Redbuds in the Spring Garden (Cercis canadensis)

Spring in many ways is just like listening to your favorite song. The parts of the song that make it special to you are those that make you replay it countless times over and over again. The chorus of springtime is very much the same. Old favorites pop up again and again for us to enjoy. One of my favorite trees here in Tennessee is the redbud (Cercis canadensis). It's native to our area and blooms prolifically in the spring. There are areas of our state where the redbuds grow in such quantities that you feel like you are inside of a painting. Nature's artwork is hard to top! It's a special tree to others as well. Pollinators love the spring time blooms. Once they are in bloom it is hard to go near them without hearing a constant buzz from the bees as they gather pollen. Redbuds are actually…

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Springtime in the Garden (Photos)

Spring is here and the garden is most certainly coming alive! Unfortunately some freezing temperatures are in the forecast for later in the week here in Tennessee. Here's a quick look at what you will find in my garden at the moment! Purple leaf plum and forsythia   I trimmed the forsythia back after it bloomed last year into more of a small shrub. They can get very large if you let them grow. Forsythias are an easy plant to propagate if you want more of them. Just take a cutting 4-5 inches long and place it in a pot of soil and keep moist. There is no need for rooting hormone to propagate forsythias!   I planted these 'Jonquil' daffodils in the fall. Daffodils are such and easy bulb to grow that everyone should have a few planted! They are as deer proof as anything gets. I have tons…

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Spring IS Coming

Despite what the weather may lead us to believe Spring will arrive soon. Maybe it will help us believe it if we repeat that phrase: Spring will arrive soon! (Repeat as needed) It's March and during March we can expect a number of tumultuous and turbulent weather systems that will toy with our psyche. Have faith gardeners because spring and the gardening season will be here soon, but before Spring arrives there are a number of things that gardeners can to to prepare for the busiest time of the year! Yoshino Cherry in Bloom Pre-spring is a GREAT time to mulch. A GREAT time! Why? Because it is cool and easy to work without getting overheated. Mulch will hold weeds seeds back from germinating and keep moisture in the soil. I know I have mentioned mulch many times over the years but it is a GREAT thing to do! Choose a biodegradable…

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An Early May Garden Update (Grapes, Irises, Dappled Willow, and More)

I went out to water plants in the garden this morning and thought it was time to show you how the garden was growing this morning.  So far the first week of May have been warm and sunny and the garden is responding accordingly.  Here is what you can see in our zone 6b garden this spring: Our Concord grape vine is putting on fruit!  This is the first time it has started to produce anything and looks like it could be loaded with grapes if everything goes well.  I planted it next to the arbor in the side garden so that it could be used to trellis the grapes. Our 'Hiroku Nishiki' dappled willow shrubs are growing like you would expect.  Fast and beautiful!  The dappled foliage makes for a very unique deciduous hedge line along our property.  All of these started from just a few cuttings taken from…

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April in a Tennessee Garden

It's another beautiful spring morning here in Tennessee and I thought I would share a little of the garden with you so you could see what is growing.  Yesterday was in the 70's and the rest of the week is predicted to be the same which is simply perfect springtime weather.  We all deserve a little bit of perfect spring weather after this winter!   First here are the daffodils!  Daffodils are very easy to grow and deer resistant.  They're one of the first flowers in spring that we get to enjoy.   The flowering spring trees are beginning to break their buds.  Here is a 'Yoshino' cherry which is probably my favorite flowering tree of all flowering trees! Dogwoods are beautiful trees too.  It looks like this dogwood will be blooming for use for the first time this year. This dogwood is one called 'Constellation'.  It's a hybrid of…

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Spring Around the Garden

It is full fledged spring around our Middle Tennessee garden.  There is no shortage of work that needs to be done in the form of weeding and mulching on top of a myriad of miscellaneous projects.  For now though let's just take a few pictures of the garden and we'll think of that monster spring to-do list a little later. This Japanese maple is called 'Beni Schichihenge'.  I have to confess that I have to look up how to spell that almost every time! I may have finally gotten it though...  The new foliage is rimmed in pink which eventually changes to a creamy white variegation. My 'Walker's Low' catmint is always a standout performer.  It smells great and is easily manageable.  Once it starts to bloom it won't quit! (also it is very easy to propagate catmint!) I haven't gotten an avocado from my potted avocado tree yet so…

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Bees in the ‘Yoshino’ Cherry Trees

What is my favorite tree?  That's a hard question to answer, since there are so many trees that I enjoy.  Some trees provide fruit, other trees, shade, and others flowers which makes them hard to pick a single favorite.  I have to categorize.  In the spring for the flowering trees I would have to say my favorites are the cherry trees.  I love seeing the massive canopies of blooms each year.  Our garden is home to several 'Yoshino' cherry trees which never fail to impress me! This 'Yoshino' was the second one I planted in our yard and has grown fast and strong.  It's been planted for about 4 years.  The bees enjoy it immensely.  I was out working in the yard yesterday and every time I passed by the cherry tree I heard hundreds of individual buzzes that made it sound as if the tree had an engine.  I…

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Spring in Tennessee

The first day of Spring is marked by gardeners everywhere.  Unfortunately not everyone gets to experience warm days, growing plants, and all the wonders of spring at the same time.  It's different for every region but that doesn't make it any less significant.  The first day of spring symbolizes the beginning of the growing season for many gardeners.  Even gardeners who are stuck indoors with snow on the ground know that warmer days are coming soon and it is time to sow seeds and make plans. Our springs in Tennessee are marked by the blooming trees, the cherries, the peaches and plums and as much as I am loathe to mention the Bradford pears are blooming too.  Hyacinths are releasing their fragrance across the garden and the grass is looking as green as it possibly can.  The robins are here, but not because it is spring.  The harbingers of spring…

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An Almost Spring Garden Status Report

Spring will be here very soon.  The calendar gives us a date but that seems arbitrary.  Spring is more of a feeling.  The weather is warmer and plants are actively growing again.  This coming weekend will be much warmer than it has been and should trigger a lot of action in the garden.  Today I went out and checked around the garden and in my shed to see how things were.  Here's a little of what I observed. The hellebores are in full bloom!  The grass is as green as ever!  Now if only the trees will begin to leaf out and fill in the woods with their typical growing season backdrop...  Grape hyacinths are in bloom all over.  These tiny beauties are great for borders or along sidewalks. Down by the shed the weeping willow is beginning to leaf out.  I love weeping willows for their graceful canopies.  You…

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Spring Is Here!

Yesterday brought in that first official day of spring but it sure seems that spring beat the calendar to the punch.  The warm weather has brought many of our plants and trees much further along at this time of year than they should be.  It has me concerned.  I love the warm weather and the sights of blooming flowers but in some cases it's just too early.  Yesterday I visited the big orange box store and stopped to tell a shopper not to go all out on her tomato plant purchase.  I'm not sure she understood that there is still the possibility of a frost that could kill those tomato plants until April 15th.  I have a feeling many people are doing the same thing, taking advantage of the warm weather but it's just too early for some plants! My mini-nursery is delivering the plants at the right time which…

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