For the first day of spring, some outdoor pictures:
First, the japonica (flowering quince) and forsythia on the back corner of my lot. As you can see, they are almost completely finished blooming, although these are what you think of as spring flowering bushes. Here in the southeast, everything starts so early. One state north, my mother's forsythia is just now hitting its peak, and her japonica is nowhere near blooming. It seems spring rushes through so fast here, and before you know it we are in the dog days of summer.This is the patch by the side fence that I had almost completely dug out last fall. It's uphill from the street side where the japonica/forsythia bushes grow, on the left side yard (I'm on a corner). There was an assortment of nondescript bushes and clumps of jonquils and daylilies around the red old-fashioned roses, so much so that you could hardly see the rosebushes, which were the best thing in the bed. You can see them leafing out in a row at the back near the fence. The nandina was there so I saved it and planted another at the far end (cut off the photo, sorry). The rest, except for the roses, were yanked out (thank you, lawn guy! I don't know what I would do without the man who mows and does yard work) and replaced by a row of Japanese hollies for all-year green. Since all the spring bulbs were dormant, I didn't know where they were and figured I'd correct their placement this year. The jonquils and iris were in just the right spot, between the roses and behind the new bushes, but there was a patch of daylilies that was threatening to completely take over a holly and a rose bush. So, I crawled in amongst the mulch yesterday (the DAMP mulch!) and grubbed them out, mostly, leaving a little in the back near the fence to bloom with the iris later.
There were so many daylily bulbs? rhizomes? tubers? whatever they are! that I completed filled a paper grocery sack with the ones I removed. I didn't want them because they can be so invasive and I couldn't find a spot with enough sun that they would bloom well. The ones I left may be removed later if they don't perform. I know that next year I will have to grub out another batch because they spread so quickly. In the fall, I will buy a bucket-o-bulbs and add to the plantings between the roses. Maybe some grape hyacinth and different jonquils. It's nice to have some spring color. They would be good between the bushes in the front also.
Luckily, the daylilies I removed won't go to waste because my neighbor across the stress (a retired gentleman and avid yard-putterer) took them to add to his garden. He asked me what color they were. Who knows, since they would never bloom for me!
And, my little evergreen patch in the front corner of the fence that the lawn guy planted last fall. I may add some spring bulbs here too, if there's enough room. I think they will fit around the arbovitae.This spot was a tangle of japonica and forsythia, always overgrown and overtaken with weeds. Since lawn guy is getting up in years, he pulled in his son do to the digging. It took them several hours to extract all the roots and detritus from the bushes. There were iris that never bloomed for lack of sun, which I transplanted to the side yard, jonquil and some blue bell-shaped flowers given to me by my neighbor, which I saved; they are now coming up on the right side near the fence. The clump on the right edge obscuring the bush is more jonquils which will be moved in the fall.
I also added more azalea in the corner of the back yard under the crape myrtle. This is all such work (and expense)! However, I think my yard looks better than it ever has.