bees knees

I was out photographing Ellis the other day and suddenly Karl pointed out that there was a bee about an inch from my hand, in the hyssop.

bee in the hyssop

I haven’t had quite as much time to spend standing still in the gardens this year (chasing after Coraline has cut down on quite moments overall) so I was really happy to see this.

bee in the hyssop

Go, pollinator, go!


Veg Rest

Not really anything happening in the veg garden at the moment.

raised beds in the veg garden

There are plenty of weeds for me to clean up in the straw mulch (slacked at the end of last season) and some random bits of lettuce and stuff in the beds themselves that will end up covered in a new layer of compost.

back fence in the veg garden

I planted this Hyssop from seed years ago and it has really done nicely. Right now it doesn’t look like a whole lot.


But if you look closely you can see that it’s not all dead!



rainy Spring! Saturday

We had such warm temperatures this past week that most of the snow melted, and it’s been raining lightly but steadily all morning, so I think any remaining snow has disappeared. I don’t even mind the rain, because my crocuses are coming up!

lots of crocus (crocii?) coming up

crocus coming up

crocus coming up

I planted quite a few mixed crocus and snow crocus in the front garden last year and it appears that they will bloom soon.

Some of the other front garden plants seem to have survived the winter, including the blue sea holly:

blue sea holly

the periwinkle vinca:

periwinkle vinca

and the Snow-in-Summer:

Snow in Summer

Things in the back yard are looking pretty good, too. The asparagus isn’t growing yet but still looks pretty:


The hyssop is green at the center:

hyssop is getting green at the heart

and the garlic is sprouting:

garlic sprouting

Hooray for Spring!

More pics on Flickr.


good bugs

After finding aphids on my potato blossoms, I decided to order some ladybugs and praying mantis eggs to try to keep some of the pesty insects at bay. They arrived today!

ladybug and praying mantis egg unboxing

They were left on the doorstep, so they definitely experienced some not-cool temperatures, but everything inside seemed okay.

ladybug unboxing

ladybug unboxing

ladybug unboxing

ladybug unboxing

ladybugs on the potatoes

ladybugs on the hyssop

There were a LOT of ladybugs in that bag! They quickly grabbed onto the potatoes, hyssop, and plenty of other plants in the veg beds. Hopefully they’ll hang out in the area and not stray too far. One little lady found the aphids right away!


Hopefully she (or he) ate a big ol’ post-travel meal.

Then I unpacked the mantis eggs, which were slightly less exciting but still kind of neat.

praying mantis eggs

praying mantis eggs

They sure don’t look like much at this point, but hopefully they’ll hatch and make a home in the garden.

More photos at Flickr.


rainy day-ny

It rained almost all day today and while I was mostly aware of that through my office window, when I got home I noticed that things are just freaking gorgeous in the back veg garden! I threw on my gardening boots and took a quick trip through the main back veg garden.

primary veg garden

The wintercreeper is slowly growing up the back fence – I can’t wait until the fence is hidden behind plant-green instead of icky old green paint. It was all I could do not to just yank this iceberg lettuce out of the ground and eat it right on the spot.

iceberg lettuce

One of the beans I planted is flowering already! They haven’t grown very high and I’m wondering if they should be flowering at this height. They were seeds leftover from last year and I’m not sure if they were still 100%.

bean blossom

The sugar snap peas are also blossoming.

sugar snap pea

As are the golden sweet snow peas, which are also already making pea pods!

golden sweet snow pea

I can’t wait till the peas grow more and I can eat some of these off the vine. So, so delicious. The hyssop is starting to flower, too, and will hopefully be attracting pollinators like crazy pretty soon. I love how the purple flowers set off the slight silver-y-ness of the foliage.


More photos on Flickr, of course.



It was gorgeous, warm and sunny, yesterday and I got out in the garden and spend almost all day out there. I put the first veg seeds in the ground, and in the process amended my plan for the veggie garden to better make use of the space (I think I do this every time – I never quite plan for the space quite right).

back veg garden

So far, in the back row there are trellises with Sugar Snap Sweet Peas, Golden Sweet Snow Peas, Fin de Bagnol Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Beans. In the row in front of that, there are (tomato) cages marking Early Russian Cucumbers, Buttercup Squash, Baby Pam Squash, Sugar Baby Watermelon, Charentais European Melon, Anaheim Hot Pepper, Purple Beauty Sweet Pepper, Fox Cherry Red Tomato, and Black Krim Tomato. I’ll be putting more things in, too, once we’re a little further into the warm weather.

I also removed the rusty old metal fence from in front of this garden bed and replaced it with metal fence posts and plastic netting (AKA plastic chicken wire), so it matches what we have protecting the fence-side bed.

view from the back of the back yard/veg bed

view from the back of the back yard/veg bed

I had meant to do that last year but never got around to it. I’d still like to install a mowing edge around the back of the lawn, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. Removing sod is one of my least favorite yard tasks.

While I was working out there, I noticed that the asparagus I planted last year is actually coming up again! I was getting worried that I hadn’t seen any sprouts yet, but it was there, just hiding as it is so very tiny.

asparagus, year 2

Finally, I’m wondering if I can split this hyssop which has gotten pretty sizable over the past few years. I wouldn’t mind having a few patches of it around the garden beds, as it does such a lovely job of attracting the bees. If anyone knows how to go about splitting it, I’m all ears.


More photos on Flickr.