January 2007

January 2007

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April weather

It snowed yesterday here in Central New York....grrrr...
Just when you think it's over, Mother Nature hits you over the head and says "Not yet, my impatient one, did you forget where you live?" Reality returns. This spring has been too good to be true. This picture is not of snow, these are my beloved cherry blossoms blown off the tree. Happens every year - the tree reaches perfection and then WHAM!! Wind, rain, snow, hail...

I came across this Robert Frost poem last night that describes April perfectly -

"Two Tramps in Mudtime"

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My favorite thing in bloom today

My weeping cherry tree is my favorite thing in bloom this week. When you stand under it, you can hear the humming of the happy bees

The heather is also looking nice right now.

And so is the Lungwort.

Who needs flower gardens when your lawn looks like this. Gasp... I heard all the lawn fanatics gasping with shock. I don't care if there are "weeds" in my lawn, just don't show up in my gardens.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Meet my newest garden "family members"

I finally have my helloebores!!! I've been searching for a few years now for a nursery around here that sells them. I had finally given up and was going to order some from a catalog. Then a friend emailed a picture to me and asked me to identify a plant in her garden. She had it professionally done last year. Yup - it was the elusive hellebore! I promptly emailed back - WHERE DID YOU GET THIS? She said Phoenix Flower Farm (Phoenix, NY.) It's 1/2 hour away from me but well worth the drive. They sell plants that our local garden centers don't. Even though it was only 40 degrees and very windy today ("Neither snow nor rain nor heat...."), you know the saying, I was determined to get my hellebores. I bought one for myself and one for my mother (Happy "early) Mother's Day, Mom, if you read this.) I help take care of her flower gardens so, I can enjoy hers too. I also bought a yellow primrose, pasque flower, and Iceland poppy. I don't know the name of my hellebore. This flower farm grows everything in the ground and digs up babies when they are big enough and pots them up to sell. The pot tag just says it's a hellebore and that's fine with me. Happy feet dancing through the gardens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Project plant a bulb for Earth Day

I saw this Earth Day Plant a Bulb project in the Parade magazine of the Sunday paper. Click on the blog title and it will take you to GEProjectPlantABulb.com. For every viewing of this site during April, GE will donate a flower bulb - up to 200,000 - to communities nationwide.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring flowers

Here are a few pictures of spring flowers I took last spring. I put a black piece of construction paper behind the flowers to give me the background.

A daunting spring task

My Greenhouse Garden
My backyard gardens are almost cleaned up - piece of cake! Now it's time to start on my greenhouse garden. That should take me - hmmm.... until fall??
This garden is at my son's house; he's the 4th generation to live here. The garden is inside the foundation of one of my grandfather's greenhouses. It blew down many years ago; he rebuilt it only to have it blow down again. (Perhaps there was a big, bad wolf lurking about.)
Gramp had a vegetable garden here for many years, but when he died in 1987, the garden was abandoned. In 1994, I decided to take it back from the goldenrods. At that time, the only other plants in here were 3 forsythia bushes and some spring bulbs. Thanks to the help from my mother and her trusty rototiller, I was able to get most of the goldenrod out that first summer.
I took any and all plants people were giving away; many of my first plantings were plants I knew would spread quickly. (More about my spreading plants in another blog.)
My first "daunting task" is to thin out the ornamental grass - it has grown to a diameter of about 4 feet. I attempted to dig some out last week but only succeeded in getting 2 little clumps out. Does anyone have an easy way to dig this stuff up, short of a backhoe?
Once I complete this task, I will begin the major cleanup. I'll post pictures during the year of the many seasons of this garden. It doesn't look like much now, but when things start blooming, it's very pretty. My grandmother enjoyed watching me work in this garden and looked forward to seeing each plant as it bloomed. The time I spent gardening with her (and for her, as her health deteriorated) was very special to me. She died in 2004. My son purchased the house in 2005. My daughter-in-law attempted to keep the garden up, but I know how much work it takes. I spend as much time out there as I can, but it will never be perfect and it will never be weed-free; and that's okay with me.
Once it's somewhat under control, hopefully within the next couple of weeks, I need to start on another garden I have at my parent's house around their large pond.
Does anyone ever regret starting too many gardens? Sometimes there isn't enough time to just sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Parsley survived zone 4 winter

Imagine my surprise when the snow melted and I discovered a large clump of parsley still alive!! That has never happened before. I'm not sure how it survived our winter but I'm happy it did. Has anyone else in zone 4 had pleasant surprises like this?

Another nice surprise today was finding my butterfly bushes leafing out. They normally don't leaf out until late May/early June. They are way ahead of schedule this year.
Of course, it helps that we've had some 80 degree days - only 30 degrees higher than normal!
I'll be adding all these odd happenings to my garden journal so I can look back on this wonderful spring in some future year when we're having a snowstorm in April.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Forcing spring flowering trees and shrubs

Those of us up north get a little antsy in March waiting for our flowers and shrubs to bloom. I usually cut off branches of my weeping cherry tree early in March and force them to bloom. I have a little success with it, a few blossoms on each branch. I found this article (click on the blog title for link) with steps to take for fooling your branches into thinking it's spring. I didn't find this article until late March and I hope my tree knows it's spring and I don't have to fool it. I cut a few branches yesterday and put them in a vase of water. I'll post a picture of them in bloom (if they bloom.)
Has anyone had good luck forcing spring branches into bloom? Which branches have you found work best?