2019  HIKING, ULTRA-WALKING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Superstition Mountains at sunset, from Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona

 

   
 
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   PLAYIN' IN THE DIRT UPDATE:  SPRING & SUMMER  
   FLOWERS + OTHER SCENES FROM OUR YARD

FRIDAY, JULY 19

 
"Plant, and your spouse plants with you. Weed, and you weed alone."
~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 
 
It's hard for me to believe that a well-known 18th-Century French philosopher actually said that, but it's a funny quote and if Brainy Quote attributes it to him, who am I to doubt something I found on the internet????

Last November I posted a two-part entry with flower photos from our yard, including a major do-it-yourself landscape project to renovate our front yard. This two-page entry is an update of both the front and back yards. Not much is new but most everything is still alive and has gotten bigger. Yay!!

We had a lot of Encore azaleas, camellias, and roses (both Drift and Knockout) still blooming when we left on our winter trip to Arizona December 10. We returned home on February 1.


Red Drift (groundcover) roses on the left, Pink Knockouts on the right  (11-25-18)


Beautiful clump of blooms on a Pink Drift rose on the other side of the back yard (11-25-18)


One of a couple dozen Encore azaleas still blooming in late fall (11-25-18)

We have three camellias, all different kinds, that previously had a combined bloom span from November to April, one of the few shrubs that blooms in the wintertime in the northern half of Georgia.

Unfortunately a large number of unopened buds on our beautiful Mathotinia camellia, my favorite of the three, apparently froze while we were gone. It never bloomed and eventually all the buds and leaves turned brown and fell off. We purchased it at Pike Nursery, which has a lifetime guarantee on shrubs and trees, so at least we got out money back for it. I might try to find another one like it this fall.

This is what the beautiful layered flowers looked like the first winter we had it:

SIGNS OF SPRING IN FEBRUARY

I knew things would start to bloom in our yard in early to mid-February so we timed the return from our winter trip for February 1. Everything, including the lawn, was pretty brown except for flowers on the other two camellias . . .


This Tom Knudsen camellia bloomed from December to late March.  (3-13-19)

. . . and evergreen leaves on many of the plants, including the Encore azaleas and Drift roses.

The bright red flowers on the Yuletide camellia were also still blooming in February. I deliberately chose bright colors on all the camellias since they are rather far out in the back yard. I wanted them to be visible from the house, and the deep red is beautiful when there is snow on the ground.

More things were blooming soon, however. By Valentine's Day our Okame cherry tree, Anna apple tree, and Lorapetalum (Chinese fringe flower) shrubs were in bloom:

Above and below:  The Okame cherry tree bloomed beautifully this year! (2-14-19)

 


The Anna apple tree is still pretty small -- probably in too much shade
near our back fence -- but it has such beautiful flowers.  (2-14-19)


There are three large, mature Lorapetalum shrubs on either side of the front yard near the house.
Although they peak in very early spring, they have some flowers almost year-round.  (2-14-19)

MARCH: SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

In March, spring was busting out all over with flowers on more trees and shrubs. Bulbs were also blooming.


We have lots of both cultivated (above) and wild strawberries.  (3-13-19)


A fancy narcissus (3-13-19)


Spirit viburnum shrub  (3-13-19)


Lace-leaf Viridis Japanese maple tree; the leaves turn gold, then orange, in the fall.  (3-24-19)


Pink dogwood tree (3-24-19)

We have about two dozen kinds of re-blooming Encore azaleas in our front and backyard -- about forty total. Half of them begin to flower in early to mid-spring, including this one:


Autumn Princess Encore azalea (3-24-19)

Each Encore azalea blooms three times -- spring, summer, and fall. Some bloom earlier in each season than others, so in addition to the different colors of flowers, shapes and colors of leaves, and sizes of mature shrubs, several of them are in bloom from March to the first killing frost or snow. In our zone, that's usually sometime in December.

Encores like more sun than traditional azaleas that bloom one time in the spring and are done. Some advantages of the older kinds of azaleas, however, are that they provide a long flower show during that one time, the shrubs can get much larger, and they love shady spots under trees.

I've been wanting to get some of my very favorite kind of old-fashioned azalea, George Lindsey Tabor, since we moved in two years ago. I found some nice specimens at Pike Nurseries early in March. I bought eight of them and planted them near the back fence where overhanging deciduous trees provide shade when it gets warmer:


George Lindsey Tabor azalea

Their pale pinkish-purple color will show up well against the dark stained fence as the shrubs get up to their potential eight-to-ten-foot mature width and height.

In addition to these flowering plants we also had a redbud tree, forsythias, and two camellias in bloom in March.

APRIL:  AZALEAS & MORE

This is my favorite month in metro Atlanta. I first visited the city in mid-April back in 1974 when my "ex" was offered a job in the area. We fell in love with all the gorgeous dogwoods and azaleas that were blooming everywhere and decided, Heck yes, this beats Ohio!! We moved. 

Although bloom time varies with these and other native plants from year to year, early to mid-April is still a fabulous time to live in or visit this area.

Our Encore azaleas had their peak spring bloom in April and all the Drift and Knockout roses began blooming by the end of the month. This section will feature mostly azalea photos. I'll start with a few other kinds of blooming plants and interesting leaves:


These interesting maroon heart-shaped Forest Pansy redbud leaves come out in April and May,
then turn more green during the summer. They have different colors again in autumn. (4-16-19)


Our three burning bushes had tiny flowers in April  (4-13-19)

The two Summer Snowflake viburnums marked #2 above have gotten quite large in two years; flower
close-up  below.  #1=pink dogwood, #3=Spirit viburnum, #4=Anna apple, #5=Tabor azaleas. (4-13-19)

 

Above and below:  one of six colors of bearded iris we have;
this and several others re-bloom later in the summer.  (4-16-19)

 


One of several pastel columbine colors, grown from seeds 
a nice neighbor gave us last fall.  (4-21-19)

OK, now for more than a dozen of the Encore azalea colors in our front and back yards; these photos were taken in mid-April:


Autumn Monarch


Autumn Coral


Autumn Sunburst


Autumn Belle is a bi-color Encore that looks schizophrenic with different colors on the same bush!


Autumn Ivory


Autumn Lily


Autumn Sweetheart


Autumn Sangria

 
Autumn Chiffon


Autumn Cheer


Autumn Twist, another bi-color Encore that also has stripes!


Autumn Royalty

Aren't those pretty?

I made charts and diagrams when I originally planted all the Encores so the colors would coordinate and bloom times and plant sizes would be appropriate (e.g., taller ones in the back).

The downsides are that Encores grow relatively slowly and I've had to replace half a dozen of them (and some other plants) in the last two years after they died for unknown reasons. I have bought all of our new trees and shrubs at the local Pike Nursery, part of a larger chain in metro Atlanta, because of their lifetime guarantee on them.

On the other hand, our roses and some other plants have far exceeded my expectations. I'll show more photos of them on the next page.

Continued on the next page . . . May, June, and July blooms and other interesting things growing in our yard

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Casey-Girl, and Holly-Pup

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2019 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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