The Garden - Spring 2010

After the cold winter, with numerous hard freezes and even enough snowfall to beckon Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel to the Houston area, I wondered how the garden would revive come spring time.

Amazingly, the pansies I had planted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which had gone through the worst of the freezes and weather, were blooming in January!

Pansies after the freeze of 2009

They were looking a little soggy and sorry, but they were STILL ALIVE AND BLOOMING!

Sometime around the beginning of February, I got bitten by the gardening bug, as I always do in that time of year before the ordeal of summer begins.

My first project I managed to complete without dragging Eric outside into forced labor. I needed to replace six rather bad looking hollies that were planted right next to the house. It turned out they were planted in clay and were essentially being drowned. I did a lot of work on the soil, and while I was at it, I laid down a little path of stepping stones that will make it easier for me to garden in that bed. You can read more about the project on my garden blog, Jayne's Country Garden.

I was really please with how it turned out, and as the daylilies that I planted last year are naturalizing, and the ones I planted in February are coming up, I get the feeling it will be a mass of color in a month or so.

My second project did involve forced labor on Eric's part. I had decided, shortly after we finished the stone border in the back garden, that it really needed to be deeper, to allow me more room to plant a layered look with taller shrubs against the wall and lower flowers in front.

Widening the back border

We had to be careful, because of the utilities, but we called 811 and had the utility companies come out and flag those for us, so we could see how far we could expand. It wasn't much, but it will make all the difference.

Finished garden border

Here's the finished effect, as you can see, it's given me a couple of extra feet of planting room all the way across.

You can read more about the project on my garden blog.

As March rolled on, I began to see more and more signs of life in the back garden. Plants I had thought might have succumbed to the freeze began to put out leaves and or buds.

I was relieved when this Rose of Sharon started putting out leaf buds. This was originally given to me by my neighbors at Cottage Gardens and I had taken cuttings from that plant to bring to our new house. It had done so well last year, I would have been really upset if it hadn't made it through the winter.

I was happy the Vitex came back too. That's going to be a beautiful tree when it's full grown and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are going to love it.

Oh, and those pansies? At the end of March, they were STILL BLOOMING!

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