January Promises

DSCF8859  January chores are endless. I’ve been tearing out cat brier Smilax, a terrible pest, and pruning boxwoods. Both are never-ending jobs here.

DSCF8865These boxwoods are around a huge wad of wisteria. There used to be a bigger patch of it where you can see a dormant crape myrtle with daffodil foliage underneath in the distance. It got so overgrown that we just scraped away the whole mess. There was spirea and cat brier and wisteria all grown together. At times the vines would grow up into the dogwood tree. It was all pretty in bloom but a nightmare the rest of the year.

Between chores I look at what’s showing Promises of Spring while I try to ignore the weeds. Some weeds are seasonal and if they’re not too noxious, I kind of wait for hot sunshine to take them. Others require more vicious measures which we’ll address in another post. A weed with a blue blossoms gets to stay is one of my rules.

Some Spring Promises:


Hyacinths are showing up everywhere. These are pink.


Bath’s Pinks will bloom soon.


Early Daffodils in bud.


Parsley promises Black Swallowtails will find larval hosts.

Oxalis in bloom is a weed considered a flower by some. It tends to get rust here, so it isn’t encouraged.


Left to right: weed, larkspur seedling, poppy seedling.

I’m always watching for seedlings. I’m always seeing weeds.

There’s a patch of henbit near one of the rose beds that looks pretty only because nothing around it is blooming. Henbit is one of those weeds that disappears with hot sun, so I leave it for beneficials to visit. No photo. Yet.


One of my favorite promises is the tiny buds on dogwood, ever swelling even as the berries linger. Robins will get the berries when they come through soon on their way North.


Proof that Spring will come: Deciduous magnolias. This one is Leonard Messel. If a freeze takes out the early blossoms, there are many fuzzy tight buds to open next warm day.

Sparkleberries are blooming, I noticed this morning.

So many promises, even those you know are just under the soil or buds yet to swell on a branch. Imagine how many promises lie under a blanket of snow. We’ve been chatting on Autumn Belle’s Chat on Facebook about the flowers of the Chinese New Year. Some like Peonies and Prunus Mume, they use faux branches because they do not grow in Malaysia. Peonies don’t grow here either for lack of cold. Where it snows, they get ample chill.

I found both Peonies and Prunus mume on blogs of others today.