Friday, March 19, 2010
On the Edge of Spring
This has been a wonderful week here on The Edge. The weather was great. We were lucky that we didn't get as much rain as some parts of Massachusetts and our house only got minor water intrusion. And the weather was great. I got to spend a lot of time this week out in the yard and garden, watching everything wake up from the long winter sleep.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra previoushomeownerii)
I found flats of pansies at the local Big Box retailer and bought a few to put in. This is my Annual Corner. I only plant annuals there because this is where the snow from out driveway gets piled and there's always a chance the plow will disturb the soil. I had to be careful because I also have a buttload of Darwin type tulips. My soil is amazingly loose so I was able to use the Right Hand Tool to carefully create holes around the tulips. It helps to use the Right Hand Tool because I can feel the tulip bulbs when I dig my fingers in. Yes, my soil really is that loose. Aren't you jealous?
I'm sorry the pictures are bad. I went out in the afternoon so that I could photograph some of the other residents and visitors here at The Edge. But despite having seen a bee land on the pansies within 10 minutes of planting them and the cluster of crocus below covered with bees yesterday afternoon I couldn't find a single insect this afternoon.
This week I have seen my First of the Year (FOY) bees, wasp, grasshopper, earthworm and Mourning Cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa). Just not while I've been outside with the camera. You'll have to settle for a picture of this cute little Iris reticulata that popped up among the crocus. I only have a couple and I didn't see any last spring but I like them so much that they're going on my Brent and Becky's Wish List (did you know that they are already accepting orders for fall shipments of bulbs? If you see something you like or a gap in your landscape you don't have to remember till it's time to order you can order now. THAT is clever marketing!).
I'm pretty good about labeling plants and it's this time of year that really makes me glad. That way I know that these are chives and not some sort of grass showing up in my flower bed. Oh, yeah, there's some sort of grass near my chives. I'll have to figure out how to remove that without hurting the chives.
I've had lots of birds singing in the 'hood and even seen some carrying nesting materials. The early breeders are already at it. So watch for bird nests when you're out doing your early gardening. I checked my old Christmas Tree carefully before tossing it in the back of the lot. I want to pull all the needles off for the compost pile and cut it up for the brush pile but today I just wanted to make sure the sparrows didn't build a nest in it where it was leaning. I'd left it up to provide winter protection for birds coming to the feeder and heated water bath but in a month I'm planning on planting something there. You'll have to wait and see what. Meanwhile the clover is starting to come up. Why is that relevant to this paragraph on old Christmas trees and nesting birds? Because there are some tree needles in this photo and I didn't take a photo of birds with nesting material or the old tree.
I like to push Zones here on The Edge. With a garden name like The Edge you have to try to be on the cutting edge of gardening. It's in the rule book. Last year I planted some Mexican Feather Grass (Stipa tenuissima). It's good to zone 7 and I'm in zone 6. I planted it by the garage in an area that gets afternoon sun and waited to see if it survived. It looked so good all summer, fall and winter that I decided I would replant it if it didn't come back. If you push the Zone you better be willing to take the Loss. Well look here. Looks like it might be coming back (see the green?). Woo-hoo!
OK. So I'm so excited about spring that this is just a disjointed rambling about what I noticed going on outside this week. I promise I'll get over this rush of spring excitement and get more on track, with a cohesive topic and something important to say. Really I will. No, really. In the meantime I did want to warn ya'll that I will not be posting for a week. I have some other things going on that will be taking up my time. It's only a week. You can handle it. I know you can. I'll leave you with this one last image to get your through this coming week. It's almost time for the Forsythia I got on sale last spring to bloom. I bought them at a Big Box after they were done blooming and I wasn't sure they'd survive but here they are! Ok. They will be. Soon. Just like the rest of Spring. I can hardly wait!