Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 17, 2014

Around The Yard | Very Early Spring 2014


I have daydreams of sticking closer to home this summer.

Those often parallel my travel daydreams so it’s hard to tell where I’ll really end up.

I love my yard and I love working in my yard and I love hanging out in my yard and I love having people over for dinner and eating outside.

It’s an amazing spring day here today so I grabbed my camera and took a walk around my house. Here’s what I found:


In the front yard right now are those gorgeous little blue flowers around the icy blue lavender.


Forsythia. This is my sure sign that spring is coming. I have one on the right side of my house and one on the left side.


When you come around to the backyard there’s this great ground cover under a large Japanese Maple tree.


It’s short and lovely.


From left to right: really large white lilac along the side of the house (that I die over every year) + three blueberry bushes along the little fence + the giant wisteria which is what I saw the first time I walked through the doors of this house and it took my breath away (far right).


The blueberries.


Up close on the lilac.


There’s a neglected rhododendron in the far edge of my yard with beautiful pink blooms.


These will soon be cherry blossoms.


These, my favorite of all forever and ever amen, are peonies just coming up out of the ground.


There’s five or so groupings right here and nothing makes me quite as happy as when they bloom.


I’ve got some more peonies in a few other parts of my yard. Some that were planted over three years ago that might finally bloom this year. The others that are in the ground above produce the most amazing huge light pink blooms.


A white hydrangea that did pretty well last year. Doesn’t look like much now but it will have lovely large white blooms.


These will end up being really tall (I think they are day-lilies).


These came up again from last year. My Mom has told me that daffodils don’t always return again and again. Just one this time. I’ll likely put more bulbs in the ground there next fall. Behind these are a bunch of dahlias which are my second favorite behind peonies.


I have a shaded area along the back of my house that includes these white bleeding hearts and some other shade-loving plants.


And the beds. Obviously in need of some major TLC. The tomato cages are leftover from last years crop that were all volunteers (meaning they came up again from the year before). I really want to work on this area again this year and make sure I get some sweet peas in here like I did a few years back.

As you might be able to tell, I love perennials. These are the flowers that die to the ground and return again next year and the joy they bring me is big time.

I know how fast this all goes.

By the end of next month my yard will look more like this:


This was taken April 30th of last year when the wisteria was going crazy. We miss you Lily!


  • 1.

    Love all these plants. In Florida, we don’t get these kinds of flowers in our yards. I miss this. Everything is tropical here.

  • 2.
    Michelle O said…

    So lovely! I have a peony that bloomed the first spring we were in our house. Hasn’t bloomed again. We also have a blue hydrangea that blooms sporadically. I think it doesn’t get quite the right amount of sun.

    Someone told me that the secret to getting daffodils to bloom over and over again is to let them completely die back after the blooms fade. The bulbs get nourishment from the faded blooms or something. (I’m no gardener!)

  • 3.
    Alida said…

    I really thought tulips are your favourite. But peonies are my favourite too. How wonderful to have a photo with both George and Lily in it.

  • 4.
    Dawn F. said…

    Since my yard is still covered in 2 feet of snow, I loved looking at the signs of spring.

  • 5.
    Christina P said…

    How exciting! I can’t wait for spring here. Make sure to post pictures when your flowers are in full bloom!

  • 6.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    ahhhhh this gives me hope spring will come someday in the midwest. it’s in the 30′s here today :( everything is BROWN.

    • ….
      northcarmen said…

      Everything is white here — I am wishing for brown!!

  • 7.
    Marge G. said…

    So nice to see flowers and sun, Ali. Here in Philadelphia, we just had (yet another) snow storm last night, and I’m sitting here looking at (yet more) snow. Sign…..

  • 8.

    Gorgeous spring plants. I’m dying every time I walk past my hostas and see that there’s a little more green than last time. Spring is the best.

  • 9.
    LIsa W. said…

    Ahhhhhhhhh I miss Lilly TOO…I have a lab, I KNOW how special they are…best friends!!! Ali I am amazed how much GREEN and BUDS you have coming. Didn’t you just have a snow storm AND ice storm not that long ago?? Wondering does spring and summer come much earleir in Oregon. Man we still got winter here in Michigan…probably 8 in. in some spots. Allot will melt this week we are supposed to have mid 40′s. Well your yard is off to what looks like a great start. I LOVE how you love to work in your yard, have people over…all sounds delightful to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 10.
    Sharon said…

    Awesome to see that spring is on its way. The snow banks at the end of my driveway are over my head. Its been a long winter. Thanks for the pick me up,

  • 11.
    Vanessa Babin said…

    I am so ready for spring too. We have never had a winter this long in South Louisiana. The pear trees are beautiful (looks like cotton balls) and the Japanese Magnolias are glorious. i can’t wait for the Azaleas to start blooming (they are really late this year). Love all the beautiful colors and the green green grass!

  • 12.
    susan kopp said…

    Love your garden photos! I miss having my garden and in fact the pictures of it are on my desk getting ready to scrap. Daffodils do indeed come back year after year and in fact multiply like crazy! I had clumps of them showing up all over my yard and the clumps getting bigger over the years!

  • 13.
    Allison said…

    Isn’t it great to watch your yard wake up? One of my favorite things. I’m in NE Oklahoma and I noticed some buds on my peach tree Saturday. So excited about that!

  • 14.
    Elizabeth said…

    I believe your ground cover is Vince, in case you’re interested. Everything looks lovely!

    • ….
      Elizabeth said…

      Vinca, not Vince

    • ….
      Sue P, said…

      I think Vinca is an annual??

    • ….
      Elizabeth said…

      Nope. It’s a perennial evergreen, invasive too. Can’t get rid of it here!!

  • 15.
    dianne d. said…

    I live in Corvallis and my daffodils always come back, in fact they multiply so quickly that eventually I divide them to share with others. As Michelle said above the trick is to not remove the leaves until they turn brownish and pull easily off. We also always cut or break off the flower stalks when the bloom turns brown.

  • 16.
    Carole said…

    It is so nice to see some signs of spring – thank you for posting these photos! I think the little blue flowers in the first two photos are grape hyacinths. They’ve always been a favorite of mine.

  • 17.
    Patti L said…

    Nice to see signs of spring…we are covered in 4 inches of snow in NJ today! I can relate to the wanting to hang home, but I also have wanderlust and like to travel. My OLW this year is home, which means a lot of different things. Love your yard!

  • 18.
    Sue M said…

    Aren’t God’s blessings wonderful! All those signs of spring are just what my old heart needed. It’s been a long cold winter! You also gave me the inspiration to take a walk (and pictures) and check out those quiet changes in my yard. Thanks.

  • 19.
    tracey said…

    How exciting Spring is every year!

    I thinks that’s creeping Myrtle under your Japanese maple. (At least it looks just like ours!) Love those purple flowers on that gorgeous glossy green.

  • 20.
    Anita K said…

    The ground cover in pictures 4 & 5 are purple vinca. They are a great ground cover! Enjoy – happy spring!!

  • 21.
    Megan stiles said…

    I’ve been looking for a white lilac! My grandmother had one in her yard, right outside ‘my’ bedroom…can I steal a couple cuttings?

    • ….
      Ali said…


  • 22.
    michelle t said…

    Very lovely yard. Wonderful sign of renewal. Michelle t

  • 23.
    Merrilee said…

    I really enjoyed seeing your signs of spring, Ali! Beautiful photos! We still have snow covering the ground; no signs of spring yet in Minnesota. We always hope April will bring spring.

  • 24.
    Nicole Geiger said…

    I have spring envy. 7 inches of snow here today. **big sigh** At least this gives me hope!!

  • 25.
    Debbie said…

    Love this garden walk! Thank you for it. The lovely vine ground cover is a vinca vine. It is such a shiny deep green lovely plant that has beautiful flowers in early spring. I am trying to remember the ‘Lovely blue” flowers name. It’s a bulb that lives and reproduces for YEARS. I transplanted some from my grandfathers garden in the 1980′s. They are abundant and full of meaning to me. The name will come :) ! Enjoy these sweet signs of life.

  • 26.
    Sue P, said…

    Waiting, waiting and waiting for the yard to wake up! I do have a few sleepy head jonquil’s coming up but that is about it. Mr. Winter please let Spring have her turn!!

  • 27.
    Jenny said…

    here is northern Ontario Canada we still have at least 4 feet of snow on the ground and it is steadily coming down again today. I can hardly wait for signs of spring in my yard. Maybe around middle of May. Love your yard and your house!

  • 28.
    Susan_W said…

    My yard is waking up too! Since Im in Puyallup, I have many of the same plants. the first picture is of grape hyacinth. Love them, but peonies are my all time favorite!

  • 29.
    Laura said…

    LOVE the photos. I wish I lived in a place where spring arrives early. Still snow on the ground here in CT. My OLW this year is Grow and I am using it literally as well as figuratively and have seeds to start, raised beds to construct and a composter ready to roll. Can not wait for spring.

  • 30.
    Ksenia said…

    Beautiful Ali! I’m just west of Portland and I agree with some of the other comments — I abandon my daffodils (let them die and brown before removing the stems and leaves) and they have been more and more robust each year!

  • 31.
    Elizabeth said…

    Love love love your around the yard updates!

  • 32.
    laura g. said…

    I’m jealous…sun is shining here in Eastern Oregon, but the wind is freezing cold..maybe tomorrow I can go play a bit in the yard…

  • 33.
    cara m. said…

    i love the focus and blur in these photos! i’m sure there is a much more technical term… whatever it is – you nailed it! were these taken with your dslr? in manual mode? blog post idea: tell us how you did that! your photography tips and tricks.

  • 34.

    My heart skipped a beat on your photo with Lily in it, sweet pup…nothing like a lab (particularly a black one!). Here in Boston, we have snow on the ground still, it snowed last week and it was 16 degrees F this morning. *sigh* lots of garden planning here but nothing to do outside yet. Only bright side was the Boston Flower and Garden show last week…beautiful but kind of a tease! Please keep sending us New Englanders spring photos!! xo

  • 35.
    orange gearle said…

    WOW! This is so far ahead of us in Iowa! Lovely. I. Am. So. Ready!

  • 36.
    Jennifer D. said…

    The forecast here is for another 10-14 inches of snow in the next 24 hours, so It gives me some hope to see your peonies even if ours likely won’t bloom until mid-summer! They have been my favorite since I was a little girl!

  • 37.
    Kary in Colorado said…

    Those “gorgeous little blue flowers” in the first two photos are grape hyacinth, one of my favorites. And your daffodils should always come back bigger and better as long as you let the foliage stay until it yellows and dies back. It’s the foliage that feeds the bulb for next year’s bloom. Tulips might not come back, but daffodils always will if you don’t cut the leaves off too soon. So nice to see signs of spring!

    • ….
      Debbie said…

      Often its the ground animals that feast on the daffodil bulbs! Thank you for posting the flowers name… was going to post “blue grape hyacinths” :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      The crazy thing is that I did that – let them die back. Not sure what happened there.

  • 38.
    dawn said…

    WOW, it is spring in your area or yard I should say. LOVE IT!!! We have nothing yet, too cold and snow on/off so much we rarely see the grass. I get happy just seeing grass the few times it’s happened.
    What a beautiful post this was, I enjoyed it all and can’t wait to see spring come into my yard now. We need more trees like yours too, how lovely they are.
    With a yard like this staying home this summer would be so nice!!
    Thanks so much for this walk, brighten up my morning!

  • 39.
    Amy said…


  • 40.
    Mary said…

    Reminds me of my Grandmother’s garden!

  • 41.
    Amy B said…

    Beautiful! I am slightly jealous. We still have snow that needs to melt! Hurry spring, hurry!

  • 42.
    glee said…

    thank you for that lovely post. We don’t get the amazing transformation of the world here in Hawaii and I just think it’s fascinating to see. mahalo

  • 43.
    Nancy Gill said…

    Such a beautiful variety of plants. We still have snow everywhere so it”s nice to see a reminder that spring is on the way. Peonies were not my favorite growing up, but after planting them and seeing how they come back bigger and better every year, they are one of my favorites. Because the ants love the blooms so much, if you place the heads in a bucket of water after you cut them, the ants fall off and you can bring them in the house ant free. (of course shake of the water first:)

  • 44.
    Liz Kartchner said…

    Beautiful. Spring is sooooo close. finally.

  • 45.
    audra said…

    Ali- everything looks great!
    I tried last year to find WHITE bleeding hearts and had no luck! Any suggestions? I’m hoping to find some. They totally remind me of playing in my grandmothers yard! Thanks!!!

  • 46.
    Tinka said…

    Love your yard, Ali! It’s spring here too…the mountain laurels are blooming (love the grape kool-aid smell!) and I saw a big patch of bluebonnets this afternoon! Your post reminds me that I want to sign up for some gardening classes. I’ve got a covered patio that is on the east side of my apartment and I haven’t a clue what I should plant.

    We had a wisteria at our old house which grew up into the large oak tree in our front yard. Every year it was quite a sight to see all the purple blooms up in the oak’s branches. Passersby would stop and stare, trying to figure out what kind of oak had purple flowers!

  • 47.
    Carole said…

    Looks like a lovely place to call home !

  • 48.
    Lisa A. A. said…

    I love your tours! It was especially fun to see since my yard is still full of snow here in MN!

  • 49.
    Jamie said…

    Ali, did you plant these things, or are most carried over from when you bought the house? We just bought our house a year ago in the spring. At that time I didn’t have the mental space to think about what was going on in our yard. However this year, I’d like to observe and plan and rearrange, and I love many of the things you have going on in your yard!

  • 50.
    Danielle said…

    Peonies are also my very favorite! I am living in Georgia this year (as opposed to Michigan) and I LOVE that we get Spring early!

Post a comment