Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back to being a Winter Wonderland

I'm thinking it was a 50 percent chance of snow that gave us 5 inches in the night.  We went to bed last night with a light snow, and figured it wouldn't be enough to close schools.  Actually, Larry got the call after he had taken his shower this morning, so I got to turn my alarm off and sleep some more, but he had to get up because Heidi pestered him to stay up.  While I've said I am finished with winter, and want spring to be here now, I am thankful for the moisture, and hope it takes awhile to melt, so that the plants can be protected from the drying winds.

I kind of like the contrast between the flags, fire hydrant, and everything else in this photo.  I am, however, working on Larry to take the flag pole down.  It was his dad's, but I have actually been more sentimental than he has about holding onto things that were his parents'.  (We own and live in the house he grew up in.) We'll see how that pans out.

I was planning on starting to take down the dead foliage soon, a little at a time, to make it easier, but I don't mind waiting for the snow to melt.  This is Joe Pye weed with snow hats.

I am thankful I discovered the fun of growing wild quinine, a native to our area.

 Gray headed coneflowers:

They give us the measurements of snow from the airport, which is not near here, and also from the news station, which is two blocks away.  It does look like about 5 inches on one of the hollow branches that caused our silver maple tree to need to come down. The reason there is another cut, is because there were squirrels in there still, and the arborist took steps so they would be safe.  (That's a link to the post I did on the tree coming down.) He tied this up, and got it down softly, so it wouldn't fall with the squirrels in it.  He was so sweet!

I think the snow is also pretty on the different structures in the garden, some to protect plants from the rabbits, and others to provide support to plants.

Heidi had been out with Larry awhile, while he was shoveling, then, when she saw my camera, was ready to come out with me.  In the mean time, Larry went in, and he is at the door here, trying to figure out where Heidi is.

He called her to come in, and now, she was at the door, watching us, maybe trying to figure out why she was back inside.

Here are some more coneflowers or something with their lovely caps of snow.

I like the butterfly and other structures with the snow on them.

I always like to take photos of the fire hydrant.

Soon, it will be February, and I will be planting lettuce, radishes, spinach, and carrots.  I think I'll plant more kale, too.  It lives more than one season, but it blooms after the first year.  I want to make more use of it than I have in the past.  These veggies will come up as soon as the soil is warm enough.

Spring has sprung for some of you garden bloggers, and I am happy for you.  I will be trying to get more blogs visited, and enjoy your new growth, while waiting for ours.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Bit Late for Wildflower Wednesday

I don't remember what I've posted for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday in January in the past.  I didn't think I had anything this time, but it was pretty nice out today, and I had a few minutes to go out and take a few photos.

Did you know there was a native heuchera, also known as coral bells that has quite pretty foliage?  I am pleased that I planted several of them, and hope to divide them to put in other spots as well.

It was a bit too sunny, but I wanted to include this clump, because the red in the foliage is more noticeable.

Here's a photo with the tag.  It's Heuchera richardsonii.  The blooms are smaller than the cultivars.

I was going to provide the link to this plant at the USDA database, but the site is temporarily unavailable.  Here's a different link that has some good information.  It's nice to have a plant that has foliage that looks this good in January.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Waiting for Spring

I feel I did a pretty good job accepting the coming of winter, but my longing for spring has taken over the last few days.  Winter has been pretty mild, but we have had some cold days.  The Dec. snow is almost all melted.  Today's high was unseasonal, in the 50s, so Heidi and I went out and took some photos.  The cold is expected to come back tomorrow.

Over the last few years, I've decided that I like plants in the winter, even if they are dormant.  Can you see the hellebore that is not?

Here's a closer view.  I'm pleased that the snow did not damage the flower buds that were already forming.

I hope we get some more snow before spring gets here.  Even with the little bit of rain we had yesterday, the soil still needs more moisture after the dry summer we had.

I am excited about seeing whether my newly planted seeds come up in this and other areas this spring.

The switchgrass bunches were pretty bent over with the snow, but are recovering nicely.

I didn't take as many photos along the east side of the house as I had planned, so I am showing the wide views.

I did get a couple close shots of the hellebore that is near the barbed wire that is on the left side of the area above.  It is amazing to me that a clump of ice is near the plant, but it is still holding on to its blooms.

It looks like some new ones are also forming.

I plan on making some changes in this area, taking the quaking grass out, and moving some plants from down the way, to tie the areas together more.

Heading back to the vegetable garden, there is still a bit of snow for Heidi to run through.

 I didn't get the soaker hoses removed from the vegetable garden.  I wonder if they will be OK.  Can you see the kale down the way?

Today, we made kale chips in a domestics special education class I am a para educator in.  I didn't think any of my kale would have survived the cold temps and snow, and some didn't, but the newer growth looked good enough to pick, so I did.  I got them washed and in the refrigerator.  Hopefully, I will get some chips made tomorrow.  Most of the students thought they were pretty good, as did the teacher and I.

I had hoped to get some blogs visited this evening, but it's getting late.  Hopefully, I'll find time this weekend.  I hope all is well with you.  I know spring is in the air for some of you, and I am looking forward to experiencing it with you, as I wait for ours.  Have a great weekend!