Savannah Garden Diary

March 16, 2008


It is lovely to have some splashy color in the garden after a gray winter. Whenever I get really depressed about climate change or the end of cheap oil (or rather about our government’s completely inadequate response to same), I go into the garden and it cheers me up. We had a tornado last night (the first in Georgia in 80 years, I believe) which knocked out our power (and that of another 150,000 people) for 12 hours.

I don’t really like this Bignonia ‘Tangerine.’ Although I think that is mainly my fault for putting it on a trellis that is too small for it. I have seen it look quite fine on arbors and on a chain slung diagonally across a space.


This California poppy seeded itself in the gravel beside the path to the pond, and luckily I recognized it before weeding it out. It doesn’t matter how many and what sort of poppy seeds I plant, these are the only ones that come back year after year. The color wouldn’t do in the back in summer when we are all white and pink and purple, but in spring any splash of color is welcome.


The wildlife is in full throttle. Brown-headed nuthatches have stolen the bluebird box in back, wrens are nesting under Richard’s dinghy. Goldfish are laying eggs in the pond, frogs reappearing, and here’s a gecko sunning on the trunk of a crape myrtle.


Here’s Lonicera sempervirens (or maybe it’s not sempervirens?) with Lady Banks on the pergola.


Scylla peruviana flowers for the first time. So-called not because they are Peruvian but because they were shipwrecked on the coast of Cuba in a ship named SS Peru. I’ve had them for 2 years. They must have been getting their strength back after traveling from Oregon or some such. They are of course a much more intense blue than you can tell from this.


I am very fond of these Thunbergia alata on the little trellis. I threw in a handful of seeds some years ago, and they just keep on coming.


This is a color combination that really appeals to me–purple viola and silver lamium.


And here is an amazing jumble of color which could only please me in early spring. Zephirine Drouhin, assorted yellow and blue violas, a species crocus (clusiana?), and alyssum which has seeded itself all over the patio, in the gravel and in ever bed for miles around. I see this color scheme is going to the even more bizarre when the California poppy in the foreground blooms!

February 19, 2008

Spring, Perhaps?

never-wet.jpgRather to my surprise, since I hacked everything in the bog to the ground about ten days ago, this never-wet (Orontium aquaticum) has started blooming. The bog was designed as a homage to a ditch in Okefenokee, a reminder of possibly my favorite place on earth, and it is full of unglamorous natives. Never-wet is so-called because its leaves are very waxy and repel water more than most leaves. 


  Viburnum tinus is in full flower in the front hedge. This particular one is a very slow grower, only about 5 feet tall at 5 years from a cutting. 


Lady Banks is in full flower on the pergola. So is Lonicera sempervirens, but I can’t get up high enough for a photo. I know Lady Banks blooms only once a year, but that’s NOT a problem since there are 7 or 8 other vines on the pergola that bloom at other times. And what’s not to love about a thornless rose that is such a glorious yellow.


Chionodoxa luciliae is just beginning to flower. There’s probably something I can do to the camera to produce a better blue than this washed-out affair, but I don’t know what. I should really take a course or get a better camera, or read the instruction book, or something. 


After considerable debate about various species of jasmine, I am convinced that this is pink jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum. I moved it to the veg garden fence about 18 months ago and it is doing just as I hoped, working toward an imitation of a gorgeous fence I saw on a Charleston garden walk:


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