Green Thumb Sunday: Signs of Life

Emerging Rose Leaves

These rose leaves don’t know it’s winter still. Although I am enjoying them today during our 61 degree weather, I know that they will probably get zapped again by a winter blast. We’ve had freezes as late as April 20th.


Branches of ‘Ogon’/’Mellow Yellow’ Spiraea thunbergii, Sedum repestre ‘Angelina’ and Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella teniussuma) show off in the tiered gardens. The Sedum lasted all winter and developed this lovely bicolor. It is normally chartreuse and goes well with the grass and the yellow leaved Spiraea.

Daylily Foliage

This Mexican Feather Grass is showing green at its base. It is saying “Hurry up Spring.” So am I. In a month or two, I will cut it back to the green and wait for new strands to emerge. I love this grass for its ease of growth and its movement in the landscape. When the wind blows, it makes a swishing sound. It does spread, but I find it easy to eradicate by digging.

This is the foliage of Hemerocallis ‘Rose Fireglow.’ This daylily is an evergreen, which means that every time the mercury rises, ‘Rose Fireglow’ tries to grow. I have it mulched, so it won’t be hurt by the freeze thaw cycle, although I have to watch for heaving. I own a great many daylilies. Some are dormant. Like smart hibernating bears, they spend the winter underground only coming out when the coast is clear. I also have many daylilies that are semi-evergreen and evergreen. These have varying tolerance to the cold.

Mexican Feather Grass in Winter


The beauty above is Heuchera ‘Dolce Blackcurrant,’ a newcomer to the garden having been planted in the fall. Thus far, it has wintered well. We’ll see how it does in the summer. The Missouri Botanical Garden is growing it in their Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Their choices often work well for my climate too. The small leaves in the center are new.

It’s still too early to think about spring, but there are signs of life in my garden.


  1. Hi, Dee, We are all getting so ITCHY! Come visit. I’m almost embarrassed to display what I’m experiencing in CA, but, hey, I don’t control the weather and I live here in part precisely because of it! But I do think it’s a teeny bit early for seeds. That I won’t risk yet, though I was sorely tempted to put a few nasturtium seeds out front this morning, but resisted. I will be so HAPPY when they are bursting over the front porch again! Kathryn xox

    Hi Kathryn, you’re just lucky to have the beautiful weather. It won’t be long, and my garden will catch up. :-). I can’t wait to see your nasturiums. Mine grew like crazy last year with all the rain.~~Dee

  2. Aiyana says:

    Freezes as late a April 20? I guess I’ve forgotton that OK is considered the midwest. I always think of it as more southwest, therefore, warmer. We have probably seen the last of our frost possibility, but it has come as late as March 1. My bougainvillea is still alive and blooming, except for a couple of tips, which means we didn’t have any frost this winter. Bougainvillea is the best indicator of frost–better than a thermometer.
    Your photos are lovely. Happy GTS,

    Our last average frost date is April 15th, but I remember a spring where everything was leafed out, and we hit 26 degrees on April 20th. It was such a drag. Happy GTS to you!~~Dee

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Dee,
    Just to let you know you have won the mounted picture of the Sunflower Mosaic from the OWOH event. If you could e-mail me your address I will forward the picture on to you. Congratulations once again and I hope you enjoy the picture.

    Cheers Mark

    Thank you, Mark. I’m honored.~~Dee

  4. vonlafin says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, I am on blotanical, it is a great place to “meet” new gardeners. Looks like you have some great plants in your gardens, and will see them sooner than us!

    Thank you for coming by my blog. We’ll all have some fun soon. Spring is just around the corner. I’ve seen flocks of robins, and the birds are singing.~~Dee

  5. Hi Dee,

    We had a couple of warm days last week, so I was finally able to survey the garden. Like you, I see some signs of life. It’s amazing that these plants can muster up the energy to grow when it’s 20 degrees outside. I can hardly wait to see the daffodils blooming. I think I put in 200 more this year. If the squirrels didn’t get them all, it should be quite a show!

    Robin at Bumblebee

    Robin, I can’t wait to your daffodils too. Two hundred? That will be lovely.~~Dee

  6. Sarah says:

    Well your website is what I have been looking for the past 2 years since I immigrated to nw OK from London, England! I love gardening and my new Okie hubby & I bought a house with a huge unfenced yard, a huge cottonwood, an underground sprinkler system and not much else. Since then I have really struggled to adjust my english gardening skills/knowledge, to an entirely different climate and soil, with varied success! I am also growing roses and clematis, two of my successes and have fallen in love with Canna’s, Daylillies and Crepe Myrtle. The first year we fenced the whole back yard, the second year we planted 3 more tree’s and I have a traditional magnolia & english lavendar I am nursing initially in barrels. We also worked in another seating area and this year I plan on some more traditional english style beds. Trust me I will have lots of questions and maybe a few tips I can share from having an english garden most of my life!

    Sarah, I’m so glad you came by. Think heat, less rainfall (meaning more watering) and lots of wind. It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job adjusting. I would say to subscribe to a local magazine like Oklahoma Gardener. This is not a plug for them. I do write for them sometimes, and I think they do a good job of finding people who actually garden in this state. Please feel free to come by anytime and ask questions. I hope I can help.~~Dee

  7. I am saying
    “Hurry up Spring too!”

    We are under a blizzard watch tonight. [sigh!]

    All I can say is Yuck! We are forecast with snow and ice tonight too. (2/20.) It seems like winter doesn’t want to loosen its grip.~~Dee

  8. CurtissAnn says:

    My roses bushes amaze me. It seems buds have been waiting all winter. The ones up near the house never do seem to go completely dormant. I love rose bushes!


    Me too, Rosebud, me too.~~Dee

  9. Love the Heuchera! Nice cultivar. If it grows in your area, it would look great paired with the golden form of Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’).

    I grow that wonderful Moneywort in the other shade bed. Maybe I’ll move some of it next to the Heuchera.~~Dee

  10. deb says:

    I just stopped by to snoop and was again struck by how many of the same plants we grow. I am loving all the early signs of spring.

    Me too, Deb, I can’t wait, but we’re forecast for snow and ice tonight.~~Dee

  11. Pam/Digging says:

    All my daylilies are evergreens, which do fine here in Austin’s temperate winters. They are standing up straight and looking fresh and green these days, definitely getting ready for spring growth. The aphids have already found them too.

    Mine keep getting nipped by the freezes. Oh well, they will look great soon. I know exactly what you mean about the stupid aphids.~~Dee

  12. The early signs of spring are always so encouraging. Yes, we’ll have some weather set backs the next few months, but eventually, it will be summer!


  13. Curtis says:

    Wow signs of life Already. It’s about this time of year when the maples start budding out to bloom.

    It’s 27 outside now with bad weather on the way. Later on this week it will be in the high 50’s. Typical Ok weather.

    Yes, our weather is always a yo-yo.~~Dee

  14. jodi says:

    Whah! The only signs of plant life here are indoors, of course; everything outside is hunkered down awaiting the latest precipitation–will it be snow, sleet or rain, we don’t know yet. Sometimes, it’s exasperating…

    Jodi, so true, but your summers, although short, are very sweet. On the other hand, ours only involve sweat. I am now laughing at my own joke. I must be tired.~~Dee

Comments are closed.