Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 more days until the Native Plant Sale

I wait for this all year … the chance to get up early and wait in line freezing my patooties off, only to get trampled on once the doors open as if we were teenagers getting the Jonas Brothers autographs; this is what I can only imagine an anarchistic society must be like, as people lose all ability to look where they’re going, grab plants as if it was a looted store, and run their American Flyers over your toes like they're in that grocery shopping spree TV show.

I stand by my analogy that this is the Filene’s Basement Wedding Dress Sale of the plant world.

I get all stressed out between my list and spots of green left on the tables and the twigs on the floor… but I love it and I always go back.

It’s like a bad boyfriend.

And it’s supposed to be in the 70’s so, for once, I will not have freezing patooties.

A look at past Plant Sales – 2006 2007 2008

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pruned vs Un-pruned ... the face-off

Last fall, I took a maintenance class from the Arboretum and one of principles we learned was pruning. So I promptly went home and pruned one of my "dwarf" Korean Lilacs - and I use that term loosely.

The behemoths had gotten so large (and this was 2 years ago) that it had prompted my former neighbor (and former gardening mentor) to look at me seriously and say, "Those have to get cut back." Tough love.

Back then (3 years ago - how time flies), I was so green (not green-thumbed) that if anything grew I lept for joy -- even if it was garlic mustard (again close your eyes and visualize my neighbor yanking out a huge garlic mustard from my backyard saying, "Now this is a weed." "But it's so tall...," I wanted to say.) Pruning was not in my vocabulary because that meant taking away green and I was all about adding, not subtracting.

So it took a lot of courage, not to mention 4 years of tending to my royal subjects, settling land disputes, traffic congestion, and illegal immigration, before I was ready to bring out the big guns - i.e. the pruners - and tackle the Lilacs.

But I'll admit, I am a wuss. I only pruned back one of them ... just in case. I don't want all my eggs in one pruning basket. So which one will it be? Which one will reign supreme? The Pruned or the Un-Pruned?Can't wait to see what happens!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Name this Plant ... please!

Ed update:
The flower opened later in the day and Mr McGregor's Daughter was absolutely right, it's Hepatica
... and I think it's more Round-Lobed (Hepatica nobilis obtusa or Hepatica americana) rather than the Sharp-Lobed. That one's also more native to our area. I don't know if it will ever get any bigger than this, it's going on 4 years now.

Aster!? Yeesh - that's the 2nd thing that was mislabeled at our native plant sale (the other was a Celandine Poppy labeled as Blue Cohosh).

I got this small flower at my first ever Native plant sale back in 2003 2005. We had just bought our house and I didn't have my blog yet. All I remember was that it was an Aster (at least that's what the tag/lady said to me).

However, after a few years of gardening I don't think it's an aster at all, but I still can't find anything like it to ID it.

The flower, as you can see, is an early bloomer (April) and the leaves are kind of heart shaped (there's one in the background). It's very diminutive -- either because it just is, or because it's not planted in the proper spot.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: April

For more Garden Blooms, visit Carol @ May Dreams Gardens.

For the first time in a very, very long time, we had a beautiful Easter Sunday. I only remember once when my mom the Easter Bunny hid our eggs outside, so we made sure to do this with my nephew. I think hope that the snow is behind us. If Bloom Day was the first weekend of April, this would have been my photo … are you all jealous yet?

But the weather has warmed up, and now it’s starting to Bloom … You know, everytime I have to write “Bloom” for Bloom Day, I think of bloomers – my grandma’s name for underwear -- and it just makes me smile. Anyway.

Here’s what’s blooming in my garden

Daffoldils & Scilla – In the backyard southwest garden. The daffs held tightly closed through the frost and snow of last weekend, but then finally emerged Easter weekend as if nature’s alarm clock had been snoozed enough times. They bloomed earlier than last year (April 15), but later than 2007 (March 26). The scilla (pass-along plants from my neighbor that I planted last year) started blooming last month.

Pulmonaria - All over my garden (front and back). Last year I barely heard a peep out of them, so I’m pretty happy.

American Plum Tree --This is most likely the last year for this lovely tree. Black Knot has completely consumed it. The last 2 trunks will get taken down this Fall.
Viburnum - I thought this was a Judd Viburnum, but I think it's a Korean Spice. I made a solemn vow to this plant never to shear it again into a meatball.
Native Bluebells - Planted ’06-’07 as pass-along plants from my former neighbor. They haven't taken over my yard yet as they did hers... give them some time, right?
What's blooming in your garden?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Plans for a new vegetable garden

After much himming and hawwing, I've decided to transform part of my backyard into a vegetable garden.

As if I don't say this enough, my backyard is tiny - 50' x 20' - and only a small portion of it gets 6+ hours of sunlight even when all the old trees fill in overhead. That's where I currently have a small perennial garden bed, and where the previous owners put in small patio that houses the water hose, a small shed, and the exit from the kitchen.

What could be a more perfect location for a vegetable garden?

I walk out of my house and there's my dinner; the water source is there so I don't have to lug hose slung over my back like a sherpa; the small shed will keep the hoe, the pruners, the tomato cages ...

Right now, I container-vegetable-garden on the patio because of it's constant sun. But I'm running out of space for pots and last year I found that I was forced to put them so close together that they didn't do as well as they should have.I don't have a lot of room for sunny perennials, and I like this cute garden bed (the Triangle Garden),but to be honest, I can't enjoy it. There's no place from my house or yard where I can enjoy this space. So ... tough decision, but I'll find new homes for these plants.

Now, we have plans to re-side the house next year, so I'm not sure if it would be prudent of me to do this this summer.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

My seedlings, or lack thereof

Debbie had asked me how my seedlings were doing - ones I started sowing last month, approximately 3 weeks ago.

Well, I guess I did something wrong because out of all the seeds I planted -- and I mean there were a lot, all gathered from my sister-in-laws garden -- only 2 little seedlings have emerged from the soil so far.

Click on photo to see tiny seedlings
Both of the tiny seedlings come from Gaillardia x grandiflora 'FanFare'. At Rob's Plants, he saw them germinating after 6-8 days in a bagging at 70F.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Garden Bloggers Muse Day

I haven't written a muse in LONG TIME. But Sunday's snow prompted it and I hope to write more (I love poetry!)

Ode to a Snowy March Day

there is no way,
is there,
that snow might not fall,
fall on my daffodils
just rising up
through mottled leaves
and wind blown twigs.

there is no way,
is there,
that March could be
out like a lamb,
sun beams kissing the ground
breathing life where once
it was brown.So why does it snow
every March,
that twisted month of
sunshine rays and light breezes,
suddenly turns with flakes of white
to freeze my snowbells
in place like statues.

Knowing only well,
it will all be melted
by sundown.