Let's lighten it up a little! I know my blog has been a desperate pit of depression lately and while it has been a tough, long, endless winter--I'm ready for spring. Mother Nature is not being very nice to us around here and even though a lot of the snow has melted, it's still awfully cold and gray and drab. COME ON SPRING!
I'm counting the days until I head home to NC (10 days!!) where apparently it was in the mid-80s today and flowers are bursting and the sun is shining. Like spring is supposed to be.
For now, here is my little patch of crocus. The only reason I was able to take these photos was because I put a yard barrel lid over them to protect them from the April 1st snow which was so heavy and wet and gross that it surely would have crushed them all. It DID actually rip off the main central branch of my favorite Japanese maple tree, it was SO heavy. I'm beyond pissed. So I'm glad I protected the one little glimpse of life in my yard.
But in other good news, the tulips are all sprouting, there are 12 hyacinths sprouting, many daffodils coming up, and daylilies poking up. The cold 38 degree rain today was actually a good thing, if a little chilly, and I saw lots of good progress with the irises today too. This time of year you can really see the changes daily, and even sometimes hour by hour.
My gardening this year was little to none, no surprise there. I deal almost exclusively in perennials, so I don't have much to do, and still have a yard full of nice plants that pretty much take care of themselves. Which is a good thing, because they sure don't get much help from me. I'm outside with the boys all the time, and yet I don't get to mess with my flowerbeds much except to pull some weeds while I'm out there supervising the playing.
I have never been much into annuals, but I do have a few containers in the front of the house on the deck that I usually do some kind of potted annuals in. That's about all the time I have for it, and it's convenient because it's right by the door and the water spigot so I can just step outside and water them real quick. This year after going to the Proven Winners seminar in the early spring, I just knew I wanted to plant some of their petunias and let them go nuts.
I got their SUPERTUNIA VISTA BUBBLEGUM and they have become monsters!! They are absolutely huge, and my only regret is that stupid Barbie doll pink color..... it was the only one that Home Depot had on the day that I got them. But the name isn't misleading, it is definitely bubblegum pink.
Here's me and Drew planting them at the beginning of May. They were in tiny little 4" pots.
And now here they are: That's just ONE 4" plant in each of those containers. After a season of daily watering (sometimes 2 times a day when it was really hot), frequent fertilizing and feeding them lots of chipmunks (I kid..... I kid.....) they have become monsters.
Here in the long planter by the front door there are just THREE 4" petunias planted here. There were also 5 white geraniums and 3 dusty millers, but the supertunias have long since devoured those.
I have some kind of lantana hybrid planted in the corner of this box, (also Proven Winners) and I really like the texture and the color of the little flowers. I love how it spills over the corner of the box.
Next year I'll definitely be planting more of these, but in a different color. I like the Bordeaux (shown above in the lower container).
I had a great time today doing something I rarely get to do..... hit the road and spent ALL DAY sitting on my butt! Learning about plants! My mother-in-law and I went to the Proven Winners Outdoor Living Extravaganza seminar in Norwood, MA. (And yes, we saw the Rt. 1 "Automile" shrine to Ernie Boch. Good LORD. The town that Boch built.)
It was a day filled with minor celebrities of the gardening world pantheon, none of which I had really ever heard of except for Kerry Meyers because I get her email newsletter already. :) The "headliner" of the day was apparently P. Allen Smith who I don't know who he is but I'm thinking he has a TV show of some kind and has written a library of books. He was cool and had a great presentation. Of course the whole day really makes me want to dig up my entire yard and start over, but I did get some good ideas.
"Restraint" is the order of the day.
The seminar was held at the Sheraton hotel and it was really nice. Our lunch was outstanding, a 3 course meal finished with cheesecake. We met some people sitting at our table, and at the end of the meal the woman who had been talking to my mother-in-law goes, "my son is the lead singer and guitarist of Vertical Horizon." I was intrigued by this for a while, and in fact spent the next HOUR trying to think of their hit song and what it might be...... finally it hit me. OH YEAH! I totally know that song. So that was my third or fourth degree of separation with fame today.
Also, I won a door prize! They gave away lots of stuff to the audience by drawing names out of a bag, and no sooner had I whispered to my MIL that "my grandma always won something in these things...." then they called my name. Maybe her good luck transferred over to me! I won a couple of weeding tools that seem pretty cool.
So it was a totally fun day, leaving the house at 7am and returning at 4:30. But the fantasy didn't last long.... back home to find a sick Drew puking all over the place. Ugh. I just hope Parker doesn't get it. I already had it on Wednesday, laid up in bed and sick to my stomach. We'd been thinking the kids had escaped it.
So this was a project I started in 2008 and never finished.... I wanted to do some kind of time-lapse slideshow of the arrival of spring, so I took a series of photos every single day from March 13-May 3rd so that I could track the melting of the snow and the grass greening up, etc. I actually took five different views each day in the exact same spot, two out the front door and three out the back door, but I will only trouble you with one view of the driveway and some of the front yard. And it's funny because I noticed that was when we got the Rav4...... in some shots you can see my old car, and then poof! There's the Rav4 there one day. And also Mulch Day!! My heart went a little pitter-patter when I got to that part. Oh that's a good day.
The first slide is from March 13, and then there is more or less one picture for every day up until May 3rd which is the last slide. Ironically I went to NC the next day and when we came back all the leaves were on the trees, so I kind of missed the big arrival of spring after all that work. LOL.
Spring has really sprung here in New Hampshire. The leaves aren't on the trees yet, but the daffodils and hyacinths are blooming right now! The grass has really turned bright green everywhere and I was so pleased to see so many people out this weekend raking, picking up sticks, sweeping, and doing yard work. The snow really melted fast this year back in March and April has been very kind to us. Things are getting happier and happier every day and it's so refreshing just to look out the window and see some COLOR coming along.
This is my "big" bed of tulips and in this spot 50 are coming up. That sounds like a lot, but it's really not although it will be a nice burst of color when they bloom. I planted these on Oct 10 of last year, and it appears that every single one of them has come up! What's amazing to me is that the four feet of solid ice piled on this spot only just melted about a week and a half ago, so all this has happened in a very short period of time. I had to put one of those tacky little wire fence borders around it to keep my darling boy from trampling them until he learns to stay out of the flowerbeds. :)
Here's what it looked like when they were planted:
Also, now the crocus are blooming! They started blooming on Saturday and have been such a sweet little blast of color at the end of the driveway.
In the past week we've had SO MUCH snow melt and now we actually have large parts of our yard we can walk in! I've been out there every chance I get raking leaves and debris up and today got to pull out tons of leaves and stuff from the flower beds. I have almost 60 tulips sprouting already, and lots of daffodils, and the hyacinths are just starting to pop up now.
I never have the heart to pick the tulips that I grow, so the bouquets at the grocery store are what find their way into a vase in the house. :)
has turned into a St. Patrick's Day cactus. For some reason. It never bloomed back in the winter, but now it's getting back into the groove. One bloom is opening up with many more coming over the next couple of weeks