March 18, 2024
“Your Yard is a Universe”

By Mary Reid Barrow

This wonderful  poster from the folks at Healthy Yards says so much about how I feel about my own yard that I can’t believe I wasn’t clever enough to come up with such a phrase.

The older I get, the more I realize my yard is my universe. I don’t have to travel far beyond my front door to see and hear wonders of all sorts.

I I walk round the little garden in all seasons, often daily. not to see what work needs doing, but to see what I can see.  What’s blooming?  What’s gone to seed? What birds, insects, turtles, and skinks are taking advantage of our universe?

Last week, a visit to my shaggy unkempt beds was full of surprises, mainly flowers. Several little spring blooming natives haven’t been able to resist the recent warm days and they seem  to have said, I just can’t wait any longer to pop open.

The other day, some of my impatient  bright yellow wood poppies, or celandine poppies, were flowering in full force. Their fuzzy gray seed pods are as interesting as their rounded petals are beautiful.

Right across the way, one great big columbine was popping open, all alone,  as if in a race to be the queen of the spring garden. The story goes that columbine blooms in time to feed the hummingbirds as they move north in spring.

0ver in another bed,  a few Lynnhaven carpet daisies were daring the warm sun not to  leave.  Their spreading downy leaves creat a gentle soft ground cover.

A tiny white spring moth, I think it was, also flitted  around its universe.  It  was nectaring on the little  blue rosemary blooms.

Around the corner, along the driveway,  the blueberries are all showing their early pinkish white buds.  And the tiniest bees, maybe southern blueberry bees, didn’t take long to discover that special nectar.  I am sure neither of us can imagine anything being more delicious than blueberry nectar.

Even the pushy non-natives are pretty charming this time of year.  The ersatz marsh marigolds, really lesser celandine, and no kin to my celandine poppies, are blooming in such a bright sunshine yellow that they catch my eye every time I look their way.  No matter how much I pull up, more comes back the next year.  Maybe it’s just telling me, I need its colorful March fix in my universe.

And the pretty blue star flowers!  They really don’t get in anybody’s way unless he or she wants a perfect lawn.  As for me, I don’t even think about  getting rid of  them! I’ll never understand why blue stars couldn’t be our native too!

All these and more are this week’s discoveries in my universe and  next week, I will find more surprises, as I do most every day of the year.


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