Saturday, May 5, 2012

On the Homefront: A Profusion of Flowers!

It has been way too long since I have posted pictures of our yard in bloom, and it has been flowering profusely!  The beautiful iris above absolutely glows in the garden, and it was followed almost immediately by another beauty:

The stunning Japanese maple in the background with the lacy burgundy leaves is the perfect background for our irises:

I just wish I had never planted the pesky English ivy (Hedera helix) in pots -- of course I couldn't keep up with it and it escaped into the garden (be forewarned by my bad experience with this plant)!  It is considered a highly invasive noxious weed and I hope to eliminate it from my garden this winter when it is not actively spreading.

Blue flowers were well represented in the garden by my potted sage plant (top) and and two pots of catmint (bottom):

Sage (Salvia officinalis) flower spike

Catmint (Nepeta cataria) flower spikes

Our Carolina sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus), also known as Carolina allspice, had blossoms as well:

On the deck, two potted vines were flowering -- a very pale pink, almost white, shrub honeysuckle (top) and the colorful crossvine (bottom):

Potted shrub honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.)

Potted crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

While I enjoy having honeysuckle in pots, and there is even a native species, Lonicera sempervirens, that I plan to add to our yard one of these days, the species known as Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a very aggressive invasive vine in the United States.  It grows all through the woods around here, and has covered many portions of our fence:

Japanese honeysuckle covering our pasture fence!

And then there is this prolific white-flowered shrub:

Lovely though it may be, Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) is yet another extremely aggressive invasive plant species, especially here in Georgia.

White flowers seem to be dominating the garden scene right now in our yard.  The Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) growing up one side of our deck has created a veritable wall of flowers so sweetly fragrant they are almost overwhelming:

This vine is a very popular ornamental in our state, but to me it is very aggressive to the point of being invasive, and I am slightly allergic to the milky sap it releases when pruned back.  I much prefer Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) as a fast-growing flowering vine, although it is not fragrant.

The tiny white blossoms of heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) are just about ready to open:

My husband's favorite oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is also flowering now:

Our magnolias have just started to bloom, and I wish everyone could inhale their lightly citrus-scented fragrance -- it is just marvelous!

Cascades of catkins can be seen on the young pecan trees in our pasture:

We even have some fruits coming along -- the blueberries (top) are almost ripe, and the figs (bottom) are progressing nicely:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- when it comes to gardens, Georgia in the spring is hard to beat!

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