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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Two-Stepping Into Spring!

~Grandson Shawn * Easter Sunday * March 31, 2013

Can you hear it?  Spring's sweet 'cantata'...making it's way over meadows and fields, winding in and out of  streams and rivers, whisking it's way into nature's gardens.  And, along the way, it deposits droplets of vibrant color in the form of blossoms and blooms, showcasing the onset of a most anticipated and revered season! Phew!!!  Did I spit that out, or what?

As for me?  I've been quite the bum thus far, basking in the warm sun, with cool breezes that lend just enough comfort to keep me feeling fresh and renewed...ah yes! 

But, my laziness was to subside quickly...come Easter Sunday, up at the crack of dawn with 'Scootie', he got to come for the weekend, and was more than ready for the Easter Bunny (literally)!  It had rained heavily on Friday nite, and, was still pretty damp outside come Easter Sunday morning. 
 But, we had to get those eggs out!  

~Shawn * Easter morning, March 31, 2013

As the day went on, the sun became more obliging, and we were all outside enjoying the day with our little 'Scootie'.  While he was happily showing Pawpaw where he found Easter goodies, his dad (Rusty) was busy working in one of my gardens, that had succumbed to the hideous heat of the past two summers.  It is a rather large flower bed that encircles the huge, old Mulberry tree.

Vinca Major
~photo by Suzanne * March 31, 2013

My current garden help, Rusty, had cleaned out this bed, and, he wanted to put something in it.  In 1995, I had purchased 2 small pots of Vinca Major, the plants you see in the photo above.  Note, I said TWO pots at around  $2.25 each!  And, over the years, my 'two' plants have become '200' plants (lol!)... it has jumped over to the south side and the north side of the yard, and taken hold.  Since we didn't have any new plants for this bed and Rusty was very eager to put something there, I suggested he dig up some of the Vinca around the yard and plant it around the tree.
The photo above shows the first installments.
***Now, Vinca is a member of the Periwinkle family, and vinca major is actually an 'herbaceous' plant that disappears in the winter, and, soon pops back out in the very early spring. If you'll recall, we did a study on this very blog about 'herbaceous' plants just last fall in September.  Herbaceous plants have little or no wood in their structure, and usually die back at the end of their season to where you can't even tell if they're still there!  Then, presto!  They come back for the new season.  Vinca major is only herbaceous to a point in MY yard.  It is a ground cover that is virtually shade loving.  When the summer gets too hot, the leaves turn a papery light brown, and I will have to cut them back.  Then as it cools down in the fall, they begin to re-appear, and, most of the plants will be evergreen throughout the winter...go figure! And, once a year, depending on their mood, they will bloom lilac colored little periwinkles.  I don't know if it depends on the sun, or what...I just accept the blooms when they come!

Here's what the bloom looks like...mine aren't blooming right now (of course).

Hey!  I guess you could say this plant is unpredictable, couldn't you?
We don't know when it will bloom...
...We don't know where it will pop up next!
It's not totally seasonable-comes and goes as it pleases!
I've read some comments about vinca...some say it's 'devilish', oh...THAT'S NOT NICE!  Yes, it is true, vinca major is invasive-it will hop all over a neighborhood I suppose.  But, mine is variegated and so lovely.  I just let it go where it may.  If I don't approve of a spot it has chosen, I just dig it up and move it, or pot it and give it away!

Here, you see, the vinca has grown on the south side of my yard, and, Rusty is digging it up in clumps to transport them via the 'Red Flyer' wagon to their new home under the Mulberry tree.  To the left of Rusty up against the fence, is quite a bit more!  

And, now, this part of the makeover is about completed.  Rusty has planted 'umpteen' clumps of Vinca Major around this massive tree!  
photos by Suzanne * March 31, 2013


Well then, I decided that we should add some color to the vinca plantings...something that is shade-loving, and color-popping!  I decided on Impatiens, and high-tailed it to my local WalMart, where I knew I could find them...and, they were incorporated in front of the vinca to fill the spaces.   And, finally, last week, we planted some caladium bulbs behind the vinca, so I can't wait to see how they look when they appear.  You know, the deadline for planting caladiums is May 1st, so I'm right on time.

* And, I will need to stay on top of the vinca spreading and possibly choking out my impatiens...this brings forth another customer complaint..."It's aggressive and a nuisance to keep in bounds!"
  Here's a good one.  "I hate this stuff, it is a major headache!"
And, "It will jump any edging to take over your lawn!"

OK, OK..granted, all of this is true!  But, here is this same garden a few years ago.
Note the gorgeous vinca climbing up the wood ladder!  It was a great backdrop for my pink coleus and white caladiums...oh, and there are some begonias bordering around the edging, and gladiolas flanking either side.  This was probably the most lovely garden I ever designed.  There were pink hydrangeas on either side of St. Francis...I will show another view in a future post.
~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas
September 2009

Never fear, my gracious readers...I will keep you posted on the progress of the plantings.  In the meantime, I am also working on a couple of other projects.  My private garden has been neglected...Rusty cleaned the area up, and we are currently making some new, fresh, 'easy maintenance' plans for this garden.  I sent a sneak preview of it to my sidebar.

As you know, we had high winds a couple of weeks ago resulting in an old tree splitting and taking down phone lines and electrical lines with it!  GAH!!! We are so relieved to be past that, and grateful that it wasn't any worse (although it was quite expensive).  The company that came and took out the tree did a wonderful job-I mean-they cleaned up all the debris and took it with them!
Thanks, guys for a great job!

And, thank you my great blogmates for your good wishes and prayers coming our way to the folks in West, Texas, who are sadly, but bravely, picking up the pieces after that horrific explosion.  Stop by and say hello if you get the chance.  It's a beautiful, sunny day in Fort Worth...Scootie is in residence!  I believe I'll make a spot of Columbian coffee and venture outdoors to see if I can get my hands dirty!

*** Thisisme, I'm glad you enjoyed my Peace roses...but, your roses still rule!

*** Take care, I'll see you soon!