Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring in Central Florida, Part II

We've had some record-breaking heat (mid 80s) this past week, prompting me to finish running my water line to a spot nearer the garden, making watering a much easier task. The Chinese wisteria and Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) are in bloom together at the back of my property, my Sparaxis has finally come into bloom (a meager first spike, but the flowers are beautiful), as have my Alliums and Ranunculus. My 'Blush Noisette', which I cruelly yanked from its original home back on September and plunked into a hole with little nurturing, has thrived. (The Noisettes, as a group, were developed not far from here in Georgia -- though they are known by the name of the Frenchman who popularized them.)

The spring flowers, sprouting up among the cool-season blooms and the roses, make the garden a particularly exciting place: Every day, something new comes into bloom.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring in Central Florida

I've been too busy, in the garden and at the office, to write much about gardening during the last month. Spring is here -- azaleas, sometimes stately and sometimes garish, are in full exaltation. Even the shabbiest house in the area is temporarily vindicated. Citrus is in bloom, with its exotic, almost cloying perfume coming in waves and making you pause in anticipation of something. The blue-eyed grass has sent out its tiny flowers that bob in the air at the ends of sometimes impossibly long stolons. The Cherokee roses in the neighborhood (but not mine) have started blooming in fits, and will continue to do so for more than a month. My ranunculus and aliums have come into bud (see below). Sweetpeas have started to flower alongside the indefatigible pansies.

The roses are taking a break -- I cleaned them up removing the deadwood and untamed canes in my OGRs, and defoliated the hybrid-teas and removed all the small canes. My climbers I leave alone, though this year they've been hit hard with blackspot and are all but bare. The canes on all the roses are already erupting in reddish-bronze new growth and the promise of blooms.