Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Black is the New Green

Yesterday was compost day!

12 cubic yards of beautiful rich compost were delivered to my driveway
bright and early yesterday morning.
In my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of the mound of compost, but here is the closeup of the magical soil amendment.

Every spring I spread 1/2 to 1 inch of compost over the lawn areas.

The spreading commenced (in a cold, drizzly rain, I might add)...

...first in the front yard.

And then the backyard.

Extra compost was added to the new bed areas I have been working on.  
You can click here to read about this year's project.

 For a few days the whole yard is black,
but then the magic happens and everything turns to a beautiful, lush green.

 I love compost day!!

Makes me think of Ezekiel 36:35  
"They will say, This land that was laid waste has become like 
the garden of Eden."

Please visit again and I will share pictures of the transformation from a "wasteland to the garden of Eden."

Happy composting!

Toni :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Long-Awaited Spring

March 20th marks the date
for the long-awaited season
when gardeners smile again
for many a good reason

The days are getting longer,
just what a gardener needs
It's time to do some diggin'
and time to plant some seeds

The grass is growing greener
The leaves and buds have burst
To get another freeze right now
would surely be the worst

So gone are winter's blues and cold
We're sending sadness flinging
Just feel the warmth of springtime's sun
And hear the songbirds singing

We'll enjoy every gardening minute
when there's dirt beneath our nails
There's nothing else we'd rather do,
for in comparison all else pales

(by Toni @ Signature Gardens)

Happy First Day of Spring!

 a day without dirt under your nails
is like a day without sunshine

Toni :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday

O LORD, our Lord, 
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him?

Oh LORD, our Lord, 
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 7:1, 3-4, 9

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fabulous Foliage of Spring - March 2011

Don't get me wrong, I love spring blooms as much as anyone, 
but I would venture to say that most gardeners are equally as excited about 
spring foliage... 
when the "wasteland" of winter once again becomes like the Garden of Eden.

*  *  *
"He will make her deserts like Eden, 
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord"
Isaiah 51:3b 

*  *  *
Yes, we anxiously await the first blooms of the year, 
but even before a single bloom appears, 
new life springs from the soil and stems.

This post is dedicated to the fabulous foliage of spring.   

The Japanese Maples are putting on new leaves.

Orange Dream lives up to its name in early spring color, then changes to a bright lime green.

Mikawa Yatsabusa was transplanted last fall and seems to be liking its new home in the garden.

Sango Kaku (Coral Bark) will change to a bright lime green in the coming weeks.

And the newest kid on the block,
Peaches 'N Cream,
is starting to reveal its veining and deeply lobed leaves.

 Farfugium Japonica 'Kaimon Dake'  
has cream colored edging in early spring.

This 'Bengal Tiger' Canna has certainly earned its stripes.

This Creeping Jenny groundcover is starting to brighten up the shady spots.

The Japanese Holly Ferns are slowly unfurling their fiddleheads to reveal their dark glossy foliage.

The fuzzy soft gray/green foliage of Lamb's Ear (Helen von Stein - Big Ear) adds a nice contrast to the bright green spring growth of so many other perennials.

'Powis Castle' Artemisia is another soft gray/green aromatic foliage that stands out next to the moss rock boulder.

Persicaria 'Red Dragon'
has beautiful patterned burgundy foliage in the spring.
This showy plant grows about 3 feet tall and wide, is easily propagated by divisions, and only requires cutting back after a hard freeze.   Easy!

The Red Sorrel took a hit during the freezes, but then sprang back to life.

The leaves of the Oakleaf Hydrangea are growing larger each day!

The Iris foliage is standing tall now, 
ready to put on its spring show in a couple weeks.    

The Oxalis triangularis is blooming now, 
but the real show is the spring foliage.  
'Hameln' Fountain Grass is lush with new growth, as well.

This is such an exciting time of year when changes are taking place daily.   

I hope you are enjoying all of the fabulous foliage springing to life 
 in your little slice of Eden.

Happy Spring Foliage!

Toni :-)

P.S. Join Pam over at Digging for more fabulous foliage!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What's Bloomin' - March 2011

As I scanned my garden this month to see what's blooming, instead of taking the usual photo of the blooms, I thought I'd use a technique I learned last year for "taking pictures" of flowers without using a camera.

I call it garden scanning.   Click here to learn how.

Here's a scan of what's blooming in my garden this March.

'Ice Follies' Daffodils (Narcissus 'Ice Follies')
Lenten Rose (Hellebore)
Creeping Pholox (Phlox subulata)
Purple Oxalis (Oxalis triangularis)
Louisiana Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Wood Violet (Viola papilionacea)
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
'Oklahoma' Redbud (Cercis reniformis 'Oklahoma')
'Georgia Blue' Veronica (Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue')

*  *  * 
As I look at these blooms, I can't help but think of some of the words to a hymn we sang in church last Sunday...

"Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye"

"There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known"

*  *  *
If you'd like to see garden scans from previous months, click here

Here are a few more photos of what's blooming in my garden...

'Fire Dragon' Shantung Maple
is not just known for its
fall color.

Tiny yellow blooms add spring color, as well.

The delicate white blooms of 
Summer Snowflake
(Leucojum aestivum)
take a spring bow.

'Mellow Yellow' Spiraea is covered with tiny white blooms in early spring, followed by bright chartreuse foliage.

And one more shot of the Lenten Rose.

To see more blooms from around the world,
visit May Dreams Gardens for
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

What wonders are displayed in your garden this month?

Toni :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hungry for Spring

A sure sign that spring is near
is when the hungry birds arrive.

Last week the cedar waxwings arrived.   

Usually about the first week of March a large flock lands in my next-door neighbor's bur oak tree...

and then promptly devours the berries on their 
Possumhaw holly tree below.

And this week the robins arrived.   

A wave of robins descended in my backyard 
and gobbled up earthworms.

To learn about the American Robin Migration Tracking Project
click here

I hope the birds...and spring...will be arriving in your area soon!

Toni :-)