Sunday, February 26, 2012

Signs of Spring

I am a big lover of plants, animals, rocks and dirt, just a few natural things, I love and when it comes to seasons, spring is my favorite. Born and raised in the geographic south (Newnan, Georgia), I'm glad our spring comes early because of  the humidity and location but mainly because of my southern regard for warmer weather. So every year, toward the end of winter, I search for sights and sounds in my yard indicating spring is around the corner. The photos in this blog were taken on the most recent search for signs of spring in my yard. Above, just bursting into bloom is a bunch of ornamental pear flowers. This beautiful tree abounds in bright white flowers and is a favorite of landscapers and homeowners alike.

The yellow bell bush (shown above) is one of the first signs of spring, as it blooms with bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers before any green leaves emerge from the woody stems. Trim to shape in the fall or in the spring, after all blooms have disappeared and the bush is only filled with green leaves. Also known as a forsythia bush many people use them as hedges and trim them into a box shape, I think they are more attractive in their natural oval bush shape but need cutting back every year.

And of  course you'll see the emergence of spring bulbs like the tulips, above. Most bulbs need care in the fall with a dose of bone and blood meal but even with this, will usually quit blooming or become smaller over the years. If you have a spring bulb garden, add new bulbs every fall and feed for a brilliant display of floral bliss in the spring.

I captured a photo of this single dandelion bloom in my yard and thought it looked more like a straw flower but soon it will grow into a dandelion circle of fluff and be blown away to bloom somewhere else in my yard. Considered a weed, use a weed and feed brand of fertilizer to combat any infestation in your yard. I look to new weed growth as another indication that the spring season is near.

When I begin to see green patches of grass and native wild ground cover around my property, I know the grass cutting season is not far away. I am still researching what this itsy-bitsy purple flower is named. To me they are so cute and if, I was an itsy-bitsy person this would be a big flower to me.

And of course the infamous daffodil is a great sign spring has sprung or is about to spring. Not only in my yard but I am seeing them everywhere, above is a King Alfred daffodil. This species tends to bloom later in the season, at least mine do.

If you have seen some of the same signs of spring, I also want to mention some sounds I listen for that tell me my favorite season is beginning. Sounds like crickets, tree frogs, bullfrogs and the honks of Canadian geese fighting for territory to mate and lay eggs to hatch for a new spring family. 

Of course we will still make a have frost or even snow (we have seen snow here in April). These signs do tell me it's time to till the garden, plant seeds in a cold frame or indoors, plant summer bulbs, plant early vegetables like sugar peas and plant root crops like beets, carrots and onions. Gee, now I need to rest just thinking about all the work I'll be doing the next six weeks!

Happy Gardening and have a fantastic Spring Season 2012! 

posted by Wilma Smith

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