Thursday, March 24, 2011

Caladium Gardens

I thought Caladiums were such a waste of time two years ago, thinking why would anyone want these things? Down right fugly I thought. That changed after an initial dabbling with them last year. Finally I can do something with the area in front of the creek as it gets mostly shade but not the deep type. Should be ideal I hope. Found some nice crooked logs to keep them contained too. Plenty of nicely composted wood chips brought in from the recycling place for a healthy Caladium diet.

Problem is I've picked up about 120 of these tubers/roots/bulbs, so I'll have to find more areas for them. And who knows, if I mulch it enough they may survive the winter? My attempt at saving some last fall failed as they rotted. Didn't allow enough drying time I suppose.

Lawn looks like carpet eh? Finally pleased, but what happens when the Rye dies out? It's been mowed four times since my return.

Thinking about perennial flowers and such. I have more patience now and working on getting a half dozen of this and that sowed in my porch garden started two days ago. No seedy soil full in these flats. With temps only in the low 50's today with cold winds this place was warmer than indoors.

These things gave me the idea to try some perennials. Started last spring a few of them survived and now flourish. Should be interesting to see the first blooms this year. Dianthus Sooty. Oh and look some Bearded Iris (background) planted in October of '09 may do something this year.

And who says I eradicated the violets? They're all over this spring. Even in places I practically bulldozed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ooops. Little Wind and...

Had I waited another five minutes to look out the window while eating lunch I imagined the fire department down here pumping water from the creek to ward off a forest fire. Scared me and I hustled like crazy to put this thing out. Kind of reminds me of my younger days while playing with gas and matches. Don't all kids try it at least once? I almost burned down the stables when I was about ten. Not sure if any family members knew about that.

Weather getting too warm. Something like 81 degrees today. Even some Tulips have appeared up the drive. Too bad the Violas are not as bushy as other areas but they have been making a comeback in this area since my return. Maybe another month and some great color?

Early spring project on the south side of the driveway.  Removing compacted gravel and filling with composted mulch. I figured I'd go nuts with rows of Marigolds as they did so well last year in good soil. Throw in some Cactus Zinnias behind the fence and there will be some major color up there come July. Incidentally that particular Zinnia claims 2-3 feet height on the package, but grew from three to seven feet last year.

A few plants picked up at the Lions Club sale in May of 2009? Christmas Rose. Seems they want to bloom now.

More Daffodils up the driveway planted last November.

And several at the top of the driveway with a Forsythia bush.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bugs Affecting Daffodils?

That's what it appears to be. After all it hasn't been that hot and many are doing quite well. Some haven't even bloomed (across the creek)But it appears the ones deeper into the woods have been affected. The pathways were quite a sight last year, but not this time around.

Looking okay up the drive. This is a newer area that was nothing but packed gravel last spring. Daff's look good but seeded Violas didn't make it. I also had some planted ones but they were nibbled away from some critters. White ones are from fall '09, others planted last fall. On other side of drive are also new ones planted.

Moving further up the drive, patches of more daffodils were put in the ground last fall...

These are closer to the cabin along the driveway or on the rocky hill where nothing seems to grow...

Some Violas and pansies mixed in with Day Lillies greening up nicely. This is opposite the north face of the cabin or visible looking out the kitchen window. I also have some Thalia daffodils in there but they are slow to bloom.

Hostas are popping through the soil...

Some stubborn Columbine that took forever to seed last year are showing here and there...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Daffodils

...and a healthy stand of Violas and pansies against the stone wall of the house, mixed in with some Thalia daffodils (all white flower) yet to break out. Nice warm area here and the reason for them doing so well.

About five inches of rain fell earlier this week. No more water woes...until the summer perhaps. Creek was busy gushing.

Back to more Violas, and a few Pansies. It's more about light and sunshine for the most part. Down here along the path near the creek these multi colors are beginning to shape up. The area gets very light and warmth as the sun sits so low in winter months hiding behind the steep hill on the south side across the creek. Daffodils on pathway leading west in background.

Fence line shows an assorted number of larger daffodils. Notice more slow growing Violas in the background (right) near the house. Again, very little sunshine, but that changes over the next month or so.

Barrel with some Pansies and tulips..Plenty of those around. More to see in April.

Moving up the driveway, some Tete a tete daffodils  planted last fall. Four flowers per plant, but they're tiny. I should have bunched more of them, but hopefully the next few years they will multiply.

Oh, some more Violas planted along the storage area near the lawn.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It Looks Like Spring!

Arriving home Saturday from my four month winter trip to Florida I thought I would see more color, but that's always looking at it optimistically. No major problems per se considering the ice storm over Christmas. Water heater down:(  The grass certainly grew beyond my expectations, reaching a height of 8 inches in some areas. Fallen leaves drowned out some new seedlings, but that's an ever ending problem around here trying to keep grass growing everywhere without patches of dirt.

Violas doing well here and there. Containers mostly a flop. I suppose they went though some dry spells. Oh well. Daffodils coming out. More when they're all reaching to the sky. Going further away from the house something has been trimming the other Violas and keeping them from bushing out.