Spring fever

narcissi.jpgRobins were seen yesterday in East Austin. The mockingbirds were pestering them, but the migrants seemed to be finding enough food to fuel their northward flight. Some years, the robins all seem to fly over to the east; other years, some are to be seen west of IH-35. Cedar waxwings are everywhere, as well. They no doubt have much to do with the spread of non-native waxleaf ligustrum in our nature preserves. Nevertheless, it is a pretty sight to see a berry-laden tree alive with waxwings, and they do feast on juniper berries, too.

All those of us who love spring-flowering bulbs are embarking on some of the peak weeks for enjoying these delights. These no-work treats repay the tiny effort it takes to drop them into the ground and they can always be dug up and moved on for planting in another home. A bonus is that the squirrels don’t like to eat bulbs of the daffodil-narcissus-jonquil family. This is a picture taken using the toy camera this morning before it was really light. These colors are so beautiful on an overcast day. We’ve opened some of our windows; they’ll be closed again if the weather turns, but it’s delightful to have the scent of hyacinths, daffodils and narcissi, cyclamens, and violas come wafting in. It’s spring’s lease, not summer’s, that hath all too short a date.

There’a new edition of Garden Bulbs for the South, by Scott Ogden. The original edition’s in library branches all over town. If you have any tiny little corner of earth in which to dig, this is the book that will tell you what not only works, but also what seldom fails and returns year after year, when it comes to flowers of this type for our peculiar conditions.

3 Comments so far

  1. mss (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    I saw a robin last week in my South Austin garden, too. I don’t see them every winter, so I was pretty excited. When I called my husband to look he exclaimed, “That’s not a robin!” Turns out that English robins (which he grew up with) are completely different than American robins. I’ve never lived north, so I’ve never experienced robins as harbingers of spring.

    Except for the paperwhites, none of my daffodils have flowered this year. The usually reliable “Ice Follies” have been a total dud so far.

    Have you seen any redbuds in flower yet?

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

    We had lots of paperwhites quite some time ago. Then it was the turn of the multi-blossomed ones that aren’t really Avalanche or Grand Primo but are something really old-fashioned that we’ve seen in Montopolis and that came from Bastrop. These are still going strong. Then yesterday many things opened, including these items in the picture (I always have trouble remembering the name — heading for medium in size and with stronger orange at the frill of the trumpet; they always return). Of Ice Follies we’ve had two so far. They’re usually ready for being stolen on Valentine’s Day. I haven’t even seen a hint of pink haze about any redbud anywhere yet, although last weekend I saw an ornamental pear in full blossom over east.

  3. Annie In Austin (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

    Here in NW Austin we had one robin sighting, along with scores of waxwings [maybe after my neighbor’s nandinas?], Grand Primos and a dozen Ice Follies in bud and bloom. The Carolina jessamine was transplanted in 2005, and this year it’s amazing.

    I should be satisfied, but am already making the list for fall: hyacinths, hyacinths, hyacinths.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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