Writes With Feathers has been gardening! Last weekend we started a lovely flower garden in front of the house. I say started because I don't know if we'll ever finish—we keep thinking of other things we'd like to stick in there.
So far, we have a hybrid tea rose (Blue Girl, which is actually a very pretty shade of lavender), a butterfly bush, a hydrangea that is already bushing out like you wouldn't believe, and a 'Mystery' gardenia. Then there are the three maples we planted last year, and a couple of new dwarf Alberta spruce trees; we put one at each end of the garden. We'll decide what else will go in this plot later.
The other flower beds run along the front porch and a week or so ago I planted some cannas (The President, which is a vibrant shade of deep red) and two colors of bearded iris (Full Tide, an absolutely gorgeous shade of blue, and Cherub's Smile, a delicate shade of pink) in them. The cannas are doing well, but the irises haven't broken the ground yet. I'm trying to resist the urge to dig them up to see what's going on. (Roots yet? Well, why not??) Oh, yes, and we also planted some 'sticks' a friend gave us. They're going to be Angel Trumpets if they ever put out any leaves or anything. At least, I'm sure they're rooted (I looked). And at this point, the deer are leaving the shrubs in those beds alone—after they ate all the leaves and pruned every one of them nearly to the ground a few weeks ago!
Unfortunately, the camellias didn't fare so well. Right after they started to bloom, we had a serious freeze and the flowers that had already bloomed dropped off. The buds I was so optimistic about never opened. Oh, well. When I fed the other shrubs and flowers, I made sure to give them some, too and now they're sporting lots of new growth. They'll be fine I'm sure (fingers crossed). Oh, and the cypress trees we set out last year are growing like gangbusters. I love those things.
I have Eastern bluebird news!! There's a pair setting up housekeeping in a box near the end of our 32' front porch. They've been busily carrying nesting materials into the box. The male just can't seem to get it right; often the female removes what he takes in! I can just hear her: "What do you think you're doing? I'm not having that in my nest!"
Here's where the bluebird gardening comes in: we mulched the new flower garden yesterday. Today I see the female poking around in the mulch and taking shreds of something into the box. Apparently, some of the stuff in the mulch is of a consistency that strikes her fancy! I did see the male emerge from the box with some of it, though. He brought it to a porch rail where he spent several minutes poking, stretching, and pulling at it. When he finished, the female fluttered over to check it out, gave her approval, and took it into the birdhouse.
But there may be a hitch on the bluebird front. We've having a carport installed today and it's going up only about 18' from their box. I'll know by late this afternoon if they've been spooked away.
Pictures of the gardens and bluebirds will follow soon. Be well!