Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Angel Fish

Angel Fish
Angel Fish,
originally uploaded by jd1001.
Here is a picture of a french angel fish. Isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Whipping the Wisteria into shape

I have a wisteria I have owned for 15 years and it has never bloomed!  That's right, never bloomed.  I have read that they can take up to 7 years to bloom for the first time, but this is ridiculous! I would dig it up, but the roots are so well established that I can't be bothered!  So I gave it a hard pruning in the fall and I am going to have one more go at it, before the buds break out. The Pruner's Bible says: "Prune back leader by a 1/3 of its length and prune back laterals by about a third of their length to ripe wood."  Under pruning tips it states "Be brave and decisive. Wisteria is rarely harmed."  So, I will venture forth, freshly sharpened by-pass pruners in hand to do the deed!  I will let you know what happens.  This story will not unfold until late spring when we see if it will finally bloom!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wait Until After the Forsythia Blooms

I know you are tempted, but there is still snow in the forecast. If you wait until the forsythia is in bloom to really do things in the garden, you will serve your garden better.  You won't trample the tender shoots or cut the wrong plants, or compact the soil so nothing grows.   Each year that I've uncovered things early, I have regretted it.  I saw my black mondo grass made it through the winter.  I took it out of an urn and planted it in a protected spot for the winter hoping it would survive and because last winter was so mild - it did! Hurrah! I love it's little Rastafarian looking head! I want to do another urn using succulents this year.

I have been playing out there and have made an Easter urn.  Simple, yet effective, I think.

I'm off to the Bahamas and will blog from there.  You should see the plants! They are blessed with so much sunshine and rain that things just grow like crazy. I will send you pictures of the beautiful flowers and wonderful foliage.

Friday, March 19, 2010

April Garden Chores

The warm weather makes us go out in the garden and itch to get our fingers dirty.  But, be careful about treading in the garden too much if your yard is soggy.  You will compact the soil and prevent some plants from growing.
But you do need to get out for regular tours to check on plants which may have heaved out of the soil.  Be on the lookout for the ones who are indecently exposed! Those plants will have roots at the surface and a the network of tendrils out in plain view!  Kindly cover them with soil and gently pack it down.  You should be noting which shrubs need a pruning for a better shape. If they are not spring bloomers, prune them now to maintain the shape you want.  In my garden, with the exception of the snowdrops, the bulbs are just pushing their tentative first shoots above the soil. The early purple crocus have appeared and the happy yellow faces of the winter aconites are most welcome. I have made the mistake in years past of uncovering plants too early and causing them to get frost bite.  Now is a good time to add soil to amend the nutrients in your garden if you know where all your plants are.
If you have to play, plant your urn.  I put a limited selection of items for the urn at the front of my property, mostly decorative elements.

I will have an urn workshop on April 20 at 1 pm.  We will plant perennials that can go into your garden when you change to the summer display! Email me for a spot in the workshop:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Oh, oh.  My sad rhododendron is sitting with its leaves all furled up, waiting for rain and warmer weather.  I feel quite remiss when I look at its poor cold leaves and wish I had built a burlap shelter for it to weather the weather!  But I don't like the look of a burlap swaddled front garden and I want plants that can survive and thrive in my front garden, bringing interest in all 4 seasons.   But when I look at rhodo's furled leaves I have twinges of conscience. In the hope of warming up the plant, I put some peat and the remainder of a bag of potting soil around the roots.  Like a guilty mom, I  carefully filled buckets of snow to dump on the newly laid soil so the moisture would melt slowly and blanket the roots. I can only be ruthless in giving advice in other people's gardens. Please bloom, I silently plead.

The snowdrops are out. They have been merrily multiplying each year and I help them by moving them into areas that could use their white nodding heads and beautiful green rimmed edges. I've been checking to see what has heaved its roots above ground.  It's always the newly planted shrubs and perennials that seem to pop up.  I make a mental note to keep a few bags of soil in reserve for this time of year to tap around those indecently exposed roots.  I scraped enough earth out of the compost to place on some of the mose seriously exposed.

The birds are busy tweeting and moving about in the bushes.  Propably looking for likely nesting sites.  I have the most beautiful cardinal who sits in bare branches of a small maple gladening my heart every morning.