The Julie Journal
I'm wishing you bunches of joy and serenity throughout this holiday season and thanking all of my loyal readers. My website is officially 1 year old now. I have enjoyed writing about my garden and encouraging you to become a DIYer, too!
Drop me a note if you have a beginner gardening question or a topic you'd like to see me write about. I'd love to hear from you.
Well nothing much is happening outside right now. The cold has offically arrived-but not the snow. It is dark at 4:30pm and that alone is depressing sooo....we need to take it inside! I will soon be posting several articles about house plants! So stay posted. We can still garden in the dark days of winter.
I promise to continue to bring you photographs and inspiration to brighten up your day and maybe your garden too.
I wrote another article this one called Foliage Shrubs. because my fall shrubs are really putting on a show right now. I can't believe we still have a lot of beautiful color this late in the season. I guess it makes up for the cold, crappy June we had. Like my husband says; "We'll take it!"
Awhile ago I wrote an article entitled Perennial Flowering Shrubs. Its focus is to encourage people who love gardening and flowers but for one of many reasons cannot do a lot of yard work. Gardening with shrubs is a way to have a variation of colors but without so much hands on labor as a flower garden requires.
Just as our lives go through many stages and seasons so does our garden. The longer I garden the more I realize this. My garden constantly looks different and I treasure those changes (perhaps I should be a little gentler with myself, but the changes I see in the mirror usually aren't as pleasing as the ones I see in my garden!)
Check out my red twig dogwood below. I love this bush. It has white berries in the summer, beautiful fall color and then the branches turn red in the winter. I even cut some of the red branches to make winter container arrangements.
About a month ago I wrote an article aboutFall garden maintenance,and I just reread it. Now I'm here to tell you that I hope you did as I said and not as I actually did.
I just came into the house with hands numb with cold. I was putting away a bird bath, emptying annuals from their pots and cutting down a garden- all tasks I've been putting off because I couldn't bare to throw away blooming annuals. Since the frost yesterday,though, they're cold, slimy, and mushy...and easier for me to dispose of! So now I'm going to have a cup of tea-warm up and go out to do some other unfinished fall tasks!
I'm shocked that this month is almost at a close and I only have written to you twice! In my mind I write to you everyday-but that doesn't count does it? October has been very busy(lots of garden clean up) and for the most part very beautiful. It sort of makes up for the cold June we had.
We had some Fall color early and then everything stopped. Now two weeks later we're at peak color. We've had heavy frost twice now though and I think the warm days are pretty much over.
I picked flowers today though and as I promised in the spring I've had a bouquet of flowers in the house every day since April. Making it all the way to Halloween is unusual, but we'll take it!
It's Fall! It always surprises me how fast it happens. One day the trees are green and overnight they are showing their glorious colors. I bought the most unusual pumpkins, squash and gourds yesterday. (the weirder they are the better I like them).
I bought a white pumpkin and a green and white striped one. I didn't get a snake gourd or a swan gourd this year, but if you have children you should definitely consider them. They look great with googly eyes glued to them.
The air is cool and crisp, the sky is clear and bright, bright blue, and the trees are starting to glow with intense red, yellows and orange. As much as I hate putting the garden to bed I do love the change of seasons.
I planted some tulips today. It's one of my favorite things to do in the Fall. Every year I plant a few. Since the leaves of this years tulips are long gone, I never know for sure what else I may find when I start digging holes, but usually I don't have much problem and I love the results of my efforts come spring and my new tulips and daffodils pop out of the ground.
Planting new bulbs is just one of the many Fall garden chores to complete. To get you motivated to begin check out Fall Garden Maintenance. for more ideas.
It's the first day of Fall and it feels it, too. The weather was fairly nice today, but the cool weather is supposed to arrive tonight and not leave for awhile. Although I love the change of seasons, I'm not ready yet to say good bye to the riotous colors of my flowers.
My containers have done very well this year and all of them still look pretty good. I hate the thought of them withering and dying. If a frost is forcast, you can get another week or two from your annuals if you cover them up with sheets or blankets at night. It's not a bad idea because often we'll get another couple not of weeks of warmer weather after an inital cold spell.
There is time to rave about the fall colors, but today I'm lamenting the end of flip flop season. My feet are sad already because socks would definitely be welcome right now, but bare feet is one of my ultimate pleasures! So for one more day I'll resist the socks and enjoy the feel of grass under my feet.
I made a couple of trips in the last few days to a few of my favorite garden centers. They're getting ready for fall and there are things to buy that can give new life and interest to your garden.
It has been a hard season for plants between the Jaspanese beetles, the cold spring, and the hotter than normal July so I'm not surprised if you're fed up and tired of your garden.
Putting a few pots of colorful chyrsanthemums, some pumpkins or a scarecrorw or some large cornstalks in your garden will give it an immediate perk up, though, and all of a sudden all your brown and yellow plants start looking quite good again. Try it!I bet you'll fall in love with your garden again.For more ideas and details check out Fall Containers.
Can you believe it's September already? The last three mornings have tasted like Fall, too. It's a bright clear morning, but it's only about 55 degrees and the grass is dripping wet. It's time to drag out jeans and sweaters.
It's also time to start putting your garden to bed. Some things will continue to bloom for a month or more, but other things are probably looking tired and could be cut back.
Phlox tends to get mildew near the end of the season. It won't kill your plants, but it does look hideous. Anything that is yellow looking can be cut back now. Remove any leaves that look diseased to keep the rest of the garden healthy.
Lilies and iris can be cut down now, too. If you have plants with beautiful seed heads you don't have to remove them as they provide winter interest and food for birds in the cold weather, but by cutting down and pruning some things your whole garden will look better and your focus will return to the things that are still blooming.
I written new articles recently on Fall Blooming Perennials and Butterfly Habitat. We've had a lot of beautiful butterflies floating through the garden lately. What a treat!
The last couple weeks have been a little slower in the garden and it has been rewarding to sit and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor so to speak, but it's time to get to work again.
If you've been deadheading regularly you'll probably still get some plants to keep blooming but others are just about at the end of their bloom season.
This is a great time to take some notes about your garden. What did you like this year? What didn't work at all? If some plants are overpowering others or just didn't thrive in a location make note of it. Does anything need dividing?
Peonies, iris, and lilies can be divided and replanted now. For more information about dividing perennial plants click here. I've written all about it.
I have been away, but I'm home now and wow the garden needs lots of attention! It's harvest time here. Everything is going crazy-tomatoes, corn, beans, zucchini, sunflowers, cucumbers and so much more.
My mother in law has made pickles, canned beets, and tomotoes so far and my daughter is freezing about four quarts of tomatoes a day.
My milkweed is covered with monarch caterpillars. I have three chrysalises right now and have given eight caterpillars to my grandson to raise.
We have yellow and black swallow tails this year, too and they are such a treat to watch.
Have you been outside working or just enjoying your garden? I've been doing both. The rain and heat have joined forces to grow some giant plants this year.
Blooming in my garden today are purple and yellow cone flowers, ornamental thistle, day lilies, phlox, beebalm, black eyed Susans, and Balloon Flowers among others. It's spectacular!
I also have queen Anne's Lace, Jo Pye Weed, and Milkweed in my garden and the butterflies lately are plentiful.
It's not all wonderful though. I also have a large population of Japanese Beetles that are having a picnic on my hollyhocks and Rose Mallow. I read that these beetles are especially bad this year and there is really very little to do about them.
It has been somewhat helpful to knock them off my plants with a sharp blast of my hose and although tedious hand picking them off seems to keep the population down to reasonable proportions.
There are some pesticides that some people find useful, but I love my monarch caterpillars and I won't use anything that might inadvertantly hurt them.
Japanese Beetles enjoy a wide variety of plants and rose growers in our area are having an especially rough time. If you do use pesticides, try not to get it on the blossoms themselves because it kills bees and we need the bees for pollination.
Hi! There is so much to do outside that I haven't written about it lately. We went away for a few days and the weeds that took advantage of it are just amazing.
My gardens are full to overflowing with plants and this year I didn't even feel the need to mulch, but I had weeds that were four feet tall when I got home and I hadn't even known they were there before that.
Some of my pots have died. Too much heat, and not enough water. Oh well. They were pretty while they lasted.
I dead headed for a couple of hours last night too. I worked mostly on pincushion, rose campion, corieopsis, and black eyed Susans. This will help all of them to keep flowering and it keeps the garden looking neater also.
I'm having a terrible time with Japanese beetles. They are having a feast on my hollyhocks and my mallow and some of my older less disease resistant phlox are showing signs of powerdy mildew.
It doesn't kill the plant. It just makes it look terrible.I don't generally use many sprays or powders because I don't want anything to hurt my butterfly caterpillars, but I understand why people do because I'm frustrated when I see harmful insects having a heyday at my expense.
Deer and chipmunks are making their presence felt too. Deer in our area are like cows-without fences. I'm glad they're adaptable and are learning to survive in suburban sprawl, but if they could read I'd tell them to spare the garden!
Chipmunks are trying to murder any of my containers that have been able to withstand the weather. Their favorite trick is to bury sunflower seeds from the bird feeder in my pots. Unfortunately for me, this means digging up my plants and tossing them on the patio to wither and die.
I have two house cats too, by the way. (They are not upset enough by the chipmunks to do anything useful about the problem.) I've read that cats are a huge threat to small birds and animals, but you couldn't prove it by me. Mine fully believe in the live and let live policy!
So happy gardening! Hopefully, my frustrations will help you to realize it isn't just beginners who have gardening woes. They happen to all of us.
WOW! I have so much to tell you my head is spinning! So much has happened in the last two days and I want to share it all with you.
I got to visit a friend who finally planted her dream "all pink" garden. I helped her to do the shopping for it earlier this year and it's looking quite adorable. I gave her a pink balloon flower to add to her new garden.
The Day lilies are blooming! Six different varieties all opened on the same day in my garden yesterday. I don't always remember from year to year exactly what each one looks like so it's always a wonderful surprise when they first open.
Monches Farms sent me notification today that their day lilies are blooming, too. (They have over 300 varieties!) Believe me it is hard to choose which one to buy because each one is more equisite than the last.
I visited another friend this morning who is in the process of rebuilding her garden after a major house addition. Her garden is charming and a wonderful respite from the everyday world,(and as soon as I have time I'll be writing about Edie's garden and her dream of turning a tiny suburban yard into a gardener's paradise.)
While visiting Edie, I got the opportunity to learn about "Growing Power." Growing power is a national non profit organization with a branch located in Milwaukee. Their goal is to provide fresh food, and vegetables to city people that have no access fresh food. They hope to bring diverse groups of people together to share and develop resources to become competely self sufficient and provide food locally for people in need.
I will be writing much more about this in the future but for now go to growingpower.org for more information or to get involved. It is a fabulous idea!
I had a lovely unexpected treat yesterday when I met some visitors from Switzerland (relatives of my neighbors). We shared some lemonade in my garden and I found out they have a lovely garden of their own. Perhaps they'll send me some pictures when they get home and I'll share them with you.
I was delighted that the garden had on her finest clothes and the day was pure joy in so many ways. What an uexpected small pleasure!
Rose mallow, larkspur, and bee balm blooming over the top of my spring daffodils. (Scroll down to see earlier picture of this same garden.) It gives you an idea of how you can double and triple use a small garden for a whole season of color.
It's hard to believe these are two pictures are are same garden isn't it!
The weather we've waited so long for has finally arrived. I celebrated by having several of my closest friends over to christen my new patio and have coffee in the garden. AWESOME!
The gardens are in full bloom. Other things blooming that I haven't mentioned yet are yucca, ( a banner year for them), rose mallow, butterfly weed, veronica, rose campion, larkspur and delphiniums.)
Some things I plan on writing about soon are drought resistant plants, deer deterents, and flowering shrubs. I'll keep you posted.Just Julie
Here are some of my unrelated but relevant to me gardening thoughts lately:
My container plants are showing signs of stress and they need extra tender loving care if they're going to make it through the season. First it was too cold and too wet for them and now suddenly it's too hot and dry! (Picky, picky, picky! Are we ever happy?)
Plants blooming today in my garden are Monarda(bee balm). Rub the leaves. Does it smell like tea to you? It does to me. Oriental lilies-red, white and cream-today and the first black eyed susans.
Day lilies will be opening tomorrow if they haven't already. Now is the time to shop for day lilies when you can see the many gorgeous varieties in bloom. I can guarantee you'll have a hard time just choosing one!
I love to read and some of my favorite books have authors that can vividly describe the flora and fauna of a region or a time period. These are some of my all time favorites: Laura Ingalls Wilder's description of native prairies, Jean Auel's(remember Ayla?) description of ancient prairies, Sarah Addison Allen(Garden Spells)a rather enchanting garden and the somewhat mischievious and magical women that live near it, Kate Morton(The Forgotten Garden),Francis Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), Kenneth Grahme (The Wind in the Willows) Those marsh animals had a great life I thought. Jean Craighead George (My side of the Mountain)Don't you wish you were as clever as Sam Gribley? Annie Spiegelman(Annie's Garden Journal) and anything by Barbara Kingsley.
None of these books have anything in common other then their garden settings and wonderful descriptions of anything that grew.
Maybe I need to do a whole article on my favorite books because I just thought of three more books that still resonate with me because of the descriptions of the native plants. It must be the retired teacher in me trying to escape and be heard. Interesting!
Ever since visiting Eble Farm, ,last month and seeing the herbal tea garden I've been thinking about creating my own tea garden. I haven't done it yet, but the next best thing is to write about it and inspire you to create some of your own tea gardens. , Check it out!
Happy Birthday United States of America!
I thought you might enjoy a collection of patriotic red, white and blue containers. They don't have to be planted all in the same container either. Look around your yard and patio. Perhaps you can move a few things around to make a little vignette of you own for the holiday!
For more ideas check out a:red, white, and blue garden, ,too.
After all the bad weather we've had, July started out with a bang! The temperature soared to 100 degrees today! (That is a very rare occasion here and after three months of average tempertures in the 60's, it was truely a surprise.)It was just a one day thing though, and it is supposed to go back to the 80's pretty quickly. The garden is probably at the height of its color right now and I've been deadheading already.
The first bunch of leaf lettuce is just about finished. It's starting to get bitter now, but it made a lot of good salads while it lasted.
This morning I had the rare good fortune to attend a talk given by "Prairie Bob" Ahrenhoerster aboutprairie restoration ,at Old World Wisconsin. I was overwhelmed by his knowledge, dedication and passion. Later, with naturalist guides, we learned about native plants and the many invasives that threaten the prairie.
On the long ride home I stumbled on Lark's Perennial Garden. She gives garden tours so I eagerly rang her bell. Lark has about two acres of land and it is breathtaking. She is not just a gardener, but also an artist. Her garden is full of her blue glass garden art.
There were so many visual delights I didn't know where to look first. Once again I was quite humbled. I am in awe of such talented and dedicated people. If you are in the Oconomowoc, WI area on July 16th, Lark's garden is on the garden tour. It is well worth your time to visit.
Despite the rain the flowers are starting to put on their party clothes. Below are my clustered bellflowers. Their scientific name is Campanula glomerata and the cultivar is Joan Elliot. (My family just calls them Joan Elliot. These are my husband's favorite flowers-probably because of the color.
He says they are the perfect shade of purple and he raves about them every year, but there really is no perfect flower (although many come close). The problem with Joan Elliot is that it can become invasive. To control it, it needs to be divided every few years or viciously hoed under when it starts outgrowing its bounds. (but don't tell my husband!)
Weed, rain, weed, rain, and continue to repeat. We have gotten rain in part of every day for more than a week. The gardens are growing well (and so are the grass and the weeds). The good news is that weeds are easy to pull out when the ground is soft, and we certainly don't need to water anything.
I do have to tip over my crocks every day though. I have several old cheese and pickle crocks and I love them for container gardens, but they have no drainage and so they need to be moved and protected from heavy rain or tipped over and drained frequently so that my plants don't rot and drown.
I have made several trips to local garden centers recently and just walked around admiring the plants, reading the tags, and trying to learn to names of some unfamiliar plants to me.
Do you ever find yourself in kind of a rut-buying the same annuals year after year-even when they consistantly die for you? Maybe now that everything is on sale you should make a trip yourself. Buy something new to fill in where your consistant dier has already croaked. A pleasant surprise might be out there just waiting for you to discover it.
Lately as I've been weeding I've unearthed a few old plant tags. It is not a good way to label my plants because usually they break or get buried, but I've been doing it this way for several years.
It does help in the first year I plant something because it helps me to remember to water it consistantly. I also look at the tag frequently to memorize the name and variety of my new plant.(This has a varying amount of success but it does help).
I saw something recently,though, that my sister does and I was very impressed. She has a garden notebook that she faithfully uses. Every plant tag is taped into it along with the receipt and a few notes explaining where she planted it and sometimes other relevant and or interesting information about her new plant. Don't you just love organized people? I'm going to try to do something similar because my current system has a lot of flaws. (The recent tags that I unearthed in the garden are from plants that don't even exist any more! Further more I don't even remember buying them!) Oh well. I believe a notebook-that I use- would be a big improvement!
I thought you might like to see our long awaited patio. The plants around the edge are repairing themselves. Life is good!
I worked all day today repairing the edge of my perennial garden where it meets the edge of the new patio. The back yard is reseeded. We've planted a new nine bark bus and we removed some old woody evergreen bushes from the front of the house. It is total shde there and instead of bushes we've planted hostas and and a hydranga bush that grew up from a runner from another plant.
I have finally put my own words into action and bought a composting bin today. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon assembling it, and I already have about a foot of plant clippings and vegetable scraps from a fruit salad I made today. It is going to be so nice to get rid of our lawn waste more easily because since we live within the village limits we have to take any plant waste we create to the dump and we always are trimming something.
The weather continues to make the news all over the globe. In Wisconsin, we've had a very cool and rainy spring and most of the perennials are late in blooming, but that is not the case in other places.
The southern part of the country has experienced record high temperatures and vegetables are reaching harvest stage already in a Tennessee Vegetable Garden. They picked 32 cucumbers tonight. It was the first harvest of the season.
They say they will have TONS of squash (LOTS of little baby squashes that are only two days away)and more cukes in the next few days. The tomatoes are going insane. They are already better than they were at their peak last year. Beets are almost ready,too and the corn is close to 3 feet tall. It's a good garden so far.
It seems so weird when here in the north our vegetables are barely planted, although we have been enjoying leaf lettuce, onions and radishes. I've also made two rhubarb pies so far-there is no shortaqe of rhubarb.
In Malone, NY they are struggling with varmits! The woodchuck ate one of the pepper plants, the deer ate all the blossoms off the apple tree and the squirrels dug up the stargazer lilies, but even so The Park Street Inn Garden is getting ready to take off, too.
Now that our patio is in we've been working hard to repair the damage to our yard and garden. The rainy weather is great for weeding and I've been vigilant about removing some of the plants that are trying to overtake my garden.
The lilacs have finished blooming and the wegelias have replaced them now in the flowering bush department. If your soil is acidic enough the rhodedendrons are also blooming. For those of you that love flowers but not the work that perennial gardens involve, flowering bushes may be your answer. With a little planning you could probably have something blooming consistantly and bushes would produce a showy display that would be sure to please you.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing, Eileen Rudnick,
a master gardener, and she told me how to become a master gardener. That's a rather lofty title because you can't just become a gardener and then think you're really good and call yourself a master gardener.
A master gardener takes a 36 hour class from UW-Extension and then volunteers a minimum of 24 hours a year at approved master gardening sites. The aim of master gardeners is to educate and promote gardening to amateurs like me!
I really enjoyed talking to Eileen and I think you will, too.
The lilacs are blooming! Lilacs are my absolute favorite flowering shrub. I have an entire row of them, and I love walking by them and inhaling their heavenly scent.
They are late this year to bloom, as is everything, but they were not harmed by frost, which happens occasionally and I'm planning on picking my first bouquet later today.
The weather is still struggling to be horrible, but after seven months of waiting, I got a new patio today. (Of course it is raining out now, but my patio is safely under tarps)...and when it stops I'm picking the lilacs!`
Our weather continues to be cold and rainy and all the spring flowers are delayed but are still making their gradual appearance. In the garden below my daffodils have been replaced by tulips.
Flowering trees are beginning to open their blossoms and in between the rain drops we've had pockets of sunny weather.
I have several containers of annuals planted, but they are temporarily living on my front porch because it's too unseasonalbly cold for them and since I don't have a patio to set them on I'm continuing to hope for better weather soon.
What a difference a week makes. The gardens are starting to show the abundance they contain and as usual at this time of year I'm wishing for more space. I have enough plants that need dividing that I could start three more gardens and some stuff just needs yanking-if I had the heart too.
I have done a lot of work, but it's a drop in the bucket, really. There is just so much more that could be done, but since I'm not a full time gardener some stuff probably just won't get done.
Oh well. Mother Nature will do her thing and I'll be dismayed or (more likely) pleasantly surprised with the results.
This week I broke some of my own cardinal rules about buying spring annuals, and since its too early to plant them, I'm contemplating over a cup of coffee what exactly to do with these beauties that I just could not resist.
My advice to you is: "Do as I say-not as I do!" Stay away from the nurseries if you don't plan to come right home and plant!
May 3rdWell I've been doing a lot of garden maintenance, lately and perhaps you are too. Yesterday I dug up about a bushel of tiger lily tubers that have been trying to establish themselves through out my entire back garden. It was hard work, but something I've been putting off and now it feels so good to have finally done it.
The weather is still hovering in the high 30's although tomorrow is supposed to be a little more seasonal. It's about time. I'm ready to work outside-without a heavy coat on!
Traditionally on May first people leave flowers anonymously on a neighbor's doorstep. I don't know the history of this tradition, but when I was a child we always did it for my mother. we'd make paper cones in school and sometimes they were filled with paper flowers, too. If not, we would run around our yard when we got off the school bus picking flowers to fill the cones. Then we'd hang it on the front door and run away. My mother always knew they were from us, but it was fun anyway.
Last year neighborhood children did it to me. It's not too late, Maybe you could do it for someone today, too.
Well the grass has all been raked, the gardens are turned over and weeded and most of the perennials are up about an inch. The notable exception is my hostas which always are a little slower to emerge from the ground. It looks like most things survived the winter. I will need to replace some hollyhocks, though, but that's all I've noticed so far.
Our weather has been so cool that we have not mowed our lawn yet. That is the first time in several years that we haven't mowed the grass in April. (one of the blessings I guess of the rainy, cool April).
April 28, 2011
We are almost to the end of April and it has been mostly rainy and cold for the whole month. In fact, we've received almost six inches or rain in April, which is above normal and creates problems for farmers and gardeners alike.
April 27th is considered to be the average last day of frost here, but the cold, cool weather is promising to stick around for a couple of weeks yet.
Our abnormally cool weather and the very warm weather in the southern part of our country has caused terrible tornados in the south eastern part of the country.
Between the rain showers I have been out in the garden though, and this wet weather is great for digging up grass that has rooted in the garden. Yesterday I also used this damp weather to dig up and remove some tiger lilies that were threatening to over take large portions of my back garden. They're much easier to dig up now than when the leaves are everywhere and the ground is dry and hard.
Occasionally the sun peaks out for a few minutes and when it does, I'm awed my the emerald green of the grass, so things are waking up, although we seem stalled right now. It's said that April showers bring May flowers so I'm hoping. (Maybe I'll have a new patio then, too!)
April 22, 2011
It's EARTH DAY!
My own little project included taking a walk with a garbage bag in tow. I filled my bag with in twenty minutes. My sister did the same where she lives.
I also started cosmos, zinnia, and poppy seeds in flats on my kitchen cupboard. I'll plant the rest of these seeds directly into the garden later on, but by planting a few inside now, I'll get a head start on the flowering season.
I got another garden weeded between the rain yesterday and planted a pot of pansies for the front steps. Pansies love cool weather and will bloom continuously until mid summer. So go get yourself a six pack. They come in a multitude of colors and are easy to find in most nurseries at this time of year.
The nurseries and florists also have blooming spring bulbs for Easter. Enjoy them inside and when the flowers start to wilt, don't toss them. Trim the flowers off and replant the bulbs in your garden. They will come up and bloom in your garden next spring. In fact I have an Easter Lily that I received as a gift about ten years ago that still blooms every spring in my garden.
It has snowed and or rained every day this week. However,I have been able to pick a new vase of flowers because my daffodils are determined to bring spring even though Spring seems to be stalled some where south of here.
Everything is obviously much greener and if the sun came out it would be very pretty, but for now we have another day of dark, gloomy wet weather with temperatures in the mid thirties. I'm pretty sure we won't get our patio again this week.
It snowed here yesterday! It started out as a very cold rain- on the day my patio was finally going to be laid(no patio) and turned into snow by mid afternoon. The good news is that today (even though it's windy and a miserable 39 degrees) is that the grass which we got raked earlier in the week is a brighter shade of green today.
Things are really starting to look up though in other parts of the country. In Tennessee, my nephew writes that hopefully tomorrow they will be tilling their garden for the second time this spring and will be planting the veggies.
"With the rain we had Friday night I dont know if this is going to happen or not, it may be a little to muddy. Our tomatoes are ready, peppers are ready, basil, dill, and cilantro are ready. Don't forget the cukes.
I'll let you know how it's going and maybe have some pictures soon. Happy spring everybody!"
As my husband would say, "Keep hope alive!"
April 14Yay! This is my first bouquet of flowers this season.
My goal is to have flowers on the table every day now until late fall! It might be tough, but I think it's possible. I'll let you know how I do.For more about cut flowers click here for the complete post.
Cutting Flower Garden
Today was gorgeous. It went up to 70 degrees and there were people outside everywhere. I love it! We took a walk and the park was full of young families enjoying the slides and swings. Dogs were being walked, windows were open, and you could smell the first grills of the season being fired up.
The time has officially arrived to start your spring clean up.
"Oh no you say!"
"Oh yes, I reply!"
I written two articles: Spring Clean Up and More Spring Clean Up to help you get started on a more beautiful yard and garden. Click to see the complete posts and thanks for gardening with Julie.
The official first thing to bloom in my garden this year is a small clump of minature iris. Aren't they adorable?
The snow is gone! The rains have begun. In fact it's raining and dark and gloomy as I write this, but I know that the rain is washing away winter grime and when it stops there will be more noticable green than there was yesterday. The robins can find the worms again!
It's coming! It's coming! Spring is coming! It seems to be taking forever this year to arrive and everyone I talk to is worn out and tired of the never ending winter, but good things come to those that wait and I know that very soon we'll be walking barefoot across green grass again.
So what do you do with all this pent up energy that you have? My daughter is using hers today to clean the garage. My husband scrubbed the grill. My neighbor is washing their lawn chairs.
If you're worried about crab grass, now is the time to treat it. Trimming the branches on your trees can be done too- but don't trim your spring blooming bushes. They bloom on last year's branches so you'll be cutting off the blossoms. Trim these bushes right after they bloom.
Easter is in two weeks. (That's late this year too!), but now's the time to give your house a good spring cleaning and hang up some new fresh spring decorations.
If you do it very soon you could also plant some grass seed in a basket, water well and cover it with plastic wrap. The seeds should germinate in about 10 days and will look adorable with jelly beans hiding in your real grass basket.
Forced bulbs are for sale now and you can replant them in your own containers for a temporary container garden. When they've finished blooming replant them again into your own garden, but don't cut them down. Let the leaves wither on their own before you cut them back. They're storing up energy for next year's bloom.
I thought you might like to see part of my lovely garden right now. It's hard to believe that hidden under the dirt are dozens of lovely perennials. You'll also notice our missing patio which was torn up in the fall and is waiting for better weather so it can be replaced.
March has been long and cold. We still have ice on our lakes and we've had almost a month of below normal temperatures. In fact as I write this the temperature is 21 degrees.
Even so, the tulips are up about an inch and many of our migrating birds have returned. The robins have trouble finding worms in frozen ground and are subsisting on berries left over from last season, but hope is there, too. April is right around the corner and times "they are a changing!"
March 20 (6:21 pm)
Spring is officially here!
You wouldn't know it though by looking out the window where I live, but in some parts of the country and the world spring has already arrived. It's strange to think about actually.
If I got on a plane right now I could see flowering trees in bloom, or a tropical beach somewhere, or the pain and devestation in Japan for that matter.
Technology has made our world both smaller and widened our horizons at the same time. So even though I'm impatient for the good weather to return to our part of the country, I'm also aware at the same time of what a microscopically small part I play in the general scope of things.
Hopefully, when you do find my website you'll come back again because for a few minutes while you're exploring my site you'll be warmed by the pictures, enlightened by the advice, and encouraged to make your own little corner of the world more enviting, relaxing and welcoming to whoever enters your domain.
Yesterday I wrote about Eclectic Gardens and in the next few days I'm going to talk about transplanting perennials and planting your bare root plants that are probably arriving soon. Check it out!
It went up to 40 today and tomorrow it is supposed to reach 50 degrees. I went for a walk today with my husband and heard all kinds of birds singing. We saw robins, a red wing blackbird,and a flock of sand hill cranes flew over. There was a great blue heron and canada geese on the marsh, and we heard a lot of blue jays and cardinals. Finally, two crows flew by, each carrying a mouthful of twigs in their beaks.
This is what's happening around the country this week in my relatives yards:
It was pushing 70 here today. The kids and I planted lilies, hydrangea's, gladiolas, and my wife mowed the lawn for the first time. We were all wearing shorts and t-shirts all day. Horse poop is spread, we're waiting to till the garden and 11 of our baby tomato plants have sprouted. This Tennessee Vegetable Garden has a good start to a spectacular year.
In Central NY:
Where else but here can you sit on a snowbank and watch the snow geese fly over? Dog poop cleaned up (We don’t own a dog!) We're waiting ‘til the snow melts. I bought seeds. Sharons Cottage Garden will undoubtably be gorgeous this year.
In Las Vegas:
Went for a run this morning then I finished building my new raised beds. Probably 75 or so. It was a dry heat so not too bad.To see pictures of the new raised beds and this amazing desert garden check outJoe's Farm
In Northern NY:
Where else but on the Quebec border can you go in a restaurant and order french fries with cheese curd and hot gravy? It's cold out and there is still snow on the ground, but The Park Street Inn Garden is full of spring promise too.
The snow is melting slowly. The ice still covers all the lakes. We picked up sticks and garbage that blew into the yard over the winter.
So that's the scoop and although I'm getting excited for the fresh smell of new herbs and tomatoes the consensus is that for now french fries, cheese curd, and gravy sounds good to most of us!
The Julie Journal was created on a gray, dismal day when spring was near , but still a long way away in terms of actual gardening experience.
Hopefully the last snow fall was recorded on March 5th, and it's time to start thinking about spring clean up believe it or not!
The Julie Journal 2012
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