Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
There was ice in the chickens' water yesterday morning. We were back to coats, scarves, gloves, etc. for our trek into town. Everything went smoothly and we were back in no time. By noon, the sun was shining, and it was beautiful! I pruned the forsythia at the potting shed. Then I de-leafed that bed. It looked so much better that I continued to rake the leaves that had blown back in that area from the woods. I wasn't in a hurry to leave the beautiful day, so I didn't mind doing the work, especially being perfumed by the jasmine and delighted by the goldfinches.
No yard-playing today. It is cold and rainy again.
Mission for Today: Remember the perseverance of the chickadee.
Even though it has turned cool again, it really is looking like spring. The dogwoods have popped out all around us.
To answer Mitzi's question. The Cement Garden is an area behind Aunt Winnie's Garden and the Rock Garden. It got its name because it was as hard as cement. Son was tilling it up for me years ago and got wrapped up in a wire. Unfortunaltely it was the phone line!
Am I getting too boring talking about de-leafing in every blog? I suppose I am since that's about all I have been doing lately. Digndirt wanted to know if de-leafing was the same thing as raking. Well, sort of. It's when I have to pick the leaves out of the flower beds by hand because I can't get a rake in it with all the plants sprouting up. With the wind blowing thirty miles an hour for the last few days, I've had to go back and take out piles of leaves that were redeposited where I've already cleaned up. I've coined a new word -- re-de-leafing.
Mission for Today: EAT supper!! I'm starving!
Mission for today: De-leaf the Cement Garden.
The lorapetalum has burst into bloom.
The picture doesn't do it justice. It is a blast of pink! Just gorgeous. This shrub is huge. After it finishes blooming, I'm going to have to prune it back.
The creeping veronica is lovely. I have it in the Cement Garden, the Rock Garden, the Back Flower Bed, and the Old Gourd Garden. The blue is a lovely addition.
I am so happy to see more colors than yellow in the gardens now.
Mission for today: Bite the bullet and de-leaf the Back Forty.
It was definitely a sweaty day. When I took a break, I had to sit in the shade on the car porch. I noticed that the bird feeder was empty, so I decided to fill it. Before I could get there, a bluebird came to check out a decorative nest box, which is right there with the feeder. I stood stock-still. She perched on top of the crook, flew down, got a tasty treat, and back to the box. That went on for quite a while. I didn't want to scare her off. Finally, she flew off. I doubt that she'll use that box because it is hanging, not fixed. After I finished my work, I got to enjoy watching two bluebirds splashing in the birdbath with cardinals and goldfinches trying to join in, but the bluebirds wouldn't allow that!
Saturday I did my mission. I went straight to the Old Gourd Garden and started de-leafing with determination. Before I knew it, it was done. Wow. The hostas that I had transplanted were growing nicely -- all except one. I made a mental note that I was going to have to do something about that one before I lost it, but I was pooped. Time to take a break. After gathering a little energy, my next task was to clip away the spent daffs in the New Daffodil Bed. While I was doing that I was de-leafing at the same time. After many, many bucket loads, it was done. I decided to dig up that pitiful hosta, split it, re-dig the hole wider and deeper. I replanted it and think that it will do better. I found a spot for the other half and planted it.
The sun was still shining, so I took a little walkabout to see what else I could do. Would you believe there are more hostas popping up in the Herb Garden? I dug up a small one and put it in the Outhouse Bed. It gets morning sun, so it ought to be pretty there. I'll have one on each end of that bed. I guess that's what makes gardening so much fun. It's ever changing. Well, that's what I did Friday and Saturday.
Mission for Today: Try to stay away from yard work, rest, and enjoy.
I have had a few people asking again, What's a Poison Garden? Here's the tale of the Poison Garden: The Poison Garden was a terraced bed that we made around a great big oak tree a long, long time ago, about twenty years ago in fact. Nothing would grow in that bed due to the tanins produced by the tree; hence the name Poison Garden. I tried all kinds of things. What didn't die, struggled to live. Then the tree died, and we had it professionally removed due to its proximity to the house. The next summer things started popping up all over the place. For fun I decided to list the plants that were there. Here is the list: althea (double flower), artemesia, gardenia, mondo grass, shasta daisy, tansy, St. John's wort, perennial petunia, oxalis, columbine, sedum, red hot poker, spider lily, Easter lily, day lily, lavender, iris, thrift, 2 different mints, ice plant, nandina, marjoram, oregano, southernwood, sage, sweet Annie, lamb's ears, black-eyed Susan, gaillardia, and calla lily. In the summer I usually have marigolds, zinnias, love lies bleeding, and various annuals.
Also there was a question about "fling weed." Cardamine oligosperma is the dreaded "fling weed," as I call it. Other common names: Shotweed, Spitweed, Pop-in-the-eye Weed, Wild cress, Western Bittercress, or Little Bittercress. I hope this answered questions.
Mission for Today: Complete the mission from yesterday that I didn't even start.
I'll get back outside today and finish what I started. I don't even want to think about what more I have yet to do.
Mission for Today: Ok, ok. De-leaf the Old Gourd Garden.
The sun finally came out. The temps rose ten degrees in an hour! I loved it! Yippeee!
I got some work done in the Poison Garden with some help from Son. He dug out the jasmine roots that were left after I had cut the tangle away from the shepherd's crook, which was bent from the wind blowing so hard while weighted down from the jasmine. Son had no trouble straightening it out and putting it back. I won't put anything quite as heavy on it this year. Then he removed the big quartz rock that has been in the middle since the beginning of this garden about twenty years ago. It was nothing more than a home for toady frogs. It will give me more room to play, too. My next project was the tea olive in the Butterfly Garden. It got pruned, and I took some wayward branches off the sasanqua as well. I may have sacrificed some flowers by doing that, but it had grown stray shoots since I pruned it at the proper time earlier. After not playing in the yard for a few days of rain and a few days of cold, I was not quite as spry as I had been. I was feeling it, too, the next morning! Maybe it's because I did have to wrestle with some kind of briar that I dug up. I don't like stickers, and it was a tenacious one, but I was determined to dig it out! Of course, there was the perpetual weed-pulling going on as well. At least I could enjoy this forsythia. She's a biggie -- about seven feet tall and about as wide.
There's a lot more to do, but it will get done little by little.
Mission for today: Get a haircut.
Mission for Today: Go grocery shopping and then play in the yard.
I started the day digging the holes in the Old Gourd Garden, getting it ready for the hostas. The bed is still covered in leaves. I guess I should have cleaned it up first, but I didn't. I dug some "chicken dirt" to mix in, and on the way to the Defunct Biddy Barn, I admired the camellias that didn't freeze this year as they do most years. It has cream blossoms, peppermint striped blooms, and pink.
Then I started digging out the hostas in the Herb Garden. Good golly! It was as if they were cemented in! I thought that I would never get the first one out, but as my motto says, "Little by little gets the job done." I got four clumps dug up. Then I replanted them. I felt like I couldn't move another muscle. That's it! I'm pooped. After I sat there awhile by the Thinking Bench, I finally got the strength to move a hosta from the Back Flower Bed to the Outhouse Bed. That was definitely the last thing! Then I realized that I had to mulch all of them. Oh, my! There! That is it! Done! I was a mite sore after all that straining!
No yard work today. Besides, it's drizzling!
Mission for Today: Watch the Cup race and crochet.
Son came yesterday to work in the woods again, cleaning up where they were loggin. We got our chicken feed and birdseed first. When we returned, Son saw the tea olive that I had pruned the other day. I mentioned that I wanted to take it farther down, but I couldn't cut through those huge old stems. He said that he'd do it for me. He got the loppers, but he couldn't cut them either. Not to be outdone, he got out his "baby" Husqvarna chain saw and cut it, under my supervision, of course. I'm thinking that it will put out and be just fine. I sure hope so anyway. Here's how it looked after my pruning:
Here's how it looks now after the chain saw:
Now THAT's what I wanted in the first place!
I cleaned out the Herb Garden. (That is this area in front of the porch.) I hadn't intended to do it this early, but with the tea olive leaves on top of all the other debris inspired me to clean it up. The hostas are poking out their heads. I want to move them to the Old Gourd Garden because there is no longer shade here since the mimosa died and was cut down. Now it can go back to being the Herb Garden again. I wonder if it's too early to move the hostas or is it just the right time? I also put out the Round-up on the jasmine in the Poison Garden and a few of the St. John's worts. I ran out of what was prepared so I stopped. It's supposed to rain Sunday, so I'll wait before I do any more. That's enough for now.
Mission for Today: Move the hostas . . . perhaps.
My next project for the day was to cut down the jasmine in the Poison Garden. It only had a few living vines and the rest was brown and ugly. It was so huge that the shepherd's crook was leaning over almost touching the ground. The wind had done its damage, and I was just tired of looking at it. The old vines were huge, and they had wrapped around themselves so much that I guess it killed itself. I thought I never was going to be able to cut it off the crook, but little by little, I got it done. It took the whole afternoon. I have five other jasmines, so I won't miss this one. It'll get a taste of Round-up, too, when the time is right. I'll bet I'll never be able to kill it. I think I might put a hanging basket on the crook. I haven't decided yet. I forgot to take a before picture.
The forsythias have finally popped into bloom. This is one by the potting shed. I'll have to get a picture of the big one in the front yard.
Things are looking springy!
Mission for Today: Get chicken feed and sunflower seeds for the birds.
Our chickens are back to laying now that we're getting longer days. We were thrilled to see this extra-large white egg.
When I cracked it for breakfast, this is what I got:
Way to go, Alice! (I'm assuming it was from the new girl. Our ladies are getting too old for that feat.) What a nice surprise.
Mission for Today: Go to the tax man. Yuck.
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.