Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Garden Secrets!

It's Mother's Day weekend...
Which happens to always be my favorite
weekend of Springtime in our gardens!
There are two reasons this is my favorite weekend of Spring...
One of the reasons you can plainly see...
And the other is hidden from pain view!
The reason you can see is the azalea hedge on the side of the house. It has
never failed to be in full bloom on Mother's Day! When we bought the house
this hedge was already ten years old but it was less than five feet tall and there
were hardly any blooms. The problem was that whomever planted these azaleas
put a layer of thick plastic around them, covering the whole planting bed. Of
course, this helped keep the weeds down but it also kept the plants from
getting what they needed to thrive. Once all the plastic was ripped out,
this hedge took off. You couldn't tell where one plant started and
another ended! The hedge shot up, covering the whole side of the
house and shot out about three feet too. And the blooms...
Well, see for yourself... It's a built-in Mother's Day bouquet!
The same thing happened after the plastic was removed from
around the Japanese maple in the front yard. It's doubled in
size each year. You won't find plastic anywhere in our gardens!
And that's, as they say... A good thing!
The wisteria sure is coming along this weekend!
My mom loved the wisteria at Biltmore last
week... I sure wish she was still here to enjoy mine!
front yard has taken off this spring too!
Of course, this is still the show-stopper...
But this one is catching up fast!
The second reason Mother's Day weekend is my favorite weekend
of spring isn't as obvious but it's definitely happening all around me!
There are bluebirds tending to their new babies there in the
bird house near the front door... And, there's a mockingbird mom
busily feeding her chicks up here in the Yoshino cherry tree!
I love birds! And, knowing we provide them with everything they
need to live here and nest and, bring forth new life thrills me!
I'm also thrilled by variegated  weigela!
I saw this in a one gallon pot at the Farmer's
market two years ago and had to have it!
It's very happy in this spot along the fence by the road...
The bees love it too!
I think we need more weigela in our garden!
Last year, we added this Wine and Roses Weigela! I initially believed
this was a Cardinal Weigela; however, my gardener set me straight!
Speaking of Cardinals...
The rose bush hedge in front of the pool is in full bloom this weekend too!
I'll have tiny roses in the hanging vase above the sink all summer!
The other day when the pool liner was being installed there was
a sweet cardinal pair that wouldn't leave the workers alone. They
buzzed everyone that got too close to the rose bush by the gate...
And this morning, while cutting roses for my vase I figured out why...
I discovered their secret in my garden!
There are few things in the garden sweeter than baby birds!
Their daddy is never far away!
He works very hard to feed his new family!
Happy mother's day to you, cardinal mommy!
I love spring!
As cute as some things are in our late-spring gardens...
Others are not-so-cute...
I'm talking about cicadas!
The first time I ever heard them I was five years old. We
were living in Kansas while my dad was in Vietnam...
My brother and I called them the wee-you bugs because that's
what they sounded like they were saying to us from high up in the
trees. Fortunately, cicadas are only creepy looking. They are in no way
harmful to our gardens. Since birds, squirrels and mice eat them... I say the
more the merrier. Maybe they'll keep the squirrels out of our bird feeders!
I hope you're having a beautiful spring...
And, mother's day too!
While I'm missing my parents now that they've returned home and our Ranger
is far away on a training mission preparing for his upcoming deployment...
I'm actually looking forward to mother's day tomorrow...
Because we have a date with the incomparable, Carol Burnett!
I've always loved Carol Burnett so to get to see her is wonderful!
What about you? Any secrets revealing themselves in your garden this spring?


  1. Janet these are the best garden picks yet. I love it all but do you have the name of the variegated weigela? Sorry for punctuation errors this darn phone has a mind of its own. Happy Mothers Day

  2. Valerie, the name of the variegated weigela is variegated weigela. I'm sure that there is a more specific name than that. See it here:

    Thank you for your kind words and please know that it thrills me to know you're reading along!


  3. I haven't been able to find weigela--I guess I'll have to try the farmer's market! Everything looks great!

  4. Your gardens are so beautiful and the pictures certainly reflect your love of nature! Happy Mother's Day to one of my favorite bloggers!


  5. Janet,
    Thank you for your glorious Mother’s Day post! This truly is the peak weekend for your garden! Love the spectacular combination of the wisteria and pink azaleas……and your new variegated weigela is stunning! But the pictures that knocked my socks off were the ones of the beautiful cardinal family nesting in your rose bushes! What a wonderful garden secret!
    I adore your fancy bluebird house! The first thing we did this morning was to take our coffee and tea out to a sunny spot in the garden and watch one of our bluebird families feed their babies! Our hummingbirds are coming pretty regularly now and dad said he was spotted a sweet little Rose-breasted Grosbeak at his feeder! Our Azaleas and Rhodies are just beginning to bloom and I have a single bloom on one of my Siberian Iris…spring is still coming……it’s just a little slower getting here! No cicada sightings yet! Thank you for sharing your garden secrets on this gorgeous Mother’s Day! ……Love Carol Burnett! Enjoy the show!

  6. Janet,

    I am ordering one or maybe two. Hmm. Thanks for the link. Would you ask your gardener a ? for me please?

    How does he keep the weeds under control in all the beds?

    What kind of grass seed did you plant and when?

    It's just beautiful and I've learned to ask the people doing it.


    Cottage Making Mommy

  7. Oh Janet I share with you this early morning that your post has changer me and I hope it stays. Just a short few weeks ago I found our I have cancer. You know that thing that never happens to us. It did. Still trying to deal with it all and I have had one chemo treatment that didn't turn out well. I don't remember 2 of the days they put me back into the hosp. But I'm home now praying for an extended stay on this earth.
    Y are the first one I have talked to outside family. I have had no strength or energy to do anything.
    Well it is 6 am and I hope I can go back to sleep. Hope to talk soon. If that is ok.


  8. Dearest Teresa, of course we can talk soon - please reach out to me with an e-mail or phone number and we'll chat. You are NOT alone and any support I can offer, I will!

    Stay strong, sweet girl!



  9. Hi, Valerie!

    Weeds are kept under control through the use of mulch. My husband is a huge fan of mulching! He uses a twice-ground, hardwood mulch that he gets through our local City yard waste facility - They grind up hardwood trees cut down (by the city) and turn them into mulch. It smells great and enhances the look of our gardens. He refreshes the mulch as needed but mostly just once a year in the fall. Mulch not only eliminates weeds, it also retains moisture and insulates plants during the winter! We don't care for pine needles, (a popular mulch in our area) and the city mulch is not only VERY cheap, it's also a good way to recycle and reuse natural resources. As for the grass seed, we use cool weather grass on our property... It's a tall fescue that stays green all year. My husband also aerates our property every other year and fertilizes every fall and spring - We use no pesticides in our gardens and we control insects like mosquitoes by insuring there is no standing water on our property and through a very health bat population, which we encourage. People often forget that when they spray for mosquitoes they're also killing the beneficial bugs on their property... So we avoid using any chemicals at all. Weeds are controlled through the use of hardwood mulch and grass is green all year because we've replaced all the crabgrass and bermuda grass with tall fescue that stays green all year. I hope this helps and I hope you'll keep reading! I'm thrilled to have you along!



    For more information on the grass, please see here:


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