Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday Workday

Webb Dirt 2014 Makes its Debut!

I've frequently talked about the need for a compost pile and have sometimes talked about the care and feeding of mine.  Today you get to see some results. 

I have mentioned that Mitchell decided that "he" would expand "his" vegetable garden this year.  The most important thing that you need to know about his veggie garden is that he loves to plant it, and he loves to eat the results, but he's not too interested in what comes in between, especially the weeding part.  That usually falls to .... well, you know who.
I emptied the dirt out of the old one, and then he built a bigger raised bed.  So, this weekend i started filling the new one.   And, that's where the compost pile comes in. 

The last time I emptied the compost pile and used all the dirt was 2009, when I built the xeri-garden.  So the dirt had been cooking for five years.  It is gorgeous.  Every spadeful is filled with nutrients and wiggly worms.  A great growing medium for the base of the new veggie bed. 
I moved 11 wheelbarrow-fuls and cleared out a space that is 4 feet, by 3 feet, by 3 feet - about 1.3 cubic yards of wonderful top soil.
This used about one third of the "good" pile.  As you might guess, I have at least two future projects in mind for the rest - a bed for sweet peas next year, and one for strawberries in 2016, so it can just sit for a while and I will use it later.

As you can see, there is already plenty piled on the left side and slowly "cooking" down to the good stuff.

The beds are not full, altho I have plenty of good webb-dirt left if i wanted to use it all that way.  Instead, we will add 2-3 inches of the "square foot garden" blend on top.  It's a blend of compost (three different kinds) with vermiculite and peat moss added.  It's very light and drains well.  Veggies seem to love it. 

But, that's a project for later this week .... or maybe next weekend!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Day

It's a glorious day in the Commonwealth!
A former boss of mine was almost famous for saying that ... even if the sunshine was of the cold, dark, rainy sort.  But today he would be right.  It's in the mid- 60's, full sun, birds chirping and generally all's right with the world. 

For years I have said that gardeners clearly believe in a higher power .... the fact that we put seeds and bulbs in the ground year after year and expect something wonderful to happen is proof enough.
On this day when Christians are celebrating their risen Lord, it's also a day for celebrating the garden we live in and the promise of spring finally come and summer on the way. 
My small celebration is this pot of bulbs that has decided to grace me with blooms.  In November when I planted them, I did not put much faith in results, but I have been proven wrong.  I had hoped for a 25% return, and I already have that with the tulips and scilla.  There's still the possibility of freesia and ranunculus yet to come.  And, boy! am i glad. 
It's indeed a glorious day!

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.