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Garden Diary: March 9, 2016

Spring is springing all around me, and Accuweather says there is no chance of frost before March 15, so I'm going to start planting now. I didn't lose anything I can see, although the Luna hardy hibiscus was always iffy. Hopefully, it lived
through the winter sending out roots and will come back out, but you never know. Even the coleus are coming back up from the bottom stems, which were protected by nothing more than oak leaves.  I credit it to the effect of my "warming wall," as I'm calling it -- the concrete block wall that seems to work very well to keep these plants from freezing.

The lantana has HUGE blooms right now. I guess it benefitted from all the chop-and-drop material and leaves I've piled up around it since last summer. There were lots of earthworms in that area, so maybe they're multipled and fed it eating all the organic matter I piled up there. I'm not really crazy about lantana, but this one is just beautiful when it is in full bloom, and the butterflies and bees love it, so it gets to stay. It will get it's spring haircut soon, and I'll have to move some plants that are growing around it that get completely swallowed by it every summer, but that's o.k. It can have that corner, and I'll find other places for the rest.

As you can see from the top picture, the wild violets I dug and transplanted are doing well, and I'm looking forward to transplanting them somewhere nice and shady. They just get mowed down out on the grounds, so there is no need to leave them there. Their flowers are so beautiful and dainty, and I have missed the ones I had growing around me during my childhood..

Tiny shoots are beginning to poke up through the pile of leaves that protected them during the summer. I removed the bulk of the leaves from underneath the tropical hibiscus, and it looks like most everything I had planted there survived, even one of the coleus that self-rooted from cuttings I tossed down there last summer.

Of course, there is much more coming to life, but I'll leave you with this picture of the lemon grass, which was one pitful little sprout I got off a pile by the compost heap at McCrorie garden last year. I'm sure it will be huge by the end of the summer, and I'm planning on starting more sprouts to make a sort of "hedge" along the privacy fence in my "front" yard - the space right outside my front gate. I really don't like privacy fences. They're so ugly, so I want to cover it up with something beautiful. My friends sent me butterfly pea seeds, and I may plant those to grow up the part of the fence that separates me from my neighbor, if the complex will let me, but my manager doesn't seem to mind as long as the next-door neighbor doesn't, and he doesn't seem to care what I do as long as it doesn't block the sidewalk.

Ain't spring grand?