Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's growing on?

(L) Bulbs that I planted years ago and now can't remember the name of.  (R)  Butterfly bush starting to leaf out 
 The lilacs are starting to leaf out as well and showing the beginnings of flowers.  Can't wait...they smell awesome. 

 Eastern Redbud...easily my favorite springtime tree.  The flowers come before there are even leaves on the tree and will cover it with pink blooms.
(L) Another shot of the redbud.  (R) Peach tree leaf bud. 
Top left, Sweet Autumn Clematis  Top right, asparagus
Bottom left, Peony   Bottom right, Lungwort
Apple tree bud 
 Daffodils  :)
(L) Viburnum  (R) Hosta - seems pretty early for it to be poking its leaves out so far in March

More pics to come....I am having trouble with getting my pics to post as well as arrange.  :(

Seed Starting Sunday

With just six weeks until Mother's Day, I got busy starting seeds today.  Our last frost is around the end of April to the beginning of May depending on what source you look at. 
For me, there is nothing quite like being in the shed playing in the dirt.  I can get lost for hours out there.  Somewhat like I did today...  It is therapeutic for me to be out there with nothing but me, dirt and seeds.  My husband always tells me that when I am in my shed that I "glow".  It just makes me happy. 
I am trying to use up all of the old seed that I have.  Some of the seed that I used is from 2006.  The only new seed that I planted today was a pepperoncini pepper.  I didn't have any of those.  I have a bad habit on not being able to throw seed away.  I have a pepper seed that was sent to me as a freebie that has never germinated for me yet I continue to try every year.  Inevitably, I plant enough seed that does germinate that causes another quandry....the inability to throw away a green plant.  I love to be able to give away my extra plants.  I have had many people tell me that I should sell my seedlings, and I just cannot do it.  Another thing that makes me happy.... 
I am about as messy of a gardener as I am a cook. That means I'm good right?

 I look at these tiny tomato seeds and it amazes me every time that this one little seed has the potential to grow into a plant that will produce multiple tomatoes and grow as tall or taller than me. 
My first flat on the heat mat and going under the lights.  Once they germinate and get a couple sets of leaves, I will pot them up in separate pots.  Since I am using old seed, I'm not sure what my germination rate will be, so I overseeded.  I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  I had to cut my popsicle stick labels in half in order to get the plastic cover on the flat.  So much for looking pretty. 
To the right is my lettuce that I have been growing.

Seeds planted today:
   Pink Brandywine
   Gold Medal
   Huge Yellow Oxheart
   Black Krim
   German Pink
   Amish Paste
   Black Cherry
   Yellow Pear
   Crnkovic Yugoslavian
   Italian Heirloom
   Jelly Bean hybrid
   Viva Italia
   Big Dipper
   California Wonder
   Golden Marconi
   Sweet Chocolate
   Yellow Star Hot
   Romanesco Italia
   Green Goliath
   Italian Parsley
   Alyssum - white and purple
   Early Sunrise Coreopsis
   Mixed Hollyhock
   Mixed Sweet William
   Salvia - Blue Bedder Sage

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gerbera daisy infestation update

My gerbera daisy infestation was not doing well.  I tried the homemade concoction of water, vinegar and baking soda, but then my sprayer broke.  Truthfully, I found it to be a pain to wash each leaf by hand.  My diligence went to the wayside and the bugs won....big time!  They seem to only like my daisies because I have a variety of other plants in my potting shed that are totally unaffected; even ones that were sitting right next to them. 

I broke down and bought a commercial spray that is supposed to be environmentally friendly....
 All I can say is, I hope it works.  I gave them a first application last night.  They do look somewhat less infested??  Perhaps that is my wishful thinking.  How these poor plants are continuing to grow and remain green is beyond me. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feels like spring

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful outside.  I spent the day working in the up dog deposits from over the winter, cutting back asparagus fronds, ornamental grasses, butterfly bush, and various other perennials.  The sun was out for a better part of the day.  The neighborhood seemed to come alive with the warmer weather.  Boys playing basketball, the sound of a tiller opening up the winter crusted earth, and kids playing.  There were also breaks from the work to visit and catch up on the neighborhood happenings.  I even got a blueberry cobbler!

Upper left is my asparagus bed prior to cutting it back.  The cattle panel fencing is leaned up against that chain link fence to keep the dogs from walking in the bed.  Small nubs of asparagus are starting to come up.  The upper right is one of my ornamental grasses prior to being cut back to the ground and the bed cleaned up.  The grasses that aren't so close to the house usually get burned back.  It is so much easier and quicker.
While I was was working in the asparagus bed, I noticed quite a few earthworms.

There is still so much more work that needs to be done, but it sure felt good to get a start on it anyway.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The crocuses have finally bloomed...

I came home to a wonderful surprise this afternoon.  My crocuses are blooming!  Is it just me or do they seem to be late this year?  It seems that they are usually blooming the end of February into early March.  The daffodils are budded and will be blooming soon also.  Goodbye, Old Man Winter....


Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's growing on?

I took a walk around the yard today to see what was emerging from it's winter rest.  It was in the high 20's while I was out.   At this time of year, a week can make such a difference in what the landscape looks like....that and a few warm days with sunshine.  I like to wait to take the leaf cover off because of the extremes that March can bring so the flower beds still look a little grungy. 
Crocus getting ready to bloom soon
Daffodils....the yellow is so vibrant when they bloom that I can see them when I turn onto my road.
Onion chives
Now everyone can see my worst flower bed....this is one that is getting a total overhaul this spring.  Too crowded and too weedy last year.  The surprise (resurrection) lillies and what I call roadside lillies (the orange ones) are really starting to grow.
Peony buds
Lilac buds....these grow along almost the length of our lot line.  When they bloom, the fragrance is incredible.
Maple tree flowering....I hope the neighbors weren't looking when I took this one.  I had to climb and stand up on the LP gas tank to get close enough.  

Top left, Shasta right, grape hyacinth
Bottom left, daylillies....bottom right, columbine

Soon, this will be a mass of bright red tulip blooms