Saturday, April 5, 2008

Intercepted the pansy cart...

I can finally show you all my fountain, and the beautiful balls I have floating in it. Yipee-Yeah!

Bulbs and more...

This afternoon I stepped out to see how everything is progressing in the garden. I found my bleeding heart (red stems barely poking up) and some either lily or allium bulbs growing beside it healthily. This bleeding heart will bloom in less than a month, and you can be sure I'll show you pictures. :)
Lady's mantle, another late season find last summer.

The buds on my $3 apple tree are swelling, too.

"Morden Centennial' leaf buds are shooting out; still 2 months to bloom time.

Clematis leaf buds swelling open

I tucked this little "key holder" in an arbor; she fit snug between two slats of wood. She doesn't hold any keys, we are simply not that organized 'round here. LOL.

These bachelor's buttons leaves are so soft and fuzzy, already several inches high. I bought these so late in the season last year that I have never seen them bloom. Excited!

This might be the first tulip to open. Time will tell.

I took the boys with me to get out of the house Friday; we ran about the nursery admiring the seedlings, and picking out a few variegated geraniums for my containers later this spring. I have coveted this pelgardini 'vancouver centennial' for some time, it was on my wish list until this week. I love how the leaves look like little maple leafs, and the foliage's red is bound to glow in a container garden this summer.

The other, pelgardini 'occold shield' just looked like fun. I can justify an expensive ($5) geranium b/c it won't die in my hands; I can keep in the house through winter and set it back in a container again the following year. I'll be back for more geraniums soon, and there are several coleus I HAVE to have also. I am really running out of room in my sunny windows, LOL.

Spring Containers

We were on our way to Walmart to get potting soil when I thought I'd drive past the Home Depot garden center in search of pansies. The garden associate was still wheeling the pansy cart out when I pulled up and began loading up our stroller. We shared a wide smile, and a sigh, "finally!" So far, having flowers just outside the front and back door has been like therapy. I am so happy every time I see them. Here are my first containers of the season. I threw in some snapdragons, groundcover phlox I'll transplant to the ground when I put in the summer container plants, a purple osteospurmum, rocky yellow violas, and a mix of pansies. Oh, and one of the blue balls that fell. Ta Da!
I tried to keep blue, purple, yellow and orange in this one...

Pansy 'Delta Pure Light Blue'

Pansy 'Delta Premium Watercolors Mix' with creeping phlox 'emerald blue' in the background.

This old wheel barrel was in our shed when we moved in. The house is 114 plus years, and this thing works like it is, too. I now have a garden cart I don't tip over, and this guy is acting as a planter. Last this year I'm seeing elephant ears, coleus, lysimachia, but right now, pansies, ground phlox, violas, and snapdragons, all yellow, purple, and red.

'Rocky Yellow' Viola
Pansy "Delta Light Lavendar'

Creeping phlox 'purple beauty' will eventually be stuck in the ground.

Spring Vegetable Bed, more.

I used the fraction of the veggie bed we were able to till up to plant some seeds this Saturday. I put in short row of super sugar snap peas, purple-top white globe turnips, watermelon radishes, and salad giant radishes. I weeded, and thinned the german chamomile coming up everywhere (note to self, don't let this one go to seed!). I also plucked up a clematis growing in the veggie bed, and placed it by the blue ball arbor. I moved a few of the perrenial herbs to make room for the rest of the tilling, and summer crops. I let my boys dig and roll in the untilled dirt and compost to their heart's content. I'm a cool mom. Last, I moved the hyacinths I forced in the dining room out the ground. I was able to see where this spring's existing bulbs are, and place the hyacinths accordingly. Happiness. Doesn't look like much yet, but this will be a fine "before" picture in the coming months.

Doesn't look like much yet, eh?

A chive, started from seed in the late part of summer, add some of the only color in the edible bed right now. I have never seen it bloom.

Dividing Perennials

Sunday I pushed the shovel into the dirt to heave two giant perennials out for division. I have read you should divide your perennials every 3 years to keep them flourishing, promote blooms, and control size if desired. I regularly divide plants for propogation purposes, as I'm contstantly removing grass and making a new places for plants. I divide my phlox, hostas, sedum, coral bells, and rudbekia. This spring there were two perrenials I really needed to divide: a massive Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and a Purple Coneflower Echinacea 'magnus' who failed to bloom well last year. I hoisted the giant plants from the ground and took my shovel to them and when I was through I had 28 smaller, but still good sized, plants. Yes, I said 28! FROM TWO. Wild, eh? Like magic.
These photos aren't much to look at, but I like to keep records, and some folks may not understand what I'm saying. The clump of sticks to the left of this picture is another Sedum AJ that is only half the size of the one I chopped up. Yeah, the one I divided was massive, perhaps 3 feet in diameter? I'm bad with math, but it was a biggun!
Here is one of the divisions, stuck in the ground in it's new home.
Five or six more divisions up in the front bed.
One tiny coneflower division. See the little red bud on the stick? New leaves a comin'.

Each new division has roots and new growth of its own, just FYI. I stuck most of the new plants in the ground in bare spots. I made plans for both varieties in the front flower bed. I need to wait until more plants surface before I can assess where the rest of the divisions will go. For now, I stuck the remainging divisions in pots on the back porch. I may have to bring them in next week if the temps dip like they say they might. But in a month or less I should have a place to put them. Meanwhile, I obssess over it, by drawing pictures and pouring over gardening images. Sigh.

For my birthday I gave myself a gift that keeps on giving: a table-top compost bin. I found it at World Market. I've been tossing my coffee grounds, banana peels, strawberry leaves, eggshells, and such in there. Sunday I emptied it for the first time, and when it landed in the compst pile and the wind blew the scent up I began dry heaving all over the backyard. LOL. What a sight I must have been. Then, I got over it, and began to turn my pile. Under the top layer of grass clippings, sod chunks, worms and plant debri I tossed in the pile last fall I found rich back compost. I could have danced. I did talk outloud about how cool I am. I do that in the garden all the time. I spread the compost over the rear perennial border and turned the remaining pile to create more soon, I hope. Compost is truly magical. I'll spare you the pictures of the pile, this time.

Meanwhile Indoors
You can see my seedlings and summer bulb plants are coming along nicely in the greenhouse, LOL, I mean dining room.

A peony and hosta 'elegans' growing, growing, growing...
Happy dirt digging to you all.

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