Early Spring Color

The wet weather has ended, the sun is out, the grass is greening, some trees are budding, and color is returning to the yard.  All is right with the world.  That, of course, is ignoring current politics, war and famine in the world.

nearspring6This guy kept his gray-green foliage during the warm winter.  Desert Mallow or Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is considered a desert plant with winter hardy zones 9 – 10.  However, I’ve had this bush for three years, and it has easily survived our winters.  If and when we have a severe one with many days below freezing, it may not last.

nearspring3Pollinators already enjoying it.

nearspring7The smallish orange flowers are not an in your face glaring color.

nearspringaOne day recently I was in Brady waiting for a meeting.  With some time to kill, I went to Walmart looking for flowerpots.  Normally, I don’t buy plants there, but their tulips, daffodils, and Hyacinths looked so bright and healthy that I succumbed to impulse buying.  The soil was not dry, as is often the case in box stores plants.

Plus, they were a dollar each.  What a buy.

nearspringbSorry the pictures are lousy and the flowers look washed out.

First, I planted these in a large pot to enjoy inside near a french door.  What a strong scent they have.  After a couple of days with the aroma too strong, I went ahead and planted them outside where the rains laid them on their sides.

Maybe, next year I’ll get to enjoy them.

nearspring9 I bought this evergreen ground cover Vinca minor at a garden club plant sale.   Another member warmed me that it would take over my flowerbed.  Since I planned to use it in a spot that has a 12 ft. long by 5 foot wide rock just under the topsoil, I didn’t listen.

How do I know that massive rock is there?  Years ago, after we finished the soil preparation for a 150 ft. long and 8 ft. wide flowerbed, we tried to plant rose bushes in the rock area.  Since nothing with deep roots can be planted there, I’ve seeded it each year with Zinnas.  But it still needed something to look full.

nearspring8Vinca minor grows about 6 inches tall and produces beautiful purplish-blue flowers in early spring.  Information online says that Vinca minor prefers full to partial shade.  Mine grows in full sun with a little bit of morning shade.  It is a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8.  It only blooms in early spring and is mainly prized for its foliage.

So far, I’m not sorry it’s there.  It has just started to spread out after three years.  I’m hoping it can be controlled.  Maybe wishful thinking.

“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”             Swedish Proverb

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