Saturday, April 26, 2008

Native Plant Sale 2008

We our celebrating Year 4 of the Native Plant sale in our town and for the 4th year we're still the ones without the American Flyer wagon to stockpile plants ... or kids.

Years past:
2007, 2006, 2005 (I wasn't blogging in 2005)

But we did good this year, first off we arrived at 8:22 a.m. and managed to find a good parking spot. We only had to wait in the long line for about 5 minutes before they piled us in to the cavernous warehouse where twigs masquerading as bushes and trees awaited us.

This year I won the Native Plant Photo contest through the park district -- yeah me --which got me a $10 gift certificate at the plant sale. I wanted to use the money for a shrubbery which go for $10 for a 3-gal pot. My winning photo is here.

So we headed to the tree/shrub area to battle the hoards running in and out of the rows of shrubs and trees. There were three shrubs I was eyeing: the maple-leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), a blue-fruited dogwood (Cornus obliqua), or a spicebush. We ended up taking the spicebush (Lindera benzoin) -- I hope that was a good pick?

Next up: Shade perennials. My goal was to snag a Jack-in-Pulpit (Arisaema tiphyllum), every year those suckers fly off the table like they had their own wings. By the time I got there -- 8:37 a.m. 7 minutes after the doors opened -- there were only 3 left and I got one! I also picked up some other shade lovers I don't have yet:
  • Black Cohosh ( Actaea racemosa)
  • Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
  • Large white Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
  • Red Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)
  • Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum bifloru)
  • Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)
I wanted to get plants I haven't bought in previous years so I can have a diverse native plant area in the front yard and I can see what does better and then improve from there. This is where the majority of them will go to join their fellow natives - celandine poppy, wild columbine, jacob's ladder, heath aster, short's aster, and blue phlox.
**And I want to shout out a "thank you" and an "I'm so sorry" to McGregor's Daughter who not only properly ID'd what I thought was a blue cohosh (mislabeling at the plant sale) as a Celandine Poppy, but also waited for me at the Arboretum but I was unfortunately held up and arrived late.

Yesterday was when we all picked up our pre-ordered plants from the Morton Arboretum. That was a well-ordered machine at 11:30 when I was there, with super nice volunteers. I picked up my pagoda dogwood, pinky winky panicle hydrangea, siberian bugloss, masterwort, and one volunteer even gave me a freebie (a small Sea Foam ruptorwort Herniaria glabra 'Sea Foam') that no one wanted because it was tiny.

So I have a plethora of plants to get planting after may 10 -- and after the frost that I hear is coming our way...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bulb Watch 2008 - April 25

The hyacinths and tulips I planted last Fall have finally arisen and ... someone must have been in a peach mood at Home Depot last Fall...

What the heck happened? My bulb garden is a peach garden.
I had to check the bulb packages again and yes, I bought 15 of these tulips in pink/peach, but the hyancinths on the cover were yellow. These are not yellow. But on a different note, there were 7 bubs of hyacinths and all7 came up. I am 100% for hyacinths in Year 1 of BULBS.

Then I bought a big bag of mixed tulips and those are what haven't bloomed yet so I am excited to see what color (probably peach) those will be.

But the 15 tulips called Fosteriana Tulips Albert Heijn look like this and I think they are the coolest.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A little sun'll do ya

Garden Diary: April 18th

On the 15th, I was toe-tapping because my daffodils finally bloomed and I had something to post for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Three days later, after a little bit of sun and some 70 degree days, I went outside to find everything finally poking out underneath the mottled, shredded leaves I call mulch.

So for my own diary purposes, here's the list of plants coming up now:

My pulmonaria are pretty sad. Last year like now therer wee waves of these guys all in bloom. This year just a few small plants have emerged and some have bloomed.

My native blue cohosh Celandine Poppy (or Wood Poppy) has come up really nice. It's 2 years old and has done really well since I bought it at the Native Plant sale.

Only 1 of my 2 native columbines have appeared this year. They are also 2 years old and I heard that they are short-lived but should re-seed. Alas, they haven't yet.

I bought 2 lady's mantle at the end of last summer and they are both coming back really nice. I love their foliage.

Also coming up are:
  • heucheras
  • hostas are just showing their "fingers"
  • daylilly foliage
  • bleeding heart foliage (both luxurient and formosa)
  • astilbe foliage is emerging
  • oakleaf hydrangea is in bud
  • the tulips all have their buds ready
  • the hyacinths are beginning to turn color

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring clean up ... a necessity in many ways

It's been 70 degrees for the last 2 days and apparently that was 'nuff for the plants to stretch out their legs and bask in the glory that is ... ahem, "Spring."

I am crossing my finger for:
  • no more cold
  • no more snow
  • no more errant 40 degree days... wait, that would fall under cold.
I need this warm weather so I can finish my spring cleaning outside. Yep, I have not finished. This is latest I have ever waited. I did about 1/2 the yard 2 weekends ago when we were blessed with a teaser of a 60 degree weekend; then last weekend I tried to brave it but my fingers became frozen and my nose began to run which prompted a bundled up me to run inside the house and make Matt turn on the fireplace.

So this weekend, I have to get this done so I can move on with the rest of my life -- which right now consists of working, dreaming about work, popping pepto bismal tablets because of irritable stomach caused by work. On the other hand, I have to get this done if only for the simple pleasure of de-stressing with a large pair of shears.

Thank god for my garden!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Garden Blogger Bloom Day: April 2008

The daffodils must have known it was the 15th (i.e. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day), because when I came home from work they were all a-bloomin'.This is only my 4th spring in this house, but from what I've documented, this is the LATEST that the daffodils have bloomed. Last year they were in bloom on March 26th. Quite a change when April showers have turned into April frosts!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bulb Watch 2008 - April 11

I planted both hyacinths and early/mid/late spring tulips last fall. Most of the bulbs I see are the tulips ... until today. Finally, 2 hyacinths have emerged.

Unfortunately ... only 2 hyancinths (out of maybe 10 or so I planted) have emerged.

For the most part I planted the bulbs all over so I could see how they fared in different areas. But in the front of the house, I actually tried a "design" thing and planted some bulbs into my heucheras. So far it looks pretty cool seeing them rise above the low leaves of the coral bells, when they bloom I'll get a better idea if this was a good thing or not.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008