Looking Out My Back Door – May 4, 2013

I was up early this morning.  I guess I just had enough sleep and no point in lying there….I might fall back to sleep and then feel groggy and almost drugged when I do wake up again.  Is it only me this happens to or does it happen to others as well?  I wasn’t going to chance it, so I got up and headed off toward the kitchen to make some coffee.  It was still fairly dark but light enough to see the white blossoms of the dogwoods, cherry, hardy orange and pear trees.  After I had a cup of coffee, it was light enough outside for me to take the following photo through the window:

Pre Dawn Misty Morning

Pre Dawn Misty Morning

The day turned out to be a gloriously clear day, low humidity, lovely breeze with the temperature topping out about 70…my idea of perfect!  And this is another view later that same day:

Later That Same Day....

Later That Same Day….

You’ll note that things are growing by leaps and bounds and even the trees in the woods in the distance are leafing out.  However, we have not had any measurable rain for quite a while and we dearly need it.  Because of the violets in the lawn, I have not yet mowed the lawn this season and am glad I haven’t as I think it would probably be browning out by now.  I certainly don’t want a crispy lawn in the first week of May; there’s time for that in August!  My water comes from a well, and every drop is precious…so there’s no watering of the lawn, never mind the flowers.

As I mentioned earlier, the dogwood are in blossom…both white and pink varieties, they run behind the back edge of one of the beds.

White Dogwood

White Dogwood

You might notice that I mention “beds”….I don’t mention “flower” beds.  Well, there are some flowers in these beds, but not many.  Oh, there are lots of daylillies and phlox that were here when I bought the property.  And, don’t get me wrong, I do love phlox and daylillies…but they spread, they move, they take over the yard.  And you have to manage that intrusion.  In the early years of owning this property, there were “blank” spaces.  I felt I needed to either add more perennials (which I did) and when that failed for whatever reason (like the groundhog family in control for a while), I added annuals.  But guess what?  The phlox and daylillies took over in the end.  I spent lots of money trying to supplement what was here and add color and texture, but to no avail. 

Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata)

Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata)

I mean, how many people have a large poncirus trifoliata in their backyard?  I get a kick out of showing people around my yard and telling them that this is a “poncirus trifoliata”.  When I was researching the different shrubs, trees and perennials here, I fell in love with the name “poncirus trifoliata” which is also known as the hardy orange.  If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see long green spines or thorns.  This shrub can be deadly.  But I love it.  Now, in the spring, it has white flowers.  A little later in the summer it will have fuzzy green round fruit, and then in the early fall the fruit will turn golden.  If you slice the fruit in half, it does resemble an orange but it has dozens of seeds within.  I’m proud to have this very old specimen in my yard.  It’s lived through blizzards and the freak Halloween snow storm which took down its neighbor, the big old crabapple.  So far, it’s been a survivor.

Double Flower Narcissus

Double Flower Narcissus

Oh, sure, there are many perennials in the yard.  There are little yellow tulips that are called “wild tulips” which are adorable.  I’ve read they might be invasive….well, hello, I think just about everything growing in my yard is invasive, but these sweet, delicate, little yellow tulips I have no problem with.  Same goes for these cream colored double narcissus pictured to the left.  There used to be only one tiny shoot coming up every spring…now they have spread, but so what?  I love them!

I’m leaving the heavy lifting on this property to the trees and shrubs.

Judd Viburnum

Judd Viburnum

The viburnum shown above is a beauty.  It’s framed along the driveway between a large green leaf spirea and a golden leaf spirea.  This viburnum stands at least 8 feet tall and wide.  The blossoms are pink early and then as they open they lighten to a very pale pink, almost white.  And the fragrance, the fragrance, you could be just about anywhere on the property and you can smell that wonderful sweet yet spicy fragrence wafting by.  I love it!

Oh, for those of you who read an earlier post…I haven’t seen any trace of a bear since the bird feeder was bent down to the ground by some “creature” earlier this spring.  That was the end of feeding birds for me this spring.  The hummingbird feeder is hanging and full…but not a hummingbird in sight.

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