Thursday, April 11, 2013

the garden: flowers blooming

So it appears we got exactly two days of spring. It's been cold and wintery for months, and then we had a beautiful spring weekend, but this work week has been hot! And the forecast for today ... 94?!

Jessi is not so pleased with Mother Nature. But Jessi's flowers? They're loving it.

Last fall, I planted some pansies in the front yard. In our climate, they're supposed to be beautiful during the fall, die back a bit in the winter, then bounce back to life with the warm spring temps. And they've done just that in the past few days.

In the tree lawn in front of our house, this was my plan:
  • Crocus would come up first. (Check. They were here by mid-February.)
  • Daffodils would come up next. (Well ... they came up. But I messed them up somehow because no flowers came out of the greenery. I'll have to ask my mom what I can feed them in the fall to give them some extra energy over the winter.)
  • Then tulips would come up. (And they're here! The warm weather has prodded them along nicely. Those flowers should bloom any day now. And my medicated foot powder technique appears to have successfully warded off squirrel enemies.)
  • And finally, five giant hostas would emerge from the ground, covering all of the decaying bulb leaves and filling up the garden bed with beautiful greenery all summer and fall. (All five hostas, which my parents divided from their own plants, are coming up, doing just fine, and seem to be loving the warm weather, too.)
Here's a shot from yesterday evening that shows an about-to-bloom tulip in the foreground with a hosta sprouting behind it. And lots of daffodil and crocus greenery all around.

The only other flower I have at my house so far is this sweet alyssum, which I bought over Easter weekend at Frager's. It smells awesome. I put it in a big pot by the front door, so hopefully it'll grow to fill the pot and smell great every time we walk past it. Here's a picture of the alyssum, which includes a bonus cameo of Francois, who came over to visit last night while Tony and I were working in the front yard:

Actually, Tony was doing the work, and I was taking photos. He sprinked some Holly-tone plant food around the evergreen plans in the front yard. I don't know what, exactly, Holly-tone is or does. I just know that my dad delivered a bag of it to us last fall with instructions to feed the evergreen plants twice a year. Yes, sir.

And I've been seeing all of these beautiful photos from the Tidal Basin of all the cherry blossoms. Seems our tree is a little cherry tree is a liiiiitle slow in blooming this year.

My herbs also have made a big resurgence in the past week or so.

Thyme and tarragon with my celery in the middle:

More tarragon and oregano with some strawberries in the background.

I thought the chives were dead all winter, but they're baaack!

I also have a great big rosemary plant, but that didn't die back at all during the winter.

And now that the garden bed is in the backyard, I've finally been able to plant my cool-season crops. Last night I spied some turnips, radishes, spinach, romaine and arugula coming up! Hopefully the hot weather backs off a bit, so the cool-season crops survive for at least a little while! And tonight I looked at the notes I made to myself when I planted my garden last spring and realized that I already had my tomatoes and peppers in the ground by mid-April ... so I gotta get on that. Maybe this weekend?

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