Sunday, March 29, 2015

Budding Out

The end of March is almost here and the garden is seeing its first signs of color. The three varieties of daffodils have started blooming in the beds.
It's always a nice treat when bulbs, forgotten from the previous seasons, reappear to show off their glory. 
The trees have also all flowered. I'd forgotten how pungent the fruit-less Cleveland Pear tree's blossoms could get. But then they only linger around for about 2 weeks, thank goodness. Pretty flowers, stinky smell.
The pink blossoms of the dwarf peach tree are small but lovely and make a nice contrast with the shiny green leaves.
The clematis already has several buds on it. The gladiola bulbs have broken ground as have the lilies. Yesterday was a productive day in the garden. Planted a small Gala apple tree near last year's Yellow Delicious apple true. They might be planted a little too closely but we'll see. My tiny backyard is getting rather full and there won't be much planting space for large bushes and trees soon. Despite that, I'll probably try to cram another dwarf tree in a bare spot by the back gate. I was also able to divide several Pincushion plants, Salvias, and Tickseeds and replant them. Next month I'll need to divide up some of the Iris and daylilies to donate to the Garden and Arts Center's annual plant sale.

My plans for taking additional photos today was derailed by strong winds so I'll defer that to another day.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

So Ready for Spring

Today's a little chillier than I expected and the sun disappeared after about an hour. Gray clouds have moved in so the 20% chance of rain might actually happen tonight. I am so ready for spring to be here so I can start planting seeds and visiting the nurseries. Meanwhile, these vivid garden stakes will have to bring color to the otherwise dull landscape. Got the pair for a steal at Ross. Found one exactly like them last year though unfortunately the color has faded away to a coppery tone.
The first of the daffodils began blooming today. Two whole flowers with more to come. [This picture is supposed to be horizontal. For some bizarre reason Blogger turned it into a vertical image. Very annoying]
2015 is looking good precipitation-wise so far. More rain is predicted this week. Hoping it continues and later this spring I can begin replacing the lily bulbs that dried up during the drought. No cottage garden is complete without scented lilies. Also have selected bare spots in the garden for more miniature roses, which have become a favorite. Looks like this week's snow killed one of the two mini roses I planted in early fall. And of course it was the peachy-pink toned one that I like best of the two. Oh well, just means I get to do more plant shopping soon.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Beauty of Snow

Lite freezing rain fell in the early AM hours, leaving behind a cool ice crystal-like effect on the tree limbs, plants and other hard surfaces. And the lack of much wind today made it possible to walk around and check out the front and back yard, shoot a few photos, and then put out a bowl of water for the greedy birds flocking to my back yard to fill up on the birdseed I scattered liberally around the yard and into the bird feeders. 
 My neighbors probably shook their heads at the sight of me (in flip flops no less) scooping up snow and ice off the sidewalks and drive ways to dump the piles into the flower beds. Snow is fabulous in that it melts slowly and thus the moisture is absorbed gently and deeply into the ground. 
 And, unlike the water that comes from the sprinklers and hose, the melted snow doesn't contain hard minerals the way our hard water does. I also collected a plastic tub full of snow in order to have  water later this week to dump on the garden beds. I live in a semi-arid area that has been in severe drought for 4 years. When rare rain or snow falls, the buckets and tubs for capturing the water comes out. Free water is nothing to sneeze at, especially with our water rates raising every few years.


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