Saturday, January 30, 2010

sun's out

A cold front came in from who knows where. It's been in the single digits at night. The boys don't want to go outside, but I do. The frigid weather came with the sun, the SUN! That is a big deal here in NE Ohio during the winter. I enjoy wandering around the yard when it's this cold because there is no way to get wet and the ground is hard. We had some snow since the last thaw so the animal tracks are all over the yard. Every day I am in the yard, I find new stuff to wonder over and enjoy. The cold of winter also brings a very peaceful feeling. I finally got a good sunny picture of some of the grass on the berm.

The grass in the soil tile is our winter experiment. All the other perennials we had in pots and soil tiles got replanted in October. This guy is in sun about a third of the day, when the sun is out. The soil around the tile rarely freezes so we are optimistic that it will winter over.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's zoo poop

I've mentioned sweet peet numerous times in my blog. It's the only fertilizer Pat and I use in the yard. I don't work for the guys that brought the world this stuff. But if they want to dump a couple yards or so in the driveway, it would be OK. Evidently only us lucky Buckeyes (wow, this is the first time I've called myself that) can get sweet peet. The Sweet peet company has a nice website at: so all you guys who can't get this stuff can at least view the web site and dream.
I took this pic at the Cleveland Garden Show. It's as close as I'm going to get to it until Pat and I get our 10 yards during spring break.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cleveland Garden Show

The sky is gray and so is the snow. It's too cold to hang around outside but too warm to freeze. It's just about the time of year we ask ourselves the question "so why did we move to NE Ohio?" But then we remember it's time to go to the Cleveland Garden Show. A color-filled respite from the gray of January awaited us. When we got there we realized that a zillion other people had the same idea.
The crowds and the color hit me as soon as I walked into the show. Every other person seemed to have a camera with them. I'll tell you, I have come to the realization that there are a ton of gardeners that think like me. Or is it that I think like them? A bunch of landscape architecture firms had display gardens set up. They were all fun to walk around in and see how the pros mixed plants and colors. There is always something to learn. I found the lawn ornamentation booth right away. Pat thinks that that is the only reason I go to these things. That's not the case. I also go to find the next new thing I have to have, like an Elvis lamp or something. As we walked around you could hear "it slices, it dices, you never have to sharpen, clean it, replace it, it's the last one you . . . , lose 50 pounds, it's the sledge-o-matic."

Lawn ornamentation heaven. There's one of these places at every garden show. Boy, I love these kind of joints.

The Cleveland Botanical Society had seminars on composting and lasagna gardening.

This display garden had an herb garden. I have passed a milestone. I could name every herb in the garden. We grow most of them.

Pat says "we can do that." Well OK then. What's funny is that we both knew where we would place it. We think way too much alike when it comes to gardening. Even after all these years, it's sorta weird.
These are miniature daffodils. Gotta get some of these.

Gotta get some of these too.

And this one too.

Got these, but we could always use more.

Where could we put one of these? Maybe the front yard?

There's room for one more tree in the front yard. One of these will do.

There is no such thing as enough hosta.

What a nice way to add red.

This would scare the snot out of the boys. It would get stuck in the mud and the boys would attack it.

These are for all you warm weather transplants that need a palm tree fix. I saw them and was speechless. It's beyond bizarre.
Found it. I have a theory that you can find something with Elvis on it at every trade show.

I am a happy camper because Pat let me get some lawn ornamentation.

Friday, January 22, 2010

looking for texture in the yard.

It is kind of neat that moss stays green all winter. It does stay green all winter doesn't it? It grows between the bricks on the patio and path along the house. All right, it also grows over the bricks too .

The Virginia Sweetspire is one of my favorite bushes. It keeps its leaves through the fall well into winter. When the sun is out (and that is always problematic in NE Ohio during winter), the leaves really stand out.
Pat and I used to deadhead the hostas. It wasn't a big deal when we only had a dozen or two. I swear I don't know how this happened. I mean, we only bought a couple of plants a year and a friend of mine only gave us six plants. We now have somewhere over 400. Pat says it's closer to 500. I lose count every time we try to count them. So now we just leave the flower stalks. The ones still standing in March get cleaned up. For all the seeds, we seldom ever get any baby hostas. I wonder why, because the ligularia are easy to grow from seed.

I have ligularia seeds for anyone who wants them. The blog header shows ligularis grown from seed. Spray a little soapy water on them to prvent slugs and you'll be good to go. Don't ask me the latin name of my ligularia. My son-in-law translated my blog title. My version of latin entails adding icus to the end of any word. None the less, ligularia looks cool even in the middle of winter.
There's a blue jay in there somewhere.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sorry for the Inconvenience

Some jamoke left a junk (I'm being nice) comment on one of my latest posts. To combat these nefarious nasty jamokes, I needed to add that hard to decipher word that you guys now have to type into that box thing. Sorry everyone. The blog police from Google need to hunt this guy down and have a talk with him. Google is omnipresent and omnipotent aren't they?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

so close to Big Blue

The snow's been melting away these last few days. You would be surprised by what you can find in the melting snow. I found animal tracks exaggerated by the melting snow. The ducks' tracks bring wonder and joy to me. It's good to see the rabbit tracks, even though rabbits and Pat are sworn enemies. Come to think of it, the boys don't like the rabbits either. Well you can't be a food source for the animals, birds, and ducks and not expect them from showing up.
I always knew that a deer trail went through our back yard. I even have a rather laissez-faire attitude towards some hosta nibbling at the edges of the yard. I mean, after all, we have somewhere over 400 hostas scattered around the yard. But look how close the deer run comes to Big Blue. Big Blue in its present state are those dried out stalks in the lower right forefront of the first picture. Maybe I need snow fencing for more than the veggie garden. Maybe Pat will like day-glo orange.

Who do you think made this track?

The enemy or bambi? A big bambi maybe, but bambi none the less.

At least the rabbits are using the paths I built.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks

Monday, January 18, 2010

my January GGW photo contest entry

I happened upon Gardening Gone Wild through Blotanical during one of my daily trolling sessions through the world of garden bloggers. What a wonderful site. It is beyond, beyond.
Well this is my first foray into photo contests. I took this picture the day after a snow. The sun was out for one of its infrequent visits. The bird nest looks cool with a top hat of snow.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

we need a veggie garden

Pat and I want to expand our vegetable gardening from this small, but moderately successful (I know. I know. How can I put small and moderate in the same sentence.) pot garden.
To something bigger in this area (rabbits included).

There is 20 feet between the path in the background to the path in the foreground. The exact dimensions are yet to be determined. We were thinking that maybe bushes or perennials around the fence line of the garden. I thought that 6 foot high snow fencing (in green, not orange, for those of you who know what snow fencing is) would keep the deer out. Maybe chicken wire added to the base would keep the rabbits out. This is a "we" project. Pat supplies the brains and I build, haul, dig, haul, and dig. Oh ya, and rototill. The ground is clay, clay and , did I mention, clay. We will amend the clay with sweet peet (zoo poop and composted leaf humus, available to us lucky gardeners in Ohio). The area is sunny till late in the day.

There are wonderful blogs and bloggers who I found through Blotanical (that's Blotanical at ) who grow and know vegetables. I stand in awe of you. I don't know vegatables. I can barely figure out how to keep my hosta and ligularia alive. I need your ideas, Blotanists. Help this poor veggie-deprived boy out. And since we don't use any chemicals for our plants, we aren't using any on our vegatables.

Friday, January 15, 2010

it's like a highway out there

Friday's the only day I get home from work when it is still light. I was astonished and very happy by what I found when I went into the back yard. Not just animal tracks, but a highway. Two highways. One for the deer and one for the ducks. Is that cool or what? Pat and I always leave food for the animals and birds. We've always known that there is a deer run through the yard. We see deer on occasion. But I never relized how well traveled the deer trail is. It goes right through the hosta patch where "big blue" is and nary a nibble is found all spring and summer. The ducks seem to travel on the gravel paths I made.