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What a glorious day!! 1 April 2022

It’s like magic.  There are so many plants returning to life that it is impossible to remark on all of them.  The air is almost still with just a faint breeze.  The temps are warm and comfortable for a walk.  Only disturbing things are the gnats.

We started a new project at the Mens Garden.  It is a memorial brick paver ring which is around the flagpole.  We had some hardwork marking it out, excavating, setting metal edging and adding crushed paver stone.

We did have some nasty weather here in the Southeast USA on Wednesday.  A warm air mass from the Gulf of Mexico was meeting cold air coming from the west.  It brought high winds with 50 mph gusts and rain of about 1 inch but it did not spawn any tornadoes.

Here are my photos for you this beautiful Friday.

First is this gorgeous “Red Emperor Tulip”.  I like to use pine cones to keep the squirrels from using my containers for acorn storage.


Second is our paver project.  Our next project will be laying the pavers.


Third is a project of completing our mulching with pine bark nuggets.  I usually like pine straw but the nuggets do give everying  a fresh look.


The Virginia bluebells are beginning to appear.  Blue may be uncommon in nature but these are uncommonly beautiful.  They are looking so fresh and majestic now.

I cannot let you not see some azaleas.  If you are a golf fan or not, tune in to the Masters to see the azaleas at Augusta.  The top photos shows the effects of the frost from a couple of weeks ago but the bottom picture shows the beauty of the azalea.

Finally, here is a blooming trillium.  This native shall go unnamed but it is of the sessile variety.


That is it for this week from Alabama the Beautiful.

Don’t forget to look at the the propagator this week.

Happy Gardening y’all.


Daffodils and Winter Projects

Five for Friday

Feb 18, 2022


We have had some fine weather last week but as is typical winter reared its head again.  Yesterday, it was blustery, thunderstorms and some heavy rain.  This unsettled air will persist into next week but its time to look at the beautiful growth in the garden and finish up some winter projects.



The daffodils are pushing up and blooming this past week.  It has turned colder these next few days after the rain and blustery weather yesterday.

From left to right, these are Orange Sunset, Barrett Browning and KIng Alfred.


These majestic pansies have struggled some this winter in the cold spells.  When it turned fair last week, they were truly “majestic”.


This Autumn Fern remains evergreen.  It shows some signs of winter damage but it will soon be glorious again.  It tolerates enough sun that it is a wonderful garden companion.


This tea olive also known as Sweet Osmanthus is well established in my garden now.  It is evergreen and delightful with the fragrance that comes from these tiny blooms.  It is reliable to smell the new blooms after every measurable rainfall.


The compost bin has been very productive this year.  We spread almost a yard of it around the shrubs and perennials this past few weeks.  Added more leaves and fern prunings this week.  Should be some grass cuttings before long.  Don’t bag up and discard your grass clippings and fall leaves!  There is garden gold in those bags.


Last week, saw the male bluebird bring his intended to this house.  She did enter it and look around.  Hope she liked it.  Last year, it was used at least twice for fledglings.


This camellia is Sea Foam.  It has such a beautiful and delicate shape.  It is just a few years old, but it has been prolific since December.

Don’t forget to check out the Propagator tomorrow.

You might also like Globetrotting Grandpa.

In the meantime, enjoy the post and Happy Gardening.

Five Friday January 14

The weather has been much colder this week but each day the temps have risen well above freezing.  There was rain last Sunday and rain is forecast for this weekend.  Despite the cold, if you look closely, signs that the plants are getting ready for spring are evident.  Snow is forecast for late Sunday or early Monday so I hope this doesn’t cause much damage to these signs of spring.


This is from a few days ago.  Georgia beat Alabama in the National Championship game.  Congratulations to the Dawgs.  The 2021 edition of the Tide was a young team.  With returning starters like Bryce Young on offence and Will Anderson on defense the future looks great for 2022.  The flag has come down until the fall.



The snapdragons are taking some punishment from the cold.  But as you can see, the stalks are multiplying so there will be plenty of blooms in the spring.  Last year, these bloomed until August.  I think these are the Sonnet series.



These yellow flag iris are showing the little sword like growths that will bear the new flower stalks come spring.  Last years growth is now all brown.  Soon, we will pull that old, brown debris and let the new growth have more room.


These little fiddleheads are from the Southern shield ferns.  The freezing temps have left the fronds all brown now.  A few green fronds persist if they are in sheltered areas.  These fiddleheads can be harvested and eaten I am told but I prefer to enjoy ferns by sight and not by taste.



This Kurume azalea is just beginning to show a red flower but.  In a few weeks, this will be in its glory.  Makes me think of the Masters.


This mint seems unfazed by cold weather.  It is so easy to grow in containers and use it year round for cooking and flavoring tea.  Makes me think of the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps.

So, if you are a tired of winter and want a little indication of the coming wonder of spring, there you have it.

It’s New Years Eve

The mild weather is encouraging blooming. The leaves are all down so the color is a welcome relief.

This dianthus has been a treat for several years now. It is winter hardy and blooms prolifically in the winter and early spring. Just needs a haircut in the spring after blooming is done. I have this one in a container and I feed it in the fall and again in the spring.


This is Japanese Kerria. It has a cane growth like forsythia. It is deciduous and blooms early like forsythia and quince. The canes are bright green. The blooms are multiple and all along the canes.


This is a paper bush or Edgeworhia. It is a deciduous shrub but the branches are shapely and so there is a wonderful winter interest.
This is tea olive. It is blooming and very fragrant now as it always is after a rain. This shrub is evergreen and now is about 10 feet tall.


This elegant camellia is Sea Foam. It is young and now about 6 feet tall.

We are expecting some frost nest week so time to offer some protection to the tender plants.

Dec 26 Stroll through Birmingham Botanical Gardens

It is that beautiful weather that teases us in winter. The temp is in the 70’s and the sun is shining. It is temporary but so wonderful. Today we strolled through the BBG and found bloomers and buds to enjoy. All these could be found in yards in Central Alabama.

This is a Hellebore commonly called Lenten rose. This one is called Joseph Lemper. It loves shade and goes well near ferns. This is about the time of year to see the Hellebores blooming.
This pink camellia is just perfect. I couldn’t find a tag with its name. This is a cultivar of Camellia japonicus which graces us in January and February. They seem to do best in light shade or with morning sun.
This is an eye catching snapdragon. Many people are unaware that if you plant them in fall you will get some winter blooming. Then by spring it will be multistemmed and bloom abundantly until July.
This small fern like plant was doing very well in a large container. I think it may be a button fern. It also prefers some shade and will do well in a container as a “filler”.
Another beautiful hellebore in a variety called Ice and Roses Red.
This plain faced yellow pansy lit up the little garden where I found it.

Merry Christmas

Just two days before Christmas and we just had our first frost this morning. I checked on the Mens Garden this afternoon and there seems to have been little frost damage.

Here are my Five for Friday one day early.

These beautiful camellia blooms are outstanding. These are the Camellia japonica type which just started blooming last week.
This lantana was not harmed by the frost. Sorry this shot is a little out of focus. This bush like plant will die to the ground in winter but grow to 5 feet tall by fall. It is a prolific bloomer.
This holly is full of berries. I don’t know the cultivar name but the leaves are smooth edged as you see.
This is Gaura. The blooms are pink. It has bloomed all summer and into fall. It is a very reliable perennial. Loved by the bumble bees.
This black eyed Susan continues to bloom. Rudbeckia is the genus and I think the species name of this one is fulgida. This is another hardy perennial.
Adding this shot of our sign. Many thanks to the woodworking group from Vestavia Hills UMC for this one and to Fred Dyess for finding the marble for this sign.

Merry Christmas to all and God bless us everyone.

Friday December 17

Even though we are well into December and winter officially starts in a few days, the Vestavia Hills Mens Garden is still blooming and full of color.



1. These pink snapdragons are magnificent.  These are the same color as last year and we expect them to bloom into July.



2.  This rose is called Katy Road but it is also known as Carefree Beauty.  Carefree Beauty has also proven to be an excellent choice for gardens challenged by hot, dry summers. Carefree Beauty was named 2006 “Earth-Kind® Rose of the Year” by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Introduced in 1977, this rose was known in Texas for several years as “Katy Road Pink” after it was “found” on Katy Road in Houston. It fast and furiously produces successive flushes of deep rich pink blossoms from spring until frost.



3. This azalea continues to show occasional blooms.  It is a dependable Kurume type I believe.



4. The oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia is definitely a four season pleaser.  Here is the fall and winter version with reddish browl leaves with the graceful stems.  The remaining bronze pannicles from flowering are now gone.


5.  This black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) has given us pleasure all summer long.  I think this is the Indian Summer cultivar.


Hope you liked them.  I will try to put out a new post every 2 or 3 weeks.