Garden Report

This is the year of the columbine! These are some old columbines that self-seeded behind one of the Japanese maples.


These are some columbines that I planted last year.


And one more columbine, right next to the new rose bush I bought last week! I’ll get it planted tomorrow.


A lone foxglove. Remember, last fall I complained that the foxgloves were blooming then, instead of waiting until spring?


Did I tell you I built this trellis myself? This is a wild rose, and it needed some support. I saw these stakes at the nursery and decided I could build my own trellis.


Snapdragons and the Gerbera daisy.


And the lupines in full bloom.


I forgot the name of this plant. Its a perennial that grows well in the shade, with lime green leaves and beautiful violet flowers.


Thought I’d throw in a few pictures of the chickens. They all run over to the fence when they see me coming. Because usually I am bringing them some sort of treat. You might be able to see that many of them are missing feathers. I am not happy about this at all. I think it started because I was leaving the lights on during winter to keep them laying. They were bored, and so they started plucking each other. I weaned the lights off, and I’m hoping that when they eventually molt, that will be the end of their feather plucking.



This is one sitting in the nest box. You can see that they all have a favorite nest box. Most of them lay their eggs in the first and the last box. I don’t know why. All the boxes are equal. I even put a little runway up so they could walk back and forth and choose any box they wanted.


And that’s the report for this week. We have a week of predicted 70 degree weather–perfect for working in the garden. I’m hoping to get some more planting and weeding done this week.


The Garden This Week

Each week there are new things to see in the garden. And new plants to get in the ground… and more weeds to pull 🙂 Here is a view from under the lilac tree. It is in full bloom just as the cherry tree is finishing its bloom.


Baby bleeding hearts! I bought a pack of shade plants from Costco. There were bleeding hearts and astilbe and a fern or two. Next to this bleeding heart is the older astilbe I’ve had for a few years. It finally seems like its going to be happy here and give me a good show!


Here is the shade garden. I think I finally have some plants that will do well here. I’m going to remove that big floppy plant in the front, and leave that space for something pretty, like a double impatiens. And maybe you can see that the wire plant is coming back to life—I thought the moles had killed it!


More columbines!


This was a volunteer columbine!


Just the ground cover under one of the maples. But it looks so pretty this year.


A snapdragon that I managed to save. I’ve been having bad luck with the snapdragons for a few years.


I looked down and thought this was so pretty. A pansy blooming among the cherry blossoms.


And look! I have been running over to see this plant every day! Its a lupine. I planted six, and only three survived. And so far this is the only one starting to bloom. They are much bigger than I thought they would be.


And lastly, you probably know I can’t resist these darn Gerbera daisies. Especially if they are magenta 🙂


And that’s the report for this week. I’m hitting up the nurseries for little annuals to add color here and there in the garden. So fun to create little pretty landscapes and watch them grow.

Up Close in the Garden

Sometimes I like to try taking close-ups with my camera. That is part of the charm of a garden, watching the new shoots emerge, and seeing small changes every day.

Standing underneath the flowering cherry tree:


I love their fluffy blossoms so much!


White and green variegated Japanese maple:


Pink tinged Japanese maple:


Just emerging leaves on the “moon-leafed” Japanese maple:


Pink and green variegated maple:


One more:


This is a little plant I”ve had for years. It seems to travel and emerge wherever it wants. I think it was an Irish clover.


New Columbines:


And the new rose:


This is the super-full bloom that caught my eye in the nursery!


And that’s all that’s new for this week. Have a great weekend. Hoping for warm weather for all my East Coast friends!

New Things in the Garden

Did I tell you that I offered the girls at Alden Lane Nursery a free Quilted Embroidery class, because the whole experience I had at their show last year was so wonderful? Anyway, I did that at the beginning of March, and they gave me a $150 gift card to their nursery!! But that day was so cold and snowy, I didn’t want to bring any plants home. So this past weekend I went down and wandered around the nursery looking for what I would like to get.

I knew I wanted a nice rose. I found this one, which is an English style rose, and has a wonderful scent to it! I just went out to see what it is called, and the name is Pretty Lady Rose. Evidently there is a series of roses being named after the characters on Downton Abbey!


I also found a variegated leaf coral bells that is very pretty. Not a great picture, but I like the leaves and the flowers.


And then, finally, I found this wonderful little tree. Its called a Twisty Baby Locust. Obviously the branches are twisty, but the leaves are so pretty, and in the early spring it has pretty yellow flowers on it. I do like unusual trees, and I was so excited to find this one. We decided to keep it in a pot for a year or two. I think it needs to go where the NON-BLOOMING dogwood tree is. But we’ll give the dogwood one or two more years to bloom.


Hmmm. I need to do something about the doggie room and supplies back there. Not a very pretty background. Maybe this will be the year I paint it.

A close-up of the leaves and branches:


The cherry tree is in full bloom:


And the lilac is starting to bloom too!


Still lots of weeding going on. Some of the little plants I bought earlier are doing well–astilbes and bleeding hearts. But they are pretty small this year. I will look forward to seeing them next year.

I called John Scheepers to double check, and they said yes, in California, treat tulips like annuals. So today all of those got dug up. MLG (Kevin,) who likes to save all plants took the tulips home to give them another chance.

More from the Garden

I think this is turning into a gardening blog. After ten years, how much more is there to write about food, about eating food and not eating food. Ha! Now maybe I might have to write one more blog about my current thoughts on food and exercise. But for now, here’s what’s happening in the garden.

Most of the Japanese maples are starting to bud out. Some of them are just as beautiful in the spring as they are in the fall. And of course, in the spring they are all new and fresh and unblemished.

Here is one of the most beautifully colored:


A simple green one that I grew from a seedling! I gave it to my mom, but she had some trouble with it, so I brought it home.


These are prettier in person–a lime green, and one with white/green variegated leaves. You can see a couple branches of the bigger Red Emperor there.


I love the form of this one. But because of its short grafted trunk, I do think it needs to stay in a pot for life.


The violet path (and weeds) are putting on a good show this year. Violets can be pretty invasive, so they are blooming all over the yard. I like them, so that’s okay, but sometimes I have to get aggressive with them and just pull them out. Over to the side there is some fescue grass. I got it for the patchwork path, but of course it was a six pack, so I planted some here. I like it.


The first cherry blossom popped out!


And not a great picture, but you can see all the blossoms getting ready on the lilac tree. This is so exciting to me. For the past two years Kevin and I have been carefully pruning this tree. And I guess we’re doing it right, since it is blooming more than ever. There’s lots of information out there that says if you prune a lilac too much it’ll never bloom.


Some funny dog pics. Bess is the only dog I’ve ever had that is so interested in the tv. I actually have to put her in her crate if I am watching a show where a dog is barking. And as for watching “The Dog Whisperer?” I’ve given up! But the other day I was watching “The Zoo” and Bess wanted up on my lap to watch the tigers.


This is Noah when the neighbors are here. He’ll come inside so he won’t bark (because he’s wearing his bark collar,) but then he will stare very hard out the window to make sure there’s not any funny business going on over there.


And that’s the report for this week. We’ve gotten some very nice rain lately, and of course, I appreciate it, so I don’t have to water the garden. Its sunny today, so I will go out and do some of the never-ending weeding that needs to be done!


Remember how I told you the tulips get pinker and pinker? Tonight I went out to check out something in the garden, and the tulips just looked like the most beautiful porcelain flowers! Here’s a few of them:





And when I was done photographing the flowers, the tiniest little frog jumped over on the stone ledge! (in case you didn’t know, I really like reptiles and amphibians, especially in the yard. except for rattlesnakes.)


And for my snowbound friends, maybe it’ll make you feel better if I tell you I am already having to water the garden!

More Spring Flowers!

Here is the view when I drive up. I just love seeing all the spring bulbs blooming. Totally worth the extra effort last fall to get them planted. And here’s one thing I LOVE about these John Scheepers bulbs–all of them that I’ve gotten so far have such strong stems. Many times I’ve gotten bulbs at the big box stores, and they bloom fine, but then they fall over because the stems are too weak for the flower.


A little closer look.


The bridal veil bush and the flowering almond are blooming! I went a little overboard with pruning them last spring. Gotta be a little more careful this year.


The flowering almond:


Here’s a close look at the delicate flowers. This is why I love this bush so much.


And on the stones just below the flowering almond? The first lizard of the year was enjoying the sun!


The forsythia bush:


And some close-ups. The tulips have gotten pinker and pinker as the days go by!


In case you want the names of the tulips I got this year–this is Derringer. It is a huge bloom.


This is Goblet. When it first bloomed, I wondered why I chose it. But the color deepened in a day or two–very pretty.


And this is Flower Surprise. A really full double narcissus. And again, I am so pleased with the strong stems on this one especially!


That’s about it for the garden today. I am spending a little more time out there doing you-know-what. WEEDING…