Growing Greener

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It is such a joy to notice the landscape growing greener, day by day.

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Our cold weather has lasted several weeks longer than usual.  Everything has been delayed in sending out new green leaves.

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Lawns, marshes, shrubs, trees, perennials, and ferns have all waited a bit longer than usual to begin growth for the season.

And this gardener has waited a lot longer than usual to work on renovating beds, bringing plants out of the garage, and planting summer pots and baskets.

This "volunteer" Japanese Maple has finally leafed out this week in the front of a shrub border.

This “volunteer” Japanese Maple has finally leafed out this week in the front of a shrub border.

But today was another long day setting out new plants, moving perennials, pulling weeds, and digging fresh compost into the soil.

The leaves and frozen stalks of ginger lilies, which have mulched their roots and the roots of roses growing nearby, are finally all swept away and composted.

Blackberries in bloom along the Colonial Parkway.

Blackberries in bloom along the Colonial Parkway.

I spent the afternoon moving some of the ginger lily roots to new areas where I want them to grow, and digging compost back into the bed.

I have added two new roses and some Goodwin’s Creek Lavender, some scented geraniums, and a few white sage while pulling out handfuls of Vinca which were  beginning to claim the rose bed.

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It was a blessedly cool day.  A beautiful day to work outside.  Now that new leaves are beginning to pierce the Earth around the Canna tubers a friend gave me last fall, and around the ginger lilies,  I can see what is coming up where, and plant around them accordingly.

There was really no point in trying to do much of anything until the garden decided to respond to spring with new growth.

My partner saw the first hummingbirds exploring the pots on the patio this morning.

Later, I watched bluebirds scavenging for seeds in the tops of a few Rose of Sharon shrubs which I haven’t yet pruned.

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A swallowtail butterfly flew circles around me as I was planting on hands and knees this afternoon.  We have blue tailed skinks scuttering across the windows now, and a found a painted turtle nestled under the Rosemary shrub I was pruning back to the ground.

How I hope those Rosemary shrubs, tended and grown for three seasons now, sprout some new growth from their roots.   They are still sad and brown, but I expect them to survive with a little care and a lot of patience.

There are no photos of the garden today.  I was too focused and busy to stop for photos, and my hands were a bit soil covered to handle electronics, anyway.

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But just before 5 PM, my partner appeared with that quiet insistence I’ve learned to respect.

Frozen yogurt was mentioned, along with a drive on the Colonial Parkway.  So he lured me inside, with a new slate border around the rose bed not quite completed.

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The garden cart still sits in the front yard, full of geraniums and herbs ready for action in the morning.

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I cleaned up and off we went in search of birds.

We found a pair of cardinals feeding each other while perched on a bench at our ice cream shop.

A male cardinal in a marsh along the Parkway.

A male cardinal in a marsh along the Parkway.

And all along the Parkway we found pairs of eagles, ducks and herons.

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These devoted parents and mates are keeping company all along the greening marshes and waterways  here in Williamsburg.

As the Redbud trees fade, the Dogwoods still glisten in bright white against the greening woodlands and shrub lines.

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The forests’ silhouette has filled out again, hiding the trees’ bare branches.

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Late April is always beautiful in Virginia.  This year, it is especially joyful to watch our world growing greener yet again.


All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

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