Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In Your Backyard: "Spring Flings"

My favorite blooming season is spring. With the record-breaking cold temperatures, we should see wonderful flowering trees this year. This weekend on Valentine's Day, our spend-the-night guests included our grandchildren and more migrating robins flocking with Bohemian and cedar waxwings.

It was the first time I had seen waxwings in our yard. For the whole day our front yard was full of birds sipping and dunking in the birdbath. They were happy to sit on the thin but sturdy, native May haw trees surrounding their cement pond. My granddaughter identified the Bohemian waxwings with their rufous (red) faces and undertail area that differentiate them from cedar waxwings. They almost looked like baby cardinals at first. The holly and cherry laurel trees on our street must have attracted them. I know that if I had opened the door to take photographs they would have swooped up to the trees. It's the first time I've actually thought about putting a camoflauged hunter's deer blind on my porch or in my front window so that I would be able to take photos.

©2008 Teresa Watkins

Azaleas are starting to bloom now and flushed out by the middle of March. It's a great time to stop by your favorite nursery to find just the right color azalea for your yard.

I have seen a few tabebuias and redbuds in the full sun already blooming but my yard is still in partial shade with the sun's pattern, so mine will probably take a few more weeks to open. Dogwoods should be following soon along with the tabebuias. Tabebuias, also called trumpet trees, come in gorgeous Peter Max colors of hot pink and hot yellows.

©2008 Teresa Watkins

The shocking pink Tabebuia impetiginosa grows between 25 and 40 feet tall, should be planted in full sun, no pest problems, and is very drought tolerant when established.

The brilliant sunny yellow Tabebuia chrysotricha, usually smaller than its pink cousin, but just as striking in front of your house.

This weekend temperatures will be in the low 70's and should be an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs in your yard.

In your lawns, look out for the invasive and aggravating oxalis, Bayer Weed B-Gone Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis herbicide will do the trick. I'll be working on my mine but saving a few for St. Patrick's Day next month. Always follow the label instructions on any chemical product you apply in your landscape.

©2008 Teresa Watkins

Listen into "In Your Backyard" at 11:05 today and call with your landscape dilemmas.


Great calls today! Lots of citrus questions! Stay tuned to In Your Backyard next week for more citrus information.

With the help of John in Wildwood, we identified Edward's "marijuana-like" leaf shrub. It is a Vitex Chaste shrub. At this time, my vitex chaste is still dormant, but here's a great photograph of one I saw in College Park last year. Give this fragrant, lavender flowering shrub or tree lots of room to grow.

©2009 Teresa Watkins

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