ravensgarden: (snakeflowerR)
[personal profile] ravensgarden

I noticed as the daffodils were coming up and beginning to bloom that a lot of them had heaved out of the ground this winter, and some of the iris as well in the driveway flowerbed.

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I grabbed a bag of the topsoil I purchased for the raised beds and sprinkled it around on the worst of the heave spots but I don’t think it is enough.

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The daffodils are all opening “leaned over”

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And I am not sure if that is because of the shallow soil or not. I will have to work on getting more GOOD dirt in that flowerbed as the year progresses.

The little balls of grass like things that I posted about in the last entry are indeed grass. One of them bloomed after two 80+ days.

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*grin* I love free plants. Ok, not all free plants. I could do without the Japanese honeysuckle, the bramble patches and the cedar trees all over my property.

When I went out to take pictures, I noticed baby plants in the dog yard. That would be the wildflower lawn mix germinating.

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On St. Pats day we had a more intense cold snap than predicted. I had to protect all the newly potted plants, and the “baby” plants that I had liberated from the temp “greenhouse” attached to the house. I moved the petunias, habanera daisies, and baby daffodils on the porch. I put the ice daisies under the bench, with cinderblocks and bags of soil to help block the wind. Everything else should be fine.

I have been mulling over the placement of the bird feeders. The ones that leave hulls on the ground are messing with my gardens! In that vein, I moved the black oil sunflower seed feeder away from the shale garden, and toward the eventual pathway down to the storm shelter. I put the bluebird nugget feeder in its place. There is no mess from that one. I may have to move all the hull leaving feeders away from the house. I will see how this one move goes.

I seeded 36 tomato and pepper seeds, three temp pots of different basil and three temp pots of celery last week. I put them in the bathroom where the portable radiator is. I was surprised at how cold the dirt felt when I was messing with them, so devised a way to get bottom heat to them. I have a lot of left over tiles from projects in GA and I use 4 of them on my counter around my stove to sit hot pots on. I grabbed one of those and balanced it on the radiator. It is the perfect size for those seed pots.

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I came close to cooking everything before I came up with the right temperature and power to keep the bottom of the tray warm. 4 days after that, I was rewarded with my first tomato seedling. A Hillbilly Flame. The basil has also sprouted in their pots, so I moved those to a window.

I planted a dozen of the Wye mountain daffodils in the ground. Nine of them on the storm shelter hill

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and three in the driveway flowerbed. While I was planting in the driveway flowerbed I was surprised to see this opening up.

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It is a replete daffodil and I had forgotten I purchased those last fall. I only remembered the king Alfred types. It is a BEAUTIFUL daff!

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The tiny butter and egg daffodils and the ipheion that I brought from GA are starting to open in the stacked stone flowerbed in front of the cabin. They are so sweet!

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This third week in March it is still too cold for the plants. The daisies, tarragon, and petunias are still on the porch.

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The purple hyacinths have opened beside the storm shelter ramp.

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The white ones are still tightly budded,

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but it looks like a pink one will open next.

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I picked up more topsoil to put on the storm shelter sides, but am rethinking that plan. I did not think any of the wildflower seeds would come up on that hill, because the birds cruised all over the shelter sides eating the seeds I scattered, but it looks like some did make it. I don’t want to sprinkle dirt on top of them. I may just scatter some of the dichondra seeds on that exposed subsoil and see if they take. That would mean that the rocks would still be visible on the shelter sides, and I kind of like that idea.

Instead I believe I will cover this area with top soil, in between the storm shelter and the patio, and seed some of the walk on me thyme and mother of thyme seeds there to see what they do.

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I will have to move some of the crap on the patio around to block the dogs from going off that end, and redirecting them to step off the patio at the driveway.

All of my ordered seeds have come in, but I have not seeded the next thirty six tomato and pepper plants. The plan was to use two tiles and switch them out on the bathroom radiator to give all the seeds bottom heat, but I am waiting until all the first thirty six seeds have sprouted. There are only a few that are not up. Now I need to find them direct sun. Again, my plan was to put them outside, the normal temperatures for this time of year are mid sixties/forties, but it is not anywhere near that warm yet. It is a cold spring.

We were forecast to get a rain event on Thursday into Friday, but they did not estimate the temps correctly and we ended up with three inches of very heavy wet spring snow. I was not that surprised. I have learned in this first year that they birds will tell me what the weather is going to be. They “stock up” on food from the feeders just before a front comes through that will limit their food supply. They were voracious on Thursday in the sunshine.

So, when I walked out in the middle of the night to this:

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And woke up to this I was not surprised in the least.

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We have another precip event forecast for today (Saturday 23) into tomorrow. The temps are supposed to slowly go up until we are close to normal by the 30th. We will see.

While I was out today I noticed the mosses are starting to bloom. (if bloom is what you call this:

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AND I found the final hyacinth coming up on the storm shelter. It was much higher up on the north side, than the last one on the south side.

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As always, the wildflowers fascinate me. They don’t seem to be bothered by the cold wet spring. It is difficult to take images of them at times, because most are so very small.

Tiny Bluet, Houstonia pusilla

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And one that I have not been able to ID yet:


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After the snow of yesterday the blooming replete daffodils were face down in the mud, so I cut them this morning and brought them inside to enjoy

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It seems that the petunias that have not been planted are going to survive the snow event. It only took one day to melt that snow, and they perked right back up.

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This final week of March has been a slow one for gardening. I came down with the flu five days after my father’s funeral on the 20th and I am still recovering. I did purchase 10 more pavers for the storm shelter pathway, that will form one of the edges of the developing storm shelter garden, but they are still in my trunk. I haven’t had the energy to unload them yet.

The temps are going to be in the lower sixties today, with sunshine so I moved the flowers off the porch. It will stay in the sixties range until the end of next week so I will leave them out. We have a three day rain potential staring tomorrow, that will not drop the temps, then a one day rain potential on Wed of next week that will drop temps back into freezing at night. The last late freeze is usually just before Easter so it really is pushing it.

I also moved the tomato seedlings that came up and the tray with the tarragon, and seeded celery outside to get some of that much needed sunshine, but will bring them in at night.

While I was in the throes of fever I looked out the window and was startled to see my neighbor C’s bright orange tractor/bulldozer thing working on the burn pile.

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I gingerly walked out to greet him from a distance and explain that I had the flu and if he did not mind I was going to stay inside today. He asked me if I wanted him to not do this today and told him no, It was fine. He said he did not have a large block of time, but had planned on pulling the pile apart so we could burn on a day that was wetter. I agreed that was a good plan and went back inside. I spoke with his a few times while he separated the logs from the dirt and made a new ginormous burn pile. When he first said he was going to pull the pile apart I thought he meant into three smaller piles like we have been doing all along and my thought to myself was “good, if he will set them up I can burn them on my own” but he made one great big pile that is too much for me to handle on my own.

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I cannot move the half trees around to get them burned on my own. He pushes the burning pile with the bucket on his tractor to get all the large logs burned. I saw him leave after two hours and he did not head back to his own house, but down the road in the opposite direction. He was headed to someone else’s property to help. He is a really good guy.

My fever broke last night, so this morning I got out to try to do some gardening and true to form I overdid it, and the fever has returned. I should know better, but I am who I am.

I noticed a few weeks ago that the buds are starting to form on the Ozark azaleas that I dug up a bit north of here many years ago and had planted in GA. Before I moved, I dug them up and stuck all three on one pot (they are small plants, native azaleas to this region of Arkansas) and knew I needed to get them planted before the buds swell too much. I moved that pot to their planed placement spot under the dogwood tree by my rock patio a while back.

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For six months I had a feeder that I filled with gray strip sunflower seeds close to that spot and the hulls had built up to a thick layer. Sunflowers are one of those plants that contains a substance that retards the growth of non-sunflower plants (much like a black walnut tree) So I needed to get rid of that layer of hulls. A few days ago I swept some black oil sunflower hulls from around the shale garden with a regular straw broom and it worked well, so I did the same thing this morning.

Swept the layers of hulls down the hill, then over a bit and farther down.

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They are still not far enough down the hill to wash, so I still have some more work to do to move them farther down, but I was getting shaky on my legs by that time and realized I had not eaten anything and it was close to noon at that time. I could have swept them and picked them up to dump, but the thing that I notice while sweeping them from around the shale garden is that the broom also swept the loose rocks and gravel along with the hulls, and those loose stones trip me up while I am walking outside, and to move them out of the common areas is better for me. So I just kept sweeping.

As I was sweeping them out from under the trees I uncovered the natural depression under the dogwood where I knew I wanted to place one of the three azaleas. I also uncovered another depression in between the dogwood and the hickory where another can go.

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I have not found a place for the third yet.

I walked around the storm shelter to check the emerging plants and noticed that even though I found the last hyacinth bulb last week, it still has no grown much. I think it is too far out of the soil. I need to screed some of my top soil and cover that bulb up. I also need to fill in the low spot to the side of it that has formed from wash on the storm shelter hill. I was wrong about what hyacinth would open second. The purples on the south side are still blooming but the white one opened next.

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The pink is still tightly closed. It looks like there may be a yellow one on that side as well, but it is too early to tell. None of the hyacinths on the north side have budded yet.

I also need to screed dirt to add to the first raised veggie bed so I can plant peas. I had planned on that today, but as I sit here, my energy is going down, and my illness discomfort is increasing. This day may be a wash.

Around 5pm I got tired of looking at the yellowing foliage and dead flowers of the remaining Wye mountain daffodils on the counter. I wanted to put them in a pot so I could plant them around the weeping willow. I thought putting dirt in a pot and planting them was something I could handle even with my rising temperature so I went out to try it. SUCCESS! 10 minutes later the daffodils (they gave me 13 not 12) were in a pot.

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I did not water them as the rain is on its way and nature will do that for me. I feel a little bit better about the wasted day.

Good Friday

And it was. Sometimes no matter how bad you feel you just have to get out of the house, and I did. I am still running a low grade fever between 99 and 100.4 no matter what I do, and I still have flu aches and massive drainage, but I got out and worked myself into exhaustion anyway. I hurt all over, but at least it is exercise fatigue instead of internal flu cootie hurt.

It was one of those 3am and I am up, no matter what days. I had my coffee ready before daylight. Day hits and so does a dog stressing thunderstorm, so I really could not see outside until about 9am. I took the dogs out and noticed a drainage problem at the storm shelter. I took them in and went back out to fill in the hole that was holding water, and dig a trench to follow the other trenches that form the drainage for the storm shelter that has to cross the storm shelter pathway.

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I may have to do one more cross runnel, although I really don’t want to if I can help it. I can’t help but think that water running through pavers over time is going to destabilize the pathway. The dirt I removed I tossed on the “last” hyacinth that was not far enough in the ground.

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Later I was washing dishes at the kitchen sink when I had to chase squirrels away from the EMPTY feeders up by the rock patio to be. It was my favorite kind of day. Cool, misty to sprinkling, no wind… and I looked at the rock table top to be and wondered if I could still pick it up. I lifted one corner, but that was about it. One of the future legs of that table was in the “slag pile” under the white oak around that patio.

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I knew I had to do something about that slag heap, it could very well kill that tree, having all of that crap dumped on top of its root base, and again wondered if I could move the first tier (not the base) of one leg of the rock table.

I had determined a while ago I needed to move the rocks that would be the base to a different angle. One base rock was on the wrong side of the other. I moved the rock, and then end over end rolled the first tier of the leg in place and stabilized it.

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I was so pleased, but it started raining heavier at that point and I was soaked with rain so I came in. BTW, in my fevered state, 50 in a light rain was delightful!

I should probably pause here and inform all of you that have not already picked up on it that

I
LOVE
ROCKS

Not special rocks, not expensive rocks, not rare rocks, not shiny polished rocks… ROCKS. ALL ROCKS. I come by it honestly, my maternal grandparents were rock hounds from way back and always brought rocks from public places back from their travels. Every trip we took with them there was time spent parked on the side of the road looking through the gravel to find interesting rocks. Although my ex and I never did that with our daughter, she also picked up the rock hound gene. Every move we made in the military as I was unpacking her stuff I would find rocks “hidden” in boxes, bags, suitcases and in clothing.

My rock patio is one of the first things I started, but had to stop when my mother got involved. Most of the rock patio you have been seeing in pictures (mainly of birds) for the last year was done in one day.

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Mother saw me placing rocks and wanted to “help”. As we worked she got increasingly daring. My mother has an out of control adventurous streak coupled with bad judgment and it does not make a good combo. I had already picked out the rock I wanted for a table top and was jacking it up and placing higher layers of rock underneath when she … pulled a mother. I was holding the rock up by my strength alone, and my mother insisted she put her head all the way under the rock to place the next support. She would not remove her head. I kept thinking, one moment of weakness and I crush my mother’s head! THAT is the moment I resolved to not work on the patio until after she was gone, and it has been on hold for a year.

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I was proud that I got the rock for one leg in place.

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The reason I chose this rock is because of the pattern on one side.

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I wanted to be able to see the pattern from the windows, but nature (how the base rocks had to be placed to be level) did not cooperate. I did however put the interesting side to the outside. It is this little weird track pattern that looks like a star that crawls along a road to something that I really like!

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I decided to take it easy and take care of myself after. I ate, I did laundry, I organized boxes, deep breathing, drank lots of water and chicken broth etc.

The thunderstorm as the sun came up was rather intense but the rain showers later in the morning were gentle, but enough to fill the drainage runnels. The new path worked to get the water to an existing pathway “pass through”.

After lunch, it has dried out some and looked out of my windows to something that pissed me off. Most people with kids here have four wheelers, and as long as a parent is along, they are well behaved. BUT when the kids are unsupervised they are a nightmare. They wait until it rains or snows to do wheelies in the road, and it really messes the roads up. They will go into newly plowed fields and do the same. They are VERY DESTRUCTIVE. So I look out and two of the worst are sitting revving in the road outside my property (I consider this harassment, they do it for half an hour at a time and it sets my dogs off) and one tries to jump the bank to get onto my/the neighbors hunt club leased land. He sees me in the window and takes off up the road. His buddy/brother does not have a clue until I open the front door and he also takes off.

I was PISSED. Destructive little bastards! It is good Friday, they don’t have to be in school but their parents have to be at work. I needed to work off my anger and pick up my straw broom to “sweep” the yard of debris and rocks. I started at the back door and swept the area between it and the little BBQ area and in front and around it. It is hard to sweep when the rocks and sticks clump up into a big pile, so I had to take it in stages to get it moved down the hill. It is going to take many sessions of sweeping to get all this mess moved, and it is easier when it is dry, but I NEEDED TO SWEEP.

When I got that finished I decided to sweep the area from the back door to the rock patio. While there I noticed that the depressions I raked clear of sunflower seed hulls yesterday had a layer of them today. I poked around and found drifts of them under the pile of rocks for the patio. I swept the patio area out to the penis bench and then started sweeping out those azalea depressions and moving rocks to get at the drifts of seed hulls that were washing into the low points from the rain.

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As I was moving the stacked rocks I was pleased to find two “triangle” rocks.

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As I lay the patio I find often that I am left with a space that needs a point on it, and triangle rocks are hard to come by. I knew by the size that these two were perfect for two problem areas that have existed in the patio for a year. I rolled one in place, swept seeds,

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and then got busy leveling the rock.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent lifting, stacking, leveling and walking on new stones in the patio alternating with sweeping rocks and seeds out from the patio area down the hill.

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It is going to take several weeks to get the “yard” cleared of debris using a broom, but it will be worth it I think. As I was moving rocks, I found the place for the last native Ozark azalea; beside the penis bench. I still need to find a place for the rosemary bush, but I don’t think that will be a problem as I move forward.

The last stone I set in place is still a little shaky. The edge stones I tend to temp level because you never know if you are going to have to move one around as you progress around the edge. Somewhere in that edge of the rock patio area I need to stand my catfaced totem pole that has been laying on the ground for a year, but I need to figure out where the second pathway to the storm shelter is going to land. There will be two paver paths to the storm shelter, one out the front door, down the sidewalk and around the back of the shelter, and the shorter way is out the back door, across the rock patio and down the secondary path to the storm shelter mouth. Once that is established I can place the totem pole upright.

I was so tired and muscle weak by the time the sun started setting, but it was a great day to be outside. Mild, humid, overcast, and most importantly playing with rocks.

Tomorrow I think I need to plant those three azaleas.

On Saturday I needed to get to a grocery store, no matter how bad I felt, because I was completely out of all types of chicken soup and broth. The trunk was still full of pavers, so early I got out to easily move them out. I took it slow, and got them moved to the existing pile waiting to be placed. It was still rainy off and on.

As I drove out of my driveway as always I admire the driveway flowerbed and enjoyed the daffodils close up.

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They are impressive from the house, en masse, but so beautiful close up!

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It rained off and on most of the day. Finally late in the afternoon as it was approaching dark I was able to get out and dig the holes for the azaleas. First I removed the rotting leaves and tomato stems from a bucket of water I had left to make “compost tea” all winter long. It was starting to stink so I wanted to use that water to water in the azaleas.

It was easy digging in the soaked soil, and the first two places I chose had no rocks, they were either natural soil, or close to it.

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Not scraped down subsoil. The third hole by the penis bench was not so nice, but had a largish rock that was not too hard to remove, so once that was out, the hole pretty much was there.

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I grabbed the root stimulating concentrate from the front porch where it landed when we bought the trees for daddy’s memorial weeping garden and commenced to TRY to open the damn thing. I understand child proofing, but if an adult can’t open it, it may as well not exist. I can do the squeeze and turn things, the line up the dots and pop open is even more convenient, and this one with its push down and turn normally would be ok, but I was pushing so hard that the bottom of the bottle was crushing and it still would not move down past those clickity button guard things to turn! I was PISSED.

I stomped inside to get a hammer and a screw driver to poke a hole in the damn thing to get the stuff out. It occurred to me that maybe even though it says push down and turn, it may have some of that squeeze and turn tension built in to the child guard system. I was pushing down, but was not able to squeeze and turn at the same time. I have trouble opening jars so I have a leverage torqueing jar opener and I got that too, to try first before bulldozing my way into a plastic bottle. I pushed with one hand, leaning my weight on it and used the jar opener with the other. Next problem was that the ^%$# handle came up above the level of the bottom of the lid so I could only do a ¾ turn on each pass, and when you let up on the downward pressure to move the jar opener, you had to start all over again. What ever happened to thoughtful USEFUL design?? I finally hit the key and kept the downward pressure constant and released and slid the jar opener around and clamped and turned a little bit at a time and in no time the ^$&*^ lid was off.

Then I had to pierce and tear that plastic coated foil inner seal that NEVER comes off with those teeny pull tabs… and measured the root stimulator into the compost tea. I carried the bucket over to the first hole, and upended my pot of azaleas.

OOPS! I had noticed and mentioned last year that I dug up and planted three azaleas in that pot, but only two had leaves in the fall when I picked it up from my aunt’s house where it had been staying while the home site was created. What I thought was the third plant was an underground branch of one of the others, and a dead stick came out of the soil as well. I only had two azaleas. I decided to move the third hole (by the penis bench) farther out so it was in full sun, and plant the rosemary in that area.

Before I unearthed the azaleas from their pot I pulled the weeds out of the pot, but left the clover. I always leave clover planted as it is so good for the soil. I even have some blooming in my stacked rock flowerbed out front that traveled with the irises.

I planted the two azaleas in the depressions, but took care to fill the depressions up while keeping the azaleas at the new ground level.

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I used extra topsoil for the one beside the dogwood, but only had to use the original dirt to fill in the depression in between the dogwood and the hickory.

I pulled/dug the little rosemary out of its degrading pot of elaeagnus and violets, taking three violets with it

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I planted the rosemary in its spot and poked one of the three violets in each planting areas and watered everyone in with compost tea/root stimulator. Those violets originally came from the pecan orchard of the Victorian house my mother owned two decades ago in Alabama.

I am starting to see more and more of the daffodils I planted on the storm shelter banks (although they are coming up much farther “down” the sides than I remember planting. Settling may be the reason, or faulty memory. *grin* I walked around and counted. Of the 50 variety pack bulbs I planted there are 29 up through the soil enough to see. Some are just barely pushed up so I hope they all make it eventually. The nine Wye mountain daffodils are still mostly wilted, but one has perked up. Three of the original 50 have a very unusual bud. They look to open next week. I can’t wait to see what they are.

Easter Sunday started out with an unpredicted thunderstorm, and waves of light rain showers. It was supposed to be sunny all day and top out at 70 degrees. The sun did not actually appear until after three, but I had moved my two tiles of tomato and pepper seedlings outside even when cloudy to 1. Get them out of my way so I could plant more seeds and 2. To get some natural light.

I mentioned before that a seeded three different kinds of basil a few weeks ago, the three I grew last year. I have three others, mammoth, holy and sacred that I also want to seed. In order to do that, I need more pots, so I repotted the three French tarragon plants into larger plastic pots so I could have the three small temp pots to seed more basil.

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I also wanted to seed some chamomile in a pot I had lying around.

There are several gaps in the rock patio where I want to plant. My mother suggested filling those gaps with gravel when I get done, but I rejected that Idea. I want plants! Once I had a German chamomile come up unexpectedly in my rose garden patio in GA and I enjoyed its apple scent while I sat out there. I have two gaps big enough to grow chamomile so far. The others I want to stuff with sand and moss.

While researching mosses recently the advice was given to harvest moss from the same substrate that you plan on planting it on for the highest rate of success. Moss that grows on trees does so because that is where it wants to grow. There does not seem to be a lot of concrete information out there about mosses, but the “ground” moss here seems to be coming up in sand, so sand it is. Of the sandy mosses I have seen some are more yellow green, but there are a few that are deep emerald green. I don’t know if it is the same moss and different nutrients or different mosses, but I plan on picking up those deep green ones with some of their soil and stuffing the cracks with. Mosses aren’t really planted, they don’t have roots, but they do form mats on something they are touching.

While working on the rock patio the day before I noticed several large clumps of safflower seeds sprouting that I need to put vinegar on to kill. The deer mice gather the uneaten safflower seeds under that feeder at night and store them. I have found huge compacted clumps of them EVERTWHERE! I still plan on doing that but I also notice several single safflower seedlings coming up under the concrete bench.

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I need to move that bench, I want it down by the spring, but until I get some kind of table out there, that bench is a convenient place to sit stuff. Anyway, safflower is a small plant with a very unusual flower that I really like. I will leave those. This is a macro that I took of one in 2007 that I framed and have on my wall.

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When the showers stopped and it dried a bit I watered the azaleas with coffee from the coffee grounds pitcher that I keep under my sink. I watered the rosemary with some more of the compost tea/root stimulator water.

I took the dogs out on one of their daily walks and was paying attention to the rocks around the spring. My original intention was to not change a thing about the spring, but the clearing dudes pushed so much stuff right down to its edge that a lot of what is down there now is not natural. I love that spring and its flat surface rock all jumbled along its banks and across it. But… some of it is loose, meaning it is not… naturally settled, and in some places there are flat surface stones pile haphazardly that don’t have anything to do with surface flow, or “bank art” or “spring crossing bridges”. THOSE rocks, if I can lift them I can use for my patio. I don’t have enough rock to do my patio.

I have been proclaiming for a year now that I don’t have enough rock to do what I want to do with this place, and most people who have seen it look at me as if I am effing NUTS, because there is so much rock, but different rocks lend themselves to different applications. There is rock made to stack in walls, a thick rock sort of like a cobblestone and then there is rock that is made to cover a surface, IE surface rock – it is larger slabs of 2 to 3 inch rock, flattish enough to walk on, and I have much more of the first than the second. So, I made a decision to raid (within reason) the excess rock of the spring. To that end I found a one inch triangle rock sticking out of the soil, tip first that I could free easily even holding two dog leashes and huffed it back up the hill to the patio.

I came in after that to go through seeds to find the German chamomile to plant, and of course found all sorts of things I needed to seed as well. I was at a loss, until I remembered something about someone using foam egg cartons to seed plants in. I have a collection of egg cartons to give back to my egg producing neighbor, and some of them are foam, so I got some down to play with. My original intention was to cut off the lid, cut off that weird tab thing that closes the carton and just use the egg “cells”. However, while looking at the situation I noticed that the bottom of the egg carton will sit inside the upturned top, like a drip tray. I poked three holes in the bottom of each egg holder with an ice pick for drainage. The only problem is those two “holes” in the lid that were used to close the carton. I dug the close tab thing out of the garbage and gorilla taped it inside the top to cover up the holes, and it might just work!

 photo 00egg1_zps769f973c.jpg

 photo 00egg3_zps95d3c722.jpg

 photo 00egg2_zps0cf7f6c5.jpg

We will have to see. Anything I seed into egg carton cells is going to have to be changed within 2 weeks. There is only an inch of soil in them, but that is the same amount in the peat pot cells I am using for everything else. The difference is that I can repot/plant the entire “pot” in the peat pots, the foam egg carton cells have to be dumped, and that could lead to transplant shock. Still worth a try for no monetary outlay. IMO

I have four “nice” ceramic pots that I plant basil in every year. Quite frankly it is not enough basil for me for the year. I have six varieties of basil to plant. I need two more pots. I have three terra cotta “herb pots” (one is just an old plain pot, but OLD and I like the look of it, the other two are carved Mexican terra cotta) and I have seven different varieties of MUST HAVE herbs that need to be grown. I need more pots. I usually purchase nice ceramic pots at the end of the year when they go on sale, so I don’t know what I am going to do this year. I may have to plant in plastic pots and just deal with it for now. I have picked out a spot for the terra cotta herb garden in between the shale garden and the BBQ table area, and the area in between the two gook bird feeder poles is a good place for the basil pot garden. Still I realized I NEED to find a place for an in ground herb garden.

When I first started planting here ten or so years ago (I actually started before that, but it was mainly trees and bushes, not flowers) I could not dig into the dirt in the area I wanted to plant a sample of all my iris collection (as it existed at the time) and pulled apart the existing rock wall in the middle of the woods that at the time I thought was not mine, but turns out it is) and made a little eyebrow wall on the down hill side of the slope, then back filled it with purchased top soil, then planted my iris. That garden I had to take down before the bulldozer got here, and all of those rocks are scattered to the four winds… but I did rescue the iris and daffodils planted there. I am thinking I need to do something similar just above the three little winged elm where sand collects. That needs to be the in ground herb garden. I need more herbs!!!

At any rate, as I keep saying, this place is going to take YEARS before it is “done”. Forty two of the original fifty daffodils are up on the storm shelter sides as of today. The pink hyacinth on the south side of the storm shelter ramp bloomed a few days ago and I am so shocked at how dark pink it is!

 photo 00nshyac2_zpsf9786831.jpg

 photo 00nshyac3_zps41d43b8e.jpg

The hyacinths I see in stores are light pink and I love this one. I like the way the hyacinths glow against the gray of the wall. I have never cared for hyacinths, but it is because I don’t like the smell, but these have no scent that I can find, so they are non-offensive.

I feel that I have been on gardening hold for so long. I am starting to get excited again. Perhaps that is spring? Unfortunately we have one more “snow” event forecast for the first Tuesday in April, but after that … it should really be spring.

Date: 2013-04-05 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] low-delta.livejournal.com
The purple hyacinths have opened beside the storm shelter ramp.

Those are blue! ;-)

My newly replanted irises were above the soil, with their roots showing. I had to put topsoil around them last weekend. It doesn't look like they heaved, so much as the soil settled. But i'm not really sure.

Nice little bluet.

My daffs are all looking dead. They were up to 4" in January, but then we had hard frost. Not sure what will happen to them now that it's warming up.

Date: 2013-04-05 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravensgarden.livejournal.com
*cocks head to the side, squints eyes, looks at sky, then back at hyacinth* blue you say...

I wonder if that happened as well here, they all seemed to be way above the soil level. I plant them with the rhizome showing, because of the heat here, but not as much as they were. The irises are growing well however, all of yours are up about a foot now.

There is a large patch of bluet down by the three winged elm trees that I keep trying to capture, but cannot get the size of the patch and the flowers to show in the same picture.

It will be interesting to see if you daffs bloom. I have had that happen before, but it was in Georgia, and they bloomed. It is really late here for daffodils, all the species daffs around the old home places were done blooming in February. I have a few buds still on the storm shelter daffodils, but don't know if all of them will bloom this year.

Date: 2013-04-05 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pondhopper.livejournal.com
LOVE all your daffs!
LOVE them...especially that new one.

Just as I'm loving reading your garden chronicles again, Raven.
Welcome back!
:)

Date: 2013-04-05 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravenfeather.livejournal.com
*smile*

thank you!

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