Recent spring things


This time last year was a sorry state of affairs in the garden, if you can call it a garden–because even though there were a handful of lovely flowering shrubs/small trees, it was essentially weeds, invasives and overgrown everything else.


It’s a bit different now, though, and I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it is to see the fruits of our labors from last year as we watch the garden wake up this spring: roses leafing out, daffodils popping up, perennials re-emerging, annuals germinating.


There is a tremendous amount of work yet to be done this spring, but hey at least this time around we’re not trying to kill a giant patch of Japanese Knotweed and cut back house-sized rhododendrons. And we have a path to the front door, not a muddy slip-n-slide! Things are looking up. 😉

old blushThe new retaining wall got a coat of stain last week. Here is ‘cl. Old Blush’ from a rooted cutting last summer now planted against the wall and the first of our roses to have buds!

Jesse and I are running around fixing things up outside to prep for the painters coming next week (!!) which included spreading more gravel and staining the new retaining wall in the back of the house as well as prepping the shed for paint.

lifting the poplarsSome of the poplars got lifted to allow for more sunlight. Can you spot the male Cardinal?

brush removalBeginning the arduous task of removing the invasives like the multiflora roses.

The arborists who worked with us last year came back last week and lifted the branches on some massive poplars and removed some more scrub trees to give us more sunlight and we also started clearing out the multiflora roses and other brush that are overtaking one side of the yard. (The brush cleanout is going to be a several-year process, to be sure. It’s horrendous.)

buxus vardar valley

planting the boxwood

Last week a bunch of plant deliveries arrived: 72 Buxus sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’ went into the ground adding that much needed outline to the dovecote bed. A David Austin ‘The Albrighton Rambler’ (really looking forward to this one), some lilies and strawberry plants also got planted out.

sweet peas

The sweetpeas were planted and trellised in the new planter box, some “banded” roses went into larger containers and some that I had rooted from last year went into the ground. We got a delivery of Black Kow composted cow manure and used it with all our plantings as well as top-dressing some of the beds.

seedling scabiosa

We had a greenhouse disaster (aka a huge gust of wind) and I lost a bunch of Delphinium and Scabiosa seedlings but what I could salvage went into the garden. I think I also see some poppies coming up from the seeds that I scattered last winter. Crossing fingers for those since these beds were not really that prepped for them.

clematis 'huldine' rooted cutting

My tiny Clematis ‘Huldine’ that I rooted from a cutting taken from the old house wintered over and is putting out new growth. Poor Jesse, I went on for like 20 minutes about the “magic of plants” after I saw these new leaves. Should I do a post on propagating Clematis? I feel like it’s all over the interwebs already but it really is quite fun.

march 8

The warm weather really woke up the roses. In the course of just a few days they went from this…

spring rain

…to this.

hellebore 'confetti cake'‘Confetti Cake’

How gorgeous is this Hellebore? We put it in last autumn and it was a joy to see the first flower this spring, especially because I never got to see the Hellebores I planted at the old garden bloom!


Speaking of blooms, this Camellia started last December and hasn’t stopped. It has a wonderful scent, too. Whenever I see it I think, somebody pinch me. Finally, no more crazy cold winters. Ahhh!


So tell me what’s new in your garden? I know it isn’t technically spring yet, but with these warmer than average temps, have your plants been waking up, too?

10 thoughts on “Recent spring things

  1. That camilla is D-vine! I wish I could grow them in South Florida! I saw one at Lowes the other day, but I’m worried it wont get cold enough to get it to bloom next spring. They sell azaleas in full bloom at that same Lowes and I KNOW they will never bloom again once that bloom cycle is over because they need at least a light frost to get them to bloom again. I didn’t want to spend $45 (or worse, a large plot of garden space) to find it never blooms again. If anyone has had good results with Camillas in South Fl, I’d love to hear about it.

    1. I think that places like Lowes and whatnot often get those flowering shrubs in stock in time for Easter and, as you said, may not be entirely appropriate for the local growing conditions. Have you ever considered popping them in a container and using them as annuals? About those Camellias for Florida, there’s an interesting article here that you might like to peruse!

  2. Our spring has come a bit early this year. It makes me happy to be outside, and even on rainy days, to THINK about being outside. All your hard work last year has paid off and all those boxwood plants promise beautifully bordered beds. So rewarding to see the fruits of our labors. I just sent off an order (that I will pick up, since it’s close) for 28 new roses. I KNOW! 28! I’ve never done that before. With all those pines gone and the deer fence up, I’m going crazy with the possibilities. I’ve lived on your blog for the information that’s not always in the nursery descriptions. Lovely photos as always, Laurie.

    1. Wait, what…28 roses?! That’s awesome! Are they all different kinds? You are going to have so much fun with that, and what a wonderful reward for all the hard work you put into get them the space and sunlight they need. Woo! I’m so glad that these photos and info were helpful to you! 🙂

  3. All those baby boxwood!!! Glad you received your shipment, can’t wait to see how they shape up in your garden. Beautiful post – and I especially like that Hellebore! And thanks for mentioning the garden tools on Instagram, I’ve been searching for quite some time looking for the right tools to invest in. I’ve always used resources to buy plant material instead of tools and realizing more and more that I need good tools to work with. I’m really excited to try some of the Clarington Forge tools. Thank you very much!

    1. Yes! Getting that boxwood delivery was so much fun. I wanted to get several hundred to do more of the garden but that was quite out of the budget. 😉 So I think propagating and patience will be the name of the game here. Glad I could help with the tools selection. Sometime you need to splurge like with the Clarington Forge products, but I’ve found some really nice shovels and stuff at yard sales. The “antique” ones are usually the better quality. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mom! Having such a love/hate with my camera these days, so thank heavens for the cell phone. 😉

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