Saturday, March 22, 2014

For the winter weary, Spring is here!

I consider myself among the winter weary. Even here in the Ozarks, this winter was a little too cold, a little too snowy, and a lot too long. Despite it all, the calendar says it is Springtime, and until this weekend, that was good enough for me. I decided to take a walk around the property though, just to check it out--to make sure. I liked what I saw. I did!

The following are just a few of the subjects I had the pleasure to enjoy as I walked. 
I can't wait to enjoy the sweet fragrance and beautiful colors of the lilacs. This particular plant was here when we moved here nine years ago. It was among several bushes planted in the shade of the house. Then never bloomed until one year when we dug them up and moved them. Now, we get a few more flowers each year.

chmusings: lilacs are getting their leaves
These lilacs are getting their leaves

Below is a Bradford Pear, intent on flowering. It won't be long now. We have a pair of them in the yard. I'm sure there will be more in the future as they are just delightful little trees. I always marvel at how early they flower. Often times, these are used by landscapers who use them to line driveways, sidewalks, or to decorate a small suburban front yard. We had no such organizational plan when we planted it, except as an anchor for a small garden. Basically, I just like it. Flowering is a plus on this attractive, perfectly shaped, conical tree that is beautiful in every season.

chmusings: Bradford pear about to bloom
Bradford Pear about to bloom
Oh, the sweet scent of the hyacinth...Is there anything more lovely? I have always loved this sweet staple of the Springtime garden. Rarely do I see the flowering bulbs in a garden center, that I don't go over to take a whiff of its intoxicating fragrance. As one of the earliest flowering bulbs, it remains one of my favorite Springtime garden pleasures.
Soon-to-be white hyacinths
Our property, which sadly doesn't have many wildflowers, is peppered with these lovely little Wild Asters--at least I think that is what they are. They are tiny little lavender clumps and are abundant at this time of year. When I first moved to the Ozarks, I was amazed at the wildflowers that grow in some of the most unusual places. If only people chould be as strong as these tiny woodland flowers. They appear every year, no matter the weather, even if snow is on the ground. They can be found in pathways, in lawns, gardens, and anywhere else they feel like growing. They are tough, little flowers that only make me want more. Their perfect little daisy-like petals are simply lovely. And what a beautiful sight for winter-weary gardeners.
chmusings: Wild asters
Wild asters
It is a ritual of Spring to look for the daffodils. Like clockwork, they bloom each Spring with a satisfying reliability. They too are tough little flowers that have the ability to brighten any Spring day. It won't be long before these turn into that sunshiny, yellow cupped flower, some of which always make it into the house. Often times, they are the first bouquet of the year. These plants were also here when we moved in. We moved here in January, so I had no idea what was planted previously. What a delight it was to see them pop through the layers of dead oak leaves, and then to produce their lovely yellow flowers. I have since planted many more, in different colors and varieties. I love them all.
chmusings: daffodil buds
Daffodil buds
Who doesn't love the look of a Crab apple tree in full bloom? I am still waiting for that lovely view. This young tree, planted a couple years ago to commemorate Earth Day, just one month away, is still young, but I'm hoping it flowers this year. On our woodland, rocky property, I'm just grateful that any tree we plant survives. This one looks to be in good shape, which pleases me greatly. Crab apple trees are a delicacy for deer. I don't now how they missed this one, since they are never too far away. Lucky, I guess. This will be a pink flowering crab, and I can't wait to see it in bloom. Maybe this is the year...For now, I'm just thrilled to call it a sign of Spring.

chmusings: Crab apple tree
Crab apple tree

This is the bud of a magnificent Magnolia tree. I was very worried since just as the buds began to swell, we had a cold, and snowy day, complete with freezing rain. There is a little damage on some of the buds, but overall, it looks like we will have a tree full of flowers very soon. I just love the look of magnolias in bloom.
chmusings: magnolia
Magnificent Magnolia
Yes, there will be strawberries! This year, I will mulch with straw, apply diatomaceous earth, and spray a mix of garlic and peppers to ensure that I will get berries. These plants produced beautifully last year, but I didn't get any of fruit thanks to the slugs and sow bugs that ate them all. My turn this year!

chmusings: strawberries
Strawberry plants
Finally, one of the best signs of Spring in our yard is 'Bout Time Creek. This is actually a dry creek bed, but as you can see, it is now wet. Love Springtime! In fact, it is about time it is wet, thus the name. This runs through the back yard and as the water trickles from the higher ground east of us, it makes the most lovely music. I could listen for hours.
chmusings: 'Bout Time Creek
'Bout Time Creek

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