Saturday, April 30, 2005
Drip, drip, drip -- another rainy day . . .
We've had 4.8 inches of rain since the first of April, according to my rain gauge.
I can't WAIT to see those May flowers . . .
Friday, April 29, 2005
Put some salmon-pink gerbera into some nice ceramic pots I'd bought a while ago and then tied those pots to the front mini-porch posts, between the half-pots of pansies already tied there, so that now those posts look as though they are completely surrounded by flowers.
Then I put some dark purplish "Black Dragon" coleus into some small galvanized metal pots I'd bought yesterday and put those pots (plus the trays) onto the windowsills flanking the front door. I'd tried putting impatiens there in prior years, but they didn't do well. With coleus, there will still be color there even if the light level there is only so-so for blooming plants. The metal pots will be an improvement over the ceramic ones I'd used in the past, since they won't break if they fall, nor will they be damaged by winter freezes.
The apricots, plums, nectarines and peaches have finished blooming, as have the hyacinths. The grape hyacinths have started to bloom, as have the tulips and the pink dogwood. The forsythia, cup magnolia, cherries and pears are all still in bloom, although the Bosc pear just started yesterday -- I'm guessing the cold, damp spring we've had so far is the reason everything is blooming so late this year -- more rain is expected for tomorrow also. Sigh.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Today was another dank day, with on and off rain, so I couldn't do a lot in the garden in terms of planting, so I did a few other things instead.
I took some old slates that had been around the backyard since half-way to forever and used them to create a partially-paved area underneath the dogwood, peach and Bosc pear trees, where I have the metal glider. I plan to put plants between the stones -- most likely something from the "Stepables" line of foot-traffic-friendly small plants, or perhaps something like sweet alyssum . . .
After lugging and arranging the slates, I rested for a bit on the glider then put the matching metal table I'd bought yesterday on the newly-paved area. It's the perfect height for me to use if I'm sitting in the glider -- excellent for eating al fresco meals!
Then I lugged more stuff -- this time some edging bricks a neighbor had given me a while ago when he was re-doing his garden. It turned out that what I had was just exactly enough to edge all along where this section of garden meets the driveway, so that where I just paved, as well as the to-be-planted section of the northwest garden, now has a nice brick edging. How lucky!!!
I was also lucky in that I seem to have exactly the right amount of new planters for the front mini-porch railings, which is a good thing, since I bought them at a discount/closeout store where they no longer seem to be available. They match the half-pot and other planters I already have on the mini-porch. I had to figure out what would be the most harmonious arrangement of the two different sizes, but I finally got them all to fit together perfectly, with no wasted space and every planter being used.
Now I just have to hope it gets warm enough -- and STAYS warm enough -- for me to fill my new planters with all the posies I've bought . . .
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Planted a few more seeds during a break in the weekend sogginess -- lettuce and spinach, both in the same area where I'd planted yesterday's vegetables. I used part of a seed tape of "Black-seeded Simpson" loose-leaf lettuce and planted a few seeds of "Bloomsdale Long-standing" spinach.
This spring has been very cold so far, with the exception of a few very warm days, so much so that the peaches and nectarines and the winter pear are just now starting to bloom and neither the Bosc pear nor the quinces nor the dogwood have bloomed yet -- they are all just now starting to put out a few leaves. The garden should be full of flowers by now, but it isn't -- it's really rather dreary, except for the forsythia. Even the two cup magnolias in the front yard are barely beginning to bud . . .
Given the dankness, I'm hesitant to plant more than a small sampling of seeds in my garden so far, since the weather might be too chilly for them. I did want to at least start a few plants though, which is why I did some planting yesterday -- especially of the vegetables which generally prefer to grow in cooler temperatures, such as lettuce, peas and spinach. I just hope the seeds sprout and grow, not rot in the ground or keel over from the cold. We'll be having quite a few nights in the low 40s for the next few days, so I can't even make planters of flowers yet without worrying that the petunias and impatiens will catch cold and croak. Some plants I've even brought inside until it warms up a bit more, since I don't want to go to the bother and expense of replacing them once they've been put into planters with other flowers.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Celebrated Earth Day by planting lots of seeds.
I planted some vegetables in the strip of land north of the driveway -- sugar snap peas along the chainlink fence and a staggered double row of corn, bush string beans and bush butternut squash, all three types of seeds planted together in the same hole. For both the peas and beans I added soil inoculant to the holes/furrow. (Varieties were "Sugar Snap" snap pea, "Early and Often" sweet corn, "Burpee's Stringless Green Pod" bush bean and "Burpee's Butterbush" butternut squash.)
After planting the veggies, I planted flowers -- looooots of flowers . . .
I planted a few cardinal climber vine and red "Scarlett O'Hara" morning glory seeds along part of the same section of chainlink fence where I planted the snap peas, to add some color to the area. Then I planted some lunaria (AKA "money plant") in two places -- some underneath the winter pear tree and some near the seedless grape by the garage. While I was by the garage, I also planted a few seeds of "Tea-time Rose" four o'clocks, "Daydream" cosmos, "Ruby Flax" viscaria and several varieties of sunflower. The varieties were "Mammoth", "Lemon Chiffon", "Chianti Hybrid" (which is a burgundy-red) and "Sunshine" -- which I also planted at the front of the house, at the west end of the front garden, amidst the sprouting peonies and daylilies. (I didn't plant "Sunshine" there though, as it was getting dark by then. Another day perhaps . . . )
I also got a chance to use my new purchases -- these really nifty seed packet holders I bought at Target. Some are undecorated while others have small painted metal flowers or vegetables on them with the word "flowers" or "vegetables" written below. I thought they were a great idea and bought quite a few, since they are galvanized metal and will last for many growing seasons. This way I know EXACTLY which variety I planted somewhere, instead of having to remember (or refer here) -- at least as long as I finished off the packet of seeds, that is . . .
Monday, April 18, 2005
The apricot trees are in full bloom and my plums have started to flower. The forsythia and hyacinths are also still blossoming.
The air around the house smells WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, April 11, 2005
Made several planters today using the "Beacon Blue" purple-and-white pansies I'd bought at the Equinox. I made 4 half-pot planters to go around the 2 posts of the front entrance mini-porch and a larger planter for the top of the post at the foot of the front entrance steps. The half-pot planters were pansy only, but the other rectangular planter was a combination of the pansies and several salmon-pink geraniums I'd bought today. I like salmon-pink and I thought it'd go well with the purple and white pansies. After I made that planter, I really liked how it looked -- when impatiens are available I'll most likely continue the color scheme with salmon-pink impatiens for the planters I plan to put on the railings.
In other garden-y news, my apricot trees have started to bloom as well as the forsythia and I've noticed snowdrops, crocus and hyacinths in bloom in the front yard.
Spring has sprung!!
Friday, April 01, 2005
The rainfall gauge I put out in January has recorded 9.06" of rain since January 12th. Quite a bit of that came just a few days ago -- we had 3.39" four days ago, 0.59" eight days ago amd 0.24" nine days ago -- 4.22" in just over a week!
I've decided to re-set it so I can keep periodic track of how much rain has fallen. I haven't decided if I'll do it monthly, quarterly or by the Sabbats -- for now, I'll try quarterly. I might change that though if we have a very rainy spring or summer, as we've had in the past.
More rain is expected later tonight and throughout the weekend. I was hoping to plant some pansies and heather I'd bought at the equinox -- it's been too rainy and cold to do any real gardening before now -- but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do, since the weekend will be rather soggy it seems . . .