Thursday, March 27, 2008

Old Man Winter wins by an Avalanche

It's snowing again. The weatherman is forecasting 4 to 6 inches of snow. That's not a typo....4 to 6 inches of new snow.

My sister emailed me this photo and it sums up my feelings perfectly.
I give up...'Old Man Winter wins.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gardening season started today...

Despite the very cold weather, R and I started our spring clean up. Enough snow fell last night that they had to plow the roads. By the time we started cleaning up at least 75% of the snow was gone. Hopefully by tomorrow, it will ALL be melted away.

Here's R using the blower to blow the leaves out of the lavender plants and rose bushes. He assured me he DID NOT step on any tulips. LOL While he used the blower, I trimmed the rose bushes back.

We also checked on the sycamore and tulip trees we planted last year and they all have buds. The fruit trees also all have buds with the nectarine trees having the largest buds. I also trimmed all the fruit trees of any dead twigs or ill placed spurs. I think they have finally gotten to the point where I can really start shaping them.

I have 4 Paw Paw trees coming the first week of April. I hope the weather is warm enough to plant them at that time. The ground is still frozen in the area where I want to put them. I bought 2 different varieties and from two different growers.

I decided to grow poppies out by the street along the fence. I've tried roses but the salt spray from the road kills them. I thought poppies would be a good choice since they are a large flower and will easily reseed. I've purchased about 10 different varieties in the white, pink, purple, lavender, and blue. I'm really looking forward to seeing the blue poppies bloom. The photo shows it as a very vibrant blue.

Tomorrow we have to pick up all the piles of leaves we raked up today. We did notice that we were rewarded this spring because of the good fall clean up we did last year. Those blisters were not wasted.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to my blog and garden

Hello and thank you for visiting my garden blog.

At this time of year in Michigan, the only gardening being done is in your imagination. This time of year is designated for list making, seed buying, and diagram drawing. So far I have done 2 out of the 3.

Soon I should see the tips of tulips, daffodils, and maybe the beginning of new foliage on my hosta plants. After this unpleasant winter, I am looking forward to seeing something green.

So in the theme of preparing for the gardening season, I'll pass along the method I use to keep track of my plants, bulbs, and trees.

I found that many times I wanted to buy additional plants of varieties that I already owned. Once at the garden center I realized that I couldn't remember exactly which variety I already had in my garden. Sure I had good intentions of keeping the little identification tags but you know how that goes. You get in a cleaning frenzy and they all get tossed out. So I came up with this little idea.

I purchased a binder that has large pockets in the front and back. I store all the bulb package cardboard tops and any larger ID tags that do not fit into the individual card pockets into these larger pockets. The smaller ID tags are placed inside the little pockets of the pocket pages used to store trading cards. I was able to buy them quite inexpensively on eBay. Buy more than you think you will need. Believe me. I ordered twice before I got smart and just ordered a large quantity.

You might find that you need to trim some ID tags so they will fit into the pocket. Usually there is a border that can be cut off without interfering with the photo and important information.

I also group my tags according to plant type. Trees and perennials are separated. Then within the tree section, I divide them into groups, evergreen, deciduous, and fruit trees. I group fruit trees together with like fruit placed side by side. Example...all fruit trees are in one section. The tags of like fruit are placed together, i.e. peaches with peaches and apples with apples. My perennials are loosely grouped like this. Roses, hostas (all 160+), then shade plants, and then sun loving plants. I may start another binder just for vegetables and move the fruit trees to that binder.

Saving the tags can also help you diagnose problems you might have with an individual plant. Last year my Veronica - Royal Candles Speedwell was not doing well. I looked for the plant tag in my binder and realized that I had planted it in full sun and the tag suggested partial sun. I transplanted it and immediately it started responding to the partial sun location.

My garden blogging will pick up once the growing season kicks into full swing. In the meantime visit my other blogs. Gear Acres is my house blog and covers the restoration of my older home and my kitchen blog called In the Kitchen at Gear Acres , this blog will cover recipes and kitchen related topics.