Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to Mother Earth!

Spring is my favorite season!  Considering the fact that I love to garden so much it's pretty obvious why I love this time of year.  Although the beauty of the season is stunning, the reason I enjoy it so much is because of the fresh newness that it brings and promises of an abundant bounty that is yet to come.  This time of year allows me to dream, hope, and smile in anticipation of the growing season that lays ahead.

Each year as Earth Day rolls around I think about how beautiful nature is and how we as inhabitants of this planet have a responsibility to co-exist in harmony with all that is around us.  Unfortunately, as technology advances and as our lives become more complicated that becomes harder and harder to do.  Since we've all been preached to via the media and the Green Movement as to what we should and shouldn't do environmentally, I think we've all got a pretty clear idea as to what it means to be Green.  The challenge, however, is incorporating that way of living into our busy lifestyle - easier said than done. 

So, instead of writing a preachy blog about recycling and organic gardening, I just want to take this moment to remind myself and to my readers that on this day - such a special day for gardeners - stop for moment, relish in the glory of spring, breathe in the intoxicating smell of the soil on a rainy April day, and pay homage to our Mother Earth.  Treat her like she is indeed your mother and wish her a very Happy Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tulips, Tulips!! And... a Blue Tarp

I've never planted bulbs before.  The few that I had in my yard were planted by the previous owner or naturalized.  So when I planted tulips late last fall.... very late.... in December, I wasn't sure anything would actually come up, but I'm happy to say they did and I'm really enjoying the spring show. 

I planted one of those 40 variety packs that I picked up from Lowes.  This was a bit of risk since you never know what is going to come up and in what colors, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I wish I had bought another pack and spaced them a bit closer so they would look fuller, but it was my first try out of the gate so I can't complain much.

The ones below weren't in the variety pack - I picked them out separately and wasn't sure if they blended with the flowers in the variety pack.... they don't really, but I don't care since I'm not a garden designer and I'm really just thrilled that things come up at all.  I may move them after they finish blooming.  

Some close ups of variety pack bulbs.  The colors are stunning and they almost look like poppies.

I also planted some petite daffodils and grape hyacinth, which you can see in the post below.  It's so nice when your gardening efforts pay off unexpectedly. 

Ok...  I had to post this picture.... It's our embarassing blue tarp!  It's only peeking out in the upper right of this picture because I can't bare to take a close up of it.  Yes it's right in the front of the house and mucking up the scenery.  Grace, this one's for you! LOL 

You see last fall we had some rain damage to our house which only got worse over the winter.  We got some insurance money (thank God!) but couldn't fix it all winter long because it was too cold.  Then hubby got busy and so his solution (God help me... it certainly wasn't my solution) was to place a BLUE tarp over the offending area until he could get it fixed. 
Since Andy never does anything the easy way he has decided (and actually I agree) to not replace what's there but to add a farmer's porch and stone wall to this part of the house.  Great idea I say!!  Love it!!!  Now may mercy help me because this project is going to take all summer long and be a mess.  I'll document the progress and try not to check myself into the psychiatric ward while it's going on.  Wish me luck - I'm gonna need it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fast and Furious!

As you may have notice I've been taking a bit of break from blogging.... life just gets too busy sometimes. I won't even try to catch up since I'm so far behind but I hope to begin blogging more again more regularly.  While I was gone I have been lurking on your blogs and have been so impressed with everyone's garden! I just love this time of year!

About 2 weeks ago we had a wonderful burst of unseasonable warm hot weather.  It felt fantastic but was a bit of tease for all of us humans as well as the plant world!  Most of our spring blooms and shoots started coming up earlier than usual.  It was quite a sight to see azaleas blooming the first week of April and for peony shoots to be standing so tall. 

But now the seasonable weather has been back for the past week and a half, and it's been back down the 50s regularly and the plants are responding by slowing back down.  Thank goodness I say since although I do love the warm weather I hate to rush spring.

So here's a tour of what's been going around our place.

The daffodil below popped up unexpectedly. I love when plants naturalize (as long as they aren't weeds of course!).  I'm not sure what the species is.  Does anyone know?

The spring phlox has been blooming very early.  As you can see I haven't even had a chance to clean up this area yet.

One bleeding heart in red...

Another bleeding heart in white...

Amazingly to me the tulip bulbs I planted last December are getting ready to bloom!  This pic was taken a week ago and they are much taller now and ready to burst.

We've also been working hard on getting the veggie garden ready.  Here is our huge compost pile.  It's almost gone now because we've been spreading it around the gardens.

Andy also built me a large pea bed.  I hope to sow the seeds this week.

Andy is tilling the compost bed in the pic below.  I get a bit concerned with powerful, mechanical tillers because of what they do to the worms, but we didn't have the strength or the patience to do this by hand.

More tilling....   Ellie was trying to attack the tiller!  We kept her at a safe distance, but she was barking and growling like crazy.  She does the same thing with the vacuum cleaner.... true vicious terrier! Ha!

Of course ya have to have some nice manure to add...

The cold weather veggies all planted (except for the peas).  I've got broccoli, purple cabbage, spinach, and collard greens in this bed.

In this bed there are more collard greens, swiss chard, and several varieties of red and green lettuce.

These beds are reserved for summer veggies so I won't be planting here until after the last frost - except for the carrots - I'll be sowing them in the ground fairly soon.  Usually around Memorial Day in our area I'll plant the warm-weather loving veggies, but I'll start sowing some squash and cucumber seeds indoors within the next week.