Sunday, April 13, 2014

It Happened One Night ...

... actually, i think it happened last Wednesday night.  Spring finally arrived (to stay) in Central Virginia.  Seemingly overnight the weather has changed - blue skies, warm breezes, and sunny warm days.  Apparently Mother Nature has welcomed Persephone home for the summer.
 Top of the list ... cleaning out the fish pond - yuck!
 Three hours later and they seem a lot happier.
 The first azaleas are ready to pop open.
 Clematis is climbing up the porch and also ready to pop.
 The blueberry is covered with flower buds.  Need to get netting up tomorrow - if I plan to get any of the berries this year!
Lilies are pushing up some really impressive stalks.
This corner is always the first to fill in - flowering almond left and right, with weigela in the rear center;  iris in the front and lilies just behind them.
Calycanthus florida by the deck.  It's supposed to smell heavenly - vanilla pineapple - maybe this is the year.
 And, the first blooms of the Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt Airy' starting to open.
So much to do in the garden ... and a lot accomplished before my body screamed "enough!"
Life is good!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tulips in the House

Tulips - one of my very favorite flowers, along with ranunculus, of course.

And, this is the time of year when both are available.

So, out of my comfort level this month.  You know that arranging flowers is not a skill of mine - altho it is one that I am hoping to develop.

I saw this in the April "Better Homes and Gardens" and loved it.
Directions were included.

My version looks like this!  White tulips, honeysuckle vine and 'Blue Moon' phlox.
 Wish the directions had mentioned some moss to hide the oasis.  it would have looked nicer.
The left over tulips do well in a tall container.
And, did I mention ranunculus?  Not only are they available, but they are available on my back deck and next to my chair!
Life is good. 

Thank you, Jane.  You have really challenged me this time.  Hope everyone will hop over to Small But Charming and see who else is home today.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday Workday

What a joy to be able to have a workday!  It's finally spring in Central Virginia and I am hoping to make the most of it.  Projects and final clean-up from last fall is definitely on the agenda, along with just enjoying the heck out of sunny skies and the first little plants poking up their leaves. 

At the top of my "to do" list was to try to "repair" a dogwood tree.  It's bark is not looking good.  I noticed in the fall that it was cracking.  A bit of Internet research tells me it may be canker, but am hoping to escape that.  [Think of all the dogwoods you have seen that have scruffy, mis-shaped trucks and seem to do ok ... am hoping i have one of those. ]
Somewhere, some time ago i read an article on helping trees thru bark difficulties by wrapping the trunk in sphagnum moss, so am trying that.  The idea is to give the bark some help to heal.  I already see one spot that is better after the winter - and with no help from me.

[I learned that it is difficult to hold wet moss, wrap the truck tape and take photos at the same time!  I needed a third hand.]

The second project i am working on, is really Mitchell's project.  He loves to plant a veggie garden and then eat the fresh produce, but is not so excited about the cultivating, watering, and harvesting part ... which falls to me most years.
 Many years ago he built two raised veggie beds in the sunniest part of the back yard.  After years of use, the boards are rotting and need to be replaced.  He has decided to replace the two 4 x 4 boxes with one 12 x 4 box [more space for me to grow veggies, i think].

So far, my part has been to empty as much of the old planting medium as possible out of the beds. 
It was still in very good shape, so i used it to top-dress my xeri-garden/herb and greens spot.  The "dirt" is a woman-made blend of three different kinds of humus, vermiculite, peat moss and manure, which i have refreshed in alternate years.  
This time we will put four inches of our own webb-made compost on the bottom and top it with the blend.

It sounds like he may get the box built this weekend, so I can start on the blend soon.  And, the truth is that I hope to grow lots more veggies when I retire, so it's good to have this part done ahead of time.
For now, lettuce and a few herbs are a good start for this early in the spring!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It Happened one Day ...

actually, it happened today. 

Did you see it?  I did.  
I stood out on my porch until 1:14 Eastern DST to be sure that the sun managed to cross my meridian.  I was not about to trust the generic time zone this year.  Not after the winter we have .... endured. 

Happy Spring!

Actually, it does look like spring right this minute. 
Daffodil 'Tete a' Tete' coming up everywhere.

A few hyacinths.  Somehow they never seem as tall and "fancy" outside, but I love them still.
 Even the day lilies are breaking ground. 
 And, it appears that the David Austin rose 'Sister Elizabeth' is going to make it.

 Inside, there is joy as well. 

We had a guest for dinner last night, so i stopped by the local flower market for some house flowers, and wonder of wonders ...


Thanks to Bow Street Flowers i knew that the ranuncs from Israel are now available - at least in Boston - so i asked.  These are a bit over the hill, but they are all mine.  Life is good. 

Maybe we can make it past next week's potential snow storm and finally feel like spring.