 2021. Israel wasn’t open last spring, so again, there was another re-booking.
I’m hoping this third time is the charm. It’d better be. I’ve started studying.