Today has been, in the words of Lady Miss Kier, de-gorgeous! I started out this morning by freeing the tulip leaves in the driveway-side bed from the leaf mulch that was strangling them.
There are also iris coming up along the fence, and some daylilies sprouting. K also got out the Sawzall and cut down the stumps of the weed tree that we’ve been trying to kill behind the garage:
What an ugly mess! After doing that, we went to the Despot and picked up some lumber to create raised beds in the veg garden. We also bought some stump killer which we applied to this stump when we got home. I’m usually loathe to use chemicals of any kind on our property, but this tree is tenacious and I want it dead. It’s also in the best possible place to need to use chemicals – behind the garage and a distance from anything growing, and totally out of bounds for the dogs.
The raised beds were SO easy to build! I’d measured out how much space I wanted to cover, so we had the store cut the boards to length for us. The hinges I got for my bday last fall worked quite well! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
K kindly pitchforked the compost piles and transported a whole bunch of lovely, delicious-smelling compost from the bottom of the piles to these beds. I need to figure out how much soil it’ll take to fill these in and arrange to have that delivered.
I also cleared out some more thick leaf piles from the garage-side bed where tons of daylilies and other things are coming up:
As you can see I didn’t clear away nearly all the leaves, but I had mulched it so thickly that I needed to take some out to let these guys grow.
After that, we finally finished scooping poop and raking the back yard and K did the first mowing while I pruned back some perennials. The yard is definitely showing some signs of dogs living here:
We seeded a bunch of white clover in the far back right corner last summer and it took really nicely back there, so I’ll probably order some more seed this year. There are also a lot of weird bumpy patches and big areas of crab grass throughout the yard, so we might end up fencing off sections, digging up the turf and re-seeding with clover. Did you know that white dutch clover does not turn yellow when dogs pee on it? You can also mow it like grass.
The dogs, of course, were delighted with all the lovely smells that we stirred up by mowing and spent some quality time snuffling around.
Logan looks so regal basking in the sun, doesn’t she?
When I was pruning, I noticed that I have asparagus coming up!
This is the third year for the asparagus (since I planted it from seed) and it looks like it will finally be big enough to eat this year. These shoots are about half the width of my pinky finger and only about four inches tall, so they’ve got some room to grow.
It was gorgeous yesterday so when we were both home from work, K and I took the dogs for a walk and I spent a few minutes snapping some photos of the crocuses, which are now blooming. I planted these along the front border of the front garden (nee front yard):
They’re so tiny but so satisfying.
The tulips under the red maple tree are also sprouting more by the day:
I suppose I should probably clean up these old leaves sometime soon.
In the back yard, I noticed that there’s something sprouting in the AC unit garden. I think it might be daylilies? They seem to crop up in this area every year, though I have been moving them to another bed:
While we were hanging around in the back yard, Logan was keeping close by me. She’s such a lovey dog, but she can be slightly camera-shy. She didn’t want to look at me, but I did manage to snap a nice profile:
More photos at Flickr.
Well, not really. It’s another rainy day, but I’m glad to see that it’s helping a lot of our flowers bloom. I didn’t plant these iris and tulips together on purpose, but they compliment each other nicely.
I am totally digging these variegated tulips. I can’t remember when I planted them or where I got them, but they are really pretty.
My lone allium is getting ready to bloom. It looks neat with rainwater on it.
And I think this tulip looks like a baby bird beak does poking up out of a nest.
More photos at Flickr, n’est-ce pas.
It’s been looking like rain for a couple of days, but today it finally actually arrived.
The sun came out after, which meant I got to snap some nice pics. The pollen was puddled in a bunch of the black tulips like the one above. On the photo below, you can see a wee spider hanging out.
The irises I was having trouble identifying last month are now getting ready to bloom and they look like they’ll be a gorgeous color!
I’ve seen some posts lately about people’s opinions of violets – are they weedy and should be removed, or are they pretty and should be embraced? I’m of the latter school. They volunteer and have pretty flowers and relatively attractive foliage, so why not?
The red maple outside our front window is a strange shape (it has three main trunks, none of which is particularly dominant) but it’s leafing out like crazy and is sort of stunning in the sunlight.
More photos at Flickr.
It has been another gorgeous weekend and I spent as much time as possible out in the yard. The tulips are blooming out front.
There are more tulips than last year, so they’re spreading a little, but I would love for them to multiply even faster. I may end up investing in more bulbs in the fall – we’ll see.
I also spent a little time removing the handful of dandelions that had sprouted in the front mulch (former front lawn). I’ve pretty much decided that there’s no need to till the front and that it’ll be easier to keep weeds out if I just dig holes for the perennials I’ll be planting. It will avoid disturbing any latent weed seeds, at least. I did pick out a number of maple seedlings that had fallen from the red and silver maple trees out front. That’s a battle that won’t be ending anytime soon.
In the primary veg bed, I was doing some weeding and discovered that there are a bunch of what I believe are tomato seedlings sprouting up from where I let a couple of errant tomatoes lie over the winter.
There are several of these little clumps. I had no idea the seeds would even have the possibility of germinating, especially after the semi-harsh winter we had. This will change the layout of the garden slightly, but I’m going with it!
Lastly, I noticed two awesome things: (1) the blueberry bush I planted last year is sprouting!
It never really thrived last year, and the birds ate most of the few berries it produced before I could get to them. I thought it was a goner and didn’t expect it to come back. I saw these leaves budding out and could almost hear it pleading, “I’m not dead yet!”
And (2): the purple wintercreeper on the back fence is taking!
I put in a ton of cuttings last year and had pretty much given up hope of any of them actually growing, but several of the ones I put in the back corner have a bunch of new growth. Woot! I haven’t picked out the rest of the cuttings from last fall, just in case they end up growing, and today I trimmed some of the uber-exuberant growth on the main planting bed of wintercreeper and put some more cuttings by the back fence. I will not give up on covering up the ugly fence with something!
More photos at Flickr, of course.
We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, but interspersed with some nice, warm sun. Perfect weather for the garden! Things are sprouting up all over. Well, not really, but they’re sprouting.
The tulips out front have also been benefiting from the good weather.
Finally, we’ve had a few people out to give us estimates on tilling the front yard. I still see value in doing that, but I’ve been reading up on a few websites that recommend not tilling – just leaving the mulch in place and digging holes to plant things and letting the mulch keep out the weeds until the perennials fill in. I took a peek and the grass is totally composted/smothered/gone underneath the mulch! I was sort of afraid that there would be a bunch of matted grass under there, but hooray, there’s totally not! Which means that tilling may be much less important than I previously anticipated. It would definitely be nice to save that money for other purposes. Most of the plants I’ve ordered for the front yard haven’t arrived yet, but my Seed Savers order for the front yard came today.
I can’t wait to start planting, but I will, because I want to be able to really see the whole big picture when I’m placing things.
It was another gorgeous day today, by all indications of the tons of things that are growing and blooming around the house (I have to trust these signs because I was in the office all day and didn’t see it for myself).
This fritillaria popped up out of nowhere today! I mean, I know it was there, but it showed no signs of being anywhere near ready to bloom yesterday.
Remember the purple wintercreeper that was budding out the other day?
Well, it’s gone N.V.T.S. nuts!
There are also tulips galore in the front flower bed.
More photos on Flickr.
Spring is here, or at least on the way!
I can see tiny bits of pollen on the edges of a few of the petals – is that an indication that some polinators have visited? I hope so!
The tulips are coming up, too. I don’t know if it means anything, but I think the way the tips of the leaves are reddish/purple is neat looking.
Unfortunately, along with all the good things coming up, the stupid invincible yucca is coming up, too. I despair that we will ever be rid of it.
More photos on Flickr.