Magic of Early Spring

It has been a turbulent start to spring with late frosts, cold winds, heavy rains and fluctuating temperatures. But when the garden decides to awaken, I am ready to rejoice in all its glory. I adore this time of year when the quiet muted hues of the winter landscape come alive with color. It is such a magical time watching the flowers unfurl and seeing the insects emerge from winter slumber. 

Today, I am sharing our garden beds surrounding our back patio that look onto the woodland gardens. It is a combination of full sun and part shade, where the mature oaks provide filtered light to the understory trees and shrubs. 

Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) with its clusters of white flowers is located immediately off the patio at the bottom of a sloped terrain. I so enjoy the blooms while relaxing in my chair and watching all the bee and butterfly activity.

I love how bees hug the petals and dive right in to reach the nectar.

The honey scented flowers of Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' are short-lived with flowers only lasting about two weeks. I adore their quirkiness and appreciate them every bloom day.

Forthergilla 'Mt. Airy' is a cross between F. gardenii and F. major.
Discovered by plantsman Michael Dirr

this shrub softens the back corner of the stone fireplace

Creeping phlox is one of my favorite ground covers and I use it all around our garden. It loves our sunny sloped areas where it gets good drainage and can cover a hillside, but they work well along the flatter margins along walkways too. Their bright bold colors cheer up the garden and distract from the rest of the garden that is waiting to be cleaned up.

pink, white and hot pink phlox from our sidewalk view 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail getting flapped around by the wind, but he is determined.
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtails often spend their days fluttering around the phlox as do the Nessus sphinx moths.

Check out all the pollen on his proboscis. Amazing!

Taken at sunset, here is a look into the woodland garden with the magnificent native azaleas in full bloom. Our first ruby throated hummingbirds always arrive the last week of March and they are frequent visitors to the tubular flowers. Despite the abundance of spring blooms, we always put up one feeder this time of year for our tired travelers. 

Foreground: creeping phlox occupy full sun space covering sloped terrain.
Background: native azaleas are at home under the mature oak trees where they receive filtered sun

The combination of Camellia's Blush (pink), a Piedmont azalea, and Admiral Semmes (yellow), a Florida azalea, are a favorite color combination of mine.

Rhododendron canescens Cameilla's Blush with Rhododendron austrinum Admiral Semmes

I never tire of this view so here is another look, this time with a Cercis canadensis 'Rising Sun'.

Another Piedmont azalea, Jake's Red, grows in a container by our sunroom doors where it receives late afternoon sun in early spring before the tree canopy leaves emerge. The blooms are more orange than red in my opinion and bloom just in time for the arrival of the hummers. 

Rhododendron flammeum 'Jake's Red'  (referred to Piedmont or Oconee azalea) grows in a container 

A spectacular spring bulb, Camassia leichtlinii 'Caerula' with its starry blue flowers are visited by bees and butterflies. Our heavy rains and wind knocked them over a bit but they are still lovely. Groundcover Green and Gold is just starting to bloom in the background and a few volunteer columbine complete the spring blooms in this bed.

Camassia leichtlinii 'Caerula'

On the other side of the path is another grouping of camassia, later to flower because of different sun conditions, allowing us to enjoy them for a longer time. 

So much more to share as spring continues but we are enjoying every minute of nature's magic. 


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. Inspiring. I admit to being envious of your soil It doesn't look shallow!

    1. Mostly clay soil but over the years we have added lots of organic material to help it drain better.

  2. Beautiful!! Interesting to see what you have blooming that mine aren't yet. Love all the spring colors!

    1. Right back at ya! Funny how two hours can make such a difference.

  3. Oh my, it's lovely. I wish I was in your garden right now. We are very slow to wake up this spring, but there are little signs of hope. Beautiful photos, as always, Karin!

    1. You are welcome to come to my garden anytime Beth! I hope you will come see it some time. Glad you are seeing signs of spring in your garden. It's been a rough and tumble start.

  4. Lovely scenes! I could sit and stare at a few of them all day!

    1. Me too, if only I didn't have to go to work. It really is a great place to relax surrounded by nature.

  5. Wow - so gorgeous, Karin! I can just see you sitting on your deck, enjoying - such a beautiful, peaceful spot. You're so fortunate to have such soul-soothing surroundings.

    1. Indeed! We were fortunate to have so many mature trees on our property. The rest has been lots of hard work and after almost 14 years I feel that we are finally enjoying it!

  6. Loving seeing all the color in your garden....mine is just starting although not much these days as the garden is so small. But it all brings me joy!

    1. Gardens, no matter how small, are significant. I am glad you are looking forward to yours bursting with life.


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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin

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