Friday, April 29, 2011

Garlic Mustard

We fight the garlic mustard every spring.  We have one small wooded area where we've actually been fairly successful.  Garlic mustard is a biennial, so it grows a rosette of leaves the first year, then blooms and spread a bazillion seeds the next.  This time of year is when last years plants start blooming, so I trolled the small wooded area for plants --I found and pulled about ten, which is really good --it means I only missed ten of the hundreds of first-year seedlings last year.  In a few weeks I'll have to look for areas that are carpeted with seedlings --just one plant that you miss, or that blows into your yard, can leave 500 seeds that remain viable for five years. 

In addition to the garlic mustard, however, I also found my favorite daffodils blooming.  I wish I could remember what they're called, so I could plant more :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This year, the old adage appears to be coming true:  April showers bring May flowers. 

It's raining . . . again.  But hey, it's not snow!!  :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yeah!!!  There are peeks of sunshine, and it's in the upper 50's!

I planted the two heucherella and the Misty Lace aruncus.  I added some mulch to a bed.  Then I just wandered around with my camera.  Here are some things I found in the garden today:

Lilac in bud:
 Our cat, Gwen.
 Our daughter, Emma.
 My husband, Rob, taking care of the bees.
 Flowering quince, in bud.
 Bleeding heart with buds.
 Korean Spice viburnum, in bud.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well, it was in the 50's this afternoon, so we had a family walk around the garden.  Not much movement, what with snow, cold rain, and temps in the 30's the last few days.  But my daughter and husband both put up with my monologue of exactly how many millimeters things have grown since I last looked things over. 

These cold temps are certainly keeping the daffodils looking nice, which is quite a contrast to last year when we had such high temps in April that daffodils only lasted about 2 days.  The hyacinth are looking beautiful but it's too cold to sit outside and enjoy the scent.  This is going to be one of the springs where by the time we get out of the 40's, it'll be time for the 80's.


Monday, April 18, 2011

More Snow

We woke up to 2 inches of snow on the ground this morning.  This would have seemed beautiful in November.  Now I have to remember that we can't count on being snow-free until after April 18th!

I would have taken a picture, but I just can't stand to look at the stuff anymore.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Nice April Snow

Everyone loves a nice April snow, right?  Actually we are being treated to snow and sleet at the same time.  I don't think we'll get much accumulation.   :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

I am new to this garden blogging stuff, so I did not realize that today was GBBD.   I have really enjoyed all the photos posted today in the garden blogs I've been following --it is helping to keep my mind off the 40 degree temps, 40 mph winds, and rain that is happening outside. 

Today does NOT feel the least bit like spring --mostly because of those winds.  Living on the prairie is something I may never get used to, after growing up with the protection of the Great Lakes all around me.

A box of daylilies arrived today.  I can't even imagine going outside to plant them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Winners and Losers

I wonder why some plants make it, and others don't.  For instance, last spring I planted Johnny-Jump-Ups; it flowered, faded, went what I thought was dormant, and there is absolutely no sign of it this spring.

Several years ago I planted Echinops (blue thistle flowers, so pretty) and while it's weathered harsher winters with evergreen foliage, this year the root came right out of the ground as I was scrounging around looking for new growth.

A couple of years ago I planted a fairly common purple clematis.  It had a problem with bunnies eating the old stems off in the spring, but it sprouted new stems and bloomed beautifully for two years.  Then last year, right after blooming, the whole plant turned brown and died.

I've planted multiple lupines (including two new ones last spring with no sign of them yet) and the only ones that have ever returned for a second year are the white ones --and I never even bought white ones!

Of course, there are some flowers in my garden that keep on giving --iris, daylilies, yellow foxglove, spiderwort and asian lilies, for instance.  I have more of them than I know what to do with, and splits often end up in the compost.

Still, I'd just like to know why some things don't make it?  Is it me?  Is it them?  Don't they like my garden?  Really --I'm willing to please, I just need them to use their outside voices to let me know what they need!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I just sprayed Liquid Fence all over the place --yesterday was in the low 80's, and everything that was already up grew inches (daffodils grew buds and bloomed!  I swear!), and tons of new green tips are showing as well.  I want the bunnies to eat only the weeds :-)

It's amazing how temps in the 80's make flannel and fleece seem like an abomination!  Thank goodness we're back in the 50's today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Warm Day

While it was cloudy, damp, and chilly this morning, once the sun came out it did warm up into the 60's.  Emma helped me to clean up a daylilly bed that had suffered from our two-year stint with a beagle named Rosie.  She chose to lie in the center of the bed, to soak in the sun.  The daylilies thinned out and last year the dandelions took over. While I love dandelions in the lawn, I don't care for them in the flower beds.

The heather that my mom sent me a few years ago as a birthday present is looking pretty in pink, edged with some glory-of-the-snow.  I wanted to get a picture to show her, and in the process of kneeling down and holding the camera steady, I ended up with embedded mulch in both calves.  But the pictures turned out nicely.
Glory of the Snow, with heather in the background.
A closer shot of the heather.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Now that it's April, I feel I can clean some of the winter mulch up, without too much risk of freeze damage.  I managed to get quite a bit done this morning, and then went around with the camera to witness the progress.

The hyacinth tips are sticking out of the mulch.

The glory-of-the-snow are showing buds.  (The white spots are from Liquid Fence.)

The pussy willow was swaying in the wind --I think I took 50 photos just to get one in focus!