Sunday, April 24, 2016

Next Stop Outdoors

Time for the last seedlings to be hardened off and planted outside soon.
Swiss chard is growing slowly.






Maybe I'll make time to pot these up next week. They'll be houseplants. It's amazing that they grew. It took months for them to do anything. When I was going to throw out the whole container I saw a seedling emerge. My advice if you start these is just to leave them alone and covered with a humidity dome and keep moist but not saturated. Eventually they'll emerge.

Lemon Balm planted last week and the nasturtiums below.
Trailing container nasturtium.



Pepper plants somewhere in there and the black eyed Susan vines.
No rest for  gardener.My giner decided it wanted to be potted up for the summer. From what I saw online, it's a pretty plant. After tending the seedling why I would want to start anything else surprises me, but I'll probably start more seeds. Thing I've been wanting to try like bird of paradise which takes a long time to germinate and some other seeds like African violets, dwarf sunflowers for fall, and Jack be little pumpkins. Later in the summer it would be fun to give cabbage a try again. This time I'll plant it earlier so maybe I can get a head. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friday In The Yard

It feels tropical today, sultry. Droplets of rain cover leaves even under the frost cloth over the vegetables which were bursting from their small containers. Broccoli rabe beat me, bloomed, and formed thick stalks in one week of not checking on it. I'm still going to eat that piece that bloomed tomorrow as I've never tasted it before. Shade arrived to the yard a few days ago heralded by blooms on the Norway maple followed by pollen, pollen and more pollen covering the yard. It's pretty though a beautiful time in the yard before the heat arrives. Today was a preview of the coming humid summer.

Every day in the yard is different as bulbs and perennials continue to emerge. Tulips that emerge later, hosta, and the lilies. The fern is standing tall with curled fronds. My biggest surprise has been bare root plants purchased at the Philadelphia Flower Show in March of 2015 didn't die as I thought, at least some. I planted shooting stars, trillium's and Virginia bluebells and others that never showed their heads. But today, a trillium. I was shocked. I see other plants that I can't identify yet. Four trillium's were planted, with red and white blooms. So far one came up like it had been there all along. I guess it had. Inserted in the planter which provides a moist environment, it emerged. Now to wait and see if it blooms and what color it'll be.

Double peony flowered tulips. Possibly Angelique but not sure. And I said the squirrels ate them. This might be my new favorite. It's disappointing to think the such loveliness may not return next spring as they're not perennial Darwin tulips. My thoughts had begun to envision not gardening next season. It's a lot of work and I'm usually tired before it begins. Monitoring seedlings and trying to keep them alive, starting bare root plants, cleaning the garden, tending to the flower bed and pots out front, the window boxes, keeping insects in check and powdery mildew in check, and houseplants can be overwhelming. When I look at the spring bulbs and plants coming to life, it's refreshed me and made me think of my fall 2017 Brent and Becky's Fall Catalogue that came months ago. There is hope for 2017. I don't think I could look in my yard and not see something beautiful blooming next spring.



Some better pictures of Thalia narcissus and some of their history. The bees are still in the yard but busy tending their business today. Each stalk has 3 blooms.



Looking down into the yard, I saw my nemesis Mr. squirrel sitting in the pak choy. Banged on the window to get him out of the pot and he ran up into the tree and ate a leaf from the tree. Poor squirrel. He has to eat also but he and his friends ate my stargazer lilies that I just put outside. They're won't be as many pink ones this summer. I should have left them on the front porch for a few more weeks. I'm out of cayenne pepper but I'll have some tomorrow although I found that regular black pepper deters them also and it would be less cruel.
Mr squirrel on the tree limb and his favorite means of transport the cable wire.



Look at the arborvitae. Guess I should remove it from the container. Our snow storm really did it in.
She's beautiful this year. Pruning her for the last 2 years seems to have helped.






Still trying to figure out what this is. I planted several new peony last year and squirrels ate them. I saw the remains on top of the soil. It sort of looks like a peony. Time will tell.
Sprinkled the first covering of Sluggo and hopefully it'll not only protect the hosta but the other flowers that slugs and snails eat up every season.

The peony is beautiful this year. Unfortunately most of the pretty red tulips are planted behind it.
Only 2 blooms on the peony. Don't laugh. All that fertilizer and 2 blooms, but it's very healthy this year and has tons of new babies grown from the bottom for the first time in 20 years. Next year they'll be more blooms. I've never noticed the red around the edges of the leaves. If you look closely you can see ants have already found the sap from the bloom.
The second small bloom.
Would be nice if they stayed free of holes this summer.

My seedlings have grown. Don't know what they'll be.










Trillium
Lupine seedlings are hanging in there.











Shade Arrived




















Remains of eating by my friends.

Thyme starting to grow.