New buds are starting to appear around the property. Most of the plants are still dormant, but bright green shoots have come up in the front, tiny leaves are appearing on some of the small trees, and I noticed flower buds on a few bushes.

I recently noticed little vertical white spikes all along the branches of a large bush. Turns out it’s a Cherry Laurel and each growing spine will turn into a fragrant white cluster of tiny blossoms.

After seeing new green shoots appearing in the front, I decided to remove some of the dead shoots from the previous growing season. I trimmed away everything hanging over the rock wall, then roamed around on top removing some thorny blackberry bushes and ivy I hadn’t gotten to when the area was full of summer growth. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s more tidy and as the greenery fills in it won’t be hidden yet again.

While clearing some of the top debris, I found a bunch of what I think are tree babies that have decided this is a good spot to take root–some evergreen trees and possibly big leaf maples. I’ll see how they go and replant them later in strategic spots if I think it’s a good idea.

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In the backyard, I trimmed back some bushes and swapped an arced trellis that a pink rose bush was growing on for a tall pyramid-shaped trellis. The rose bush was far above my sight-line and difficult to tend. Now I can see it clearly from my bedroom window and I’ll be able to reach it easier when it will benefit from deadheading.

I did a bit of pruning and clean-up in the side yard and front walkway.

I haven’t done much in the courtyard since a complete overhaul I performed from August through October last year. That included transplanting a number of plants that were crowding the space, adding some groundcover (Baby’s Tears and Irish Moss) and small plants, and introducing a young tree (Vine Maple) as the new centerpiece. It’s nice to see the ground cover filling in and looking relatively happy, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing leaves on the Vine Maple for the first time this spring. Also, I saw my first ladybug on the property in the courtyard, and since all that work in late summer and fall, I think that’s pretty special.

To see a garden map I just started working on and read about some of my plans for 2018, check out the next post, Garden Plans.