Spring Brings "BB", Birds, & Blooms

Seasons are real.  We have four a year.  Everyone knows it, though no one really notices exactly when the seasons change.  But honey, I promise you, I don’t care what the calendar says, last weekend marked the end of winter and the arrival of spring on Bayou DuLarge.  Honestly, winter came to a screeching halt, the Ides of March took over, we had a drizzle of rain, and then EVERYTHING started blooming.

Folks have gone from winter colds to spring pollen allergies in a matter of hours.  The wild blackberries are in bloom.  The pear trees are full of white flowers.  It’s just absolutely amazing.  And before the dreaded DST kicked in, it was daylight here by 5:45 a.m., making it much easier to get up and get the boys on the bus by 6:25.

And with spring came my good friend, BB.  Since she lives on the coast of Mississippi, all her plants suffered from the two hard freezes we had here this year.  And since she helped me plant the beautiful flower beds and pots last year at Camp DuLarge, she came back to help me repair the damage.

Things were looking very bleak–almost stark naked.

So we gave the old flowerbeds a face lift.  We added some soil, a few new plants, and some pine mulch.  BB insisted on the “knockout roses”, and I can’t wait to see how they do.  My daddy grew roses, so this brings back fragrant memories of cut roses in the house . . .

Does anyone know where the name “knockout” comes from?

We repotted all the aloevera plants she gave me last year . . . some were pot-bound and some were ill from almost freezing.  But if anything had one little sign of life, BB insisted on saving it.  She has an amazing green thumb and a wonderful outlook on life and gardening.  She really inspired me, not to mention worked circles around me.

We replaced all the dead annuals on the deck.  I’m hoping my beautiful Cajun Hibiscus comes back.  I had to cut it back before the hard freeze, and it’s looking very sad right now.

She expanded her gardening expertise this year to include beautifying underneath/around the old oak tree.  We needed something to hold the soil and mulch in place, and I sure hope Termite doesn’t mind that we used his duck decoys as a border!

The second morning, I took her on a little joy ride . . .

to show her the new nature trail and . . .

to see some very beautiful birds.  I know you see the roseate spoonbills in the tree, but do you see and can you identify the other two that are sort of hiding out?

On the way home, I spied this little bit of blue heaven.  I’m so confused now about the spring migration.  It’s too early.  Why was this little one here already?  Did he stay here all winter?  Did he forgo the trip south?  Kim, do you have a clue about this oddity?  Oh, it’s an Indigo Bunting, by the way.

We finished potting plants, raked leaves, hauled leaves, and mowed the grass.  Camp Dularge looks so good right now.  Thanks to her energetic contribution!

BB and I had a wonderful girlfriend two days of hard work, which she calls loads of fun.  I gave her a parting gift box of jelly and preserves I’d made, and you would have thought I had given her a box of gold.  She expressed a desire to learn to make jellies and jams, and that is one of the things that is on the list of things to do during a Becoming a Bayou Woman getaway.  BB said “sign me up, honey!”

So, ladies, when will we have our first one, and who will come?

Springing forth,


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  1. So jealous! We still float back and forth from 40 to 70 degrees. Often in the same day. You know they always say if you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, stick around another 5 minutes, it will change. I am ready for Spring!

    1. Same thing in La. about the the temps. BUT, ya gotta add rain to the “if you don’t like the weather…”

  2. I need a professional opinion from a pro. Weekend of 15th of April or 15th of May or both. Or sign up for laser surgery and forget the whole thing?

  3. That looks lovely! I have a young man coming Tuesday to help me clean out my biggest planting area (4 1/2′ x 70′) and to till it up. It really took a beating last year since I was unable to tend to it. Hubby and I got the other 5 around the house this past weekend.
    Can’t plant a thing though because they said we might have snow this weekend with wind chills in the 20s! Everything around here is blooming and budding out too. If it freezes, I can kiss all my plums goodbye for this year. The tree was a huge snowball of blooms earlier this week.

  4. Oh, so many wonderful things to look at!

    On the right, that’s a black-crowned night heron. Can’t quite tell if the other is also, but I’d suspect so.

    We’ve gone through the same spring-busting-out-all-over process in the past week. You could tell things were just waiting….waiting… The Indian Hawthorne’s getting ready to bloom, the pears are out, and the wildflowers are starting, too. Thank goodness!

    And at work today, the first fish of the season jumped out of the water right next to me. They’re getting active, too 😉

  5. You lucky woman! I’ve only seen an indigo bunting 4-5 timesThey always show up in late February, though, headed north – I’ll bet it’s a late migration because of the extra cold winter.

    Or maybe not. I never thought they were around here in the summer – just passed through like the robins. Anxious to learn more!

    1. Oh no, he’s not late. We are in the Mississippi River Flyway, and every April, thousands of birders flock here to watch for the fallout (which is next month), and we see flocks of the Indigos. The rare one for me has been the Painted Bunting, which I’ve only seen four times–all before I had any kind of zoom lens, too. And yes, I agree, I am very, very lucky.

  6. I want to do a weekend! With ball schedules though I don’t think I’m free for another 12 years, lol. It’s 72 here today——it’s supposed to be 32 degrees and 6 inches of snow tomorrow. Can we start the bayou weekend now?

  7. My take on “Knockout” roses is that they knock out whatever tries to attack them – black spot, too hot weather, too cold weather, lack of fertilizer, lack of water, whatever – they always come up “smelling like roses”!!

  8. P.S. My friend, who babies her roses daily, has to cut back half their 6 1/2 feet of growth every year!

  9. The colors on the Bunting are beautiful! Oh yeah, I didn’t notice any tomatoes in all those new plantings. I’m gonna get a tomatoe plant in your yard one day! LOL

    1. For some reason, Steff, you’ve gotten the impression that I’m not a gardener. Have you forgotten why I asked about the trough gardens? I’ve had gardens in years past, WITH tomatoes, but the soil here needs lots of help, and then along comes the saltwater and makes it worse . . . . and just FYI, I planted TWO tomato plants in that side bed (again, even with additives, the soil was very poor. just ask BB) and they did not produce anything (lack of nutrients and bad light). And I love tomatoes right off the vine, so if you want to come stick one in the yard somewhere, you are more than welcome!! Just make sure you bring a tall pot, a stand, and soil along with it! Oh, and a step ladder so I can tend to it!

      1. Hey, a 5 gal. bucket or “Topsy Turvy” would be perfect for you. The cattle troughs won’t cut it. Been there, done that. Too top heavy. A few years ago I made my own version of a Topsy out of a large plastic bucket. It did well. Hubby didn’t like it though…he kept hitting his head when he’d weed eat. You’ve got the perfect place for something like this… Elevated house, an eye bolt in your 2x, a bag of Garden soil, etc and… Voila… HOME GROWN RED (or yellow, orange, or green if you’re into Heirlooms) RIPE JUICY ‘MATORS in a few months. D@#&, my mouth is watering just thinking about a good Tomato sandwich!

      2. You can get bales of hay(small bales), leave them intact, and cut into them toward each end making a + sign with a sharp and about 12″ long knife. Put a small amount of potting soil in the cuts and plant your tomatos in them. They are supposed to grow very well and use the rotting hay as fertilizer. Also, not supposed to need water as often. Each bale will plant 2 tomato plants. There is info on it at http://www.ehow.com/how_6059009_easiest-way-grow-herbs-vegetables.html

      3. Last year the gardening crew on weather underground was all agog over “trashy tomatos” – planted in a 5 gallon bucket with about anything you can think of. It sounded to me like composting, but honest to goodness, they were pulling tomatoes off vines like crazy.

        I never kept the info because I don’t have enough sun but I’ll see if I can find the instructions from one of them who did it and email (or post here if short enough).

  10. I don’t do decorative too much, But its been way too wet for the garden until the last few days. Busting sod, pullin up rows, and re-opening drains, and sure enough its supposed to rain again tonight.

    Everything is starting to green, except the pecans. Louisiana pecans are like Texas mesquite, they know when winter is over. Old man ‘splained that to me long ago, and its never proved wrong that I remember.

    As to your tomatoes BW, best variety for here is “Celebrity”, They are not the best tomatoes, just the best for our area, they handle rain and heat very well. You can even plant them upside down in hanging pots if you want.

    When I had my apartment days, I did alot of grape and cherry tomatoes upside down.

    But for regular tomatoes here, try the celebrity, serious if anything grows through the season it will be them.

    BTW this is my planting bible:

    Also a great guide, but ask down at your local feed and seed and they will help you also.

  11. I’d try Park’s Whopper tomatoes only kind I grow really.
    Hold up to everything here heat cold water or drought.
    Still green and growing till killing frost. Might take over your whole yard.

    I got chicken in the red pot cooked to fall apart stage. Wild rice to be added soon.