.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Garden Delights

A selection of thoughts and ramblings about life in the garden.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tulips galore! Posted by Hello

Time for Two

It's time for tulips.
Or for two. Two people.
I spent most of today in two's. I went shopping with my son. Though I didn't expect to, I still managed to come home with some stuff for the garden.
Amazing how that happens, isn't it?
I really just walked into a hobby shop to get a couple of canvases for my daughter, who suddenly and inexplicably has decided to take up oil painting. Since I wasn't sure where the canvas were, I ended up rambling through the store.
Well...that meant I just couldn't leave without getting a story stick thing and an iron dragonfly. (And a surprise for my sister, but I can't talk about that here. She might be listening.)
The garden seems to follow me wherever I go.
When I got home, I just had to go give my neighbor (who spent the day diligently working in HIS garden) a hard time. Of course, it meant leisurely tours of both yards.
The weather here has been chilly. And some residents prefer it that way.
A perfect time for two.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pasque Flower Posted by Hello

H2O Serenity

Today I got to do one of my favorite tasks in the garden.
I had to just about destroy my Kalamaris, Japanese aster, in order to get rid of some nasty crab grass. It was a tough job, because the roots of the two plants are incredibly similar. But I prevailed.
Then it was time for fun.
I got to water.
I love watering the plants.
I watered the plants I had to move to get the grass dug out.
I watered my compost heap.
I watered my sedum in frying pans.
I watered my brugs I probably killed by experimenting with them.
I watered bare patches on the lawn.
I watered my baby hosta.
I watered the dirt off the sidewalk.
Watering is fun. It gives me quiet time to survey my domain and decide what lives or dies, moves or stays, and see what thrives or languishes.
I beam encouraging thoughts at the plants.
I wonder what will bloom for me next.
I see what the dogs have trampled trying to get at the fat bunny.
I see all the baby plantlings that grow because they love me.
I feel bad because I will probably make most of them disappear.
I see the peanuts the Bluejays have stashed.
I see the peanut shells the squirrel has left behind.
I see the blooms on the tulips that grew from no where.
I see the weeds.
And I don't care.
I water some more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Green Guacamole Machine

Today was a low garden effort day. I watered a bit, picked at a few things, and enjoyed the view.
Today's garden delight was hosta Guacamole. I'm guessing lack of frost is what has made it so gorgeous this year. The leaves are positively huge and picture perfect. I've never had the plant look so fab before.
I'm a hosta lover.
I must add that this plant is a gem. Large, luscious, huge white flowers, and fragrant too!
Hosta lovers of the world, unite!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...ling

Today, I took some time off in the garden to just sit and enjoy the local star. Starling, that is. I know, starlings are major pests, along with the European house sparrow, but they are excellent mimics. And mine is truly a star.
He and his mate have, with the help of a few wind storms, managed to tear down all but two sections of the soffet on my house. Last year they took advantage of a wind torn section and started to build nests up there. They build very large nests. Several sections fell just from the weight.
They came back again this spring. Clanking in and out of the eaves. The male sits and guards the nest on the conveniently located electric wires running to the house.
And he sings.
Well, it's not exactly singing. He does impersonations and they are very good. He's got at least 20 different song birds down pat. And he always starts with the same one. His hawk. I'm not quite sure if he's trying to scare the dogs and I away, but he always starts with that one. After he's figured out he's got a permanent audience, he starts the show.
I can only recognize the more common bird calls, but the list is getting longer. Along with the songbird calls, he does crows, ducks, seagulls, the hawk of course, and the most recent one I recognized...a Canadian goose. My husband was outside when I recognized that one, and he got the biggest kick out of listening to it. No quacks that day, just honks.
The starlings at the school I work at are also practiced mimics. One summer I kept hearing someone out on the playground. Every time I went to look, no one was there. But I kept hearing these happy child noises, and I investigated some more. Turned out the sounds were coming from the roof. Where the starlings were. I got a kick out of listening to them during the summers from then on, but it was kind of creepy. Almost like hearing ghosts. All the sounds with no one there. And they even did the screeching metal-on-metal of the swings.
I'm not surprised they're called Starlings.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

My green hellebore FINALLY in bloom! Posted by Hello

Garden Drudgery

Another day of slavery in the yard. I had to mow the lawn, thanks to all of the recent rain. And I yanked out a few dandelions for kicks. Then I moved a couple of plants that just weren't thriving where they were. Just the usual toil. But it felt good to get those plants moved. I'd been meaning to take care of that task for at least a year now. (Sometimes I move slowly.)
Apparently it got cold enough last night to frost the tips of a few plants. Freezer burn, if you will. Nothing appeared to be severely damaged though. Not even my recently planted annuals. They are a bit tougher than one would think.
My next big drudgery type task will be to chop my maiden grass back into bounds. Boy did this stuff take off! I'm afraid it likes the sandy soil I have it in a bit too much. And to think it started from a single pathetic looking shoot about 5 years ago. Now I have several clumps over two feet wide.
My surprise for the day was that one of my hardy geraniums is starting to bloom. I grew it from seed I got from a lady in England. Thanks Psilo!
The flower of the day is my Hellebore, and I probably didn't spell that correctly. I've waited at least 3 years for this plant to bloom, and finally had to resort to moving it to get it to do so. This is kind of a bad photo, but it does show off the odd green bloom nicely. I'm hoping it will look even better next spring.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Tulip Tarda

Sorry folks! I forgot to mention that the lovely image is that of the incredibly cheerful species tulip, tulip Tarda. Talk about an eye catcher! Enjoy!

My pretty species tulips are in bloom Posted by Hello

Foiled Again!

Well. Pushing the envelope may turn out to be a bad idea. Today it is incredibly cold and rainy. Feels kind of like winter again. So much for jump-starting spring.
I did go outside and wander the yard for a bit though. I found a few items to be noteworthy:
  • The wisteria is looking like it will put on a huge show this year. Prune, prune, prune means bloom, bloom, bloom.
  • Mother Nature planted me a surprise hosta baby. It is the most brilliant yellow with a deep green edge. Probably the offspring of August Moon and Austin Dickenson. I'll have to keep an eye on that one.
  • It appears as though two mini hosta that made no appearance last year have risen from the dead. It may take some time to identify them. Sigh.
  • The ferns Renee gave me have decided they like the one place I really wanted them-by the air conditioner. Imagine that! A plant that actually likes where I put it!
  • My Pink Turtlehead appears to have risen from the grave also. No sign of it last year, but there's a single stem showing now.

I could have found more suprises, but I was absorbed in trying to figure out what I can dig up and haul with me to my sister's in Albuquerque. New house, new yard, no plants. I aim to change that. The zones are similar...but the annual rainfall difference is a killer. But! Thanks to a city of Albuquerque website, I have a new list of plants to dig up. ( www.cabq.gov/waterconservation/pdfs/xeriplants.pdf ) Their plant list is quite extensive.

Rain, rain, go away

Lulu want to go out and play

in the garden.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pushing the Envelope

Today I raided the local garden center and started planting annuals in pots on my deck. This is pushing the envelope a bit around here. And here is just southwest of Chicago. Guess I'll have to be a slave to the weather reports from now on, watching for frost warnings. I went with my usual tried and true favorites: petunias, allysum, impatiens, pinks, lobelia and the odd snapdragon.
I like low maintenance plants.
I'm also beginning to become a bit lazy. This means I've stocked a couple of pots with some odd perennials so I just have to add a bit of color come springtime. This year one pot will contain Blue Spruce Sedum, Thyme, snapdragons and a red petunia. The other, much more ambitious pot is a blend of "Oriental Limelight" artemisia, cypress spurge, gardener's garters and perillia. Just a bit of something for a very hot, dry area that needs a bit of sprucing up.