Well Come To JUMBO CGI Garden
I noticed today that my favorite hybrid witch hazel was blooming in my shaded back garden.
The hybrid witch hazels are crosses between our native witch hazels and the Chinese witch hazel.
The frilly flowers are intensely colored but small and subtle.
I planted my garden toward the end of October. We’ve been eating salads out of it on and off all winter.
Last night I picked a delicious batch of greens and we made taco salad with deer burger. The garden supplied a beautiful head of romaine that I made everyone admire before I broke it apart. I also harvested a small oak leaf lettuce head, some Asian red mustard leaves, some green onions and cilantro.
I always spend too much money on seed and don’t have the time to maintain my vegetable garden as it should be. Still, those high dollar salads are very satisfying.
While I was harvesting I scored three bouquets of flowers just before the rain came in . I made arrangements for the bar between the living room and kitchen, for my wall vase above the kitchen sink and for the back of the bathroom toilet. The arrangement on my bar is my favorite. It contains leucothoe (Agarista populifolia) filler, blooming sprigs of pearl bush (Exochorda racemosa) and 5 or 6 kinds of daffodils.
I ‘ve had quite a few cats over the years. Each of them has found his own niche in my garden.
Quite a few have specialized in porch sitting. Jeeter, shown here with trillium and daffodils last spring, is a roamer and is particularly appreciative of the outdoors. Jeeter enjoys sleeping in the sun, perching on rocks or studying the fish in my garden pond.
In his quest for adventure, he even wanders around in the woods often startling me by suddenly appearing out of nowhere.
affodil photo that I took in my friends Bill and Lydia Fontenot’s garden in Carencro, Lousiana.
I have the same narcissus in my garden. It came from an old house place. It has been blooming for the last few weeks.
As near as I can figure it is a tazetta type daffodil and is likely an old variety called Grand Primo. According to Old House Gardens (www.oldhousegardens.com), Grand Primo was introduced in 1780.
I base my identification on Scott Ogden’s wonderful book, Garden Bulbs for the South. According to Scott, they are among “the most vigorous, persistent and floriferous narcissus in zones 8-9 …”
This is definitely a pretty cool daf. However, during daffodil season, my favorites seem to change every time a new variety comes into bloom.
My Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) has come into bloom twice in the last few weeks. Both times a couple of nights in the low 20’s have bitten it back. Now it’s in full bloom again. Perseverence - I like that.
Apparently the buds that are closed or almost closed survive the freezes and those that are cracked open succomb. I was really happy to see this latest flush of unexpected blooms.
Right now my garden smells great. The magnolia is wonderful, of course. Its scent mingles with the fragrance of sweet daphne, sweet olive and a variety of daffodils.
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Yesterday the weather was warm with a gentle breeze. I found myself following my nose around the garden like a hound dog. Every time I would become distracted by the weeding or pruning tasks at hand, the delightful composite scent would waft into my path and stop me in my tracks.
Mississippi winters are very changey. Last night it was 19 degrees and today the weather was sunny and mid-40’s.
I came home from work and started cleaning the house. Yesterday I rescued tons of daffodils from the garden and made some lovely arrangements. Today, I’m finally getting around to cleaning the house so it will provide an appropriate backdrop for the flowers. My daffodils, by the way, came through the 19 degrees without a scratch. But I’m glad the threat of frosty temperatures inspired me to fill the vases.
I tired of cleaning and took my dogs for a brisk walk throught the woods. Obviously it is still winter but I can see a barely perceptible swelling of the buds on the trees in the woods. I think we’re sitting on the cusp of spring.
Tomorrow is my Mother’s birthday, February 8. A few years ago I realized that within a day or two of Mama’s birthday, the trillium in my garden will bust out of the ground.
Trillium is one of the coolest Spring ephemeral wildflowers. Most of my trillium is Trillium cuneatum. In some books it is called Little Sweet Betsy. Each plant has 3 mottled leaves that are variegated in shades of dark green, silvery green and purple. My trillium emerges from the ground with a deep maroon flower bud atop the trio of leaves. It is very beautiful for a month or six weeks before dieing back to the ground.
Trillium is difficult to find in nurseries. Most of my trillium clumps were dug from private land. Although I have propagated some from seed. Since trillium grows in the cool weather, it will continue to survive in a clear-cut or even in a kudzu field. Trillim can survive in these adverse circumstances because the more invasive inhabitants do their invading during warm weather and go dormant during trillium’s growing season. I have a favorite clear cut that I visit to rescue trillium. I plan to make several forays there this winter because the site is due to be developed soon.
Most of the trillium I have collected is planted in my shady back yard or on my trail through the adjacent woods. My woodland trail is in need of maintenance. Now, since trillium viewing season has arrived, the trail maintenace task will rise to the top of my To Do List.
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