Monday, May 1, 2017

Yard in the Woods

When we built our home, we asked that every possible tree that could be spared would be left in place.  It made life a bit more complicated for the contractor, but has paid tremendous dividends in having birds come right to our deck.  The widest area of cleared space is the front yard.  Three terraces keep the sloping yard level and livable.  There is not full shade, but the sun is the milder late afternoon sun.  So the plants are shade tolerant.  We worked with a great landscaper who drew up plans that allowed us to have a little something in bloom all the time.  We never have anything in profusion, but even in the dead of winter there is something perfuming the air or bringing a bright spot to the eye. We also focused on plants that are generally not highly favored by the deer with whom we share our space.

In March, April, and even sometimes February we can count on the hellebores.  They seem to love the soil and brief late afternoon sun.  We have several of them, white and purple.

We have two large camellias.  One has bright pink blossoms and the other has more fragrant white blossoms.  They seem to have no predictable pattern to their blooming.  If there is a streak of mild winter weather, they will burst into blossom.  Many times they have large and full buds that are ruined by another cold streak.   So it's hit or miss with the blossoms.  But the lush green plants are gorgeous even without the blossoms.  Both are about ten feet tall.

The rain has beaten down the lower branches.  Daisy Duck ignores them.
This one is Camellia japonica, also known as "Pink Perfection"

Pieris japonica blooms in late winter and continues through most of the spring
The leaves and the nectar from the flowers are quite poisonous.
Despite its beauty, the plant could be deadly if eaten.
All these plants are near the house.

Today, all of these flowers are drooping as we are having heavy rains and gusty winds.  The birds are having a bit of trouble getting to the feeders.  But they persevere.  We suspect three of our woodpecker varieties have fledglings.  So while we appreciate the flowers in the front yard, we also appreciate the birds in back.  All the bird boxes are swinging wildly and we suspect a few might be on the ground before this weather system passes.

We are safe and comfy with no need to go outdoors except as Lucy dictates.  Since she hates the rain, she will wait as long as possible.

Time to brew some tea and watch the rain.


Anonymous said...

Love seeing the flowers you have there in early spring, and knowing of the thoughts behind the plantings. Crazy, blustery weather is hard on plants and bird feeders. Hope all goes well through this storm. Stay warm and comfy!

Barbara Rogers said...

I've missed seeing your regular posts. Glad to know all is well, and the yard and birds are doing their things in profusion! I sometimes wonder why I post something every day, but it's become a habit I guess. The wonder is because so few people comment, so I think of it just as journaling these days!

Arkansas Patti said...

What a well thought out landscape that is now rewarding you. You have not only planned for your own enjoyment but for the critters as well. Keep staying comfy and bless Lucy's large bladder.

Nance said...

Hard rain, high winds, low temperatures here in NEO for the foreseeable. Ugh. I worry over my own backyard. We lost our gorgeous Japanese maple out front last year in one week to an unknown cause. A mature tree, its colour was intense, and I mourn it daily.

I am jealous of your climate and its fostering of magnolias and lovely crape myrtles. But I do have a couple of pieris japonica (one called Scarlett O'Hara) that look hearty this year. And my spice bush was very fragrant.

The blue jays and cardinals are at my window feeder with regularity; the red-bellied and downy woodpeckers hit the suet, too. My cats are very entertained at their perches.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Your flowers are beautiful, and like you, I love having color and blooms through the year. Also like you, I enjoy having the birds around too, it makes for a perfect place to spend the day in any weather.

troutbirder said...

Life is indeed good in the mountains....:)

KB said...

You did have a great landscaper! Your flowers are beautiful, and it must be wonderful to have something in bloom for so much of the year. I've been working on our flowering plants for years, and I've now reached the point that something is blooming for most of the summer and fall. I love seeing your flowers.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hee, hee I love Daisy Duck !

You did have a very good landscaper by the sounds of it to work with you and the trees. It is so good if they can be preserved and not cut down.

Lovely to see your photo's and the flowers, this is such a special time of year.

All the best Jan

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Robin- Yes, many of the plants have been damaged by our up and down weather. It's quite chilly here for this time of year but not freezing.

Barbara - I think people are more and more busy and simply do not comment although they read and enjoy your posts. So it's not just a journal. Although I do know some people who have a blog to substitute for a journal. They get them published quarterly into a booklet and will keep them for their children.

Patti - I do believe that when you choose to live the woods you are obliged not to change the woods but to adapt to them and enhance where you can.

Nance - I do think of you often and hope you are doing well. We have a spice bush that is growing deep in our woods. I've thought of moving it nearer the house but I fear it might not be as happy as where nature stuck it.

Kim - The birds have had quite a challenge getting to the feeders in the high winds and rain but like the rest of us they persist.

KB - We were too impatient and did most of it at once. But we do still add a few things bit by bit. We were even on the community garden tour one year.

Jan - Thanks. We have four of those pottery ducks and Daisy is my favorite as well.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It's been raining quite a lot in Nashua, NH too so you are not alone. According to the weather forecasts we can look forward to several more days of overcast and wet weather so being indoors is not bad at all.