Lessons Learned this Winter
|Oakleaf hydrangea providing long season of color|
Capricious is the best word to describe this winter. Slow to get underway, it always seemed that winter was wrangling with Mother Nature. Bloom times were out of sync because the weather was sending the wrong messages. The sweet lullaby that put the plants to slumber was brief, like a toddler fighting nap time.
|Blanket Flower emerging in January|
Overwintering pollinators were spotted unexpectedly in the garden on warm winter days. Arising to enjoy the fine weather too.
|Gulf Fritillary butterfly fluttering in December|
Without any frost and balmy weather, flowers persisted well into January and some blooms on spring plants emerged. The Georgia garden community was all a buzz, pondering if we would see these blooms again in Spring. What would happen when the pollinators emerge and there would be no spring nectar / pollen sources to be found? Turns out all is well. The native plants in our garden have proved to be full of blooms this spring.
|Phlox blooming in December|
This winter, I took a closer look at the mystical beech trees that hold onto their leaves all winter long in my post Beech~A Winter Standout. I found a real beauty in these marcescent leaves, which brought a new splendor to the quiet winter woods.
I also observed that bluebirds will overcome their shyness and visit backyard feeders when other food sources are scarce, if you provide the right feeders and food in my post Feeding Bluebirds in Winter. Bluebirds always take my breath away. Their vivid blue feathers catch my eye and mesmerize me. As long as someone would serve me coffee, I could gaze at them all day!
Winter is also a great time to observe the needs of wildlife. I examined the feeding holes of the yellow-bellied sapsucker woodpeckers and took a look at the role of snags in Wildlife Trees.
The Farmer's Almanac predicted the weather to be 'wet and chilly' in the Southeast. I didn't find it to be so. In fact it was a pretty mild winter, which proved useful in our clean up on our recently purchased property. Fighting invasive plants such as privet, Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu, Bradford Pear trees among others has proven to be a grueling task. It will take much more than this winter to complete this clean-up and subsequent restoration. Here is a glimpse at what we are facing.
|Japanese Honeysuckle vine|
|tree girdled by honeysuckle vine|
It has been a busy and productive winter. Less rest than most years, but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment in the progress we've made in our clean-up efforts. We are now actually able to walk through parts of the property and see the topography of the land. Exciting times are ahead.
I am joining Beth over at Plant Postings for a seasonal review in Lessons Learned.