Saturday, April 1, 2017

SPRING MARCHes IN


March was another great month with more mild than cold days.  Thus I planted some more veggies that are usually done in mid-to-late April.  Below you will see some of them - my sweet onions, leaf lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbages, kale, cucumbers and spinach.  I've only had to cover them 4 times this winter.  I also planted the seeds of okra, chives and cantaloupe.  






I was reminded by my eight year old granddaughter Lea that I promised to get chickens.  Below is the coop that will house two chickens to start with.  She is excited to go shopping and pick them out.  I'm adding a six-foot exercise pen and run and poultry wire to the picket fence so the chicks can free range in the garden as well. This area is completely closed off from the resident dog.






My 3-in-3 apple tree arrived from California and I got that planted.  It's already sprouted new leaves.  

Purchased and planted glory lily, purple meadow sage, red fox veronica, 3 kinds of  woodland phlox, purple verbena,yellow blooming edgeworthia, and virginia bluebells, to name a few.  A neighbor gave me some seedlings of her Cushion Spurge and Oxe Eye daisies.

I'm delighted to see that the passalong  variegated Solomon's seals I planted last year are emerging, as are the Hellebores.  My Hellebores were outstanding this season and bloomed for a very long time.  

I want to add more sages to the garden as they are not only long blooming and deer resistant , they don't die back in the winter.

The queens of the shrub garden -the viburnums-have begun their blooming - the very fragrant 'mohawk',  'nantucket' and 'mariesii ' . I want to add some more evergreen varieties as well.  

Life is emerging in the roadside garden -the cobalt blue ajuga, powder blue catsmint, yellow daffodils, and false lupine.  I will add more wildflower seeds this Spring to attract more bees and butterflies.

Farewell to March and Hello to April.




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

FABULOUS FEBRUARY

"Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that
Winter's woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air."
-  William Morris



February was a very warm and pleasant month albiet a bit short of necessary rainfall for all the emerging plants.  In the orchard my white-fleshed peach , nectarine and asian pears are blooming.

I added a pollinator blueberry and a dwarf fig to the vegetable garden.  Also planted a tomato, green pepper and green leaf lettuce.    I sowed okra and cantaloupe seeds as well.  Sowed the Hibiscus and Hyacinth Bean seeds I purchased at Monticello.  A freeze is predicted for this week so I have the row covers standing by.


                       'Little Miss Figgy ' dwarf fig.

 The weather has been so delightful I was able to create my second rockery, a chore indeed.  Planting was the easy part but hauling in all the topsoil to create it was not.


Planted primulas, phlox, bergenia, pinks and sandwort in my newly formed berm of topsoil mixed with compost and manure.  This berm's main function was to stop the overflow of rainwater from my uphill neighbor.

I had my heart set on a Fuji apple tree which needs a pollinator so I had to find room for two trees.  I couldn't find one so I ordered a special grafted apple tree that has 3 different apples -Fuji, golden delicious and early summer red so it pollinates itself .  It will arrive in mid-March.  


I love the many daffodils that are showing their cheery heads around town and plan to plant a lot more this Fall.  I see many are naturalizing in the woodlands as well.  

February was a very busy and productive month in the garden.  I re-seeded my lawn and it emerged in 5 days ! Grass takes consistently warm temperatures to sprout and my timing was perfect.  An accident I'm sure but glad it worked out.  

Farewell February, hope March will try to best you.
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WELCOME JANUARY AND A NEW YEAR




"The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a 

twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour."
-  Vita Sackville-West



A surprisingly warm January with just a few days of below freezing temperatures.  Much to my delight my two Prunus mume ' peggy clarke ' bloomed and the bees were busy buzzing in and out of their fragrant flowers.   


Pleasant days in the high 60's and 70's inspired me to do some weeding and transplanting.   My vegetable garden has done quite well and I have harvested parsley, kale, chard and spinach.  The cabbages are forming heads.




My Mahonia, aka Oregon Grape, is a welcome spot of color in January, as are the Hellebores in purple and chartruese.


I know that there's always the danger of more ice and snow so I will take each warm day as a gift and use it wisely.  I am eager for Spring to come but I know that I need to be patient for another month or so.  


Meanwhile I am spending time in my art studio and making plans for more garden projects in the Spring.  My 8 year old granddaughter is super excited because I promised her I would get some chickens this year.  
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