Friday, March 21, 2008

'The Winds of March With Beauty'

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Spring is in the air. This American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and his friends come by almost daily to take a bath in my water garden.

They seem to prefer it to the birdbath; maybe to avoid the neighborhood tomcat. Here is one goldfinch balancing on my solar fountain...

My son and I went to The Natural Gardener where we bought some small ice plants that we just popped in to the left of the lavender, below...

I've hesitated to plant things before putting in a pool for my son's therapy because I know the workmen will likely stomp the plants -- not purposely, but in the line of duty, as it were. But with displays like the one below, what is a gal to do?

We saw some beautiful Texas Mountain Laurels (Sophora secundiflora) at the nursery as well. They are spectacular in Austin this year. I wish I could afford to have a goodly-sized specimen planted in my front garden to replace my crepe myrtle. Too bad they grow so slowly. I do love them as do the butterflies and birds.

We are getting ready for Easter here. Our lovely friends in Scotland -- my son's pen pal's family who we've known for over 10 years -- sent a box of Easter goodies that arrived today. What a wonderful surprise! My son opened it to find a plenthora of treats...

Mysteriously the Scooby-Doo Chocolate Egg vanished almost immediately. Heehee! There was even a package of "Scottish Wildflower Mix" for me (my friend knows me so well). Looks like there are all sorts of wonderful seeds included. [And it even meets the Worldwide Agricultural Requirements. So take that Seed Police!] We are truly blessed. I hope all of you will have a Happy Celebration as well.

Free Easter Greeting Cards.

I'm trying to keep my mind calm before my son's spinal surgery. When we lived here in 1989 I began reading the China Bayles mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert and loved it, (I still do). Recently I discovered Ms. Albert's Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series of books and recommend them to anyone who enjoys mysteries and gardening.

These are delightful books that transport the reader directly into Miss Potter's world. I love the way some of the characters 'hear' the animals speak without realizing it. The books are a real solace for me right now as I crave peace. As you can see, they go well with a morning cup of coffee...

Some of you may know that Susan Wittig Albert has kindly agreed to join the Garden Blogger's Spring Fling for a book signing. Please take the time to check out Susan's impressive Lifescapes gardening blog as well.

Speaking of reading, I read a sort of love story on Der Spiegel recently. Seems Petra the black swan fell in love with a swan-shaped paddle boat and wouldn't leave its side. Officials in Muenster decided to bring the swan and the boat into the city zoo over the winter. Happily, Petra met her Prince Charming: a real flesh & blood white swan named Paul. Whew! You can see them here...

As my friend Nancy so aptly phrased it: "Goodbye Mr. Right Now. Hello Mr. Right!" Well said. Though is it just me or does Petra seem to look a little wistfully at Herr Paddle Boat? Ah, unrequited love can be a real bite. sigh.

Update: As of 3/26/08 Petra's 'real' swan dude seems to have left her and Petra is to be reunited with her Paddleboat once again. Read about it here.

I hope all of you have a very Happy Easter, Spring...or whatever you happen to celebrate. And for a little smile, please check out Ceasar the cat's photo from

"First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus -
Crocus." ~
Lilja Rogers

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such a good poem to close your post with.

You and your son will be in my prayers. Best of luck with the surgery.

May spring sunshine spread peace and health through out your family.

Carol said...

Seeing that picture from the Natural Gardener and being reminded of the book signing makes me even more excited to go the spring fling... in just two weeks.

Happy Easter to you as well,
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Pam/Digging said...

It's nearly impossible to resist a purchase at Natural Gardener. And hard to resist planting in beautiful spring weather like we're enjoying. I can see why you can't hold out for the pool first.

What a funny swan love story. Thanks for sharing. And Happy Easter to you too.

Dawn said...

Thanks Lisa at Greenbow,
I liked the poem too and had not heard of Lilja Rogers before. Thank you for the prayers. We can use all the help we can get. A Very Blessed Spring to You as well. :-)

Greetings Carol,
The Spring Fling sounds so exciting, doesn't it? What a wonderful opportunity for everyone. I do hope to attend as many of the functions as I can.

Hi Pam!
The swan story reminded me of the movie "Lars and the Real Girl". And I cannot seem to overcome temptation at Natural Gardener. We all have our vices. ;-)

Hope you & your families have a very Happy Easter!


Annie in Austin said...

Dawn, the Natural Gardener always has something tempting doesn't it? One of the Divas and I were there on Friday - she was buying more of that Salvia for other beds in her garden since last year's plants did so well. I'll bet it will do well for you, too.

This must be an anxious time for you - how cool that you're reading the Cottage Tales. I'm in the middle of one of Susan Albert's China Bayles mysteries, myself, and am also hoping the timing works out so I can meet her next month.

Those Texas Mountain Laurels grow so slowly three are still very low to the ground that the flower buds were frozen in a light freeze. But I have hope they'll bloom some year.

Happy Easter to you and yours,

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Salix Tree said...

Lovely blog! It's my first time here. I'm blog hopping, and came here from Kate's blog.
Cute little Irish song down below. And Loreena McKennitt is one of my favorite musicians, isn't she wonderful?
Pretty birds in your pond.

Andrea's Garden said...

Hello Dawn, my thoughts and prayers will be with your family as your son pulls through his surgery. I am having a difficult time resisting the nurseries and have been using every spare moment of sunshine (which is really a relative expression in March in Bavaria)) to go outdoors and get my fingernails dirty. Funny story about the swan. They had it in the news last year, too. Andrea

Dawn said...

Dear Annie,
Oh, I love the Natural Gardener. I can't leave there empty-handed. Can't be done! Glad to hear we're both keeping them in business. ;-)

I love The Cottage Tales. The first book is taking my mind off our current worries at home, if only for a few moments each day. You'd mentioned on your blog that you identify with the character Ruby in the China Bayles series. In the Cottage Tales I definitely identify with Beatrix Potter. Aside from her extraordinary artistic talent -- which I do *not* possess -- I do have Miss Potter's plain-looks, shyness and have experienced my share of personal tragedy. So, I'm hooked.

Regarding the Texas Mountain Laurels, I wonder if large trees survive transplant very well. Do they like being moved? Must look into this. Ah, temptation is calling again.

Welcome Salix!
Thanks for dropping by!
It's always nice to meet another garden blogger as well as a Loreena McKennitt fan. She is lovely!

Hello, Andrea!
Thank you for your kind words. I'm tired of resisting the nurseries. I've decided to succumb to my plant-buying vice and live a little. *wink* I am glad to hear that you're enjoying your Spring. I hope it continues to warm up in your area. I hadn't heard of your swan story until last week. It's actually very sweet. I think magical things must still happen in Germany. :-)

Happy Easter to all of you!

Libbys Blog said...

I shall have a look for the 'Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter' they sound right up my garden!!!lol!

Annie in Austin said...

Shyness and personal tragedy are interior atributes, able to be judged by the person who claims them, but as someone who has spent real time with you, I do not agree with "plain-looks", Dawn!


Dawn said...

Hi Libby!
I hope you'll enjoy the Cottage Tales as much as I am. :-)

Thank You Annie,
You are very kind, my friend. Enough said.


A wildlife gardener said...

I hope all goes well for your darling son, dear Dawn :) i love the Texas mountain laurel...such a divine profusion of flowers :)

Dawn said...

Thanks Wildlife Gardener!
Your good wishes are much appreciated, believe me. And I must agree with you about those Texas Mountain Laurels. They even smell good. :-)