Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tulip Time

A few tulip shots to brighten our Thursday! Happy Spring everyone. I'll be back to provide the names of the varieties later.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving Outside

The plants have begun their trek outside... succulents into the greenhouse, and others all over the darn place. I feel like every time I walk out the door I take another plant with me. Do you take houseplants out for summers? I've read its essential for them, especially once the air conditioner goes on... they'd rather be out in the muggy heat of summer, then cold dry air. I lug them all out, even if for just a few months. The house gets barren, but come fall and winter when the healthier plants come in all clean from summer rain, its worth it.

This beautiful marigold was my mother's day present from my little Benjamin. Love it!

Happy spring!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Right about that time...

Spring is so here! I brought the camera out for the first time this season, and took a few pictures of the dew drops from all the recent rain.
Rose of Sharon, Blue Satin, overwintered in the basement.

Hosta Sagae from my great grandpa's garden.
Draecaena, a $2 steal on clearance, and lived happily in the playroom most of winter.

Hosta Sugar Daddy

Hosta Dream Queen

agastache bees jubilee with lamb's ear

You may recall each summer I make great efforts to get a few good shots of the hummingbirds. I knew from maps and news they were already here in MN, but I had not seen one yet. I was merely snapping pictures of this droopy rhododendron's flowers when I saw this little angle fly into the shot. 3 clicks, and a quick switch of camera modes, and ta-da--- one of the best hummingbird shots I've ever taken.
Yay spring!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Yay spring!

Peonies are cookin'!

Major Loss a Reason to Start Anew

I know, they are just plants... but I'm still mourning the loss of my dahlia collection in a tough way. Last year, my knitting business was more than a full time endeavor, and I ran out of time, and frankly energy, to properly store my dahlias in the way I usually do. I was desperate for an alternative to leaving them out in the cold to die, and tried storing them in a crawl space under our house. I shouldn't say I TRIED- I was so busy I was not involved at all- my husband and kids did it all for me! This week, we finally dipped into the stock to see how they did, and they've all perished. Probably about 70 of them. Years of collecting and caring, gone. Normal me would totally be devastated, to the point of tears. I didn't have time or energy for tears. It is what it is. Instead, I budgeted and started recollecting. I've taken a positive spin on things, and decided this is a great reason to get some varieties I've always wanted to try! So here's one last tribute to the collection of years past:
Pineland's Princess:
Kogana Fubuki:


Garden Wonder:

I replaced Akita, one of my favorites! I also bought more of Arabian Night. I've ordered a few stunners, includin Mrytle's Folly, Gallery Dahlia Art Deco, and Fluerel (supposedly the white Kelvin Floodlight). I've also finally treated myself to a Giant Ball Dahlia, and Pon Pom types, too. Very excited for new things to come... and even if a few orders have to be less than early, or I need to put my shop in vacation mode, I will be storing them properly this year. You live, you learn.

Happy gardening!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So much succulent love

Had the most wonderful spring day! I got to use my new potting shed and work on my containers for the upcoming sale. So, so happy with how they are coming out. First 60 plus degree day since September last year comes tomorrow! I can't wait! Yay spring!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Still waiting on a spring day...

This has been such a cold April. Record setting. The weather stat nerd in me is sort of enjoying it... We should have an average high of almost 60 right now, and we are still buried in snow- and still have more forecasted. We had a handful of days that teetered on 50, and were able to crack the house windows, but mostly, we've been in snow gear and coats and hovering around 40. I am happy each inch that falls puts a dent in the drought records, too. Last year was horrifically dry, and we need this moisture so much. I'm also excited that scientifically, these late cold temps are going to affect the bug population (less spiders and mosquitoes).

I've had to fulfill the need to get my hands in the dirt indoors and in my unheated greenhouse. In the greenhouse, as of yesterday (before last nights record low of 18-20F), I've had great success with lettuce and peas, as well as snapdragons, delphiniums, foxgloves, sweet william, blue fescue, hare's tail grass, hollyhock, carrots, penstemon and even some lily bulbs. In the house I've been potting and repotting houseplants, and finally getting grow lights on a shelf for seedlings (very fun!). I have delphinium, hollyhock, french lavender, carnation, coleus, rudbeckia, and snapdragon seeds, as well as caladium, fern, and dahlia tubers. Our living space is filled to the brim with houseplants & various plants for the garden I am planting at Jux99. I even tried cat grass for the kitties... my boys planted the seeds, and they sprouted under the lights very fast- we moved them into the entry hall on a dresser where the cats could find it, and it was chewed down by the next day. I added more seeds, and they've started sprouting, too.

I have also been making a huge batch or two of hypertufa everyday. I've started having pieces cured completely, just in time for the wholesale orders of hardy succulents to arrive at my door. I will selling the hypertufa (both empty and planted with sedum & sempervivum) in 2 weeks at Juxtaposition 99 here in Buffalo, MN. I was hoping to have this aspect of my contribution to the sale done a month ago, but the weather wasn't very cooperative and I'm limited on space-that huge greenhouse I dream about hasn't fallen out of the sky yet, go figure. I am hoping people can visualize how wonderful these little guys will looks when they begin multiplying. :) We know how hens and chicks do!

My kids have wasted no time indoors when they could be outside playing in the heavy wet spring snow. During and after shoveling the foot that feel this week I took a few pictures.

The temps are warm enough that the snow is melting fast, and running down our street in a tiny trickling creek. A nice sight!

See the snow went to the top of my rain boots!

My kids and dogs:

I heard a friend of a friends's facebook status was, "Go home, winter. You're drunk." Hysterical!