Breaking Dormancy

It’s been a few months since I’ve published a blog post. As the holiday retail season ramped up to it’s inevitable fevered pitch, my motivation for accomplishing anything other than coming home and curling up into a ball evaporated.

I haven’t been completely unproductive however. As a way to justify my lack of blog work, I convinced myself that working diligently on my garden plant catalog would be a sufficient substitution. After many starts, stops, reformats and reincarnations, I made tremendous headway on my catalog. No more rifling through tags and scrolling through pictures searching for names of plants every time I want to write a post! I’ve even created a list of “must haves plants” for this year that will hopefully keep me more focused and fiscally responsible.

But, with crocus, galanthus and hamamelis flowers on display, buds popping out and peonies pushing up to the surface, and the memory of the holiday season behind me, I thought it was time for me to come out of my own winter hibernation and dust off the ole blog and give an update on what been happening at The Mardi Gras Gardens.


It’s clean up time!

Our seemingly unseasonable warm and sunny weather in late January and early February sparked a serious wave of productivity from me!


The ever evolving backyard post clean up

Anyone else get the winter itch to impose radical changes upon their gardens in spring? Well, it was a close call for me this year but I quickly realized that all I needed to do was get out and do come serious clean up!

I’m beginning to see the benefit of maintaining a healthy balance of perennials and winter interest evergreen plants. Once all the clutter was removed, I could appreciate what I already had and focus on editing versus replacing.


This year my radical changes will be saved for the non-plant parts of the garden! I need to figure out a better use of this space and that old fire pit has to go! 

This will be a unique year for me, where I begin to edit out plants that don’t serve their purpose any longer. As I move out of my beginner phase as a gardener and into my sophomore years, I’m realizing I’m not the cramscaper that I thought I was.

This will require a significant behavioral change from me this shopping season as I’m accustomed to buying what strikes my fancy and then figuring out what to do with it when I get home! This year I’ve complied a list of my “must haves” to hopefully keep me focused and my garden less crowded! We will will see how that goes!


One of the front areas of the garden all cleaned up and ready for perennial fill in!

Luckily, I do have one area of my garden that still needs lots of plants and that is my shade/fern garden on the side of my house. (see below) One challenge however, is that a large portion of the space doesn’t actually belong to me. The entire slope belongs to the adjacent apartment complex, but it just didn’t seem right not include it in my plan so rationalizing spending a lot of money on that space is tough.

The manager of the apartment complex is wonderful and I couldn’t ask for a better neighbor, so I find deals where I can.  She’s even chipped in here and there and is a life saver watering this side when I’m not able to get to it!


The shade/fern garden in it’s infancy


Probably the most exciting thing that’s happening this year is my twin sister and sister-in-law are moving in with me! They are renovating the lower level of my house and creating their retirement home and beginning a whole new chapter of their lives. I am over the moon to have them share my home with me!

The only downside is a little sacrifice of planting space under my bedroom window to make way for their bedroom egress window. I had to relocate a few plants to make way for the window and a lobelia laxiflora gave it’s life for the greater good but it’s easily replaceable. The jury is still out on whether the Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ will need to be moved.


Getting ready for basement egress window

While this last bit of nasty weather was definitely unwelcome, having a few weeks in the middle of winter reconnecting with my garden revitalized my soul. It got me very excited about this season and I cannot wait to see how the garden comes to life this year!

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite moments in my garden before the snow and freezing temperatures came a couple weeks ago.


Crocus ‘Orange Monarch’


Iris reticulata brightening up the hellstrip

And the ubiquitous winter hellebore photos….


Helleborus ‘Ruby Wine’


Helleborus ‘Pippa’s Purple’


Unknown Hellebore (from swap – Alyse thanks!)


Helleborus ‘Apricot Blush’


Two unknown planted precariously close to one another


Helleborus ‘Snow Fever’


Grevillea ‘Neil Bell’




Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’


Euphorbia ‘Ruby Glow’


Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’


Hebe unknown (possibly ‘Pink Elephant’)


Libertia peregrinans

Until next time!








9 thoughts on “Breaking Dormancy

  1. Lovely to see all these bloomers in your garden. I’m encouraged to see the Iris reticulata in bloom already. I bought some in pots just last week and I hope they’ll bloom again like yours next year when I plant them out. And like you, I’m desperate for more spring!!


  2. Glad to see you excited about another year of gardening! Your garden is looking good. Up here near Tacoma, my Iris reticulata has just started poking its nose above ground, no sign of blooms on it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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