Monday, February 22, 2021

Crocuses and Birdsong


I spent a couple of hours yesterday out in the garden, cutting back old, dead growth and weeding parts of the flower bed. We have two lavender plants that had become entwined with some kind of creeping grass. The plants themselves look terrible and I seriously considered ripping them out altogether, but lavender always looks bad at this time of year. So I restrained myself and managed, with patience, to trim them and remove most of the grass.

We have so many crocuses this year! I counted seven purple flowers out in the lawn. That may not sound like a lot, but it's more than I ever remember seeing before. We also have some yellow and beige ones in our flower bed by the back door.


Indoors, our little cactus has given us two blossoms once again...


...and another orchid has opened.


Remember all those foxglove seeds I planted last fall? Well, as I said a few days ago, they all died over the winter. So I dumped all those trays and began again yesterday. I planted foxgloves as well as some honesty, a few corncockle and the seeds of the jimsonweed I found last summer. I'm not sure those jimsonweed seeds are fully mature so they may not germinate. They're an experiment.

I also brought the trays indoors to give them some protection, which is what I should have done last fall. Live and learn.

Outdoors I scattered the rest of the corncockle and some poppy seeds, and planted my one pod of sweet peas, which seem small and underdeveloped. Our sweet peas may have come to the end of the line. We just didn't get any good seeds last year.

I decided not to plant the lupine seeds. The parent plants survived OK over the winter so there's no reason to grow more. I also have several seed packets that came free with our library subscription to Gardener's World magazine, and I'm going to take them to school and give them to someone else. If I planted all that stuff I'd have 500 seedlings and there's only so much I can manage.

Steve Reed · Dawn Chorus

Finally, to continue the springtime theme of this post, here's the dawn chorus as heard this morning in our garden. Noisy little birds!

43 comments:

  1. Well, the cats both just came running into my office looking for the birds!

    And you are the plant whisperer with your regularly blooming orchids and cactus flowering indoors.

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  2. Spring is coming and the birds are chattering about who will do what to whom.

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  3. You are well ahead on the seed sowing front...am I behind?!
    The birds around our house haven't started much, but the hedgerow birds are really going for it!!

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    1. Perhaps I'm a bit premature but we're also warmer than you here in the sunny south!

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  4. Crocuses and birdsong - a lovely combination on a Monday morning in February.

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  5. You have such a wonderful range of flowers you can grow. Lupines! I grew foxglove in NYS for many years. They are biennial and herbaceous, and they had a tendency to reseed. Although they seemed to die off, they always came back. You may be surprised. By the way, I posted a photo for you on my photo blog a while back of a bicolor foxglove that volunteered itself in that form. I never planted it. I don't think you saw it (likely because you don't know about my photo blog). Here is the one specifically for you: http://photosnowandthen.blogspot.com/2020/06/bicolor-foxglove-for-steve-reed.html

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    1. I didn't realize you have a photo blog either, Colette! It is terrific! I am so glad I know now!

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    2. I love foxgloves and I've always been impressed by their durability. We've never had them come back for a second season of blooming, though, and ours don't seem to re-seed without a little help. I love your photo blog!

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  6. This post paints such a wonderful picture in my mind. I cannot wait for spring. Here, once again, it is snowing.

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    1. Ugh! Well, we could still be slammed by more winter, too. But things are looking hopeful out there.

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  7. The orchid is beautiful. When we lived in Miami Carlos had several orchids and brought them with us to South Carolina; he was worried about the colder winters but they have flourished.
    I'm lucky he's a plant guy because otherwise this would be a plantless house since my thumb is far from green.

    Andi love the bird songs; so peaceful.

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    1. I wish we lived in a place (like Miami) where I could have the orchids outside. We have so many that they take up all my windowsill space!

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  8. Birdsong? The other day I was walking through a leafy part of town when indeed there was a chorus. How nice I thought to myself - albeit a bit louder than one would normally expect. Turned out to be the alarm of someone's motorbike.

    To put the record straight: After my recent lament that daffodils weren't on sale any longer they now are again. Remember Willie Nelson's "Bring me sunshine . . ." ? And those daffodils certainly do. As does your Crocus.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cksNlqNhIxU

    U

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    1. That must have been a very strange motorbike alarm if it sounded like a bird!

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  9. Your birds sound like mine! Do you ever consider starting a small plot of vegetables? You're doing so beautifully with your flowers.

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    1. You know, I have never been interested in growing vegetables. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. I have no idea why. We occasionally experiment, like when we grew potatoes a couple of years ago, but that's usually when someone gives us plants.

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    2. Perhaps it doesn't interest you because you haven't done it! If you tried with just a few things, you might become more interested. Perhaps a trellis with some beans. Pretty AND delicious.

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    3. Oh, actually, we DID have beans last year. Mrs. Kravitz gave us some plants. Forgot about those -- LOL! They were fun, but I'm still not quite a veggie convert. Given a choice I'll always opt for ornamentals, which is why I'll be starving when the end times come.

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  10. I LOVED hearing those birds singing. Their songs are slightly different than what I hear form my balcony. I also like those cute little cactus blooms. And once again, I'm so impressed with the orchids.

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    1. I think it's so cool that I can bring birdsong from my garden to people on the other side of the planet. The wonders of the Internet!

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  11. the experts are telling us down here to wait two weeks before cutting anything back so I guess I will though I did start on the collapsed banana trees yesterday. That is a lovely orchid.

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    1. Yeah, I've heard it's best to wait before trimming after a freeze. In fact I threw out our frozen gazanias and now I'm wondering if I should have kept them. Maybe they'd have resprouted. But I can always get more.

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  12. The flowers and bird songs are so beautiful. A wonderful way to start the morning here. Thank you for that.

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  13. You have to try things and if it doesn't work out you've learned something. It's a lot of work keeping grass out of flower beds.

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    1. Absolutely -- nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

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  14. I have trouble keeping the weeds out and all of my gardening time is spent pulling weeds so I must be doing something wrong. Too early to start gardening here - still covered in snow. :)

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    1. I'm not super-picky about weeds and I let a lot of things go, but this grass was just getting out of hand.

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  15. I just love your dawn chorus. That's my idea of waking up to happy music. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I agree -- it's always pleasant to hear in the mornings!

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  16. You have been very busy. Most of those plants I haven't even heard of!

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    1. Maybe I'm using British names? Honesty is also known as Lunaria, moneywort or money plant, and jimsonweed (which is a North American name) is a kind of Datura.

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  17. The best thing, a dawn chorus!

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  18. Franklin and I went to Lowe's last week to look at plants and flowers and seeds. If it ever stops raining, I might accomplish something in the yard. The birds sound sweet and your photos are beautiful.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It's always so fun to start looking at plants again in the spring!

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  19. What A Soundtrack - More Of That Please

    Cheers
    P.S. Olga Girl Is Hungry

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    1. Olga girl is sleeping at the moment, but I'm sure she'll wake up hungry! LOL

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