Thursday, January 29, 2009

Early buds

After several days of below freezing nights & not-warm days, the more halcyon winter returned & I have been out playing with my new (in December) camera.

Happy Spring Preview!

I used the zoom to get this close-up of our redbud tree (guess how it got its name). Last Friday, it was still something out of an Ansel Adams, all monochrome & stark but by Saturday mid-day these were visible.

Other redbuds in the area have sprung & are covered with blooms, but our tree is only three or so years old & buds only appear on older growth.

Redbuds, black walnut & another tree I cannot remember just now have the reputation for restoring nitrogen. I have no idea if this is true or not.

One of my favorite volunteers is the spiderwort. It grows in clumps throughout the yard. A lot of people dig them or poison them as weeds, but I move mine to other parts of the garden & leave them to thrive.

You can see the grass around this one is quite brown, but the spiderwort is green everywhere. Now that we have had some rain, I will dig up the dozen or so plants through out the front yard & move them under the cedar trees.

They will form large clumps of shade tolerant/sun tolerant, drought tolerant/flood tolerant flowers with variegated leaves.

Can you see the bees? This is just one of the things I love about the chickasaw plum. It will produce small delicious fruit that I confess will mostly be harvested by the local wildlife & we like it that way.

This tree was among the first I planted when we moved to this house. I never had any plans to gather the plums, I just like the small white flowers, the small purple fruit & the bees.

I had thought I would plant more, after seeing how this one did but the local nurseries either do not carry it or cannot keep it in stock. A funny sort of business, but there it is.

It is not a fluke that these early buds are all plants native to this area (yes the plum tree is actually native to east Texas & was brought here by people who migrated east long before Europeans migrated west, but it is native enough for me).

As with all successes in my garden, they thrive on neglect. Or rather, my neglect; Mother Nature gives them what they need.

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