Sometimes a gardener just wants to share some pretties from their garden...and I guess that's where I am tonight. So here goes....
In early spring, it's always fun to see the bare branches of red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) transform from sticks to feathery fans, highlighted with big, blowsy, red bloom spikes. Hummingbirds apparently love red buckeye blooms, which are rumored to open just as hummingbird migration begins, but I rarely seem to plant mine where I have an opportunity to watch that interaction. I've got my hopes up this year, though, as I just found out today that hummers have been spotted along the Gulf Coast in the last few days.
Under the large southern magnolia tree out front, next to the sidewalk, was a bare spot that makes the term "dry shade" seem optimistic. The magnolia roots are so thick in the area that finding pockets of actual soil was a challenge. I knew the root competition would be fierce, but still I was hoping to find a plant that would give this garden bed a little more "sidewalk appeal". The golden ragwort (Packera aurea) has really performed like an ace here.
We put in daffodils last fall; the early ones bloomed nicely, but they're still at the individual bloom stage, so I think I'll pass on sharing those as well.
There is a blue-eyed grass that has been springing up unbidden in the lawn area and I've been leaving the individual clumps to see what they look like. They've suddenly spread out and started to bloom, allowing me to identify them as annual blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium rosulatum), a distinctly not-blue flower.
Many gardeners get upset about wildflowers springing up in their lawns, but I'm not one of them. I actually enjoy seeing what gifts nature provides. For example, I've been enjoying this little pink blooming oxalis that appeared, as if by magic, under the magnolia in the back yard.
With perennials, it's always nice to have some great foliage for visual interest so that you don't have to rely on just blooms throughout the year. While I was initially attracted to the light blue flower spikes that lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) has, now that I've grown this plant in my yard, it's the red-veined, hairy leaves with their purplish undersides that I'm finding appeal to me most.
For now I'll leave you with some blueberry blooms (Vaccinium sp.).