It’s 5:00 somewhere! Time for cocktails on the veranda!! Don’t you love spring? 🙂

This is such a busy but exciting season. There is much to do in the garden: cutting back deadwood, dividing crowded perennials, mulching beds, fertilizing plants and trees, etc. Please don’t forget your street trees. Everywhere I look, plants including weeds are popping up like crazy. I’m just grateful to see any sign of life after that lonnnnnng winter. So, weeds: you are safe for now. Though I’ll get you soon…..after I enjoy my margarita.

Pansies are one of my favorite early spring annuals – they are cheerful, hardy and easy to grow. This year, I’ve planted small white pansy flowers in the footed urns. These small flowers, just a little bigger than Johnny-Jump Up Violas, suit the scale of the urns.
The 16 European hornbeams, planted in groups of 4, are starting to leaf out. Even without foliage, they are striking with their graphic, twiggy form. But it’s a relief to see that they’ve made it through another winter.

BELOW: A few days later, the other 8 Hornbeams on the north side are filling in nicely.

The boxwood balls are also flushing out. Soon they will be covered in chartreuse-green like the hornbeams.
Speaking of green, the lawn is looking very lush. I love the stripes after it is freshly mown. Tom gets all the credit here! To keep the grass from meandering into the walkways and beds, he installed metal edgers.

A closer look at a 4″ high metal edging strip – about 3″ is buried in the ground.

I don’t think I’ve ever shown the street side of our Nellie Stevens holly hedge. Each April, hundreds of white Narcissus Thalias bloom in these terraced beds. After the flowers have finished their show, the foliage gets hidden by liriope plants.
With star-shaped flowers in pristine white, Thalia is an heirloom Narcissus that has enchanted gardeners since 1916.
Behind the cedar gate is the courtyard garden. The row of crape myrtles is still bare. Notice they are pollarded – pruned at the same height each year for size control. Pollarding or topping off crape myrtles is quite controversial – some refer to it as “crape murder.”
Step inside for a pop of sunshine courtesy of mini Tete-a-Tete daffies. These early bloomers are the perfect way to welcome spring. Panda, our regal 16-year-old Tibetan Terrier, thinks so!
 Here are 2 photos of this same courtyard taken in previous Aprils – note the crape myrtles were not pruned.
Lastly, we have mischievous Mocha, another TT, frolicking in a bed of perwinkles 🙂 Can you believe she is almost 15?
Cheers to another garden season!
Loi, Tom, Panda and Mocha