February 27, 2008

Spring fever

Posted in blogging, garden tagged , , , , , at 8:18 pm by czygyny

.                                  me-hiding.jpg

One wonderful reason that I love living in this great north state is the early promise of Spring. Here it is, only late February, and the pink petals of the purple plum tree are already peeking out of their buds, Bradford pears and almonds burst forth, and crocus and daffodils have already made the scene. If you are blessed enough to live close to the hills, the rich, honey scent of manzanita blossoms fill the evenings and the Pacific tree frogs are singing their courtship song at the creeks and and wet spots at night till they wind down as it gets cold.

If you are a scent-lover, you cannot be without Daphne odora marginata this time of year. Never failing a February show, this shrub will utterly delight you with the most heavenly scent that falls somewhere between orange blossom and Fruit-Loops. Its best grown in a large pot in our area, the gophers love the roots and they are picky about drainage, but if you have an east or north entryway, its creamy white edged leaves and pinky white blossoms are a must have to greet you when you get home. Make sure to pick a handful of the blossom  sprays and bring indoors. They will fill your room with delight.

If early spring color is something you pine for, johnny-jumpups are a good bet. Once they get established in your flower beds, they will rise up in every little spot, but their cheery purple and yellow flowers never fail to make you smile. Pansies are great this time of year, if the rain (or hail) hasn’t pummeled them to mush. ‘Tiger-Eyes’ are one of my favorites, it is halfway between a pansy and a viola in size but look at those ‘whiskers’!

.                           tiger-eyes.jpg

If you are a succulent lover, sempervivums are a must for the dry shade in your garden. This is the time of year that the purples, blues and reds glisten from these hardy perennials. One of my most satisfying gardens are my rock gardens, and the sempervivums are the rock-stars of the gravel beds.

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Now is the time to get that vegetable garden ready, too. We have ours rototilled, but haven’t done much in way of starting the seeds. It doesn’t help that I have hurt my back (chiropractor says I have too much stress in my life, imagine that?) and can’t sit or bend forward comfortably for any length of time, so the seed starting must wait.

Here is what our garden area looks like: how-it-starts.jpg 

And this is what it will look like when summer is in full swing:garden02.jpg

Also, it is the time of year that I can get a minute or two outside after work, as the days lengthen once again. The back of winter has been broken and spring can’t be held back. Soon those all too short weeks of unbelievable green will flush the landscape, brighter than any memory can hold, before the heat hardens everything into the greys and blues of a scorching Redding summer.

Don’t miss it!          snail.jpg



  1. leafless said,

    Your garden has a lot of varieties. I can’t wait to see more of it. Here in Southern California, spring appears to come early this year. I would love to see how my newly-planted chrysanthemums turn out.

    P.S. I have tagged you with a little meme. Participate if you like to.

  2. czygyny said,


    I had to look up the definition of ‘meme’. It is amazing to me how so absorbed I am in my own self-created world, that when forced to pop my head up for a look ’round, the whole world has changed.

    I also love mums, especially the Thistle and Gnomes.

    If you haven’t discovered them yet, visit http://kingsmums.com/ you’ll love the selection.

    I will give this ‘meme’ some thought, and contribute when I’ve composed my masterpiece. Thanks for the invite!

  3. leafless said,

    Thanks for the link. It has some really neat tips on how to grow chrysanthemums.

    I look forward to reading your little memoir. It’ll be interesting for sure.

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