Sunday, January 31, 2010

Signs of Spring

Evergreen pansies are the first to flower in my 2010 garden. What welcome faces! They are surrounded by lots of babies so it will be fun to watch them spread. I have a bunch of weeding to do around them as well. I need to figure out the best way to mulch while still allowing my self-sowers to grow. I've been thinking about putting in more ground covers, especially creeping thyme, to help control weeds and make the area prettier.

This little crocus is smaller than appears on-screen. I didn't even see it from the kitchen window but discovered it when I went outside to take pictures of daffodil shoots. I'm very happy to see something emerging after digging it in this fall. Directly behind the crocus you can see one of my perennial carnations, looking very woody but with a tiny bit of new green growth starting near the base. I need to research how to trim it up for spring.

On the left you can see what is most likely a pair of daffodils emerging from the soil. You can see them just barely pushing up. On the right may be a crocus or a thinner-leaved daffodil. I'll know within weeks. There are lots of tiny alyssum seedlings scattered all around the flower bed. It's nice to have been gardening for at least a few years now so I'm getting to know my flowers from the weeds.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First in 2010

Well, it looks like the Irises are up a little early this year. They are in the back near the south wall of the house. Maybe their location makes the conditions a bit warmer and now they think spring is upon us already. Or maybe I got them in the ground too late and they are just plain confused. Just hoping they make it. I think if there is a freezing snap, I will get out there and cover them with some bark mulch. Is that a good idea? If they freeze this year, will they have a chance next, or will they need replaced? Right now we are in the upper 40's, so no worries for the moment.

I've been devouring the Territorial catalog. I lost the first one they sent me, and then last week another just showed up in the mail. I asked husband if he ordered me a new one and he said no. So it's a catalog miracle and I'm very happy to read and re-read it. I've to it with a highlighter a few times, marking which tomatoes and other plants I'd like to try. (Then I left said highlighter out in the living room and toddler promptly found it.....) Then those irises decided to pop up and now I really can't wait to get started. I'm planning a field trip to the Territorial nursery this spring. It might be a good idea to organize a seed share with my fellow gardeners.

The new flower I plan to grow this year are Hollyhocks. They can grow up to 6 feet tall. How fun! Almost time to convert the basement back into a working greenhouse.