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Friday, March 24, 2006

Huh?


Oh, I don't know ... you tell me what day it is? March 24th you say? Huh. I wouldn't never have guessed.

I said I was going to be cleaning up the yard this weekend getting ready for springtime, but I guess I'm putting it off until next weekend ...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Springtime chills

Yesterday was the first official day of spring and the weather is hovering somewhere around “my fingers are freezing and my toes are numb” – i.e. 30 degrees.

Despite the cold, spring signals a rebirth and in my garden that rebirth has definitely begun.

I see clumps of green protruding from the brown ground cover and remembering the garden last year, I know them to be tulips and daffodils.I also have some greenery growing under the window that I DON’T recall from last year. They look like lumps of thick green grass. Time will tell what those are, I suppose.
And the lilac bush has tiny buds on them already starting to show.

Ahh… springtime at last… where are my mittens?

Hydrangeas

If you want to know about hydrangeas, I recommend a visit to this website: www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com. Unfortuneately, I may have discovered it's treasured information too late.

I have one rather unsightly looking hydrangea. It’s strategically placed ouside the front door. In the wintertime, it's brown and woody and barky and not very attractive.

Last year, a neighbor told us to chop it back in early spring. I raised an eye at the man. He was by no means a master gardener, and without license I tend to take people’s advice with a grain of salt. But we listened--with that grain of salt-- and pruned it back some. Not as dramatic as he told us to, but enough so that he thought we listened to him. By the summer, the ugly duckling turned into a pretty green bush, but it only bloomed 1-2 blossoms and they weren’t that pretty. It was a small let down.

In my “What to do in March” list, I should “cut back summer blooming plants, like hydrangeas” so I figured now is a good time to understand the hydrangea.

Unfortunately, I decided to prune back -- way back -- the hydrangea before finding this lovely website and may have caused more bad than good. Acording to the website: hydrangeashydrangeas.com, prune hydrangeas per Method I...
"for hydrangea types that bloom on OLD WOOD. (Stems are called "old wood" if they have been on the hydrangea since the summer before the current season. "New wood" are stems that developed on the plant during the current season). This means that flower buds are formed on the stems of hydrangeas around August, September or October for the following summer's blooms. If those stems are removed (pruned) in the fall, winter, or spring, the bloom buds will be removed, and there may be little or no bloom the following June/July."
Did that mean I just pruned back any of the blooms? Because honestly, I didn't see anything that resembled a bloom on what I pruned off ... just old barky wood, 1/2 of which was dead anyway. Any hydrangea help is welcome, although I may just have to keep an "status report" on this one.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The story

When we bought our house last year, it was the end of winter. However, we could tell that despite the brown leaves matted under foot, the front and backyard were both fully lanscaped; we just didn't know to what extent.

We figured it couldn't be that bad -- it's not like we had to do all the planning and planting work. We could just maintain what's already there. I was a virgin gardener after all. I didn't even know if I was a brown or green thumb (I still don't know, that first year, the plants seemed to manage themselves). All I knew was that we were inheriting a fully gardened 50 x 130 lot and we had better learn to garden ... fast.

Lucky for me, our neigbor's an avid gardener who is part of a gardening club, and she came over and told me what everything was and how to take care of it, often repeating instructions each time she came over. She told me that the previous owners planted the garden after a trip to England thus inspiring the garden theme. Whatever. What I learned that first year -- aside from the fact that I inherited a s&%$load of plants -- was that I actually enjoyed being in the garden, sitting in the grass, pulling weeds, and getting muddy.

My enthusiasm for the garden must have shown because last year I recieved a pair of crocs from my mother-in-law (my new garden shoes), recipes for organic gardening "potions", and new pruners. And for my birthday, my uncle A and aunt L gave me money to be used "for your garden tools" -- and I did just that!

The entire spring and summer was an explosion of plants. I must have about 10 different kinds of hostas and I know the terms phlox and cedum, I know that I have russian sage, a butterfly bush and more coneflowers than a midwest prairie. I know how to spot black eyed susans before they bloom and that they are NOT weeds that should be pulled out.

I am ready for this year!

Garden Blog -- the beginning

I've had my personal blog on typepad now for 2 years and I love it. However, I wanted to document the garden in our new house and I thought a good way would be to have another blog dedicated to it.

This blog is really for me since it probably won't interest anyone else, save maybe the garden lover who could offer me helpful tips, but that probably won't happen.

In any case, my goal for this blog -- Rosemarie's Garden 2006 -- is to document my garden this year, the 2nd year we are living in our new house. My personal goal is to become a pretty cultivated gardener; at the very least, I will come to understand the many plants and ecosystem that is living right outside my front door.

For those who do read this, I hope you enjoy the journey through my garden and thank you for reading.