Columbines!

Columbines are such a wonderful flower. They come back year after year. And sometimes they send out seeds and multiply. Here are some of the columbines that are growing in my yard this year.

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This garden of mine is pretty big. And to be honest, most of the work I do out there is the work I have always done. But it just seems overwhelming this year. I go out probably four days a week and just choose one area to weed. When I get that area cleared I can go and buy a few plants at the nursery to fill in. Today I got some of my usuals: corsican mint (a ground cover that smells absolutely heavenly,) white sweet alyssum, and a “peach glow” lantana. I planted the lantana in a different place this year, with full sun, and am hoping that it will do better than the past few years.

Another plan I have is to allow certain areas to just go wild. In other words, I’m not going to prune the flowering almond and the bridal veil bush, and I am going to allow the violets and the fairy impatiens to have free range (except for a few areas 🙂 )

Last year my foxgloves needed to be replaced, and I chose to plant Canterbury bells instead. They are getting ready to bloom, and I am interested to see what they look like. Many of my roses are full of buds, but we’ve had a cold spell for a few days so they are taking their sweet time.

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Progress in the Garden

Lots of new things popping up in the garden! I was so glad to see this heuchera coming to life again. It got kind of flattened by the snow.

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I got some bleeding hearts last year from Costco, and they were pretty small and insignificant. I was glad to see them coming up again this year, bigger and better.

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This is the Camperdown elm. Before it puts on its big leaves, it comes out with these little green “flowers.” It is so pretty.

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Close-up:

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I have oriental lilies popping up everywhere! They all look so big and strong. And of course, the violets make themselves at home wherever they please.

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Here’s the cherry tree. I took this at the wrong time of day, so its kind of dark. This tree is going to get some major pruning done on it this year!

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Close-up of the fluffy blooms:

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The flowering almond bush and the bridal veil bush.

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Most of the tulips and daffodils are fading away. These are some new daffodils I got this year. Very pretty!

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And some specialty tulips I bought this year too. Both of these are from John Scheepers.

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I love the way these violets arranged themselves, interspersing the large light violets with the smaller dark violets. Honestly, the violets are so pretty in the spring. But they can tend to take over the garden. I pot some up to give away to friends, and others I just treat as weeds.

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And that’s the garden report for this week. I have a new guy coming over to see if he can help. He advertises himself as only doing weed eating, but I think he might be able to help me with a little more.

A New Recipe!

My friend Shelley recently posted a recipe that intrigued me–Korean Beef Bowl. I looked  up the recipe and had to try it. Yummy! It reminded me of when I went with Shelley to Pei Wei and had their lettuce wraps. But I thought maybe there were more vegetables in their beef combo. So I tried the recipe again, and added some vegetables. Oh so yummy, and I used half the amount of beef from the original recipe. I added carrots, mushrooms, and onions that I chopped up in my mini food processor, and some water chestnuts from a little can that I just chopped up by hand. I also used half the amount of brown sugar–1/8 of a cup still made it plenty sweet.

Here’s what I subbed in:

  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 7 brown mushrooms
  • 1 small can water chestnuts
  • cilantro

I cooked the veggies first in the 1 Tbsp of oil, and then I took the veggies out of the pan and cooked the beef. I use the 90/10 ground beef, 1/2 pound.

Here’s how I ate it. It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to make lettuce wraps.

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And just for fun, here are some pictures of the dogs.

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Sophie LOVES popcorn.

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Progress in the Garden

Now that the tulips are in full color, I thought I would take a few more pictures. Aren’t they pretty? And did I tell you that you can get 80 tulips for $38.00 when you buy one of their collections? These tulips are the pink and apricot impressions. That is the bridal veil bush in the background.

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I like the tulips when they close up at night and early in the morning. If its warm during the day they open way up.

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You can see I have a few hyacinths there. They are an apricot color. And although they have multiplied, they aren’t very big or robust.

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The front bed of tulips.

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And another close-up. I love the variegated colors on these.

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The camellia is doing well. The pink flower thief doesn’t seem so interested in them this year. Oh, you can see that log on its side? It used to be standing with the ivy on top of it. One day it just collapsed.  I’m waiting for it to dry out a bit so I can roll it out of there. I have more logs that I can bring in to put the ivy bowl back on.

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And my little trees are just starting to leaf out!

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This daffodil just started blooming. It is a medium sized daffodil that always has multiple blooms on one stem. Its called Thalia.

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And that’s the garden report for this week. I did find someone to come and repair my watering system–very excited about that. Every year a lot of the little sprinklers break off (probably due to Noah running around.)

Here Come the Tulips!

I took these pictures from my front door, because it was raining most of the day yesterday. Its so fun to see plants coming back to life everywhere in the garden. Here are some of the first tulips:

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I took this picture of part of the big Japanese maple, because it was so pretty with all the drops of water hanging from it:

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Remember the one daffodil I showed you that I said was supposed to have a red cup? Well, I got that a little wrong. The name is Chromacolor (from John Scheepers) and this is how they describe it: has a sparkling white perianth with an intense coral-pink cup. Funny thing, when it first bloomed, it had a yellow cup with a bit of green in it. But here they all are, blooming and looking so pretty:

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Another double daffodil:

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And aren’t these pretty this year? I think they’re grape hyacinths. I didn’t even remember planting so many of them in this bed.

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Well, I think I am going to take care of the garden myself this year. As my BF said, you have a mature garden. And so instead of paying for a gardener, I am buying new equipment. Today I bought a Stihl gas powered blower. It has a lot of power, but I do think there is an art to blowing stuff. I will have to practice a bit! I also bought a new staple gun, because I have to put new netting over the chickens yard. The snow brought it down this year. So as soon as my cold is over, I think I will be spending quite a bit of time outdoors!

Daffodils Everywhere!

I have lots of daffodils blooming right now. One thing I never pay attention to is when they say bulbs are early or late blooming. That would be a good thing to keep track of if I want plants in various areas to bloom at the same time. No tulips yet, but some of them are about to burst.

These are the first daffodils I got from John Scheepers. They are extra long lasting.

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These are the new ones I got, also from John Scheepers. They are supposed to have a dark red trumpet and white petals surrounding. We’ll see if they continue to change color.

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These are some little ones that I don’t even remember planting.

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This is one of those double daffodils that I have to practically get upside down to get a good picture of them.

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Here are a lot of mini daffodils. I had to go outside the fence to get this picture.

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And some doggie pictures to end. This is one of the best photos of Bessie I’ve ever gotten. Usually her tongue is hanging out. There are a couple of teeth showing if you look close…

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And this is where Chloe and Zoey spend more than half their lives. Now its the dog chair. I put a quilt over it but you can see that they rearrange it.

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The weather is pretty nice now. Some rain, but mostly sunny with highs in the 50s and 60s. I should be working in the yard, but I caught a cold, so laying low for a few days. Oh, and I got a really good lopper that can easily cut 2″ branches! Very exciting to get new equipment.

 

A Mystery

During the two snowstorms, Sophie the dachshund escaped twice. Sophie is practically bald. And she was out in that snow both times for several hours. That was very upsetting.  I checked the whole fence line, and put some extra stones by the front and back gates in case that was her escape route.

She escaped a couple of times after that. I kept blaming myself, that she was sneaking out when I opened the door, and that she was so short I didn’t notice it.

Then in the past couple of days, she escaped again TWICE, and this time I KNEW it was not from me going in and out. The second time I was outside talking to my neighbor, and a truck comes driving up slowly, PRECEDED by Sophie walking up the middle of the road.

Sophie has lost weight as she gets older. So I walked the fence line again. It is rabbit and deer fencing, so the spaces at the bottom are about two inches apart. I found one place where it looked like she might have wiggled through, and so I wove a bamboo stake through that area. So far she has not escaped since then.

Sophie, the bad little dachshund, looking all innocent in her bed.

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