Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mid-April Garden

 The white dogwood in full bloom. It was the last of the new trees to fill out, while the red bud is getting its leaves now and so is the pink dogwood. So wonderful to see it first thing in the early morning pre-dawn.

 Behind it in one of the veggie beds is the Siberian Iris, planted with the now over daffodills and crocus. The last to bloom in this bed.

 One of our four fig trees has big new figs on the stem. So adorable. This is not the only one with little figs, but the others are really small. We have four varieties, so we shall see what happens with the rest of them.

 I found just the right table ( and chairs, ( and set them up yesterday, knowing we won't have rain for a few days. The patio was covered with tree buds, making a huge mess, not to mention the pollen which blankets the whole neighborhood. But then we had terrific winds and rain and all is cleared off, no sweeping required. 
Lots of wonderful perennials fill the beds, making planting much easier this year. Plus I added all those hydrangeas and hosta from other parts of the yard, making it a much less expensive planting season. I still have petunias and impatiens to get in, somewhere. 
Last season I believe I shook out some seed heads of zinnias/and or coneflowers over the beds and now I have lots of  sprouts of things...I can always yank them out if they turn out not to be flowers. We'll see.
Seedlings mixed among the hardy geranium transplants. Their second leaves have started appearing, so I may soon know what they might become.
 One of our four clematis is going crazy and I am still waiting for help getting the arbor in place. Sigh. Good help is hard to find.
 Here's another mystery. It looks to me like a daisy, maybe Shasta, but its in absolutely a different bed than where they were planted last year. It's quite vigorous, so I am willing to keep it, if it turns out to be a daisy, but where are the ones I actually planted last season? Never came up. Darn.
On the other hand, here is a huge fennel colony which never actually died back over our mild winter. I shall be cutting out bulbs and grilling them soon, yum.
If you should think I am a good gardener, um, here is proof that I am not. This poor hydrangea was planted in loose soil which washed away over the many rains we had, and now is bare root, but still struggles to live. I will transplant it into a better spot. Poor darling. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Plantin' in the Rain

 Rain, glorious rain. Which means a good start for all the trees and plants that are in, so far. I had Nick's men bring the blue pots to the driveway to cover the unsightly cracked pavement and to finish off the river rocks lining the edge. Satisfied! In the pots I put marigolds, petunias, Rocket Snapdragons, Victoria blue salvia, and the existing coneflowers,  hardy geraniums, rosemary and two different mints. They will be in the full sun, whenever it returns, but in the meantime they can busy themselves putting out roots. 

 The pink dogwood is much pinker than I expected, really a light red. So pretty, just opening now. 

 And we got our golden euonymus in late Thursday and Dave mulched the beds. I will be adding flowers in front when I find what I want.
In the patio bed I direct seeded Marvel of Four Seasons lettuce, 
Image result for marvel of four seasons lettuceImage result for lettuce leaf basil 
and lots of Lettuce Leaf basil. I have also had a minor victory with egg carton sowing of Lupins. 9 of them have sprouted and three have tiny secondary leaves. So happy! 
Image result for lupins

I also wet-started nasturtiums, and California Bluebells.
Image result for nasturtiums Image result for california bluebells
 This means putting a wet paper towel on a plate, sprinkling on the seeds and covering with plastic wrap. In a few days the seeds will show signs of life and I can then get them in the soil. I'll be direct sowing green beans and zinnias. I bought two tomato plants (determinate) which are already huge, Bush Goliath and Better Bush. Also Mammoth Jalapeno and some lemon thyme. I need more peppers, but am conscious of the cool weather, as they really like hot soil to do well.
The really good news is that I did not kill my hydrangeas after all. 8 out of the 11 got transplanted to the patio bed and are leafing out merrily. Phew! I will take very good care of them from now on. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

New Trees

 O how excited I am today. I have new flowering trees and a half dozen arborvitae in the ground, thanks to my reluctant gardener Nick. I know in this light you can't see the flower buds, so I included close-ups. And notice the river rock edging along the driveway. This is to prevent the mud from getting all over when it rains. Mulch is coming to be a ground cover for all of this, again. I will be getting my blue pots to dress up this area, filled with bright annuals. More plants, YES!

And the long view. Yesterday they topped off the beds with mushroom compost and filled all the cubbies. I am ready to plant!
 And here's my darling weeping Acer Crimson Queen in its own planter, covering a deep dead tree root system. I will be planting things around the perimeter in the planter.

 The planter is in view of the porch, and those beds below are going to be planted later today with golden euonymus.

In the meantime I am having Nick and the guys make a firepit for wienie roasts and S'mores. We always have limbs and branches to supply kindling. After a year, the yard is really starting to look like a garden! So happy. Sigh.