End of April Fleur Show, with Adorable Critter Co-Gardeners
Welcome to Spring, Correntians! It's here, for all we're still getting a tad frosty at night. Normal Warning: lots of pics, long load for dial up folk.
So, they finally got me. I signed up for Flickr Pro, after years of resisting. Fact is, it's easier and faster to check previous years' bloom and harvests that way, than keeping a garden journal. Of course I still keep a paper garden journal (what got planted, harvested, etc, and when), but the ability to compare photos (and quickly, with less time than it would take me to make a photo database with software) really is nice. Anyway, I wanted to do this essay about the end of April, which is always shifty in MI and even more so now that climate change is a significant factor.
The apple blossoms are always so nice, and this tree actually made some fruit last season. It was planted by previous owners and is now drowning in shade, long years having given the surrounding trees plenty of time to grow. I may try to grow another tree off a cutting planted in better light, as it's old enough I suspect it's an heirloom.
The decorative cherry, like all the others in the hood, are full on right now. Very niz.
Grown from seed started two cycles ago, these are naturalizing nicely. Like so many plants I start from seed I forgot the name.
I had a lot of truly fab daffodils this year, but you know how they don't last, so in the places where I can I'm doing annuals like this dahlia. I cut back or fold the daff leaves when the flower is done in most cases, unless I need them for contrast with a summer bloomer.
The Whim of Mother Nature. Last year she blighted this poor guy with mold. Never bloomed. This year, like the first year, it's glorious. I'll be moving the ones in back up front at the very end of the month as these are light hungry babies and Bambi ate it down back there. I can grow tulips close to the house and nowhere else; Bambi lurvs him some tulips.
I wish I could control the consumerist impulse with these, but I never can. When I have a greenhaus I'll grow them from seed, I promise.
Phlox will perform in shade and in tough soil, given time; this one started puny but at 3 is doing well. The Forget Me Nots will grow anywhere, as you can see. I don't mind the profusion.
I did a row of these in the shade bed. Orange to purple, to match the violets. In the sun, they don't last so long as most annuals, so this year we'll see if I can make them last 75% of the season by keeping them in 65% shade.
Homey took her own sweet time, and only opens when it's above 60d. But I'm grooving on the color and I'm glad this one is out front showing off. The egg/pepper/soap/vinegar wash seems to be working and keeping Bambi off of her.
Some annual I bought for the blue color. I lurv anything blue.
An interesting example of something that happens a lot here, due to the shadiness of many of my beds. This plant was much bigger when it went in last year, but this year is coming up as a medium sized plant with smaller blooms. We will see if it grows any larger over the course of the season. It's also in an acid-y bed under a pine, which may affect the size of this plant as it has others.
Wild Violets don't suck. I started cultivating them in the first year and now they're everywhere, filling holes and balancing summer blooming flower beds, naturalizing left and right. Shade is no problem for them. They are food for all the beneficial insects when little else is blooming.
I actually sort of don't like this plant. It's so invasive and was here when I moved here. But once a year it's not so bad, and shade isn't a problem for it, if you have a really deeply shaded area that's hard to fill this one moves fast and is super hardy.
The Crabapple is flowering, sorry this shot doesn't really do it justice.
A neighbor gave me some of these, for which I had almost no use. I don't like them and they have to be trimmed regularly to look decent. But once a year they make a nice contrast of shades of green, and if I were to do dried arrangements this would look nice in one.
Frost! Still a risk. But... Pretty, in the morning.
The Being in Charge of Vole Patrol. He's got a long and silly ACK name, but we call him Ike. I just got him this weekend; the family Shepherd of 15 years passed earlier this month. Economic Apocalypse related news: I got him from a family that lost their home and can't get a mortgage for a cheaper one and had to get rid of all their pets to stay in a ratty apartment they had to move to. Jobless "recovery" my ass. Ike is so well trained and heels well, but he's still learning about that whole "don't poop in the flower beds, silly!" thingee.
TBICOVP rejected this chew toy so now he's going to live in the compost pile. His belt is cute, can you make it out?
This is from the previous stream, but I wanted to ask: anybody wanna take a crack at IDing this one? It's on a smallish tree/bush that I've been cutting back because I don't want it to get too big for where it's at. This is the first year I've seen a bloom on it, and now I don't know what to do. Should I keep cutting it back? I sort of have to, as I doubt I could get the root ball out of the ground without killing it and it has to stay no taller than 10 feet.
Spring/Shade bed at it's best. Totally filled in, almost no weeding and only minor clean up needed now. Drought and heat tolerant, doesn't need much food.
The main veggie bed. It's been tilled (once in fall and again in spring) and reshaped a bit to better please a neighbor with whom I share this border. That patch of green is the parsley and oregano and other herbs that either self seeded or survived the winter. I can't believe the Sage weathered.
The Sand Cherry in bloom. It's not growing very fast, but it's cute.
The Lettuce is moving along fine despite several freezing nights and more to come.
This is an experiment with borders. I had this bag of rock salt that got left outside (don't ask). I had a real problem with quack grass and other weeds along my rock borders last year, as well as a problem with time for weed-whacking. There was also the matter of the cloth I laid down under the rocks; it sucked! Weeds grew on it! I was so mad I wanted to sue. This year, I thought to take the rock salt and lay it along the outer border of my rocks, having relayed the landscaping cloth double thick and reset the rocks on top. Lucky for me, the way the property slopes, I can lay the salt in such a way that when it rains, the water will run away from my cultivars and food plants. I'll let you know how well this method works.
Petunias get me every time. Dammit.
This little guy opened while I was working on the new "orange pot." That is so cool when it happens, it's like Mother Nature is welcoming me and my new plants to the bed where they're going in. "Yes, you should plant here!" It said.
Druscilla is very good in the front and back beds closest to the house. She likes chives and quack grass and will chase butterflies and voles. She also knows how to Work It for the camera, obviously.
Daweed, on the other hand, is a Naughty Boy. Some days he'll hide underneath his favorite Hosta, making Mommy scared and worried that he's run off (he gets a chip next month, darnit, 4th Amendment be damned). He can't resist the Black Squirrel either, and has made it up several trees to the eternal consternation of his Mommy.
The work trains. Do you think those "self watering globes" are tacky? I sort of love them. I went on a four day vacation in late June last year, and the globes saved some of my water-needy annuals and tomatoes. I wish I could blow glass, I'd make a bunch.
Wish this one was mine, but alas. It's so nice when a bush is big and flowering. I really don't have the space for something like this, or rather, I'd have to do major redesign to accommodate one.
Orange! I am a sucker for it.
Feel free to post your stuff if you'd like in the comments. And somebody give me a massage, stat. I'm already tired and April isn't even over. But yeah, I love it.