Eleven inch snow blankets Northwest Arkansas on 2nd day of Spring

This was the view from our southwest deck on the second day of Spring.  Snow dissolves   more nitrogen from the air, so it always gives plants a little added growth boost, especially this late and so much of it!

Neither the blooming apricot, nor the daffodils seemed to be too affected by the snow because the temperatures weren’t extreme.  The hellebores just came right up through the snow too.

I hope Mother Nature is ready for us to have a really beautiful Spring, now,  after her parting shot of Winter. Enjoy!

Grandma’s Jonquils

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February 8th Popcorn Snow

Well, even though I love the look of snow, since this is our third one in 3 weeks, I’d like to see the ground again. I call this one the “popcorn” or “cotton candy” snow because of the way it lays on the tree branches and bushes. With the wind chill it is about 15° today, so I didn’t linger outside long. Had to feed the birds at 3 different stations and check to see if any of our plants were damaged. Too soon to tell. Enjoy the  photos. Think warm thoughts.

Red-twig dogwoods with garden sign

Popcorn snow brings out red twig color of 'Blue Ice' Cypress.

The flowering dogwood looks like it is blooming in the winter.

late January 2010 snow

Thankfully, we received more snow than ice this time, so most of the trees and shrubs were spared another shattering event.  I was encouraged to get out, take some photos and I even made a snow angel, which I haven’t done in years.  Enjoy these photos

Snowy  yaupon berries

Icy Crossvine Leaf on Gate Arbor

Front Gate with Crossvine Arbor

protecting birds

Migrating birds are often victims of smashing into windows and either stunning or killing themselves. Last week, two juncos met their death because of our windows. The birds that are around most of the year seem to know better. Today, a beautiful Cedar Waxwing, my first of the season, knocked himself silly on the window and was just sitting two feet from our patio doors, unmoving. I watched him for several minutes to see if he were okay. When he still didn’t move, I slowly opened the door to see if I could help him. Luckily, he had come around enough to fly into the nearby maple tree.

If you find an unconscious bird, whose neck is not broken, place it in a small box with soft cloths and the lid on. Even when it wakes up, keep the lid on, put it outside for several more minutes, so it can get used to the cold temperatures again, then take the lid off and let it fly.

Hang brightly-colored ribbon or even CD discs (something shiny) from cotton string or fishing line outside in front of the windows. Often this will be enough to warn to birds away.

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Evergreen Ferns and relatives brighten the Winter landscape.

evergreen ferns

Autumn, Tassel (top) and Champion(below) Ferns add green to Winter landscape.

Warmer winter days, like today, are perfect for assessing the landscape plan.  If deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials dominate your space, your garden may seem to resemble a moonscape, devoid of life.  I looked around our acre garden and found some  spots where I could pop in more evergreen ferns. These 3 pictured survived the weeks of snow and 0° temps this month.  Autumn Fern, (Dryopteris erythrosora) Tassel Fern, (Polystichum polyblepharum) and Champion’s Wood Fern (Dryopteris championii) anchor a shady portion of a new bed on our patio, backed up by a big deciduous Royal Fern.

Another favorite for winter color is Arborvitae Fern, also called Braun’s Spikemoss, (Selaginella braunii), which is neither fern nor moss, but a club moss, which is a fern ally. Giant forms of  club mosses flourished during the Permian and Carboniferous periods, millennia ago, laying down beds of coal. In extreme cold, Selaginella is  semi-evergreen, simply curling up its fronds rather than disappearing.

Other evergreen ferns include Christmas Fern, Dixie Wood Fern, Leathery Wood Fern and Holly Fern.

Garden speaker

photo of 2010 snow in front of our house. Sure is nicer than all of that ice last January. Please see a great opportunity below:

The Juinior Master Gardener’s of Washington County, Arkansas,will be having a fund raiser Feb. 9th, 7 pm, at Ozarks Electric’
The program will be Rita Arnold from Arnolds Greenhouse, LeRoy, KS speaking on New Annuals, Perennials, and Vegetables for 2010. She will have catalogs available.
Cost is $8.00 if you pre-register and $12.00 at the door. Pre-registering guarantees you’ll get a catalog. All proceeds go to the Washington County Junior Master Gardeners. Call Joyce Mendenhall at 444-1755 to register.
> Thanks!

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Happy New Year 2010

Last January, Northwest Arkansas had a devasting ice storm. We are looking forward to the trees and shrubs’ power of renewal for January 2010. We can all use some form of renewal. Happpy 2010, may this be a wonderful year for you.

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