Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring, flying visit of

The pretty pictures first! I have a daffodil:

I also have more crocuses blooming (they weren't open yet when I went out to take photos earlier, and I'm too lazy to try again) and the Iris histroides I-think-'George':

I'm sure spring will be sprung upon us all at once in the next couple of weeks, once it gets over this maybe-I'm-gonna-snow-again-just-watch-me! nonsense. It's chilly today, but yesterday was gorgeous, and I took advantage of that to dump manure on the community garden plot and put in a few hardy seeds that may or may not decide to come up (spinach, peas, mache, fenugreek). And then I came home and finished the Whack the Black Raspberries project, in which more than half of them (the originally planted ones that are now in the shade, and the plants that exist because I didn't keep up with pruning and let the canes root themselves all over) got pruned back to 12-18 inches high so they can be dug up and moved to someone else's new fruit plantation, and the rest got pruned to a few feet high so they can be organized onto their fence again. I have a lot of plans for the space that used to be the vegetable garden, but the most important thing is to devise ways to keep it from becoming a mass of weeds again.

My arms looked like this when the pruning was done:

but it was worth it. (That was the worst of it, really; I didn't suffer too much. And it was my fault for wearing a short-sleeved shirt - but how glorious to be able to! I'm so sick of my winter wardrobe.)

I need to do an inventory of seed-starting, but suffice to say I have lots of wee peppers and tomatoes and greens and other things coming up (a few still with aphids, but they are slowly being conquered), and I am thinking of ordering one of those fancy self-ventilating cold frames, or maybe two, instead of a greenhouse. More on that later.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bloom Day March, or where is spring?

I'd really hoped to have more for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but at least I'm glad there's an amaryllis bridge between inside and outside blooms.

That's the last of them, but I really have had amaryllis blooming most of the winter. The very long winter, even here in Maryland. We're getting more snow tomorrow night.

Outside, spring is on hold, though I do have the crocuses I posted about the other day and bunches of snowdrops:

That's it, though - not even any other crocuses beyond that one patch. At least I can see lots of the bulbs I planted in the fall poking leaves above ground, and some daffodils in very protected spots forming buds.

Most of the color in my garden right now looks like this:

Gotta get out there with a trash bag after the next snow melts. Long winter with lots of wind blowing things in.

Definitely going to be checking in on the bloggers in warmer climes today! But first, we're off to pick up some manure for the veggie garden, hurray.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Well, finally...

I know that in 2012 (which was the Year Without A Winter) this patch of crocuses was blooming by February 15; for last year I have no record, but I feel sure it was a bit earlier. I went looking for these over the weekend, and they hadn't appeared then. So, hurray. They may get snowed on yet (not tonight; despite a temperature drop of at least 40 degrees F. and possibly more overnight, we are only expecting rain) but at least we can now be confident any snowfall won't last long.

Snowdrops have been blooming since December, but they are supposed to peek charmingly out of the snow, so no big deal there. I'm not sure what happens to them when repeatedly whomped by snowfalls in the 6-16 inch range, but they look fine now.