Category Archives: outdoors

Pollen invasion and the new growth of Spring arrives.

The temperatures have become steadily warmer and have really fueled growth in the garden. One negative side effect, as least for me, is the onslaught of pollen from the wind pollinated pines and oaks. I have had to deal with the allergies every Spring my entire life!

When it rains during this time I can breathe for a few hours as the rain cleans the air temporarily! You can see how it coats everything.


Side walks are covered for a week or two and the rain washes it into the low areas.


I would like to just stay inside and pray for rain during all of this but their is work to be done!

One of the first chores in the Spring is to search the lawn for seedlings from garden plants. The lawn grass usually doesn’t wake up from its Winter nap until later in Spring so you can easily spot seedlings such as Spiderwort.


It’s also a good time to move shrubs that have out grown their spaces.

This Gardenia ‘First Love’ is now shaded by a nearby Asian Magnolia that has grown rapidly the past few The plant came apart into three plants! So now I have three!


The path from the patio to the bird feeders is experience a rapid growth of wild strawberry and evening primrose! It should be amazing in May when the pink evening primrose is blooming!


And the Kerria are in bloom.


On the Coast, where I grew up, I remember older gardeners would tie up the foliage of Spring blooming bulbs to get it out of the way. This still allows it to nourish the bulbs for next year. I thought I would try it!


A good example of how plants spend their first year putting down good roots before top growth is this perennial sunflower. Last season it grew about knee high and produced only a few blooms. This Spring there are about five shoots coming up so far. It should reach five or six feet by Fall and be loaded with blooms!




Filed under Design, Gardens, General Gardening, outdoors, Plants, Seasonal Maintenance, Weather, wildlife

Spring in the winter. A walk along Capital Swamp Greenway.

The weekend weather was spectacular with temperatures in the 70s! Many Spring plants are blooming early, as well as the Winter bloomers!

Saffron Crocus in my garden.


Prunus mume at JC Raulston Arboretum at NCSU.


Daffodils at JCR.


Hellebore in my yard.



We decided to visit one of the greenways in Raleigh. My favorite greenway is what I call the Capital Swamp Greenway. It has a boardwalk that winds through a swamp, over a large and shallow body of water next to Raleigh Blvd, under Capital Boulevard, and then heads toward Wake Forest Road. It runs along  a heavily wooded section of Crabtree Creek once you leave the swamp area. Wildlife is abundant and its not crowded most days.


The Gazebo and boardwalk along the marsh at Capital Swamp.


Many turtles were sunning themselves on the warm day.


Looking North from the boardwalk over the open water. There is a beaver den in the background.


Looking North toward Highwoods Business Park over the open water.

I like to park at the lot on Crabtree Blvd just off  Raleigh Road inside the beltline. Its just a short walk to the boardwalk. We then walk all the way  almost to Atlantic Avenue. Its about a two mile walk.

There is an app you can download for free. It locates the greenways using GPS and also will track your mileage and time. The link is below.

Raleigh Greenways

The program shows the entire 77-mile greenway system including parking and weather. There is a ‘see,click,fix’ option for reporting repairs, fallen trees, or potholes.



Filed under outdoors