Gardening Now And Blooms, Too

This native large shrub is called by many names including Grandaddy Gray Beard and Grand-sir Gray Beard. Beautiful delicate flowers

The three most used garden tools I am using now.

Mexican Amaryllis clump in full bloom.

A few days of great gardening weather makes me want to do too much, and now with being a home so much I have also slowed down to enjoy what’s blooming. Since rain is predicted soon, I set about planting and transplanting. I had bought two new calla lilies, Picasso and Qatar, as well as having grown over the winter a couple of the big calla lilies. They were planted in good fertile soil in partial shade, and hopefully they will have a new set of flowers this summer. The typical white callas do great outside here, and I will just have to see how Picasso and Qatar do over the winter. Remember they need to be watered during dry periods, and I will lightly fertilize them during a rainy period in June. I also have several clumps of day lilies that I needed to move, so I dug them, divided and repotted for future gifts to a garden I am helping to develop. Yesterday after I tilled half of my vegetable garden, I put down an old arbor and two “rose” pillar frames to make a pseudo castle to grow my pole beans on this year. Since I had the seed and the soil was warm I went ahead and took the risk and planted them. Another thing I am enjoying doing is looking at neighbor’s plants that are flowering, like the clump of Mexican amaryllis coming in to bloom in their yard. They do great with little or no care. Also I have enjoyed many of the natives I am seeing in folks’ gardens and along the edge of the woodlands. Grand-sir Gray Beard is a beauty and does so well in our area. It loves sun to part shade and makes a rambling upright large shrub which can be shaped into a small tree. Fortunately you can find this in some of our bigger local nurseries. I have had some for years, and they do fine in sun to part shade and are not too particular about soil conditions but do not like wet locations. So do some chores but don’t forget to spot and enjoy this beautiful spring.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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