Living in a semi-tropical climate definitely has it’s advantages, the best being that we can have something blooming in our gardens nearly year-round. November and December can be rather bland months bloom-wise on the gulf coast, but holly berries and rose hips make up for the lack of blooms and add a bit of color to the landscape.
We start getting antsy in January when the catalogs begin arriving. By February, we start seeing the first blooms of the new year. Actually, in my garden, I smelled the blooms before I saw them….a fragrance so heavenly as to be nearly intoxicating. I speak of Carolina Jasmine and it catches me by surprise every year. The fragrance can drift for 100′ and lift one’s spirits in an instant.
Within a week, the narcissus begin their show. It’s fragrance is more subtle….a few stems in a bud vase will catch your attention as you walk by. I’ve always wanted a field of yellow daffodils like in the movie ‘Dr. Zhivago’, but alas, they don’t like my clay soil and I’m a lazy gardener. The narcissus do quite well here and are less fussy.
This one really surprised me. The bottlebrush started blooming in the middle of February!? As I said, I’m a lazy gardener so my record-keeping traits leave much to be desired, but it seems awfully early for this one to bloom. My tree is 15′ tall and in another week or two, it will look like a 15′ flame of red. An eye-catcher, for sure. I have plans to buy several more to plant along the east property line; they make fine windbreaks and are evergreen to boot 🙂
Finally, although they’re not colorful or fragrant, these dead leaves are another sign of imminent Spring. Considered an evergreen, live oak trees do shed their leaves, in early spring, right before the new leaves appear in a flush of light green haze. The trees literally rain leaves….buckets of leaves fall overnight. I’ve given up trying to keep the patio cleared. It’s a small inconvenience compared to the pleasure of these magnificent trees.
We spotted the first Purple Martin scout last week. We have to fight off the starlings every year around this time. They’re devilish birds that will lay their eggs in another bird’s nest, their young to be raised by the host birds. Sparrows will nest in the martin house as well, but the martins don’t seem to mind them. Starlings are a different story; the martins will shy away from the house if starlings are present. So, I keep the Red Ryder by the front door for making the starlings understand they’re not welcome here.
In crochet news, despite a sinus infection and accompanying migraine headache, I’m working the Elann Peruvian Highland Wool. Colors in the pic aren’t quite accurate (a little too bright), but in reality are as beautiful together as I’d hoped they’d be. I have come across a couple of knots which haven’t worried me, and some strange white cat-hair-like fibers which do worry me because it looks like a) I own a cat (which I don’t), or b) a cat got caught in the fiber-spinning process. I’m supposing it’s natural because they’re in every skein, but they but me enough to pick them out as I work. Hmm.
Enough rambling for today. Time to prostrate myself on the couch with more pain medication. Happy Wednesday!