Friday, February 24, 2012

The Weekend Plummet

Like clockwork, the temperatures always seem to drop 10-15 degrees as soon as the weekends roll around. We reached 70 twice this week... then come Friday and the temperature drops to the low 50s. No wonder the plants are confused. This sad little Iris put up a stunted flower stalk this week. It shouldn't be blooming until April at the earliest. Hopefully the flower will open and blossom before another cold front freezes it on the stalk.Perhaps the combination of a little blessed rain and a few unusually warm days has encouraged early blooms on the plants. One Pincushion plant has had a 3-5 blossoms on it since December.
Last Saturday we had half a day of drizzly rain and was cloudy all day. So nice! The Sunday before that we had snow all day. So beautiful when you get to stay inside and enjoy it. Not fun when you have to slog to work the next day - though we got to go in late so that the roads cleared. The cats had a great time watching "Bird TV," especially after I sprinkled bird feed around near the windows. They weren't too bothered about the snow as every day is a snow day for the furr butts. I must confess that I too loved watching the birds playing in the snow and hunching down on the tree when the winds got too strong. I'm sure the garden appreciated the moisture as those 3 inches were the most we'd gotten so far.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Cloudy Day

Finally after almost 8 weeks of almost precititation we finally got some. Last Sunday it snowed off and on all day and was such a beautiful sight. Threw bird seed everywhere and the indoors cats had a ball watching "bird tv" with the windows. Yesterday we had a soft, drizzly day for half the day. If this keeps up, which I hope it does [fingers crossed], we might actually have a full inch of rain by the end of the month. Already things are looking better than last year, believe it or not.

Not much color in the garden but there is a lot of activity going on. The daylilies are poking up everywhere. The daffodils are half way up and should bloom by the end of next month. The roses are budding out everywhere, which is not necessarily good since we always get a freeze every time the roses bud out in February. But the larkspur, oh my, they're popping up everywhere and are the greenest things in the beds right now. The light, feathery leaves contrast nicely to the other shapes from surrounding plants.
 Last year was the second time the larkspur bloomed. I planted the seeds two falls ago and got short, thin plants and then the next fall the plants came back twice as thick and some reached four feet tall. With this third bloom the seedlings are dense and coming up everywhere, including in the walkway below.
Two weeks ago I experimented in digging up plugs from the walkway and transplanting them to other spots in the flower beds. Amazingly, all twenty plugs have taken and are doing well. So, from now until the first mowing, I'll be digging up plantings in the pathway and transplanting the seedlings. Talk about bang for your buck. From two seed packets I got all of this and it's only going to continue to multiply.

There's so much to do in the garden this year. I'm hoping to build a few small raised concrete beds in a spot on the east fence that nothing, even the hollyhocks, wants to grow. Another trellis needs to go up. The fence needs to be painted. Privacy trellis needs to be installed to block out the neighbors obnoxious trampolines - seriously, how unlucky am I that the houses on either side of me have trampolines full of shrieking children all the time? It's like having a daycare center on both sides! - and tackle the adventure of growing my first veggies. The drought last year damaged and killed many of my plants. The cool weather and recent precipitation have revived several of the herbs in the herb circle - the dill, cilantro and parlsey are greening up nicely. Around them the Gaillardia, Shasta Daisies and daylilies are filling in too.


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