Monday, March 26, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday

I don't have many blooms for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, but there are a number of plants coming up that I am excited about, so I am showing some foliage this time, too.  There are just a few plants that haven't come up yet.  I did some visiting with myself as I did my yard walk yesterday.  "The milkweed plants are finally coming up.  Wait, it's March!  They are never up yet in March, but here they are!"

This is a native heuchera.  I was pleased to find it at our local arboretum last year, which is where I have found many of the native plants I have.  I have several of them, and may be able to divide some later in the season for more coverage.  This is sending up blooms now, but they won't be showy like some of the hybrids.  That's OK, it's cool to have the original.

The Zizia aureas were early to come up, and I love their foliage.  I am looking forward to the yellow blooms.

The Culver's root was later to come up than most plants, but it sure is growing fast!  The two clumps I have are ahead of the ones at the arboretum garden.

The new pasque flowers look to be finished blooming, and are putting out some nice growth, which I find quite pleasant.

I am hoping this is Fremont's clematis, but it's way behind the ones at the arboretum. I'll be able to tell soon, once the leaves get larger.

I divided the Geum 'Prairie Smoke' last summer, and it looks like all of the little plants survived, and are blooming.

I am disappointed the wild columbine didn't reseed around the yard, but at least the plant looks good, and is getting ready to bloom.

I hope the area in front of the new front yard area has good enough drainage for the Alyssum wulfenlanum plants that are starting to bloom.  They survived winter, so that is a good sign.

I can't remember what this plant is, and I'm not even sure if it's a wildflower, but I'm thinking it is.  Do you know?

The pussytoes are doing well.  The botanical name is Antennaria, but I'm not sure which one this one is.

This is leather leaf.  I have already posted about the cute little blooms that came up before the leaves did.  I look forward to seeing how many leaves come up.

The established pasque flowers on the east side of the house have blooms with different phases.  Soon, the tattered looking ones will be fluffy seedheads.

When I planted this Pasque vulgaris, I didn't realize it is not native to our area.  I like the bloom well enough to let it be, but will plan on not buying any more of this kind.

I read somewhere that white bleeding hearts are native.  I'm not sure if there are any white that are not.  I tried to look it up, but it is getting harder and harder to find information doing internet searches.  Have you noticed that?  All these sponsored links come up, some that have nothing to do with the search.

Virginia bluebells are one of my favorites!  This is a passalong from my friend, Janet.

I am tickled to see that the trillium my friend, Jo gave me last spring came up.

I forgot what kind of allium this is.  I hope it is a native one.  I need to figure it out, because I may move some to the front yard.   Do you know?

Check out Clay and Limestone to see more Wildflower Wednesday posts.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring in the Vegetable Garden

I was listening to KFOR Radio Friday morning, when I was getting ready for work, and they were wondering if anyone had planted their vegetable gardens yet, since spring was here early.  They thought it may be a gamble to plant this early, since we could still have some cold weather.  They invited listeners to call to share whether they've planted anything yet.  Of course, I had to call to tell them I do what I actually call "gamble gardening". They were amazed that I had started planting in January this year.

I have talked before about how I like to get out as soon as the soil can be worked to plant lettuce, spinach, and radishes.  The seeds wait until the soil warms up enough to germinate, and once up, can handle temps down to the 20s, and have even gotten snowed on.  I always figure it is worth it to get into the garden, and if the seeds don't make it, I can replant.  Normally, the middle of February is when I get this done, but January 5, the soil was not frozen.  I decided to start with the area that gets less sun, on the north side of the garage.  That's the area that takes the longest to be dry enough to plant normally, so I figured I'd go for it, since it was workable.  The sad plants are kale, and the green clump is parsley.

I am showing the seed packets to help me remember what I planted where.

I have been nibbling on this kale that I planted last year.  It will bloom this year, and I will let at least one of them go to seed.  I have seen a number of insects enjoying the blooms.

The day I planted, the larkspur and some bachelor buttons were up.

On February 2, I planted the north side of the garden.

I think the next seeds are those I planted in my garden across the street at the neighbors' house. 

The next three photos show the garden across the street the day I planted the seeds.  Most of them are coming up, but there are lots of weeds over there that I need to take care of before I take photos.

I don't remember when I first posted that some of the plants had come up, but these photos were taken March 23.

This is the view from the driveway.

I have to keep the lemon balm under control, or it will take over the garden.  It can't go too far in the cement, but it will try.

This is just on the other side of the fence on the right.  Can you see the green?

This is on the other side of the entrance and the garage. 

This lettuce coming up on the other side of the front fence was part of the January planting.

I'm pretty sure these are marigolds coming up.  That is quite unusual for March.  When they first came up, I thought they were beets.  In looking at the seed packets, it doesn't look like I planted any.  I better get busy!

All of the plants in this area, from February have come up, except for one or two rows.  I'll have to look at the seed packet photos again to try to figure out which didn't come up.  I have 2 rows of spinach coming up.

These are radishes.  It looks like something has eaten holes in the leaves.

Here is the lettuce from this area.  The row of lettuce that had red speckles did not turn out.

I took another photo of the area to the west of the area where the previous photos were taken.  The compost pile is on the other side of the tall stick fence.  I planted potatoes in the area just next to it, I'm thinking, March 3, which is earlier than usual.

There are four short rows of peas in the area to the right.

This photo of the area between the peas and where I planted the potatoes was taken the day before the rest of the photos.  I harvested this little bit of asparagus that day.  Since this is the second summer for it, I will need to let most of the rest of it grow in order for it to produce better next year.

This is the lettuce that was planted in January, in the area that is normally the last to be ready to be planted in the spring.  I left some room for the dill, cilantro, and borage that always come back from seed.  I saw the first dill plant today, but have not had any of the other two come up yet. 

I planted red and yellow onion plants the February planting day.

The hardneck garlic that was growing over a lot of the garden when we bought the place is doing well.  I learned to harvest it at the right time, before it splits, and to store it in the basement, then replant in October.  I also learned to only let as much grow as I have room for.

Most of the leaves in the compost piles are from spring.

I enjoy growing different kinds of mints in pots, to prevent them from spreading too far.  I leave most of them in place over the winter.  Some got taken into the garage this year, but they are about at the same stage as the rest.

The bachelor buttons sure have grown!

I hope you are having a great weekend, and are finding time to be outside.  We had our grandsons over today.  The four year old and I went to our local arboretum today and enjoyed walking around taking photos.  We also went to a park, and had an awesome time!  The little one and I spent time out front, and also moved some yard art around.  This evening, I went out and weeded the vegetable garden and cleaned up the area beside the garage.

Click here for a link to a post I did April 10, 2009, where I detailed my method of thinning and cleaning the lettuce and such for use.