Spring in the Garden

It is, once again, springtime.  In my part of Texas, that means the sky is the kind of scrubbed-clean electric blue that comes with being freshly washed by rain, and everything else is green or magenta.  Oleanders and azaleas and roses adorn the yards of conscientious homeowners everywhere, and the birds and butterflies and bees are like gods in bliss.

The twin Chinese tallow trees in my front yard tower over everything with an expansive canopy.  In the autumn, their foliage turns fire-engine red, almost overnight, down to the last tender leaf; within a few weeks, their limbs stick out bare, stretched over a carpet of fading crimson.  But now it is March, and their branches once again flaunt a soft flutter of continually multiplying green, each deep lime cluster crowned with a pale orange flourish of new growth.  Beneath the trees, fledgling rosebushes sprout floribundas basking in the sunlight the tree has not yet blocked.  The ivy groundcover could use a trim.  And a hardy and rapidly burgeoning new vine suggests that, back in the fall, one of our decorative pumpkins must have split open and dropped some opportunistic seeds into the soil without our notice.

You may have read my post a couple of months back about my love-hate relationship with my garden.  Back then, zero-scaping seemed like a viable and reasonable option, but I resisted.  Instead I pruned and weeded and nourished and watered and tried very hard to make a go of it, once more.  And what do I have to show for it now?

climbing roses
Look! Roses!

O glory!  The climbing rose vine has bloomed!

climbing roses blooms detail
And look! There will be more roses to come!

The passion flower vine I planted in a euphoric delirium of optimism late last summer has managed to survive the drought and wrapped its capillary tendrils around everything within reach, including a potted bougainvillea.

passion flower vine capillaries detail
Its tender tendrils have snuggled up like boa constrictors to everything within reach.

And it has dozens of pods, some of which have burst into riotous flowers!  (I’m told it will bear fruit later and simply cannot wait.)

passion flower vine with bloom
If you look carefully, you will see one of the actual passion flowers.

One of the hanging baskets containing another bougainvillea has taken on a roommate, a flourishing strawberry stalk that must have hived off one of the two strawberry plants that were temporarily housed in the same corner of the patio.  Strange bedfellows, no doubt, but they’re both thriving so well I’m a little skittish about a transplant yet.

I’ve even gone so far as to drive down to the local garden center in a heady flush of hope and load up my car with fruit plants — two plum trees loaded with petite white blossoms, a blackberry bush, and a blueberry shrub advertised as being ideal for warm climes and already heavy with tiny gray-green fruits.

Folly?  Setting myself up for failure?  It is possible.  But right now, while the exquisite weather encourages me to spend more time out of doors than in, while I’m not yet used to the extra hours of daylight that surprise me like a gift each lengthening afternoon, I am simply going to water them all, and hope for the best.

7 thoughts on “Spring in the Garden

  1. I miss the springs I experienced while growing up in the Inland NorthWest. Once the mud dried up (left from copious amounts of snow melting), seeing everything grow and encouraging it to thrive was amazing. Now that I’m in the south, spring just means that the hell of summer is on the way – oh, and I have to sweep and mop several times a day because everyone tracks pollen in from outside. 😦


  2. Alanna

    Might I suggest a Meyer lemon tree, if you’re onto fruit plants? We have one that produces upwards of fifty huge, juicy lemons a year, and it’s a smallish tree. (I picked one lemon that’s–no joke– the size of a small grapefruit!)


  3. I live in the high desert where a very select few things grow well, and everything else ranges from “challenging” to “you’d have better luck just planting the money in the ground.” I love it here, but sometimes it’d be nice to not regard the land around the house as an adversary.


    1. I feel your pain. My next-door neighbor once told me — in an offhand and funny way, of course — that a friend of hers had asked whether our house was abandoned. The yard was not actually that bad, but considering we were spending less than an hour of daylight at home each day due to our two full-time careers, had (at the time) a small toddler and a baby on the way, and my husband was in Europe on business…well, I didn’t think it was as funny as she pretended it to be.

      We have pathetic soil and no significant sunlight on our flower beds. We live in zone 10. It’s demoralizing.


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