Sunday, November 23, 2014

Out Front- Bulb Planting

Most of the leaves gone. A beautiful day.

Had to revamp the planter. Several days of frost had the mums I planted looking horrible. Used what I had and it looks much better. I like the Algerian ivy. Hope to find more in the spring to add to other planters. I clipped off the licorice plant but left the root. I wonder if it'll over winter. Believe it's in the same family as dusty miller which is perennial in my region. Next week, it'll be a winter planter for Christmas until spring. I usually like to decorate the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas. I can't believe Christmas trees have been in stores for weeks.

When I came out the door on Saturday soil was flying every where. I looked up, hate I didn't have time to go in and get my camera. Squirrel, huge one digging up and eating my tulip bulbs. He looked at me, I looked at him. You think he moved? Hopped into my tree when he got ready. I'm so upset because they were pretty tulips. I'll add more when the weather allows, not today. Bought blood meal yesterday which is supposed to deter them. I'll let you know how it works.
I wondered why the shrubs are leaning forward every time I see them, squirrels. They're a nightmare.

The ballerina tulips and narcissus added to pots. Topped off with blood meal. Supposedly to deter squirrels. We'll see. I'll really be upset if they eat my tulips.
Narcissus. I hope they survive. I've never had them in the front flower bed.

Tulips, red again. They were pretty last year with the purple perennials.

I removed the mums and filled in with some fresh soil. Also added a few tulips. The pansies look beat already and it's not even spring. I guess its the frost and temperatures in the 20's at night. 
Bubs added then soil and firmed down. I also planted some allium.
I planted bulbs in the empty spots. Didn't take a before picture. The flower bed was filled with leaves and dried foliage from the perennials. I topped many off and trimmed some of the evergreens.

Frost does not kill the ivy.
Heuchera still looking good in spite of frost and the leaves not too burned yet from the cold.

Pansy, ajuga, and the leaves of a poppy.
Bulbs squeezed into small spaces.

Have you planted your bulbs?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Smells of Spring

Very aromatic and tall over 1 foot. I love the smell. The flowers are so pretty. I have one more pack of ziva and 6 bulbs of another type to force. I''ll start some soon for December and the others for January. I've never forced tulips inside but I may try this year. I really don't want to force anything in soil since fungus gnats haven't been a problem this fall. I think forcing the paper whites in water helped. If they are in  the house plants I've noticed very few. Hope it stays that way.

I removed the few geraniums that germinated from the tray and heat. Can you see the one in the middle. That's a defective seed it had no head. I'm not sure how these will do they look strange to me. I also put the ones that have not germinated in dark. They weren't coming up and I read where dark may aid germination. More seeds did germinate. Lets see how they do by this weekend. I think I need to order more seeds. I don't know how these will do. If I do it won't be from Swallow Tail Seeds. These are mavrick different from they type I grew last year and from a different company. 

Some of the dragon wing begonias have germinated. Tiny like last year. I planted 25 seeds but not many have germinated yet. I hope most do so I have a nice flat of plants come spring. I'll show them on the weekend.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seed Starting-Pansies

I had 3 packs of Swiss giants so I only used 1. Seeds are from Burpee, Baker Creek, Botanical Interest, and some generic suppliers. Some are old seeds and some from this year. I love blue pansies but I haven't had any success with Botanical Interest, got the blues seeds. Lets see if I get any. Trying to use seeds that I have so I can use up some of my seeds. I can get excited when I see seeds and over buy when I can't possibly plant them all. Many have sun requirements and of course my yard is dappled shade. I like trying different annuals.
I added water to these pellets yesterday morning but didn't sow seeds until today. I drop seeds directly from their seed pack onto the coir. Not a good idea but lets see what comes up. I surface sowed them and then lightly spritzed with water although the coir is nice and moist. I put the humidity dome on. 
They require darkness to germinate so I usually cover with a black plastic bag. Keep checking for germination and remove the cover when the seeds start to germinate. It's recommended to place them in a cool environment such as a window or unheated room. I won't be placing them in the refrigerator or on my porch which I have done before. If it's too cold they won't germinate I've found. I'll keep them on my dining table and when they start to germinate, move them to the bedroom window. Room temperature made the best success getting seeds to germinate for me in the past. The year I had the greatest success with seedlings was when I grew them on the window seal. No additional light needed, only the winter sun. Wish me luck this year. It's fun to try. I'll be looking to see what seeds you start.
The geranium seedlings are doing good but I'm still waiting for more germination. Had to ask myself why aren't the rest of the seeds germinating? They are covered by a humidity dome that keeps in moisture. I decided to spritz the pellets that had not germinated with water. That may be a problem with the pellets not being wet enough. Lets see if this helps. I'll also need to move the germinated seedlings to another container because they are touching the top of the humidity dome. I'll leave other seedlings there till they germinate. Both containers are still on the heat mat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Frightened Into Action...Bulb Planting

This is a beautiful time of year. The beauty and colors of the leaves are unspeakable. Its almost like they have their own light. Their golden gleam lights up my yard and makes a beautiful view through my bedroom window. The leaves will soon all turn. Their color and light is brilliant. Nature declares the glory of God! When I think of their light I think of this scripture.

 Revelations 21:23, And the city does not need the sun or moon to shine on it, for the Glory of God gives it light, and the lamb is it's lamp.

So, the snow showers and frozen soil in the window boxes made me think, "now or not this fall." Last year I planted bulbs in maybe January. Snow flurries were falling as I planted. Not doing that this year. Soil in the yard was still soft and leaf covered. I still also need to plant that arborvitae. Bulbs are beautiful in the spring but planting hundreds of bulbs doesn't feel fun. I'll remind myself of this next fall when they start to woo me!

Time to plant.

They say to scatter but I have to do better than this. Lay them with the pointed top up. They're still solid and healthy.

Do I look excited to be doing yard work and planting bulbs. Okay I'll have more enthusiasm.

I have a lot of pots to clean out. Need to get a tarp for the planter and a can of water proof spray.

I drilled those holes weeks ago and I'm glad because if I had to do this today it wasn't going to happen.
Potted up.
The squirrels will be excited. Fresh soil and time to dig. I hope they don' t eat everything.

Narcissus, couldn't get them deep enough in the flower bed out back. I'll try the other bed or pots. Some were getting soft so I hope laying them out to dry will help.
Paper whites for later, tulips for maybe pots on the step, and allium for the front flower bed.
I bought these today for out front and for forcing and inside this winter for some color. Fifty percent off now. Go get your bulbs.