Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Little Leaves

It has taken a while, but after a long, cold winter, it looks like spring has finally taken hold. Stems and branches that were bare all winter (not counting the ice) are showing signs of life again.

The redbud tree was just about to bloom when a strong cold front blew through in early March and the temperature dropped into the teens. Most of the flowers froze in the cold. Now, little heart shaped leaves are developing.

Despite the late freeze, there are a few clusters of pink flowers blooming among the little leaves.

Plants, like this pipevine, are becoming green again. I really like the freshness of new leaves in the garden. Maybe love is a more appropriate word considering all of the heart-shaped leaves. I know the pipevine swallowtail butterflies love the leaves, at least their caterpillars do. It will not be long before the butterflies lay eggs on the stems and caterpillars eat the leaves and that is OK with me. That is what they are there for.

The little leaves of the red oak are a favorite. The flowers hanging down from the leaves are releasing pollen and everything outside is turning yellow. Fortunately a rain over the weekend washed away some of the pollen.

A robin sits near the top of the tree.

Thorny little leaves are sprouting from the thorny limbs of toothache tree. 

Little pale green leaves are sprouting out on the deciduous possumhaw hollies. It seems like the cedar waxwings may have moved on before they ate all of the berries. I have heard that the birds can get tipsy on the fermented berries, so maybe they are just waiting for happy hour. 

American beautyberry is one of the last plants in the garden to leaf out. 

The little leaves of Eve's necklace are have a silvery glimmer when they first emerge due to tiny hairs on the leaves.

Buffalo currant had a few flowers while the stems were still leafless. Once it began leafing out, it was covered in fragrant flowers. 

A new plant in the garden is spicebush. It had little yellow flowers before it began leafing out. The spiders seem to like it. This is my second attempt at spicebush. They are native to east Texas and beyond. I seem to have better luck with central and west Texas plants in my garden. Good luck to you, spicebush. I hope to attract some spicebush swallowtail butterflies if there are any around here. I have been fascinated with their caterpillars since I was young, but I have never seen one in person. 

These little leaves may be growing on my latest garden regret/mistake. It is a prairie flameleaf sumac. I read that they are not as prone to suckering as the roots are disturbed. Well, I disturbed the roots last month by moving it from the front garden to the side garden. I disturbed the roots again by moving it to the back garden. When I moved it, I notices little suckers forming on the roots and there are also suckers coming up from the roots that were left behind in the front garden. Live and learn. I may have sumacs everywhere before all is said and done.

This is best year yet for my coral honeysuckle. Flowers are emerging all throughout the fresh green leaves.

I have not seen any hummingbirds, but think I have heard their humming around the garden.

This weekend I will need to train the vines onto the arbor before they join in the center. The oak tree pictured above is in the near background of this photo. The Eve's necklace, American beautyberry, and buffalo currant pictured above grow under the oak tree. The spicebush will be planted to the right of the pathway near the redbud tree.

The little leaves I am least fond of belong to all of the little oak, pecan, hackberry, and ligustrum seedlings that are sprouting all over the garden. These are in the asparagus bed. 

For a parting shot, the bluebonnets are blooming! Oh, and the blog may change a time or two or three before I settle on a new look and as I learn new tricks. What do you think so far?


  1. Liking your new blog title font - art-deco or crafstman? Great spring progress there...incredible Coral Honeysuckle, though sorry about the sumac sprouts!

    1. David, I was looking for a craftsman/arts and crafts/prairie style font and found this one called Prairie School as a free download at Looks like an interesting website. I pretend that my 1970s house is in that style.

  2. I like the pipevine leaf photo. It must be spring when bloggers remodel!

    1. I like that photo too. It is not often that I am steady enough to get a good close up. The blog remodel was under consideration but not exactly planned for the moment. I was playing with settings and accidently saved some of the changes.

  3. We just planted a coral honeysuckle and I'm excited for it this season!

    Your garden is looking fantastic!

    1. Misti, it took a couple of years for my coral honeysuckle to take off and bloom. I really like mine. Good luck with yours.

  4. A bold new look for your blog -- change is good! Isn't it good to finally see spring brightening our gardens again after this doozy of a winter?

    1. Unfortunately, winter is making a comeback tonight with temperatures around 30. This should be the last one, I hope.


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