A warm week has brought some of our shrubs and trees to flowers, joining a few spring bulbs. Most of the garden, however, is stirring but not rushing into bloom yet. All signs of the end of winter are welcome and the weather is warm enough to begin work. Weeds are coming up everywhere, the grasses are showing their age, and the roses are leafing out without the benefit of fertilizer or their spring hair-cut. It is definitely time to clean things up and get the plants ready to enjoy the gardening year.

Daffodils are providing most of the color right now; here they strut their stuff among deodora cedars.

On the other side of the back lawn more of the same daffodils define the allee under the leafless crape myrtle trees. The old and new daylilies are forming nice green tufts.

At the bench end of the allee some periwinkle blooms. This is a very tough plant that the head gardener has tried to eliminate. We first had it 35 years ago in Annapolis, Maryland and it hitch hiked with some daylilies to North Carolina, surviving two transplants.

Spring is not spring without forsythia to herald it in; ours is planted so that it can grow with abandon without having to be pruned.

In a wet area two different kinds of pussy willow grow.

Our one camellia bush put out a bumper crop of flowers in the secret garden.

The azaleas growing under the dogwood tree don’t get enough light to bloom well but a couple of its flowers happened to be near some grape hyacinths. I love that color combination!

In the front yard the star magnolias are quite showy. The daffodils planted here did not make it this year.

The perennial garden is still sleeping but is enlivened by the Johnny jump ups I planted last fall. These brown-orangey ones are especially nice.

The cherry trees have lots of buds and the flowers are beginning to open.

The Eastern Redbud has buds but no flowers or leaves yet. The way the buds grow on the stems and branches always fascinates me.

At this point I would say that my garden is full of promise. With luck we will have some more warm weather and lots more will pop.

Garden Journal pointer

By Karen