After the Frost

After a few nights of just freezing temperature, it looks like spring really is here this time. My wife helped me bring pots into the garage for safety, and we stretched sheets over the Itoh peonies and a newly planted mandevilla. Everything appears to have survived the cold snap with no apparent damage. We have already cleared the garage and lugged all back to their places.

Every day now is a fun day in the garden. With the sun out, the chores of mulching and tidying the beds seem much easier. Growing things are appearing everywhere…first leaves on my oaks, vitex, and crape myrtles (finally), azalea blossoms opening throughout the garden, maple whirlygigs floating down, early hostas unfurling, big buds on the clematis (‘General Sikorski’ and ‘Ramona’ are going to be fantastic), wild violets throughout the woods, pieris in full bloom, peonies up and budding (color beginning to be visible), purple leaves on the ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud, and variegated liriope poking up its new gold foliage.


‘Frances Williams’ hosta


Wild violets in our woods


Pieris japonica ‘Red Mill’


Variegated liriope

holly blossoms

Blossoms on ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly

The ‘Nellie Stevens’ hollies are covered with blossoms, the best showing since they were planted some eight years ago. An armada of bumblebees is loading up on their nectar. We should have plenty of red berries later in the year for holiday arrangements, even after the critters take their share.

Candy tuft

Candy Tuft and Creeping Phlox

The candy tuft is as beautiful this spring as it has ever been. I didn’t do anything special to make it happen. It must like its pairing with the creeping phlox.

The new Japanese maple I planted last fall may still be relatively small, but its color now is captivating. I finally found the label.  It is ‘Summer Glow.’


Japanese maple ‘Summer Glow’

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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1 Response to After the Frost

  1. Your garden is beautiful! You are a little ahead of us here in Missouri. We had a hailstorm on April 2 that was so deep they brought out snowplows to clear the streets. My hostas were up and it looked like they were gone afterward – no sign of them at all. I worried the roots were dead, but now they are peeking up again. We have creeping phlox, jonquils, tulips, wild plum and forsythia blooming. The lilacs are almost open. They say planting a garden is an act of faith. I love the spring when my faith is rewarded!


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