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…


Spring has Sprung!!

With warm weather this week, EVERYTHING is popping out all at once. I took these pictures this morning. And this afternoon, there were more things blooming! These are the pink tulips I got from John Scheepers. They had a special on tulips–80 pink tulip bulbs for $35. I think there were four or five varieties included. I also got three types of daffodils and some oriental lilies, which will bloom later this year. I have been so pleased with the good quality of the bulbs I have gotten from John Scheepers. I know I will be a regular customer each fall.




Easter blessings to all!

Good Eats!

I tried a new recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good I made it again this week. Its Biz’s Potato Crusted Quiche. She uses baked potatoes for the crust, and the recipe is so simple but so good, I love it!


Another thing I’ve been loving is my own homemade dark chocolate candy. I actually like it better than See’s candy! I buy 85% dark chocolate from the bins at Sprouts Grocery store, and melt about 4 ounces, and use 4 ounces of walnuts and 4 ounces of dried apricots, and mix it all together and make little candy clumps. Yummy and not too sweet!

Spring Keeps on Coming

In between sputters of winter (snow is predicted again for Sunday,) Spring just keeps on coming. We had a huge rainstorm the past few days, but today is bright and sunny, so I decided it was a good day to take a few pictures.

These hyacinths have done better this year than in years past.


I see this when I drive up and it makes me happy:


The grape hyacinths have done well this year too. And you can see two of the lupines have made it. I’m very excited to see what kind of blooms they will have.


I had to go outside the yard to get a picture of this corner bed. I don’t even remember planting these small daffodils, but they have put on a good show. Chloe and Noah had to check me out. You might be able to see the fortified fence that Kevin installed to keep Noah out of this front bed. I hope it works, because it also has a “gate” opening so that I can get in there and tend to this bed.


And that’s about it for now. I am just waiting for all the tulips to pop out!