Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Wednesday Workday

Who knew we would actually get a 65-degree day this week?
Apparently the weather guessers did, because they were right in calling this one.  Of course, we got snow the next day, but that's par for the course in these parts.
 Before - a dense growth of large hand-like leaves.
That little window of good weather - on Monday when I had the day off! - provided the opportunity to clean out the hellebore bed.  I have been bemoaning the lack of hellebores in bloom.  I often get them in December, but they are late this year and i had not seen even one.  But they were lurking!
 After: room to breath and room for the blooms to come up in the center of the clumps.
If you have hellebores you know that like most perennials they need some annual clean up.  [I love perennials, but they are certainly not work-free once they are established.]  At least once a year one needs to cut back all of the old dying greenery.  It creates a densely packed top cover of older stems that look like giant hands and that completely cover the new growth and hide the new blooms.  I found many clumps of buds that were literally growing sideways due to the weight of the old leaves.
 A dark, dark purple - but filled with blooms.
It took me nearly two hours to clean out the old growth and to cart it to the trash cans - I filled an entire 100 gallon can!  But the results were worth it. 
 One of my favorite pinks.
Even a posey or two for the house.
 A little something to enjoy.
 And the added benefit of nearly two hours of glute and hamstring stretching.  At least two Advil for this!

A couple of days of sunshine - after the snow provides some additional water - and I expect to have lots of blooms for the next couple of months.  
Thanks, Mom!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Way we Were ...

So, Jane wants to know what we were like when we were very young.
This is the first known gardening photo of yours truly.  Must have been May - you may guess what year.  And, those are the small yellow iris that followed us from Grannie's house at Virginia Beach to our first house in Knoxville.  [Yes, she preferred for 23 grandchildren to call her "Grannie" - OMG!!]

When she moved back to the Beach in retirement, Mother took some with her and eventually I had a fairly large clump at this house.  Sadly, a very rainy winter rotted them all, and no one else in the family had saved any.  Nowadays, the breeders are all going for large flowers, so you don't see the small ones around any more.  A loss, I think. 

You can see, tho, that the gardening bug was caught early. Thanks, Jane, for a good memory.  
Now hop on over to Small, but Charming and see who else is willing to share a little bit of history with us this week.