The progress of spring
We;re guessing that it's the large number of below-freezing days that brought such an outstanding display of old-fashioned narcissus and of Erlicheer. There were even more species tulips than usual, with Tubergen's Gem in two types, bright and more pastel, contributing to the amazing number of Lilac Wonder flowers. One Texas double daffodil appeared. One of the spectacular displays now is rank on rank of Dutch Iris: purple, blue, crimson, Japanese-style blue with bright golden eyes, white, bright yellow, yellow-and-white, and an astonishing blue-white tinged with lilac. We'd have had more of these if the last killing frost hadn't occurred right when the plants had many buds showing color; these never opened. White and also pink wood hyacinths appeared. Ranunculus flower continue to open; they're not as large as they are some years. There's been one handsome picotee flower, and the rest are mostly of the Sunset variety. Spiderwort plants have very large flowers this year. The roses that have reverted to the root stock are covered with buds, but no flowers have opened yet. Fig leaves were appearing before the last killing frost, but they fell off; now the fig is producing a new set of leaves. One live oak is sporting flowers; the other has yet to drop all of its leaves. There are no flowers yet on the pecan. Ornamental allium has produced a beautiful backdrop for all of the other flowers. It's past peak display, but now the small, second variety of allium is covered with buds. Another casualty of the cold weather was the planting of Wando peas; some survived and are now producing a few pods. We've eaten the peas raw from the first couple of pods--an indescribable treat! The one-dollar clematis plans from the supermarket are producing more flowers than ever before, and they're the size of saucers. A never-before-seen winged creature has been frequenting the premises: It's not very large and has a wooly black body, and black wings that with "polka dots" that appear to be white but, upon closer inspection, have the appearance of mother-of-pearl and perhaps are translucent. We think that we've heard toads calling.