Monday, March 29, 2010

signs of spring

So doesn't the little rabbit look cute? I caught him on his way to the rabbit condo we have under our deck. Pat and I feed our wildlife in the hope that the critters will leave our garden alone. From past experiences, rabbits seem to like everything Pat and I plant. For awhile we tried to out plant them, but the more we planted, the more they ate. Well they still are cute.

All of the sedum came back.

The chives came back. I wonder if I can split it like a grass?

This is the first ligularia to pop up. Now if only the hosta would start to show signs of life.

We moved our primrose 4 times before we found the right spot.

The pachysandra is getting ready to bloom. Our side yard and the back part of the back yard is covered with the stuff. The flower is small and white. It gives the carpet of green a subtle beauty. It is evergreen, slow growing and unrelenting in its quest to take over the earth, or at least our back yard.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

welcome to spring break

Before you read my post and marvel at the pictures, make a note to yourself to visit Jean's Garden . Jean's post and paper on garden bloggers and Blotanical is a wonderful discussion on the virtual community we inhabit. The comments her post generated are a great read. The whole discussion is better than most presentations at ed-tech conferences I've attended. Now, before you run off, my post and pics.

This is the scene that greeted me on my way to work Friday. Imagine my chagrin. Spring break starts tomorrow and I have a list of things to do in the garden. Maybe I should turn the new flower bed into a combination pond and ice skating rink.

Well, the temps reached the mid 30s and the snow melted wherever the sun hit it. Pictures of me making flower beds in the snow would have been funny but most of the snow was gone by the time I got home from school. My single little snowdrop is gone. Spring marches on. There are signs of spring all over the yard. The hellebore's are living up to their Lenten Rose name. We want move them this year because of their location. Hosta totally submerges them during the summer.

These day lilies are the offspring of mama and papa day lily from Chicago. The mother -in-law, Shirley, brought them with her the first time she visited. We now have enough to split and move around the yard or give away.

Lady's mantle, alchemilla mollis to you Latin aficionados, is just about the coolest plant to watch. its leaves unfold like a perfectly folded fan. We have moved them around every couple of years because they keep getting crowded out by day lilies or hosta.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the projects start

After a week of proctoring the OGTs, I needed something to bring peace to my soul. What better way than to make flower beds. The weather was perfect, 40 to mid 50's. Pat and I have talked about doing something in the front yard almost since the day we moved in. The area with the gravel and flat stones was some kind of archaeological find. Where the stones are now was a hole 3 feet deep with brick and timber sides overgrown with ivy. Five tons of dirt, a couple tons of gravel and a whole bunch of flat stones later Pat and I had a place to hang out in the front yard. That was a couple of years ago. We started our turf grass elimination project Friday. Pat laid out the design and I dug the grass out. You know how there is no project too small to be made big? This is such a project. Saturday Pat laid out a second pattern to enlarge a small bed we threw together last fall. There are still two more of these beds to create in the front yard. We had to stop because the temps are back in the 30's and it's raining. Spring break starts next week, so hope springs eternal.
We're going to plant crocuses in the kidney shaped bed among other things. I was inspired by a post from Shirls Gardenwatch from March 17. I have never seen so many crocuses. If you have not visited, you are missing something special, but finish my post first please.

I'm using the sod as a base for a new berm we're building in the back yard.
Now I know how snowdrops got their name. OK, so, I'm still new.
Lona at A Hocking Hill's Garden has daffodils blooming. We are about a week behind her.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

look at what I found

While I was weeding and pulling out ivy, here after known as spawn of the devil, I came upon a
snowdrop. One solitary snowdrop pushing its way through the spawn of the devil. The reason I know what it is because some great bloggers from Blotanical had great posts about the flower. What a find. Proof that you never know what will show up in your garden.

I love garden cam shots of flowers and plants pushing up through the ground.

My blogger friends in warmer climes have posted some really great pictures of Hellebores. Ours are through the ground and will bloom soon enough.

Our swamp mallo came back! I'm always nervous about new stuff. They are native to Ohio and we got them at the Wilmot Nature Center which is about 60 miles sout east of us. The Nature Center has a native plant sale every year combined with a day of hikes and seminars. As the name implies, swamp mallo does well in perpetually "moist" areas. It seeded itself last year so I need to keep an eye out for little guys poping up.

While I was weeding the day lilies I came across this little flower. Knowing that some flowers are attached to weeds, and this is in the front yard, which I know nothing about, I yelled for Pat. This delicate little flower and the attached foliage and root system ended up in my weed bucket. So now I know.

These are the hands of a happy man. I'm finally gardening. There is something very peaceful about weeding.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I built a path, why don't the deer use it?

Now that the snow's all gone, We can get a good view of where the deer trails are. I hauled 28 tons of #57 river rock to make paths in the back yard so Pat and I could wander around the yard when it's muddy, which is most of the year. I would gladly share the paths with Bambi and his family. I might even shovel the paths in the winter if it keeps the deer out of the gardens.The bottom pic is of fawn prints.

Friday, March 12, 2010

put the snow shovel away

The last of the snow's lurking in the shadows like a Cuyahogo County politician waiting for the indictment. Hang up your winter coats and put the snow shovel back on its hook. I, for one, am willing to suspend belief in the hope that the snow's gone till next year. The snow's disappearance revealed day lilies, goats beard, tulips, hellebore's, and weeds all pushing through the ground. The vinca vines that went native a couple years ago also came back. They look like they stayed green all winter under the snow. It's time to get in the dirt and get the gardens ready for sweet peet.

We have to move the hellebore's. They are in a deer path.
Moss is always cool to look at.

This will be the last grass I will cut down because I just like looking at it. I never really understood "texture" in a garden till we planted this guy.

It has got to be spring. These guys don't winter over.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Central Ohio home and Garden Show Part 3

This is Pat. She's the brains of the operation and my partner in our gardening adventure. She's also the real gardener in the family. She actually knows plant names while I still use terms like the red one, the yellow one, or possibly my favorite, it looks like a sunflower, just smaller and a different color. You get the idea. I know she didn't think there was a hidden gardener inside the guy she married. Heck, I didn't either. All this background makes the idea that one day I would be the proud gardener of somewhere around 500 hosta all the more funny. I guess saying I like hosta is sort of an understatement.

The Columbus Garden Show displayed a lot of hosta, more than all the other shows we have seen put together. I even found some hosta I have places for in our yard, because as we all know, there is always room for just one or two or three more of that favorite plant.

I want all these little guys. I have larger versions of these. You can use small hosta to fill in those odd open spots you have in your yard.

This Maui Buttercup is just great looking.