Posts Tagged With: spring flowers

The Many Beautiful Azaleas Blooming Today in My Mississippi Yard

 

This post will be brief. It is azalea season throughout the South. Even ratty, unkempt, abandoned homes, boast some gorgeous flowering azaleas right now. In the rear of the above photo is a deep burgundy-colored azalea. I forgot to get a close-up this morning.

Right now I feel I should be hosting a garden party every day. The vast array of colorful azalea flowers makes my head spin on a good day.

 

Most of the azaleas in my yard were here when we moved into the home; however, we have planted perhaps another dozen. Two dozen? Maybe.

 

Early morning and evening as the sun goes down are the most breathtaking, especially when you observe the flowers with the light coming through the petals.

I even enjoy “plain” white. It provides good contrast to all the other colors and is brilliant in its own right.

My favorite by far is my native Florida flame azalea (Rhodendron austrinum). It is a deciduous azalea and has grown quite a bit in the last five or six years. I haven’t babied it.

I keep it mulched and have fertilized it maybe twice since I planted it. I never water it, other than when I first planted it. A great return on the investment of a one gallon plant.

A lot of people here cut their azaleas back, I guess to renew them. It isn’t necessary, but to each their own. I’ve seen folks cut back 8′ tall plants to a foot or so. The horror! But eventually they leaf out, produce a lot of new growth, and flower again.

Maybe some of mine could use a whacking. But even my leggiest azaleas grow to their own heart’s desire.

I do have two plants that I prune back a bit every other year or so but that is because they are planted in a bed and have thinned out to the point where you can “see under their skirt”. And they are planted with other ornamentals that have suffered when they are shaded by the straggly and rapidly growing azaleas which tower above. So I give them a little chop chop, after they finish flowering in April.

I have quite an “investment” in azaleas now.

Many of them I received for free from a friend. So I do not know “varieties”. Sometimes that is a bit irksome. Indeed, I do have a few young plants with the tags still attached and I need to write those down and transfer the names to a metal sign.

Some of these larger azaleas are so commonly seen around, I figure they must be old varieties that were very popular in the 70s and 80s.

One color I am lacking is lavender. But I’m okay with that.

Well, what do you know. I found a photo of the deeper burgundy azalea from yesterday! See below.

One nice thing about the azaleas is they grow easily here. My soil is pretty terrible for trying to grow a vegetable garden. But the azaleas? Other than those I watered at planting, fuss-free. I don’t do anything and they reward us every year.

I hope you are enjoying your own azaleas, or perhaps planning to take a spring Sunday drive around the South to view others flowering azaleas. There are some real showstoppers out there.

 

Yours in Gardening,

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2019 The Garden Maiden

@thegardenmaiden

Advertisements
Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Bayou Sauvage NWR and Fort Pike SHS, Louisiana: Spring Flowers in Bloom

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Recently I made a spring jaunt over to southeast Louisiana to visit the Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike State Historic Site ($4 and no pets allowed in fort). My husband and I only saw a couple of alligators, from far away (see photo above).

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Below are images of a few flowering plants and a few critters I saw throughout the day. The first image is a member of the Rubus genus, commonly known as dewberry (Rubus trivialis). The fruit were advancing quite well.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

At the Bayou Sauvage we made three different entrance stops. Each area had its own unique attribute, whether a good spot for setting in a kayak, outstanding birding, or a a lengthy boardwalk that traversed a unique ecosystem of the Gulf Coast. I had not been to Bayou Sauvage since Hurricane Katrina, in fact I hadn’t been since spring of 1998, long before I ever thought I’d live on the MS Gulf Coast. We were so happy that leashed dogs were allowed. Our pups had a great time and will be back.

Realizing that most folks will find thistle nasty or hideous, please take a second look. Its gorgeous. In fact it nearly looks like something out of a horror movie or space novel.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Just a few steps away, this thistle plant had a different look, but still very pretty. So much detail and texture. Wildflower.org reports that these thistles are important to both native and bumble bees. You might now believe how many thistles there are just in the Cirsium genus alone! I thought perhaps at first the image below might be C. horridulum, but I am not positive. Actually, I really wanted to include that species name. HORRIDulum. LOL Exactly what I can image some tiny lady saying a long, long time ago: (Hmm HORRID plant). Next to this group of thistle were flowering Salix (willow) and you can see the pretty yellow flowers in the slideshow below.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

 

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

After our first Bayou Sauvage stop, we then drove to Fort Pike. The day was mostly cloudy and cool and it seemed we fought rain off and on all day. The sign below sits outside the tiny visitor center where admission is paid.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

This view of white-flowered crow poison (Northoscordum bivalve) is from the top of Fort Pike overlooking the water.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

A low growing groundcover,  Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) was flowering atop the fort in the grass. Don’t be fooled by the mixture of species when you view the leaves. Yeah, fooled me too! The orange petals with inner purple marking is very distinctive. I had never seen this plant before. I am really glad I got to know this flower because the name Scarlet Pimpernel has been very familiar to me as a novel, play, and movie, although I confess that I don’t think I have ever read or viewed it.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Technically this next image of a fern isn’t “flowering”, but I am sometimes just amused at the cracks and crevices that plants will grow in when they put their minds to it.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

The Fort was really cool and I was glad to get to see it. The Gulf Coast sports many wonderful, historic forts so be sure to look them up if you are in the area.

Next we headed back for our second and final stops at the Bayou Sauvage, both of which had boardwalks that afford opportunities to see and photograph alligators, waterfowl and other aquatic birds and animals.

At several places we noticed the pretty blue flowers of Tradescantia, the native spiderwort. We weren’t the only ones to take note though (see image in slideshow of butterfly on Tradescantia)

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

View these images and more in the slideshow below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Service (and for allowing Bayou Sauvage to be leashed-dog friendly) and the State of Louisiana Historic Sites.

Keep on Growin’
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

Categories: National & State Parks, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blooming in My Yard: March 8-14, 2014

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

Often times (and sadly so) pulled out or sprayed with herbicide by many folks, this pink-flowering Oxalis wildflower pops up all over my patio garden each spring. I wouldn’t dream of spraying it out (of course I don’t like to spray anything except poison ivy), but I have occasionally moved it to a better home. And guess what? Its edible! I love the blog post on Oxalis written on Eat The Weeds. At any rate, it just started blooming in my garden this week! But in a couple of weeks there will be a plethora of pink flowers. The benefits are that it is very low maintenance, low growing, and will grow in cracks or other hard-to-plant areas.

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

The very first blooms of my rhododendrons have opened. They are a couple of weeks from peak (the perfect time for a garden party), but these blossoms will tease me until then. Remember, if in doubt, just call it a rhododendron, because “All azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas.” This is because their genus is Rhodendron. Read more about their classification on www.rhododendron.org.  I am so lucky that in times past someone did a wonderful job of planting trees, shrubs, and perennials in my yard. I repay the kindness by planting more as I am able for future homeowners to admire and love.

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

The wild, native Prunus pictured above, likely Prunus serotina (black cherry) is blooming now too. Although this tree is growing on adjacent property, it is full evolved onto my property. However, there are seedlings that pop up everywhere, so I may be inclined this year to dig up a couple and plant out in my yard. Otherwise, they usually end up chopped up with the lawnmower or victim to the compost.  Read Dr. Eric Stafne’s blog post on wild prunus. Look for this tree blooming in the woods on your spring hikes!

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

Last week I showed images from my fruiting pear and one of the pollinator pears. The pollinator image above is my second pollinator pear and just started flowering this week. It is likely a different species, although it does get a bit more shade, both factors that can affect timing of flowering. As with the other pear used for pollinating, it flowers first, then the leaves will emerge.

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

The blueberries are blooming! Both native, such as Vaccinium elliottii, and the cultivated blueberries (above) are flowering. I love their dainty, hanging, bell-like flowers that seem to shimmer in the morning sun. Both are edible! If you are interested in fruit and nut crop information, considering following Dr. Stafne’s blog, which includes information on blueberries. Be on the look for this native blueberry blooming this month if you are out hiking.

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

TheGardenMaiden copyright 2014, Spring blooms in my Mississippi yard

Whew! Can you smell it? Okay, okay, so its not your typical “flower”, but this final gem pictured above is a fungi that emerged near my raised bed. Known commonly as a stinkhorn, I am pretty sure it is of the genus Clathrus. ? Some good information with images can be found on East Tennessee Wildflowers: Fantastic Fungi! This is the second one in my yard this spring.

Its a beautiful day outside and I have a ton of work to do and now half the day is gone from me!

Have a great weekend and try to enjoy some St. Patrick’s Day parades!

Keep Growin’
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

Categories: What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Pollinator Gardens.org

Enhancing pollinator habitat through research, education and design

Keep Mississippi Beautiful

Working to inspire and educate Mississippians to take action everyday to impact, improve, and beautify their community environment.

Meadows. Seed. Art.

native gardens from seed

Easy Wildflowers

Wild flowers from The Forest of Dean

Always Growing

A garden is good for both body and soul

In the Garden with Arkansas Extension Horticulture

Welcome to In the Garden with Arkansas Extension Horticulture, a blog about gardening in Arkansas.

%d bloggers like this: