Sunday, April 29, 2007

What's in bloom today

Columbines came out this week, mostly dark blue and purple, but a few white ones, too. I try to scatter the seed of the whites, but they must be less vigorous. Tiarella and sweet woodruff make a soft white edge to the oak tree garden. The Japanese roof iris from Mom is in bloom under the oak tree and just starting in the white garden. The anemones I planted under the oak leaf hydrangea finally came up, looking a bit bare and surprised. Who knows where the Star of Bethlehem came from? Mom guesses the birds brought it. Dianthus may be a garden mistake just because of where it's located. And I love the Solomon's Seal, not so sure the purple Heuchera next to it really works.

Japanese roof iris

Blue columbines

Tiarella and sweet woodruff

Anemone blanda

Star of Bethlehem


Solomon's Seal

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And here is a better photo of the white columbine - I think turning off the flash is the trick for not getting those washed-out pictures.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Getting Things Done

    Laid out new bed on north side of house, and Billy tilled in a bag of pelletized lime and two yards of compost (= 27 forty-pound bags); it looks awfully bare now, but it's a big improvement over unhappy Japanese holly bushes and lots of moss

    Moved the Japanese painted fern to the other side of the front bed and put three Brunnera Jack Frost in their place, after moving one of the Hakonechloa to a new spot

    Planted the single cimicifuga I got from Wayside, after being scared by its price and size out of buying three - may live to regret this

    Weeded dandelions and that pesky weed (what is this thing? it's all over the front garden, and now it's spread to the back)out of the front flower beds

    Put peony support in, should have done this earlier (note to self: insert in early April)

    Planted two of the three tuberous begonias I bought on Route 20 in a new pot I just bought at Roxbury Mills; this is the triumph of hope over experience, but it's been so long since I've tried tuberous begonias that perhaps a miracle will occur

    Laid a bag of river stones along the drainage channel of the new bed, like the effect and will need to buy more; also get some for drainage channel in side front garden

    Ordered a rain barrel from the Friends of the Rappahannock, should arrive in three weeks

    Picked up two 40-pound bags of mushroom compost at Roxbury just because

    Placed the three lilies of the valley and the six dragon-wing begonias on the new bed

    Pulled up four stepping stones from the path to the gate and placed them in the new bed leading up to the faucet

    A week off is a wonderful thing...

More wildlife

The moles leave huge hills in the lawn, so I was amazed to find this little thing scrabbling around in the leaves under the boxwoods. How can such a little creature leave such a big mess behind?
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Gardening errors

This year I thought I'd try to have bulbs in bloom in this pot for a month or more. The blue hyacinths (Blue Jacket and Sky Jacket) were okay, but I decided that they need to be at eye level for the fragrance to be noticeable.

At the moment, Salome is in bloom, and I like its delicacy, but the color seems almost too faded. The yellow and purple pansies are too strident for the colors of spring bulbs - the pale yellow and blue in other parts of the garden work much better.

Here's an example of planting things in the exact wrong place. The Thalia daffodils are right in front of the white bleeding heart. I will need to pull them out later this spring and consider something small like anemones instead. OR, move the bleeding heart, as I have been meaning to do, since it's almost hidden under the white azalea.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Nor'easter of Ought Seven

We needed the rain...but then the garden floods. I'm thinking about a dry stream bed to border the white garden and somehow lead out the gate to the path.

The back corner always floods.

Here's where the dry stream bed might go.

There needs to be some way to drain the path.

Another spot for the dry stream bed (and that door could use some work!).

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wildlife encounter

I left the front door open this morning when I went outside to get one more picture of the Corps de Ballet tulips in bloom, and when I came inside there was a hummingbird in the dining room! It must have been enjoying the tulips and darted inside when I disturbed it. The poor thing was buzzing and clicking angrily as it flung itself against the window. I loved hearing its sounds and seeing it up close, but decided to do the right thing.

I didn't stop to take its picture, just took the screen off the window and shepherded it outside.

This is someone else's amazing picture of a female ruby-throat.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What's in bloom today

Another cool week, so the tulips are lasting and lasting. This picture was meant to show how the Corps de Ballet tulip mix from WFF included some orange tulips that really didn't work, but as a bonus you can see that the white water pipe doesn't work, either!

A nor'easter promised for tonight and tomorrow, and we do need the rain. At the moment, the azaleas are starting to come out,

and the Solomon's Seal is slowly emerging from the leaf litter.

Filling in the blanks

Went to Meadows Farms yesterday to try to fill in the blanks in my garden plan. It's very hard not to pick up extra things just because they look good, but I limited myself to lilies of the valley and lady's mantle, both of which will work in shade gardens. Bought two Plum Pudding heucheras and am now wondering where I thought they would go. I have two in the front garden and one in the white garden, so I added one in front and have put the second aside for now. Oh, and I also picked up three creeping phlox and planted them by the mailbox. At least I bought some things I had planned for.

Garden plans

Billy Winter came by yesterday to give me an estimate on expanding the beds against the back of the house. The plan is to extend them out as far as the forsythia. He'll till the soil, adding lime and whatever compost I can come up with. I'm thinking of a mixed shrub border with aucubas, per the design Betsy Sale provided. I also talked to the landscaper at Meadows Farms about a new plan for the terrace/deck/patio. She says they could either jackhammer up the existing concrete or lay something over it. I'll call her today to set up an appointment. For a $25 deposit, it's worth investigating.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

What's blooming on Easter Sunday

Yesterday we had an onion snow*, so-called, Mom says, because it arrives when the onions are starting to grow - usually just a dusting, but we had about half an inch of wet white stuff.

Walked around today in brisk winter weather, sun and shadow, highs in the 40s. Solomon seal is finally emerging. Picked red tulips for the house (must be the Darwin Hyprid Impression mix, but they all came up red). More red tulips around the lamppost are very satisfactory. Japanese painted fern emerging, hosta in container showing signs of life. Astilbe in front showing ferny fronds. Anemone under hydrangea never grew, probably planted too shallowly. Dog-tooth violets starting to fade, English bluebells starting to show.

* According to Bartleby's: NOUN: Chiefly Pennsylvania A light snow in late spring, after onions have been planted.
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Planning and recording

This is an attempt to keep a garden calendar so that I can look back and see what worked, what bloomed when, and what I should do next. My goal is to take pictures and record what's happening once a week from now (Easter 2007) for at least a year. This is likely to be of interest to only one person, but I can't remember anything unless it's written down, so... To inspire me, here's a picture of a British soldier in bloom in the front garden.