Thursday, March 08, 2007

Early Bloomers

I'll save the best for last...

This Louisiana Iris was blooming back in January, after we had a bunch of rain. I've no idea what cultivar it is - strange-looking, eh? (It may actually be a Siberian iris...if anybody can ID this, please let me know!)

This is Euphorbia 'Tasmanian Tiger' and it's been blooming for well over two weeks. Love the variegated foliage.

I mentioned in a previous post how Nature Hills Nursery accidentally sent me somebody else's order of crocus bulbs and then told me to just keep I planted 'em. Not bad, although I'd probably never buy these.

Many daffodils don't naturalize here in Texas, especially the weirder kinds, but these double daffs I got from Bluestone back in late 2005 are even prettier this year.

Between the rain, a good trimming and some fertilizer, this Mexican plum tree is blooming like crazy, much more so than in previous years. The honeybees are all over it already, and the smell is divine.

Wow, wow, wow. Say hello to Passiflora 'Lady Margaret'. What a babe! I just received this plant from Zone 9 Tropicals about a month ago. Temps aren't quite high enough to put her outside yet, so she got potted up and kept in the sunroom...where she seems quite happy for the time being. Can't wait to see my back fence covered with this lovely lady later in the summer!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Speak Now, Or Forever Hold Your Trowel

I can say with relative confidence that Spring is here in North Central Texas. The forecast has us staying above freezing the next 10 nights at least, with daytime temps reaching into the 70s. Hallelujah - it's been a long winter, even for us Dallasites.

While the juncos and Cedar Waxwings are still here and busily stuffing themselves for their flights northward, the adorable little ruby-crowned kinglet and the pair of downy woodpeckers are gone. I'll miss them. Sitting by the kitchen window and birdwatching while enjoying a hot cup of coffee was a nice way to pass the colder days...when I wasn't stuck in a chilly office building, of course.

Several of my plant orders are starting to arrive. It's funny...I don't feel as giddy about gardening as I used to. In fact, I was thinking the other day that gardening has become a lot like my marriage.

Now hang on...before all of you divorce lawyers start writing to me, let me explain.

My feeling about gardening now is that, like my marriage, I'm comfortable. Content. I've been doing both for awhile. I'm familiar with them, and confident in the proven techniques that make each seem to work.

I've matured. I don't have heart palpitations when my husband calls me, or squeal like a teenager when a big box of plants arrives in the mail. (Well, ok, sometimes I still do.)

I miss both my husband and gardening when they're not around. Even during the doldrums of a regular day at work, I miss Mark, but not in stupid girlish way. It's like that with gardening too. I pined for better weather, and grumbled about the cold in polite conversation. Such complaining seems pointless anymore, though; like the warmth of my husbands arms awaiting me at the end of an arduous day, the sun always shows up before long.

Of course, over time, you also come to accept certain...shortcomings. I'll probably never be able to grow dinnerplate dahlias here in Texas, and my husband will probably never pick his clothes up off the bedroom floor without being told. But that's ok. You learn. You adapt. You grow.