Thursday, April 30, 2009


The asparagus is coming up in a couple of different spots, some of which the deer have found. These are really thick compared to last year. Last year we were harvesting May 10, so these are really early. Once again though, they really need to be moved when we clear out this overgrown garden.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pulmunaria (lungwort)

I picked both of these plants up last year at the plant sale. They have grown a lot since then. One is a spotted variety perhaps 'Mrs. Moon'. These should continue to fill in this area nicely. Perhaps I should pick up a couple more this year for the Deck Garden.

Deck garden Update

We finished leveling out the deck garden. I dug up all the plants that were here except for the lavender and transplanted them back to the proper level.

A few pavers found in the woods made great stepping stones. We also added a birdbath that was being stored in a barn.
The current plants here are HYDRANGEA anomala PETIOLARIS growing on the trellis on both sides, a couple ferns in the back, varigated hosta, purple palace coral bells and two primroses. In the sunny front part there are daffodils, white candytuff, mums which made it through the winter, and lavender.
Now I just need to make a list of more plants to get add the plant sales to add to this area. I am thinking coral bells, bleeding hearts, hostas. Any other suggestions for the shaded back area?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the deck

The lettuce is coming up in the containers on the deck. I can't wait for a fresh salad.

Over the weekend, we hit a couple of garage sales. I found these two pots for fifty cents and a dollar. Not too bad, they just need a good cleaning. I think the shallow one would be great for succulents.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh NO!

The dandelions are already flowering in the grass. Need to do something about this, but without chemicals.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Daffodils

The first daffodils are in bloom in the hilltop garden. More to follow if the deer do not get them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Baby got stung!

Last night I was walking through the garden and bending down to see if a clematis was coming up, when I got this sharp pain in my right side. Now being 34 weeks pregnant, my first thought was "Oh this is it, I am in labor!"

I put my hand on my belly where the intense "keel over" pain was coming from. Then suddenly the pain transferred from my belly to my hand. Now I was confused and hurting bad.

About this time, Thorny Guy ran to where I was. I must have screamed or yelled at one point. He says that he saw something fly off me. I guess I was stung by a bee or wasp.

My poor round belly, was swollen and red. After anti-itch cream and some icing, it is nearly back to normal. I hope that this incident is not a indicator of my pain level at this time. I think labor is going to be a little more intense than being stung. Ouch!

Tulips before Daffodils

Looks like I am going to have a tulip bloom, before any daffodils this year. This is mainly because the deer got all the daffodil blooms and did not find the patches of tulips. That or the hot pepper and garlic spray really did keep them away. Note next year I should also spray the daffodils. Sigh. This morning it was trying to open.

I finally found my records for the tulips we bought two years ago. These 'Ali Baba' Tulips were in a container last year and planted in the garden in the fall. These are Greigii hybrids which apparently are more robust than many other tulips, and may be left permanently in the ground to multiply.
The whimsically named 'Ali Baba' Tulip is a greigii tulip that features rich, deep coral red blossoms of luminous intensity set on sturdy, thick stems. It is perfect for planting in rock gardens and at the front of borders. This variety is low-growing, with long-lasting bright flowers and very often leaves stained or striped with brown or crimson. It is a pretty presence in the garden well before blooming, as the red-striped leaves are decorative in and of themselves. 'Ali Baba' is much shorter than the regular tulips, its flower stem is only about a foot tall, but the bloom is large and wide, a half-foot wide when fully opened. Varieties bloom in April. This small tulip is effective in small groupings of at least 12-15 bulbs or massed into large drifts. Striped foliage provides continuing interest after bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scilla blooms

I almost missed these Scilla siberica blooms. They are hidden behind a big rock, so one needs to make a special visit to catch a glimpse. There is also a white bloom off to the side. Not sure what it is or how it got there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


With the rain the last couple of days, things are starting to green up. The lilacs have broken buds and starting to leaf out.

The tulips and daffodils have grown another inch. I went to check on a daffodil patch which bloomed first last year and was horrified to see that the deer had ate them. They were just about to bloom! Not only that but they yanked some of the bulbs from the ground. Someone needs to tell them they are not suppose to like daffodils!!!
Most of the crocuses and dwarf irises are fading now. The only flowers in the garden are from these pulmonaria (lungwort). The leaves have not opened up yet, but there are small pink flowers at the ends.

Monday, April 20, 2009


This pair of ducks have taken up residence at the pond. Not sure if they are making a nest there or just eating all the tadpoles. It seems like most of the birds have already paired off. Many now come to the bird feeders with their mates.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Container lettuce

I have been really bad about getting the cold weather crops in the ground, (although still ahead of last year). I put out the two rectangle containers again this year and planted them with lettuce. It is great to have herbs and vegetables on the deck ready to be cut for a quick salad or garnish. Much better than making the trek down to the big garden.

You can see all the seedlings in the window also. We have been lucky with the big southern window we can get away without using artificial light.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thriving tomatoes

The tomatoes and eggplants were transplanted last weekend into newspaper pots. These worked well last year for transplanting, as one just opens the bottom, and plops the whole thing into the garden. I did make an adjustment and used a bigger form to created the pots as I started these seeds earlier this year. So far they survived the move well and are growing another set of leaves.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Deck Garden

We turning this area back into a garden. Before it housed the bunny, which we could watch from the downstairs window. Something attacked the bunnies this winter, a coyote or dog perhaps. It tore the cage to to shreds! Anyway, it is becoming a garden once more.

The first thing to do is to haul out dirt/bunny poo so that the level is below the foundation and the water can drain away. This calls for replanting and dividing plants which are not at the correct level. In the back I have some ferns and plan to add hostas and corral bells as the deck shaded that part. The front faces south and in perfect for some low growing full sun plants. I need to start a list for the upcoming plant sales.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

We had a visitor the the garden today, a Woolly Bear Caterpillar. It is fun to see these fuzzy strange creatures, they are much cuter than their adult Isabella Tiger Moth version.

The banded woolly bear eats grass and different types of plants. It overwinters in stacks of firewood or underneath bark or logs. Like most other caterpillars, it forms a chrysalis to begin pupation and remains there for three or four weeks. Some woolly bears go through metamorphosis in the summer, while others overwinter and pupate in the spring.

The adult that emerges from the cocoon of the banded woolly bear is the Isabella tiger moth which as a wingspan of up to 2 ½ inches. Their wings are typically yellow or brown, with black spots. Female Isabella tiger moths lay their eggs on several different types of plants, including sunflowers and corn. Isabella tiger moths have a unique trait that other insects do not have. They can emit a sound to ward off their predators.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yellow Crocus Patch

More of the yellow crocuses are in bloom. They are neatly spaced into little patches in the grass by the Hill Top Garden. I hope they will eventually fill in the area. As you walk down the path (on the right) to the chicken coop these are a friendly reminder that spring is finally here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dwarf Iris

The dwarf iris have popped up and are in bloom in the Hill Top garden. I need to look up the specific variety, but I know that I still have the package somewhere in my garden stash from last year. I love the contrast of the yellow and purple on this variety.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tulips and Daffodils

The bulbs are starting to emerge. The deer have already been tasting the day lilies and daffodils, but the tulips have gone unnoticed for now. I need to spray them with some hot pepper spray.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am absolutely amazed that these lilacs survived the winter. Last summer I potted these suckers from an old white lilac bush. I could not decide a good spot to plant them, so by the time winter rolled around they were still in their pots. This is where they sat all winter long, with no protection except the snow fall. Not only are they alive, but have buds that are further along than the rest of the lilacs. After this they deserve to be planted, but where oh where to put them.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Scratch Grains

Chickens are alert patiently waiting for scratch grains and whatever other goodies Thorny Guy brought down for them.

Then the mad rush begins to eat all you can eat. At this point it is silent except for beaks pecking on the ground. It kinda sounds like rain drops. Lately they have been getting more aggressive towards each other fighting over what is left.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Crocus Blooms

Here are the first blooms of the season. These are the Fuscotinctus Snow Crocus (Crocus chrysanthus).
Use the unusual crocus to provide cheery spots of colour during the drab end-of-winter months! A true beauty with exotic striping on each outside petal. The exterior of the outer segments are yellow, striped and feathered with plum purple over a lemon-yellow ground. The stripes continue down the flower tube.

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