Saturday, March 28, 2009

A flower!

Yay! My first flower of the season. Friday was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and the crocuses came out! Today was equally as nice, I dug up a quadrant of the garden and planted the peas. I really need to come up with a better plan for the pea fence, the one I have is chicken wire on two poles. It keeps trying to roll back up. It looks jacked up.

The seeds are coming along nicely. I potted up most of the tomatoes this week. I planted flax seeds (the ones that I grind up and put in my yogurt) they sprouted really quickly and seem to be chugging along. I'll start cucumbers and lettuce tomorrow.

I got some more roses with my birthday money. I got them from Countryside Roses: Ghislaine de Feligonde, Russelliana, Cornelia, Fantin Latour and climbing Clotilde Soupert. It really is a sickness, I have no idea where I'll put them! I have 9 others in the sunroom (from cuttings) I don't know where those are going either. I'm plotting out another bed on the Southeast side of the house by the gate. I think I'll put Ghislaine on the wall outside the sunroom.

I'm looking for a trenching iron, I have decided to go for Victorian trenches around the beds. I know it's a lot of work but I'm cheap and refuse to buy (1) plastic anything or (2) something else that grass will end up growing through the cracks. At my old house I used bricks and that pesky grass always got through. I have discovered it's hard to find a trenching iron around here. One with a Y or T handle would be nice, I have only been able to find one with a regular straight handle.

I went around the yard today and took tons of pictures of everything that is poking through the soil and budding out-it's very exciting! The delphinium that I thought Bodie clobbered last year is coming back up. So has a random poppy that I planted-it's blood red-it doesn't match anything else in the garden (I usually don't do reds) but I love deep red poppies and I had a heck of a time trying to find the right shade (I got it at Baker's Acres outside of Ithaca last July when I was down there for the rose class). Usually the reds have a orangey or magenta undertone. This one is supposed to have an almost bluish undertone. Fingers are crossed. My Thor rose is also a deep, deep red, I don't know where that one is going to go...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Garden Show!

I went to the garden show today. It was so nice to see color! It amazes me that they can create what they do. I took a lot of pictures, mostly of the labels for the plants I liked so I could look them up later. It's nice that we can take pictures for ideas and inspiration but some people need to realize that this is a public event not a private photo shoot! There was a guy taking picutes of orchids -the line of people waiting to see the orchids piled up behind him and he was spending 5-10 minutes trying go get a perfect picture of each and every orchid. We finally bailed out of the line and moved on to the next exhibit. It was too bad because we were really looking forward to the orchids. The sun came out today so I took advantage of the above freezing temperatures and started clearing out the flower beds. I counted the Irises that are poking up and it looks like they all made it through the winter! My sedum is also starting to emerge as well as the lady's mantle. I had a pleasant surprise a few weeks ago-my husband got me a gorgeous arrangement of flowers for Valentines day (that wasn't really a surprise)-when the flowers were spent I pulled them out of the vase and the curly willow had started to root and grow leaves! I'm keeping them in a vase of water and am scoping a place out in the yard to put them.
Oh! I forgot to mention I saw snow drops last Saturday when I was walking the dog. It was a sight for sore eyes!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring is springing!

Thursday I was walking to the parking garage after work and saw some bulbs starting to emerge from the soil. They were up about an inch- I'm not sure what is emerging, maybe daffodils. I'm moving to a new office next weekend so I probably won't be able to keep track of that little garden going forward. New building is across the street from a church that has a beautiful garden-I need to get a seat by a window! Friday morning I noticed that my Irises on the north side of the garage are poking up 1-2"! After work I went outside to check the Irises that I planted May 10 last year -they are coming up too-YAY!!!! I got a great deal on those (14 rhizomes and 4 Alliums for $8) and was worried that they were planted at the wrong time-I guess nature always tries to find a way.
On a sad note: my 94 year old grandmother passed away this winter. She was a wonderful gardener-lilacs, peonies, irises and incredible dahlias. Her favorite she told me once was the irses; so it cheered me up a bit more than usual to see them coming up. I ordered some dahlia's last week and will try those again(I only got 1 wacky looking flower last year and I'm worried I didn't store them properly this winter-I can't remember where I put them!). I found out my cousin (who bought my grandmother's house) has the dahlia gene so I will try to get some tips from her. My grandmother wasn't very good at giving gardening tips. She always said she just planted things and kept them watered. She didn't think growing things was hard or required any special knowledge-I think she just did it for so long it was second nature to her.
Today I have attached a picture of my ghetto BigLots plant stand and Home Depot shoplights that I have set up in the spare bedroom. Everything seems to be chugging along just fine. I got CRAZY good germination rates out of my tomatoes. Horitculture magazine had an article about starting tomatoes early and altering the microclimate of the garden in the spring to get them in the ground & bearing fruit sooner. I'm trying that. This is what I have going so far 3 of each: Tomatoes (Stupice, Super Sioux, Black Krim, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, Boxcar Willie, 2 diff. Brandywine 2 of each(from Cooks Garden and Seeds of Change), Green Zebra, Garden Peach. I also have 6 "mystery tomatoes" from seed I saved from heirloom tomatoes I got at the farmers market. I was just goofing around to see if I could save seed & have it be viable and it worked! They had the best germination rate and have sturdier stems than the "official seed". Unfortunatley my computer crashed this winter and I lost the "control" pictures that I took of the the tomatoes that the seeds originated from. I'm not very scientific. I also have Cherry/Salad tomatoes: Peacevine, Jellybean, Silvery Fir, and Jaune Flamee. Obviously I am going to have way too many tomatoes-I sow too many and then give away the plants to friends and co-workers. Peppers: Anaheim Chili and Mulato Isleno (I should plant some Sweet Peppers too). Eggplant:Rosa Bianca & Violetta di Firenze. I started dill (but it's all floppy), foxgloves from seed I saved from last year-germinated really well too! Coleus and Cilantro are in the guest room. I have butterfly weed and delphinium in the refrigerator, echinacea in the sunroom. I have a spread sheet going (my nod to scientificness) to track what/when/how much I'm planting, etc. DH is very patient!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Progress report

An update on the rose cuttings I took on July 12. Like I stated before: the class given by derRosenmeister was excellent. It was the hottest day of the year and I had a long hot car ride in front of me after class. Some of the cuttings didn't make it but the ones I did after the class using what I had learned are doing really well. 3 survived from the class: 2 "The Fairy" and one "Thor". The rest are unnamed lost souls from my moms "garden" (I use that term loosely as she doesn't garden much- she plants and then lets them fend for themselves) her roses are total mysteries. This picture doesn't do them justice -they are all thriving and growing and throwing out new leaves daily. I brought them in before the first frost and have been keeping them in the sunroom aka meatlocker. Our sunroom is supposed to be a 4 season room but it gets hella cold in the winter. We shut off the heat and put a heavy curtain in the doorway and it's around 55'F in there. The roses seem to like it. They get lots of sun and don't get too warm. I started to have a spider mite problem but derRosenmeister warned us about that so I gave them a nice hosing down in the kitchen sink a few weeks back. Alles gut!