Apr 20, 2016

Spring in My Neck of the Woods

...or should I say Prairie? I live in central Illinois, USA which is not exactly known for its woodland forests. But be that as it may, spring is definitely here and has been for some time. In fact, this has been one of the earliest, warmest springs we've seen in awhile. At least it seems so from my vantage point.

My yard is just bursting with spring!  I love the vivid pink in the prairie fire crab apple tree blossoms. Isn't that color amazing?

And then there's the luscious red azalea next to the crab apple tree. Last year the blossoms were piddly and sparse. But just look at it! It has outdone itself.  What a feast for the eyes!

Next to the azalea is a Korean Spice Viburnum, with white flowers. This bush smells like heaven, reminiscent of lilacs. When the windows above it are open the scent fills the room!

But while the azalea is blooming beautifully the lilacs have been rather disappointing. The blossoms are few and far between unlike last year. Hopefully next year will better.

Over the winter I brought into the house a pot of geraniums. It had bloomed nicely all summer long and I thought I'd try overwintering it inside. Surprisingly, I managed to keep it alive all winter and as the days got longer the plant began to go gangbusters, putting out new growth. I've pruned it back several times and even have cuttings rooted and ready to be planted. I have been fertilizing it too, hoping that soon it will begin to produce flowers.

Has anyone else ever done that? If so, I'd love to hear if your efforts paid off, and rewarded you with flowers for another summer.

In the backyard my various gardens are waking up (especially the weeds!). As you can see there is some work to do in the gardens, raking out old leaves and seeds, weeding, pruning!

The mint is as unruly as ever, refusing to stay put inside of the pots as intended. I don't hold that against it though because of the delicious tea I make with it all summer long. In fact, I've already made iced mint tea twice and it's only April!

Three kinds of mint; spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.
Spearmint is inside the pot and most of what is outside is peppermint.
The strawberry patch is doing well. I weeded it the other day and was amazed at all the flowers I saw. Strawberries can't be that far away! A friend gave us these plants last summer so this will be the first season we'll be eating fresh strawberries from our own garden. If only we can keep the pesky rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds at bay. Netting will soon cover the top of the bed.

And the raspberries too are really taking off! These are ever-bearing plants and we usually have two harvests. There's nothing like fresh raspberries!

There are even some flowers beginning to form on the raspberry canes!
 And last but not least are the dandelions! 

As you've seen in most of the pictures the dandelions are prolific in my yard. We aren't too fussy about them. We prefer not to use chemicals on the lawn and so we just accept them. Not much else you can do anyway.

I hope you are enjoying, (or will soon), the sights and scents of spring in your yard too!


  1. Such a beautiful walk through our garden. I loved all the plants and your talk. Many we don't see here.

  2. But I'm sure you must have dandelions! Doesn't everyone? ha ha


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