Saturday, March 31, 2012

How I Love Thee, March 2012

March 2012.  You have been the nicest March I can remember.

You came in like a lamb.  You're going out like a lamb.

You brought us rain.  You brought us warmth.  You brought us wind, but not in excess.  Your windiest day brought us a turkey.  You truly brought us spring.

Most years, you tease us.  Spring, winter, spring, winter, winter, spring with wind, windy days, windy nights and more wind.  Often, there is snow or severe  thunderstorms as if you can't make up your mind.  You let me work in the garden one day only to cover it with snow and drive me back inside the next day.

Not this year.  This year, you have given us the best weather and the garden is happy for it.

Tulips are blooming.

The lilacs are a full month ahead of schedule.
[Yes, that is a police car in the street.  A police officer lives next door.]

The lilacs smells better this year than I ever remember too.  The scent fills the garden as your soft March winds carry the fragrance making me smile as I pull hen bit from every bed.
[OK.  We have to talk about why the hen bit is so prolific this March.]

The grape hyacinths are looking amazing.
Oh, more tulips. Yellow ones.

The red bud has been just lovely this March.

These red tulips are taller than ever with no snow to knock them down and no wind to blow the petals away.

The shrubs like this red twig dogwood are getting pretty green leaves.  So relived as last summer they looked kind of crispy.

These red tulips are experiencing their first March in the garden.  Will they expect this every year?

The creeping phlox is covered in blooms setting off the iron edging.
[It looks good even if my photo is tilted.]

March 2012.  You've been the best.  Come back again anytime!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Blooming Shamrock

It did OK in our living room.

About a month ago, I moved it to a sunny window in our family room.  It is much happier there.

It is even blooming.

I've also noticed the leaves have a nice purple variation.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tulips 'Jimmy'

I have some tulips named 'Jimmy' in the side garden that are showing off this spring like never before.  I don't remember what year I planted them.  I do have photos of them as early as 2007.  I've never divided them or anything.  I couldn't help but showcase them today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Red Tulips And Lilacs

Last fall, I planted some red tulips at one end of a bed.
They are rewarding me with a blast of color.

The lilacs already smell wonderful.  They are about to burst open.  I checked last year's posts and they didn't bloom until April 22nd.  They are crazy early this year.  I've already cut some to bring inside.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anxious To Move Back Outside

Last fall, I moved several plants into the house in hopes of keeping them alive to return to the garden in the spring.  My list of what I overwintered including what perished is one post back.

Here are the survivors.

Autumn Joy Sedum cuttings.
OK, these didn't overwinter.  I brought them in a few weeks back to start some roots.  I'll plant them outside where I'm wanting more of these sedums soon.  They are inside waiting to go to the garden.  They even have roots already.  See them?

ice plant

A nice collection of geraniums.

A scrawny amaryllis, the rosemary, Jacob's coat plants for containers and two aloe veras that I got from my mom last fall.

asparagus ferns

The fern from my neighbor.  It looks really sad, but is still putting out new shoots.  It'll be happier once it moves back outside.

The mother-in-law's tongue and a little cacti.

Easter tree

Wait a minute.  I didn't overwinter an Easter tree.  Where did that come from?

Overwintered 2011

This is a list of the number of containers of each plant I brought inside to overwinter in hopes of returning them to the garden next spring and maybe propagating more.

2 aloe vera ***

1 amaryllis ***

3 asparagus ferns (1 ***)

2 bacopa cuttings

1 cacti ***

1 caladium ***

1 elephant ear

1 fern ***

10 geraniums ***

hornwort (in bucket)

2 ice plants

4 impatien cuttings

1 Jacob's coat ***

2 Jacob's coat cuttings

1 mother-in-law's tongue ***

1 rosemary ***

snails (in bucket)

8 sweet potato vine cuttings

2 vinca cuttings

***  will stay in current container during 2012 growing season
-#  number of each plant that did not survive

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Bike Ride In The Country

After the wonderful rain last week, the weekend was sunny and beautiful.

Friday afternoon, I spent a lot of time in the garden weeding.  This included removing some plants that had ventured beyond their designated space.  These were potted or bagged for my mom's garden.

Saturday morning, my wonderful husband and I loaded up our bikes and traveled to my parents' farm.  My mom is recovering well from her back surgery last August and her hip replacement last November.  She is able to do many activities again, but getting down to plant is not one of them.  My dad is putting in the vegetables.  He already has potatoes, peas, radishes, kohlrabi and onions planted.  The rain blessed their garden as well.  My dad has also planted a number of evergreen trees this spring.  I find it inspiring that my 84 year old father continues to plant trees.  I planted hens and chicks, daffodils, daisies, primrose, asters, wild snapdragon and bouncing betties from my garden in Mom's flower beds.  These should give her some easy color this year.

WH and I found some time to ride our bikes on the country roads.  One of my parents' fields is on the right hand side in this photo of me.  The lush green is hard red winter wheat.  It is planted in the fall, sprouts, hopes for moisture through the winter, grows in the spring rains hoping not to be nipped by a late freeze as it creates seed heads, matures in the early summer, can be destroyed by hail before harvest; but if everything goes well, will be a beautiful golden sea harvested in late June/early July.  My parents are retired from farming and rent their property out to other farmers receiving a portion of the crop as payment.

Here is an example of our wide open farm country.

While it is generally level, there are some hills.  This is WH zooming down one.  He likes to use the hill to aid his pedaling to go as fast as possible.  I prefer to coast going down hill and enjoy the easy ride.

There are small cemeteries among the fields.  We like to stop and visit them if we have time.

It is sad to see the stones not holding up and no one left to care for them.  The latest headstone we found in this cemetery was from 1918.  Most were from the 1880s.  There are treasures in these old cemeteries that you will not see from the road.

Treasures like these tiny irises blooming on some of the graves in this cemetery.  I wonder how many years they have been blooming here with no caretaker.

I also stopped to take photos of this amazing grass.  I was surprised that the seed heads still looked so nice from last year.

I hope you enjoyed our little trek off Sherlock Street.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scrubbed Well For The Tour

We've received a little over 1.50" of rain here this week.  I don't have an official amount for a rain gauge report because I don't have my rain gauge out for the season yet.  The rain has really made a difference.  Everything is greening up.  Wednesday was our big rain day with everything from mist to gentle rain to downpour to gale force wind with water.  Everything in the garden got wet and scrubbed.  It looks great.  That is why I took this month's garden tour photos on Thursday.  

The forsythia and red bud are blooming.  We have daffodils and a few red tulips.  The seeds I planted in the vegetable garden are sprouting too.  I also peeked at the winter sown seeds today and they're suddenly showing up as well (I was beginning to think they hadn't gotten cold enough since our winter has been so mild.)

You can view the tour photos one post back or in the page Tour Garden On Sherlock Street in the right hand column. 


March Tour 2012

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden

Vegetable Garden



Monday, March 19, 2012

Rarely Seen Here

A turkey running through the garden was a surprise on Sunday.

Monday brought another rare sight to Garden on Sherlock Street.

We had a nice rain receiving about .30" Monday morning.  It has been very dry here.

When I arrived home from work Monday afternoon, I was very surprised to find a mushroom.  Just one.  I know it wasn't there Sunday evening.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turkey In The Side Garden

Sunday came to us with a lot of wind.

As I sat at our table looking out into the garden I was quite surprised to see a turkey dash through the garden.  We have a creek run near our neighborhood.  So, it is likely the turkey made its way into town along the creek.  I grabbed the camera and hurried outside.

I snapped a few photos while shooting the video.

Then, I backed off.  The turkey went over the fence and disappeared.  I went to the front garden, but didn't see the turkey anywhere in the neighborhood.  I'm glad I got the video and photos.

I'm sure the wind got the turkey out of sorts.  I hope it found its way back to its flock.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Seeds In The Garden

We have had very warm weather this week.  I've spent a lot of time in the garden watering, weeding, digging, transplanting and planting.  I know we could get a serious cold snap so I stuck with the tried and true vegetables that can go in this time of year:  lettuce, radish, pea and kohlrabi for my garden.  I'm trying to keep everything listed on this post.  I planted six different lettuce seeds.  Two are in a cold frame and four are under these old wire hanging baskets.  When the lettuce is done, I plan to use this area for some squash plants.

While the other lettuces are in a cold frame, there is nothing cold about it.  In fact, I have the lids open now because today when I checked the thermometers at about 3 pm, they read 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whoa.  It got to 80 something today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gooseneck Reappears

Last year, I ordered gooseneck loosestrife despite all the warnings about how invasive the plant is.  I just love its arching blooms.  I planted it in a large plastic container.  When autumn progressed, I moved the container to a space near the back door and buried the plant in leaves.  Today, I moved back the leaves and found sprouts.

Since it overwintered so nicely, I decided to move it to my largest galvanized container on the patio.    It can take over the whole container and will be close at hand to see the blooms.

After a good drink, I covered the sprouts with straw and then a screen to hold down the straw because of our insane winds.

Even though it is very warm here this week, I know we can still have a big snow storm.  In fact, it seems to always snow after I plant some vegetable seeds.  It did last year and the year before.

I'm hoping to plant some vegetable seeds still this week.