Wednesday, February 11

Garden Pic Wednesday: Signs of Spring!

It's a sunny day and I need to continue working on outside yard clean-up. I've also been working on converting an old wood bat-house, that never attracted any bats and was splitting, into a bird house for a larger bird to nest in, like a wood-pecker. 
I'm basically gluing, patching and nailing it back together and will top the roof with an old license plate.
(I've seen those used with home-made bird houses in Pinterest.)

Today's Garden Pics are back yard early spring bloomers that herald the coming of spring here in north Florida!

First: A pretty lue-hued Vinca Major or "Big Leaf Periwinkle" blooming in my woodsy-themed garden section.
This a "ground cover," though a tall one (6 to 8 inches) & readily spreads. Ever wonder what color "periwinkle blue" is? This is it.

Next: Summer Snowflakes:
These spring heralds are a member of the Snow Drop family, but this family member likes the Deep South.  They bloom around the base of my Bottle Brush Tree every year. 

Last, a shot of a Carolina Chickadee at my feeder.
 This is the kind of Chickadee common to the south. It looks nearly identical to a Black-capped Chickadee, except it is smaller and doesn't have any white on it's wing feathers.
I was out photographing the Vinca and in close range to the feeder when this birdie decided food was more important then the nearness of a human being, so I got a fair photo.

Garden Talking
My friend, Jacqui (pronounced Jackie) was over visiting this past weekend with her husband, Bernie, who are the Navigator staff for the Navy bases in Pensacola.
She and I love to talk garden stuff and I love that! I guess this is about their 3rd year living here and they have an extensive landscape that had pretty much been left to go wild before they bought the home and that they now trying to "reshape."
 Because I've lived here, working my own landscape for 26 years, I've tried a lot of things and 
know what grows in this sandy Florida soil, so she likes to pick my brain for helpful hints.
Her question this visit was, "What can I grow that will stay green all winter?"  
So we walked around my yard, so I could point out stuff that thrives through the winter, things like Dusty Miller, Scabiosa, Big Leaf Periwinkle, Sea Holly, Dianthus (or Pinks) and winter-loving herbs like Parsley, Cilantro & Greek Oregano. 
Easter lilies also have had their greenery up since about December, so I asked her if she had any? She did not. I sent her home with a bunch of bulbs.
She asked how she should plant them: singly or in a group?
Because Easter lilies spread like wild fire, I suggested planting them groups of 3 through-out the large bed in front of her house and to remember every bulb petal will become a new bulb.

I hope to give her some of my Sea Holly later in the spring.
 It's leaves stay green all winter here and in spring/summer it blooms unique baby-blue colored pineapple-shaped thistles that can be cut for vase use as accents in a bouquet or left as an outdoor display.
Like Easter lilies, it too is a voracious spreader.
What signs of spring are going on where you live?
That's it for today!  I don't like the Mama Kat options for this week, so  tomorrow will be a Bananas Thursday!

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