* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring chez nous

Spring 1As I was working at the bottom of our property yesterday, having to pass the whole front yard, I noticed how spring is on its way.  Most things aren't quite there yet, but I thought what we do have is rather pretty. 

So for those of you perhaps being buried under even more winter snow, I thought I'd show you the promise of what's to come.

Spring 2
Orange daffodils

We have so many undeveloped or falling apart areas around here, with massive weeds galore, that whatever bravely tries to cheer everything up gets overshadowed by its surroundings.  However, I've slowly been getting a few little spots tidied up and hopefully kept under control.

Daffodils seem to be a sure way of having early spring color and yearly repeats, although they are mostly only in the yellow tones. 

This little bit of color was planted last year at the base of our entrance steps.  Complicated little flowers, aren't they?

Spring 3
Cultivated wild violets

When we first bought this property, there were some pretty leaves all mixed in with the grassy weeds.  Not knowing what they were, I collected some, figuring I could toss them later if they weren't anything useful.  Imagine my surprise when they turned out to be wild violets! 

Some people consider them pests in their grass, but I've established free borders all over the place with them.  They do get out of hand if not trimmed back, but they make a beautiful complement to the yellow daffodils.  Apparently I haven't exactly planted the two of them together anywhere.  Oops.  And I still think the leaves are pretty after the flowers are gone. 

Spring 4
Colorful driveway

Remember the huge hillside project I did last fall, finishing off trying to create a driveway border?  I alternated two different varieties of puny lavender, which haven't started growing yet (but at least one of them has flowers!), then surrounded them will all kinds of bulbs. 

Overnight, the bulbs started coming up.  They aren't exactly photogenic yet, but you can see how the otherwise crummy rustic driveway is going to have some potential.  I weeded the bare spots after I took this picture. 

I may not be able to leave the daffodils there as I develop the rest of the hillside, as they are pretty close to a bare edge that will probably want to erode.  But at least they provide some sunshine color at the moment.

Spring 5
The bergenia nursery

When I wiped out this whole hillside, the top of it was covered with very overgrown bergenias (super long tuberous roots with plants struggling on the ends of them).  I like these plants, they root quite easily, and they, too, have provided a lot of free fill around here. 

When I dug them all up to create the clean slate on the hillside, I took the time to make a little baby farm so I'd have some to plant elsewhere when needed.  As you can see, their little bare ends just stuck in the ground a few months ago haven't suffered very severely!

They are one of the first bits of color to come out when winter is over, and their big leaves are both pretty and fill in bare holes nicely.  Not to mention that they do just fine with the kind of neglect they tend to get.

Spring 6
Mr. Head says howdy
Our fun little guy is enjoying his environment at the moment, too.  He's surrounded by the periwinkle also just starting to come out, and the succulents coming out of his head are starting to come into their own, too.  Their leaves are a pretty color, and soon they will be covered with yellow flowers.

We don't know what this plant is called, but we call it April 25.  That is a big holiday in Italy, and we ended up having to sleep in our car in a little hotel parking lot.  Not only did the owner, who had no more beds, offer us pillows and blankets, he let me having some cuttings of this plant growing all over.

I hope for everybody in the Northern Hemisphere that spring will soon be busting out all over where you are, too.  Happy Vernal Equinox.


  1. Thanks for the taste of spring! We had a 1 - 2 inch snowfall overnight, but it all melted on the hardtop and streets. It sort of covered the "snirt" (someone's clever combo of snow and dirt)! We still have solid snow cover on lawns and other non-paved areas.

  2. Oh I love those native violets we use them in the front garden.

  3. Your "Mr. Head" is a hoot. I loved the wild violets. I am always amazed at what you create - seemingly out of nothing.

  4. I must say you did much better with your daffodils this year then we did. We got hardly any! :(
    As always, your garden is wonderful!


Blogger seo tips