The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring in the Garden

It is that time of year again – time to get the yard spiffed up!


Soon there will be blooms in my yard.  I don't have any early blooming plants or trees (except for the native, weedish varieties) – so it is still just green leaves all around.  The daylilies are coming up all over, the hosta, the butterfly bushes are greening up and I see leaves coming on the hydrangeas.   No too long after we moved to this house I noticed a small patch (about the size of my hand) of wild daisies, Ox-Eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) in the grass area of the back yard.  The green part looked good and continued to look good all summer, even after my husband ran over it with the mow er.  The next spring when I saw that patch appear, I transplanted it to the flower bed area near the patio.  Now – I have little patches of daisies popping up where I don't want them – in the gravel path, right next to the pond, all over.  I have a hard time bringing myself to spray these with RoundUp.  Sometimes I do – sometimes I don't.  I like to take photos of daisies.


Normally I cut back the butterfly bushes severely in the winter.  I did not do it this year because they did not grow out very much last year.  I guess the drought and the heat did take a toll on them.   This morning when I was walking Rosebud out in the front yard, I was looking over the butterfly bushes out there.  They are sprouting leaves.  I also noticed the Johnny Jump Ups (Viola cornuta) that appear each spring in the pine island are not only there, but blooming.  The Yarrow I planted a long time ago is up and has spread more. 


The couple patches of Shasta Daisies that I bought at Pike's last year are looking good.  And – I have Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina) all over the place!  That stuff spreads like crazy!  A neighbor was over one day and spotted the Lamb's Ear.  She said she had been on a field trip with her daughter to the Atlanta History Center.  The guide talked of Lamb's Ear and how back before indoor plumbing, many people planted this soft-leafed, quickly-spreading plant near the outhouse.  And speaking of all over the place – my Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is popping up everywhere I look – it spreads like crazy).  The patch of oregano I planted 10 years ago is huge, lush, and green.


I mentioned the pond (where some of those daisies are growing close by).  I am on tadpole watch.  For a few weeks now, I have been hearing the frogs in the pond – mostly at night, but sometimes during the day.  They make a lot of noise in the daytime when it is raining.  Yesterday I had to go to PetSmart to pick up some cat food – I got the cat food and three new koi for the pond.  I hope the frogs don't eat them – or a heron.  My heron decoy is looking old and worn by the weather.  It is very rusty and needs straightening up.  I put the decoy out after a heron ate my favorite fish.  I had just a plain ol' goldfish – she was huge!  I think that fish was close to a foot long.  Also, I had a beautiful shubunkin – white with a bluish tint, a red spot on its head and a few black spots on the body and long fins.  A heron got them both in one day!


Since the water restrictions are eased slightly, I need to get some zinnia and sunflower seeds.  Last year the sunflowers did nothing – I think a certain chipmunk took care of the seeds and seedlings!  The zinnias were OK – nothing great – but the heat was so bad last year.  Hopefully this year it will not be as hot.  I like having zinnias in the yard – those goofy little crab spiders get on them and they are fun to take photos of.


Yes, the backyard is a mess.  I need to spend some time cleaning it up.  All of the time I put in now will pay off later when I want to go out there to take photos. 


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