Thankfully, the ice storm spared both the flowering quince and azaleas.
Did you know azaleas are classified as an evergreen shrub?
Harsh winter weather was cause for concern with so many of our plants and shrubs; however, these Southern Indica azaleas are rated for down to zero degrees fahrenheit.
Spring’s in full bloom gift graces the vases and tabletop places in the home.
Our Deep South planting soil to temperature zone indicates the essential need for particular plants to be planted in the ground and growing by Easter in order to be strong enough to survive the heat of this region.
Some planting zones, climates, and soils ready for spring gardening quicker than others.
My steadfast rule and suggestion to fellow gardenistas is to first consult a zone map to know the best time for planting vegetables and/or flowers in your part of the world.
Two gardening go-to sources I consult is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and the Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide from the LSU AgCenter.
In this area April is the time for planting eggplant, okra, squash, cucumbers, peppers, snap and lima beans.
Based on information gleaned from a host of gardeners in the know, azaleas, jasmine, viburnum, camellias, and flowering quince are prime for pruning as soon as they finish flowering.
I shared this picture of the viburnum that did not fare so well during during and after the ice storm.
What, how, and when to cut back to promote new growth is the question I called the extension service with.
Our local extension service is a get it growing source of valuable lawn & garden information and get it growing tips.
Beauty and the bee is all the buzz, and you know I’m all about the theme.
This Helsa Vintage Green Stacked Artichokes accent immediately caught my eye, and the thought is how lovely a focal point piece for an entry table or tablescape this spring appropriate accent will make.
There’s no two ways about it, getting garden ready involves getting a little garden dirty.
Enter the garden workstation.
Opening a bag of potting soil, filling a pot or planter with it and working the soil, adding the seeds or gingerly removing a plant or flower from the nursery pot, and placing the plant or flower into the pot is a relaxing therapy session of sorts.
Garden cloches help to keep cute garden visitors from feasting upon plants and flowers.
Stepping stones add instant flair and function to lawn and garden.
The first hint of spring comes through longer days and first traces of pollen in rain puddles along the driveway.
Wind chimes doing their spring thing, early morning into afternoon serenades from the feathered choir and full blooms of back yard azalea bushes remind me of early Aprils spent in Texas lazing around the sleep porch at my great-grandparent’s house.
The taste of spring in a bottle becomes a recipe project ready to bee keep and gift.
Photo by Jose Picayo
8 cups mild honey
10 sprigs of rosemary
In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook honey and 6 sprigs rosemary just until honey begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
Using tongs, remove and discard rosemary sprigs and any stray leaves. To decant, divide honey among 4 clean 16-ounce jars. Let cool completely, about 40 minutes. Insert 1 fresh sprig rosemary into each jar, and tighten lids to seal.
Mid to late March through May is a good time to get your spring vegetable and herb garden going and growing with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash, eggplant, okra, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, dill, chives, rosemary, and mint.
I love the Cameo Japanese flowering quince in my brother’s courtyard.
A day trip to Forest Hill, Louisiana, better known as the nursery capital, to purchase a Cameo Japanese flowering quince is on the spring gardening agenda.
Azaleas in full color and full bloom means beauty and the beast I call pollen is all around as evidenced by this hot pink azalea bouquet and the pollen streams in the driveway.
Weeds are a thorn in the side, front, and back of any vegetable or flower garden.
Mulch cuts down on weeds, adds a layer of insulation, and keeps plant roots moist.
Dave the Builder used his new Craftsman Handheld Gas Leaf Blower to blow the pine needles off the roof and into the flower bed where it will be used as mulch.
Excuse our work in progress mess.
Fresh from the produce department tomatoes will do for now, but there is no substitute for fresh home garden tomatoes.
To give your tomato plants a good grow, feed the soil with a small amount of fertilizer and compost at planting time.
Plant the roots as deep as possible.
Freshly planted tomato plants will require a daily healthy watering for a couple of weeks after planting to properly seep into the soil and moisten the area.
Garden tomatoes require at least 1-2 inches of water a week.
Low and slow applies to watering tomatoes.
Water the plants low at the stem and water slowly.
Tomato plants are slow drinkers.
Flooding the area is not what we’re going for here.
Water your tomato crop once every two or three days at the height of summer.
Early morning is the best time to water.
As summer temps soar, you may want to water the plants both in the early morning and early evening on the days you water.
Bacon sandwiches, homemade hamburgers, fresh from the garden salads, and spring to summer dishes deliciously begin and end with the homegrown tomato.
As I typed fresh from the garden salads, it reminded me of the story a friend shared with me about a dinner menu conversation she had with her husband.
The friend asked her husband what he wanted for dinner.
The husband answered in perfect course order beginning with (his words not hers nor mine) a little house salad.
Curious about what exactly the husband thought a little house salad was, the friend asked the husband to expound.
“Well, you know, it’s a little salad you make at the house.”
All I know is the husband’s vegetable garden produced the best tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, squash, and radishes that went into many a fresh spring to summer salad mixed and enjoyed at their house.
Leafy greens and vegetables star in the latest entertaining trend, the edible table runner.
I’m learning more and more the best way to go in spring and summer entertaining is to set a casual and inviting table, keep the menu, ingredients, music, and conversation fresh and simple, and have plenty of homemade buttermilk dressing on hand.
Fresh flowers, delightful fragrances, visually stunning table settings, and the scent and sight of it’s time for spring in the late afternoon or evening gorgeously set the scene, mood and table for spring entertaining.
The “I Love a Charade” episode of Sex and the City is my garden party touchstone.
My posting plan to bring you the companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District didn’t quite make it to deadline. Deliveries, issues and solutions have taken priority over my normal posting schedule, but that’s the way it goes with major home improvement projects.
Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues. Don’t you just hate that?
We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.
Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.
Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”
A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.
Budding and blooming spring curb appeal lawn and garden enthusiasts know the beauty and the value of curb appeal.
First impressions make lasting impressions.
Curb appeal traditionally is the topic of buying or selling a home conversation, but what about the value of curb appeal between the bookends?
I want the ooh and aah effect of gorgeous curb appeal to impress me, the homeowner, first and foremost.
Spring motivates home improvement.
The first day of spring rollout makes it official, and by the look and buzz of things around the neighborhood everything’s coming up roses, azaleas, marigolds, verbena, zinnias, impatiens, begonias, sago palms and hanging baskets of fern.
We’ve got this budding and blooming spring curb appeal covered.
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Succulents make a lovely showing, and the decorative box Dave the Builder made for me a couple of years ago is the inspiration for a container garden.
Color leads the way when orchestrating palette and planting.
The Barn Nursery’s Fool Proof Color Guide to Container Gardening gives color combination advice for creating beautiful color combos, height and size suggestions and recommendations for low-maintenance blooms.
You can download your free copy of the guide here.
Speaking of budding and blooming spring curb appeal gorgeous DIY projects, here’s an idea for an address number wall planter from HGTV.
Difficulty is the word that springs to mind when it comes to our efforts to plant and successfully grow hydrangeas.
A planting debate ensued over the recently purchased pink hydrangea.
I suspected failure would follow if we prematurely planted the hydrangea under the assumption of the “we had no winter” temperatures of late.
Last week the overnight temperatures dipped into the mid 30s.