Tag Archives: flower gardening

April makes me crazy

There has been snow in April the last 2 years. So, we’re holding back. There is a threat of near freezing/potential snow this weekend. It was 84ºF on Monday.

We have 6 types of tomatoes in the grow room/pantry/attic/3rd bedroom waiting until the end of April to go in the ground. There are Better Boys for sandwiches, Cherokee Purple for salads, Golden Jubilee and Hawaiian Pineapple yellow varieties for Chuck, Grape and Indigo Blue cherry sized varieties for both of us. (I don’t dislike the yellow ones. He’s just particularly fond of them.)

I have 4 jalapeno plants waiting, too. We’ll plant Brandywine okra, Delicata and Pattypan squash and Hamby pole beans directly into the raised beds.

The new Martha Washington asparagus is coming up nicely. I’m hoping for a nice crop next year when we can finally harvest from the raised bed.

We have taken apart the herb bed and used the blocks to edge the front flowerbed. We didn’t have enough blocks and Lowe’s isn’t carrying that style anymore. So, I filled in gaps with stones from the disassembled labyrinth. It needs mulch.

I am expanding the little planting area around the well. A circle has been requested. Cannas will be moved from the side of the house to that bed when I have the grass dug out.

Chuck has been removing the grass-laden mulch from the outer ring of the defunct labyrinth. When we take up the ineffectual weed barrier, it will be seeded with clover. When I finish tweaking the front, I’ll manage the second ring that we intend to use for herbs and flowers. I’ve already got resurrection lilies and foxgloves transplanted there.

2016-05-03 10.19.06

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Filed under Asparagus, Beans, Flowers, Legumes, Okra, Peppers, planting, Squash, Tomatoes

Front bed

The largest part of this year’s yard project is done. Grass is out; mulch is in. Tea bushes are transplanted.  I hope moving hasn’t killed them. I need to get the cover weeds out of the older part of the bed so we can mulch there, too. We used a thick layer of mulch to kill the grass there and it was effective. But, that mulch has turned into dirt and needs refreshing.

I moved the Euonymus that I had planted in that bed to the back yard where the deer can’t get to it. It’s supposed to be a bush but, right now, it’s a stick because it was snacked on heavily last summer. But, it’s not dead as evidenced by the leaves popping out. So, I have hope.

Our Japanese maple was accidentally mutilated by some yard guys who were taking down dead chunks of the maple on the corner of our lot.  After some consideration, I got a new tree.  The mutilated one was in too much sun and looked like crap for most of the summer. So, we finished the job the yard guys started and put a new tree in the front Partial Shade bed.

I found parts of a man’s shoe and a patch of nails while I was digging the grass out.  And I’m constantly amazed at the amount of quartz that grows in our ground.

 This is our most prolific crop.

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Filed under Flowers, odds&ends, planting, tea

Planting – April, 2015

I started Beauregard sweet potatoes a couple of months ago and have put 3 slips in my raised bed this morning.  I put 3 eyes of a Yukon Gold Irish potato in the other end.  I stuck the rest of the eyes in empty-ish places along the iris/blueberry fence row.

I had already planted nasturtium seeds in the holes in the cinder blocks along one long and one short side..

5 Arkansas Little Leaf climbing cucumbers have  gone in the center holes on the other long side.  6 bush cucumbers have gone in the other holes, 3 at each end.  One of the Arkansas Little Leafs didn’t sprout.  But the Mexican Sour Gherkins are volunteering in their holes.  I have 4 bamboo poles in holes and I have a bottom row of string ready for the cukes to begin climbing.

DSC05614I have pulled my carrots so I can plant 2 rows of the Glass Corn popcorn seeds I managed to produce last year.  I’ve put them in the middle of that bed.  The garlic needs to grow another month or so, so I’m leaving it alone.  I”ll put the jalapenos in there when they are bigger.  There are 4 spindly plants in little pots, right now.

Chuck’s carrots are bigger and more consistent, so I’ll make a huge dessert this afternoon with my multicolored ones.  I hope they keep the colors when they cook.  Purple okra doesn’t.

DSC05619 DSC05620The sunchokes are coming up like crazy, so the bees should have a nice treat this Fall.

Roses and kiwis are putting out new growth.

Dill seeds are sprouting in the herb bed.

Columbines are blooming in the front.

We have bitty plums forming and one peach.

Lilacs will not be blooming this year.  Their buds froze.

Iris buds are popping up,  And one has even opened.


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Filed under Irises, Kiwis, Peach, planting, Plum, Root Vegetables, sunchokes, Sweet potatoes, White potatoes


I planted Jerusalem artichokes around February.  Today, I noticed that they are blooming.

I’ll add a picture later when my camera has charged.



This is what they look like blooming.  at first look, very similar to the swamp sunflowers by the shed and on the side of the house, but with different leaves and very different roots.  Also, slightly different bloom times.


This is what the sunchokes look like up close.


And this is the swamp sunflowers.  They are just starting to form buds.

Both plants are great to feed pollinators at the end of Summer and in the Fall.  Both freeze to the ground in Winter.  Both are very tall and flower heavily with yellow blossoms.

Only one will feed you.


Filed under Perennials, Root Vegetables, sunchokes

Day lilies

I haven’t bought any day lilies, yet.  I have been given  some, though.  And foolishly planted them out around my well.

Did you know that deer love to snack on day lily buds?   It’s true.  I don’t think there is anything in the front yard that they love better.

So this Fall, I’m moving them inside the fence.


I do know that I have orange, pink and yellow varieties.  I’m really curious to see what come up next Spring.


(I can’t find a photo of the orange ones, so that will have to wait.)

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Filed under Flowers, Perennials

The calla lilies are in bloom, again.

You should hear a bad Katherine Hepburn impression when you read that.

I have had callas in my flower bed since 2000 or 2001. I have always liked them and that year I found a pot of miniature pink callas for $5 at a grocery store.  When the blossoms were spent, I planted it in the flower bed.  Then, I promptly forgot about them.

The next year, something came up in the bed in a way that looked intentional, but I couldn’t remember what I had put there.  I left it alone, though, just in case it was something nice.  Which I expected it would be because, well, it did look like it was on purpose.  And when it bloomed, I  remembered!  Clever me.

I was a little surprised by the height, though.  I remembered them being smaller than that in the pot.

The next year, I expected them. To my puzzlement and surprise, they had become full sized callas.  Welcome to bonsai.  And what happens when you free them.

The next year, (or the year after, I really can’t remember) I moved.  And I transplanted my pink callas.


Since then, I have added some lavender bonsaied callas I found at another grocery, a purple “miniature” calla a friend gave from a hospital arrangement she was given, some Calypso bulbs and a white calla from another friend’s yard.

flame calla

The Calypso callas change color as the blossoms age, like Joseph’s coat roses do. Its starts sunny yellow and fades through orange and red to purple, then black before it dies.

On the other hand, the others seem to have all shifted to pink.   I don’t know if I have killed the purple and lavender through neglect, or if they are just morphing into a consistent color like the hydrangeas around here do.

I think this was originally lavender.

I think this was originally lavender.

I think this one was originally purple.

I think this one was originally purple.

I KNOW this was originally pink.

I KNOW this was originally pink.




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Filed under Calla lily, Flowers, Perennials


I have debated with myself about writing about flowers here.  But my hands get itchy in the Spring and I am more likely to plant something that blooms than something to eat.  And the 2 things aren’t mutually exclusive.

I have a row of roses down one side of our back fence and irises between the blueberry bushes on the other side.  Irises are also scattered around in some other places.

Usually, I plant plants and, occasionally, I plant seeds.  I haven’t always been successful with seeds, so I tend to prefer getting little pots of things already started.  But, zinnias and marigolds have been successful with seeds.  Cypress vine seeds a couple of years ago would have been more successful if I had remembered I’d planted them and not weeded most of them out.   However, I have put zinnia seeds over by the roses and shook marigold seeds there last Fall.  There are some Chinese Lantern seeds by the sunchoke bed and purple coneflower seeds planted at the end of the row nearest the Don Juan.

I get fretful waiting for things to bloom and made a spreadsheet to help me keep up.  Chuck thinks that a little obsessive, but it’s interesting to me to see how the weather affects my plants.  And it helps me keep from fretting when I want to see blooms a months before it’s reasonable.

That’s probably a fair warning.


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Filed under Annuals, Flowers, Irises, Perennials, Roses