I Call Your Name

december-28-2008-036-2When we returned home from family fun time for the holidays it was warm, warmer than it had been for several weeks. The moment the car was unloaded with presents, luggage and food we dashed outside and began gardening. The garden was singing a siren song, calling my name out loud. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ had unveiled a few of her spidery threads in the warmth.december-28-2008-034-2Diane only had two blooms last year due to the late hard freeze of the year before. Flower buds are formed on the previous year’s growth. Growth happened with extra watering last year catching on to the damage of drought on said growth.december-28-2008-057-2Also crooning in a mellow tenor was the knot garden, or to be more specific, the heathers in the quatrefoil center, Calluna vulgaris ‘Sunrise’.december-28-2008-061-2Yellow in warm weather and red in winter, these heathers cannot figure out what color to wear, so are showing both much to our delight.december-28-2008-062-2Heading up the steep concrete steps to the knot garden is always a pleasure, if a workout, but after an extended absence, well it was only a few days but seemed longer, the sight at the peak makes me want to sing too.december-28-2008-070-2Bulbs are popping foliage up all around, sort of a chorus of daffodils. This one is even growing with the bulb base completely exposed, probably the work of the digging demon squirrels. Or possibly the overcrowding of quickly multipying Daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus. december-28-2008-099-2The daffs quickly become clumps even if planted singly. This patch has three different varieties, early, mid and late to extend the bloom time.december-28-2008-145-2The grasses are nearly ready to be cut down for the new growth is showing. The clean up happens here a little at a time to do a thorough job and to save the vertebrae for another day in the garden. Even faded and stringy there is life abounding that is an operatic aria.december-28-2008-118-2Or the sound of a whisper to rejoice in returning to the beloved soil. This mushroom is one of several growing in the area of an old stump in the front yard under the cherry tree. All have the opening in the top. Very interesting and sort of musical in an oompah way.
The song “I Call Your Name” was written by The Beatles, credited to Lennon and McCartney, but was primarily the work of John Lennon. It was recorded by The Mamas And The Papas with the soaring voice of Mama Cass Elliot doing it the justice it deserved. It was the song I sang to Chickenpoet and Semi each night to tuck them into their bunk beds in Pennsylvania after poetry reading. Pleasant memories even if the singing was subpar.

This entry was posted in Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to I Call Your Name

  1. LindaLunda says:

    Lucky YOU!
    That first plant/flower are fantastic! Like dragonfire!

    Hi Linda, HA, do you see dragons in the flowers too? πŸ™‚ The colors are wonderful on Diane, normally they are more of a solid orangey red, so cheering in late winter. Or in early winter.

  2. tina says:

    The garden would seriously be calling my name too. I know Diane was yelling the loudest! Does she smell? I can’t believe your daffys are up already. It is much too early. I haven’t seen any here yet, though when we dig them up we see they are growing (by mistake of course!). The mushroom, if you pick it up and squeeze it I think the spore will puff out. We used to call these puff balls when I was a kid. Have a great day Frances and welcome back!

    Hi Tina, thanks, the weather was so warm when we returned I didn’t even need a jacket to work outside. I will have to check about the fragrance of Diane, there may not be enough flowers open yet for that, I didn’t notice since I was mostly on my hands and knees cutting and weeding! Those mushrooms are new to me here, kind of papery, I will have to try that poof.

  3. Darla says:

    Another great post. I have Daffs emerging as well, so exciting to see. I just hope when the freezes come in late Jan and Feb they will survive.

    Hi Darla, thanks. I read somewhere that the emerging bulbs have some kind of antifreeze in them so the freezes don’t bother the foliage. Extreme lows might burn the tips but it won’t be noticeable when bloom time comes. A late freeze while they are in flower can damage the blooms but won’t kill the bulb, just spoil the show for that year. No need to worry or cover them unless they are out of the ground like mine!:-)

  4. Wonderful post dear Frances, you are a lucky girl ‘you already have spring in the air’ isn’t just lovely to see all those bulbs popping up! That Tennessee climate of yours is very appealing…LOLove Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks so much. It does seem very spring like here just now, but we will have our usual roller coaster ride of well below freezing followed by more warmth many times before spring really arrives for good. Even then, a killing frost is more normal than not. But I am not complaining and take advantage of the warm snaps as they come! Never a dull moment here. πŸ™‚

  5. Cinj says:

    Wow, you’ve got so much going on over there. My garden is buried under a 2 foot blanket of snow, so it’s nice to get a taste of it online.

    Hi Cinj, thanks for stopping by. We do have a lot going on but it is hard on the plants to have the ups and downs of the temp swings with no blanket of nice insulating snow. The plants here have to be tough survivors. There are many signs of the spring to come, that makes for a welcoming homecoming.

  6. Frances,

    Welcome home from your family holiday. I assume all was delightful.

    Your Diane is so lovely.

    I had no idea that we can grow heathers this far south. Perhaps you’ve got a cooler climate up in the hills?

    It’s been so warm here for days. No jackets required. I’ve noticed a bit too much green in my garden and fear the freezes to come. The bulbs will be fine, though.

    Thanks for sharing your beauties this morning.


    Hi Cameron, thanks and hope your holidays were a delight as well. We are on the southern edge of many things, and the northern edge of others so we give them all a try and see what lives. The heathers have been excellent, we do have the precious drainage that is key to their survival. A few have been lost but that was my fault for planting in the heat. Cool soil temps and plenty of moisture the first year are the most important thing. Looking back at previous year’s photos, it seems there are always signs of spring at this time. We have certainly had plenty of cold chill to get things in shape to bloom. πŸ™‚

  7. Randy says:

    Frances, I love your heathers, I’ve seen pictures of one that turn the deepest darkest red I’ve ever seen. I wish I could remeber the name of it. Beautiful garden photos as always. πŸ™‚

    Hi Randy, thanks, so nice to see you. The reddest heather I have is called Firefly. I mail order them from Rock Spray nursery.


  8. Gail says:

    Frances, Welcome home! Diane looks splendid as she unfurls her flowers…In my garden she refuses to relinquish her browned leaves so we have to search under for the sweet flower! No blooms here….I will enjoy yours. The bulbs that bloom on top of the ground always remind me that plants are much hardier then I think…with a genetic programing to live and reproduce. I love the mushroom shot…a good description…oompah! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks, it is so good to be home and in the garden again. I did have to pick off a few leaves from Diane, not a big chore though. It has been in the ground several years and does seem to be a very slow grower, especially with the drought we have had the last couple. Aren’t those bulbs something? What a will to live!

  9. commonweeder says:

    Frances, I loved your photos of the witch hazel. Last year I noticed a wonderful golden blooming shrub in a neighbor’s garden It was quite far back from the road, and too early for forsythia, but those golden blooms were stunning. It was my first introduction to different varieties of witch hazel.

    Hi Pat, thanks and so nice to see you. The witch hazel sometimes does a sporadic bloom opening and this year we have more buds so we should still have the big show at the proper time, late Feb, early March. I would like to get one of those late fall blooming ones too, they are great all around shrubby trees.

  10. Marnie says:

    I love you knot garden. What a pretty shape and the antique bricks make it look like a old, old garden.

    Hi Marnie, thanks. Those poor old bricks are disintegrating slowly but surely. This is the first part of the garden that I worked on when we moved here and it is a favorite space.

  11. How amazing to see bulbs poking through the ground, and buds emerging. Not so in my garden, it is still sleeping.

    Hi Linda, thanks for visiting. The bulbs here like to play peek a boo from now until late winter when they decide it is safe to come all the way up. It was alarming at first, but now I know they will be fine. You are lucky with that snow cover to keep things safe until the right time for them to emerge. Ours are silly. πŸ™‚

  12. What a joy to return home to a blooming plant, especially one that had been a disappointment the year before. I love ‘Diane,’ but your photos definitely made me look at it in a new way. Thanks!

    Hi Judy, thanks and welcome. Diane has been a slow grower, it was an expensive mail order twig that has taken several years to bloom nicely. It does finally look like a tree and has lots of buds. The flowers are normally a darker red orange, but we are happy with flowers of any color!

  13. Barbara says:

    March 17th last year was the first bloom of witch hazel – with your glorious photo of Diane you’ve reminded me of the gardening joys to come. Best wishes for a wonderful 2009. Barbara, Living vicariously through southern gardening blogs…

    Hi Barbara, thanks. I am totally in awe of your water leaking ghost turkey dinner tree down story! What a tale, I loved it! Diane is way early, she will have her main bloom at the end of Feb, early March, similar to yours. This was a preview of things to come. Hope your 2009 is the best year ever!

  14. Rose says:

    Frances, your garden is singing a siren song to me as well. Such gorgeous photos of the witch hazel! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the blooms shown in such a creative way. And to have daffodils coming up already–I would be singing, too.
    I remember the song “I Call Your Name”; it will be in my head all day:) I used to sing Peter, Paul, and Mary tunes to my children to put them to sleep; they didn’t complain about my singing when they were little:)

    Hi Rose, thanks for chiming in. πŸ™‚ I sang those Peter Paul and Mary songs too, and the girls loved it, when they were little and sweet. Then came than period of…well we won’t go there, but they are back to sweet now as grownups with children of their own to sing to. Signs of spring can trick us here in TN, we know there is plenty more wintry weather to come, but it is nice to see the bulbs and blooms.

  15. gittan says:

    Oh Frances what a lovely post! I’m falling in love with your garden every time I stop by. And I can hardly wait to see it in full bloom… The Hamamelis didn’t I even know what it was. I had to look in the Botanica. Now I’ve put it on my “Plants I want list” And to see the Daffodils already… I long for that, but the won’t show here yet for a couple of months.

    Hi Gittan, thanks and so nice to see you. I am so glad you enjoyed the surprises we found after returning home. The daffodils have a couple of months before they bloom, but just seeing the foliage reminds us that spring will be here soon. The Hamamelis is so wonderful for its early bloom and beautiful fall color show too. BTW, your English is so much better than the google translator, but I appreciate your trying to let non Swedish readers understand the text rather than just look at the lovely photos.

  16. Kathleen says:

    omg Frances ~ I’m positively green with envy! My garden is still covered in snow with no such signs of life. Lucky, lucky you! Soon you’ll have blooms to feed your soul (and ours). I also have to comment on your photography. I’m so glad you didn’t get a new camera. It looks like this one is doing a spectacular job. Those first three photos are stellar. Keep up the good work and enjoy the warmth while it lasts. Happy New Year too!

    Hi Kathleen, thanks, so nice to see you. The snow cover is such a good insulator, our poor plants have no covering and there will be much more cold weather before spring arrives, maybe some even after that too. Any blooms are so welcome at this time, I was so happy to see them. Thanks about the photos, having pretty things to photograph makes it easier too. I am glad I didn’t get a new camera, but got a rain barrel instead! LOL

  17. Lola says:

    Frances, glad you are back & I hope you had a lovely time with family & friends.
    I love that Diane. Seems your garden is awakening like mine. It sure is too early but this warm weather has a lot fooled. Sure hope all will not be lost later.

    Hi Lola, thanks so much. There is normally some bulb foliage emerging and signs of spring to come if you know where to look. These warm days are a joy. The plants here are used to the up and down temps of SE TN, so no damage should come of it. Now those late hard freezes are another matter! Happy New Year to you too!

  18. Frances – glad you had a good time over the festive period – I love your current header picture of the ornamental cabbage

    Hi Karen, thanks so much. I just bought those cabbages and put them in the metal tool box planter and snapped their portrait. I had been wanting to put the blog title in the header photo and was fooling around with it and liked this shot. I need to insert the same photo in the css header spot too, as it loads the barberries still in the beginning. Glad you liked it. BTW, your Christmas comic was the best ever!

  19. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Good that you got home safe and sound Frances. It is amazing that you have daffs throwing up their greenery already. However I am basking in winter sun and warmth today too. It feels wonderful.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. I am so glad you are having some winter warmth and sunshine too. It feels so good and really makes us think about gardening. The daffs here often send up green shoots way earlier than they bloom. It was a worry when we first moved here, but it happens every year with no damage to the flowers so I no longer worry or try to cover them. They have antifreeze within!

  20. Oh how I love your knot garden. I can imagine sitting on that lovely bench enjoying it the spring! I have always wanted some more formal elements in my garden, something like you knot garden would just fit in perfectly! Thanks for the wonderful tour, it makes me long for spring! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks so much. The knot garden was a dream of mine for several years before we moved here. It was the first element I made and might not think to do it now if I was starting over. It is fun to play with the plantings, I have finally figured out what will grow up there with little care. The boxwood hedge around it has filled in finally and it looks like a real English space. Your little fashionista is delightful, BTW!

  21. Monica says:

    Frances, I’m so envious of your lovely blooming garden!! (Do not worry; I shan’t steal it!) Witch hazel and heathers are two of my favorite plants. Love the knot garden altogether. And I can’t believe you have daff foliage already–when do they bloom in your neck of the woods? As much as I love snow, I’m honestly thinking of moving to warmer climes… and it’s not like the economy in Michigan is anything to stay for!

    Hi Monica, come on down! There are lots of people from Michigan who have relocated to the Knoxville area, drawn either to the lakes and boating, golf or just the climate. I think the chamber of commerce must advertise in Michigan publications for retirees and others just wanting four distinct seasons but less extreme winter and summer weather. The earliest daffs, Rijnveld’s early sensation, which is about two weeks ahead of the rest, open mid February, about the same time as forsythia and flowering quince. March is full of all types of flowers and April is the biggest show of the year, but May has plenty too. June and July are daylily times. It really is a gardener’s paradise for the diversity of things that will grow here, lilacs and tulips and salvia greggii and the muhly grass. I am sending you the info to participate in your seed exchange too, great idea!

  22. Hi Frances
    I get a litle envious when i see your fotos, here in Sweden it is long way for us to see any sign for spring.
    We wish you a happy new year Frances

    Hi Ken and Carina, it is so nice to see you and happy new year! Your garden is so lovely and that pictoral showing it in winter and summer was divine. We have some spring looking things, daffodils and the witch hazel, but winter is still here. Our temperatures fluctuate drastically, that is our normal winter, the plants must be very tough with no snow cover too. It is nice to see some of the early signs of spring though. πŸ™‚

  23. Amy says:

    No wonder you rushed out to the garden! Bulbs already…happy sigh. “Diane” is so lovely, and heather!! I’ve always wanted to grow heather – perhaps because I’m a fan of the Bronte sisters and The Secret Garden, lol!

    Hi Amy, thanks for dropping by. I read your last several posts and was awestruck by the skywatch photo, made hungry by the pizza recipe and touched by your love of where you live, not to mention the seed planning. Even though it looks like spring here, there is plenty more winter to come. It does feel wonderful to be out digging, cleaning up and looking for those early risers! You could so grow heathers, we are on the edge of their southern range here, but manage because of the drainage. With your rocky hill, they would love it there! The Secret Garden has always been an inspiration to me too. πŸ™‚

  24. Titania says:

    A very beautiful early spring garden or still winter? The photos are superb. I wish you and your loved ones all the best in 2009.

    Hi Titania, still very much winter with a warm reprieve just now. Thanks for the new year wishes and may you and yours have a wonderful 2009!

  25. Jean says:

    What a lovely tree Frances. It must have been exciting when you first saw it. I’ve got the same issue with the squirrels and daffodils. Mine haven’t started coming up yet but then again, I kept having to replant them!

    Hi Jean, thanks for visiting. The squirrels do keep us on our toes. I finally had to cover newly planted bulbs with chickenwire and long staples to hold down the edges, it works though. The flowers on the witch hazel are supposed to be a reddish orange, but we are happy with flowers of any color right now. πŸ™‚

  26. Jan says:

    With so many things showing new growth, we know it won’t be too long before spring starts showing up. There are many plants in my garden coming back to life earlier than ususal it seems.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks for visiting. These signs of spring are welcome but we know there is much more wintry weather to come here in TN. We usually do have things showing, but they will not continue to grow and flower for a couple more months.

  27. Dave says:

    Our daffs are sprouting up all over also. I hope our witch hazel does a little bit of a show this winter-spring. Your Diane looks pretty happy right now!

    Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by. Diane surprised me with the early blooms, if it has happened before I missed it, pre blog, you know! The daffs are just doing their normal TN thing, right? πŸ™‚

  28. Robin says:

    It looks like spring is almost there already! We finally had some sunshine today! It was about 50 degrees but with the sun shining it was glorious!

    Hi Robin, I am so glad you had a nice day. I worry about you northern gardeners and the weird weather with that wind. Spring is just playing peek a boo with us now. We still have plenty of winter weather to come.

  29. tina says:

    Frances, Do let us know about the smell, and you will enjoy showing the grandkids the smoke
    ‘bombs’ you can make from the smoking mushrooms. They are harmless.

    Hi Tina, I will give it a sniff tomorrow. And you don’t know my grandkids, but they don’t need any ideas from me about any kind of bomb! πŸ™‚

  30. chuck b. says:

    I am going to title a blog post “I Call Your Name” some day too. Love that.

    You and I have yet another plant in common, Hamamelis ‘Diane’. I can’t wait for it to bloom at my place. No sign of that yet.

    Hi Chuck, I can’t wait to see that post. Should be interesting, as are all of your posts. πŸ™‚

    I think I remember you getting Diane, we do have a lot of the same plants even though our climates are so different. My Dierama galpini is doing well, how long before flowers on those I wonder? Hope Moonlight is giving you some blooms too.

  31. Pam/Digging says:

    Hmm, new growth has begun in your grasses? Is that early or typical for this time of year?

    I certainly hear that siren song when I return from a trip away from the garden too.

    Hi Pam, thanks for visiting. I am not sure if the new growth is typical or not, but looking back at my records, the grasses are usually cut early January with green at the base showing on several. The C. Karl Foerster is next to be cut and it has a lot of green showing. Our gardens call to us like pets, don’t they? πŸ™‚

  32. What a grand attraction to come home to. I feel like the plants are greeting me just like a puppy does. It makes you feel loved. I don’t think there is a good time to leave the garden. I want to go back just as soon as I’ve left it.

    Hi Anna, thanks. The plants are just like pets, I agree. And I also agree that there is no good time to leave the garden, I always miss it too. Cool new shed you’ve got going!

  33. Frances, What a beautiful bloom that Diane boasts! So good to get home to the garden … any time away and it calls gently to the gardener to return.

    Is this early for the daffs to be putting on green? They don’t grow down here but I seem to remember oodles of blogs featuring their blooms sometime in Feb or March last year??? AND… your grasses are putting on new growth… so many signs of life – it must make you long for spring even more.

    Glad you had a happy Christmas with your loved ones. Here’s wishing you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Meems

    Hi Meems, thanks and may you have a glorious 2009 too. Reading over my journals from previous years, the bulb foliage usually is showing by early January. It will be a couple of months before flowers though. Two years ago Diane was in full bloom on January 28, so these early flowers are just a teaser for what will be coming soon.

  34. walk2write says:

    That Hamamelis looks like the perfect plant to usher in the New Year. It has restorative powers, I’ve heard. And if it smells as beautiful as it looks, well, who could ask for anything more? Take care of those vertebrae, Frances. I’m looking forward to seeing more beauty from your garden in 2009.

    Hi W2W, thanks for the medical advice, I have hurt my back enough times in the garden to take is easy, especially after some time off. The witch hazel has a nice amount of flower buds, it should be a good show in a month or so, maybe I will take a photo of it. πŸ™‚

  35. joey says:

    How lovely to work in the garden, Frances. There’s no place like home and yours is always a delightful visit. Happy Gardening in the New Year!

    Hi Joey, you are so right, home is the best place there is. Thanks for the good wishes and the same back to you!

  36. Jon says:

    Hi Frances, Thanks for an uplifting post and lovely group of photos. Nice to see your garden “kids” welcoming you back home with “open arms” and wearing flowers in their hair. ! Hope y’all have a Happy New Year and all the best gardening luck in 2009!
    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    hi Jon, thanks, so nice to see you and may you have a wonderful 2009! The plants in the garden are like pets and are so cheering after I have been away. The flower children were a real surprise treat! πŸ™‚

  37. Frances, This is my first visit to your blog and I am dumbstruck by the beauty of ‘Diane’ and your photos of her! Staggered through the rest of the garden tour, agape. Now I have lovely images (and a soundtrack) to take into the day. Thank you!

    Hi Daffodil Planter, thanks for visiting and welcome. I am so glad that Diane was pleasing to you and hope that the soundtrack was also! πŸ™‚ Henry Mitchell…the best garden writer ever!

  38. Dawn says:

    You are lucky Santa visited your garden and left you all kinds of gifts!
    We called the dried fungus smoke bombs.

    Hi Dawn, thanks for visiting. I have gotten over that bit of queasiness about your fiddleheads. LOL I am a big chicken, for the thought of the smokey fungus spores scares me. I know they will spread anyway, but I like the way they look better not crushed. πŸ™‚

  39. Brenda Kula says:

    That first photo was truly an interesting sight! Isn’t nature incredibly creative? I also found mushrooms in the garden this morning. And new shoots sprouting up from the ground, as you did.

    Hi Brenda, thanks. I do love the look of those spidery witch hazel blooms. Their time of flowering is the best thing of all, mid winter and fragrant too, hard to beat that.

  40. Tessa says:


    Your photos are lovely- I have received great inspiration from them, and your creative writing! I will definitely revisit!


    Have a wonderful New Year’s

    Hi Tessa, thanks and welcome. I am so glad you enjoyed your time here and do come again! May you have the best year ever in 2009!

  41. sallysmom says:

    I wondered about your Sparkleberry which is absolutely beautiful. How far apart did you plant Sparkleberry and Winter Gold?

    Hi Sallysmom, thanks for visiting and welcome. The two varieties are planted about four to five feet apart. I kind of want them to grow together for a mix of the berry colors. The male, Apollo is in the middle of the two Sparkleberrys, about three feet from each. The two Berry Heavys are behind each Sparkleberry, about three feet because I ran out of room! I would like to see them all entwine branches but so far they are little leggy. When they are more mature they might get some artful pruning. πŸ™‚

  42. Hostabuff says:

    Diane looks like a party girl blowing her horn early in celebration of the New Year. Interesting plant and great photos. I hope you share a photo when the other buds pop!

    Hi Hostabuff, thanks and welcome. Diane is wearing her party dress and will have her portrait made when in full bloom, hopefully late next month. She is a highlight of the winter garden here.


  43. Kim says:

    Frances, the witch hazel is lovely, and that heather will take your breath away. I’m jealous you are already showing new growth on your grasses – it will be late March here, so I have 3 more months to wait. I’ll just visit Fairegarden often for a fix, OK?

    Hi Kim, thanks. I was happy to get a good shot of the heather, it really is a highlight right now with that yellow and red mix. We are showing new growth but will still have plenty of very cold temps to come. Some things need to be cut down now to make way for the bulbs coming up out of the ground. It becomes too hard to cut around them later on. I do hope there will be some things I can show you for that garden moving toward spring fix, though. πŸ™‚

  44. TC says:

    My! you’ve got such an early start to spring where you live! Surely y’all will have more winter weather, yes? And if so, won’t it do much damage to what you’ve got comin up?

    Hi TC, thanks for visiting. We do have plenty of winter left, that is the way our winters always are, extreme ups and downs in temps. The plants always do this, bulbs come up way early, some were even up at the beginning of December! They just kind of sit there until the time is right, they seem to know. The big show will be in late Feb into March for the daffs. The smaller crocus will bloom earlies, as will the hellebores and the witch hazel should be in full bloom even earlier. The bulbs have some kind of antifreeze thing going on that protects them. Same with the hellebores. Just crazy winter in SE TN!

  45. greenwalks says:

    Kinda jealous… witch hazel is still dormant here in Seattle, no bulbs for another couple of months. And more snow predicted for this weekend! I’ll just have to look at pics of your garden until we get more blooming here.

    Hi Karen, your winter seems more well, wintry than I imagine for that area. Do feel free to enjoy the photos. I will try to sneak some spring and summer ones in until the big show comes here for real in spring. Our temperatures swing wildly, that is our norm, from warm to cold and sometimes a couple of flowers decide to open up. That is what happened with the witch hazel, her big show will be later, end of this month possibly, for there are many buds this year unlike the last. πŸ™‚

  46. Pingback: I Kale Your Name* « Fairegarden

Comments are closed.