Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Off the Checklist

Every gardener has one: a checklist of things to do, a checklist of changes to be made, a checklist of ideas to try, etc, etc.  Rather than sharing any one of those checklists, I'm going to share items that have been checked off.

Checked off from the changes to be made list - redo walkway path in the front garden.  Jim of Walnut Fields Landscaping came very highly recommended by Sun Nursery so I contacted him in late January we came to an agreeable price and yesterday with snow melted he made the transformation.


Nice large stepping stones.
Checked off from the things to do list - cutting back old growth.  I pruned the butterfly bushes and hydrangeas in the front garden.  And cut back the grasses in the pond garden.


Before of the grasses at the pond.


Today is to be another warmer day so maybe more from the checklist will be check off.

And look at what has come out in the spring sunshine.











Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring

It's 60º outside with a strong March wind, but it's time for a walk around the house.

It's hard to believe it looked like this just three days ago.  5 inches of snow!  May look like that again next week if forecast is correct.


Stepping out on the back porch my lettuce and bok choy seedlings are getting their first exposure to the outside.  I never did get the spinach to germinate.  I hope I have better luck when I sow it directly.


Looking left towards the south east and the fire pit on the deck.


Looking straight ahead toward the south.  No sign of new leaves.


Looking west toward the perennial garden.


There is some spring color there.  These crocuses managed to survive being buried by the snow on Monday.



Daffodils nearest the house are the farthest along.



Looking back towards the house, it all looks pretty desolate still.


On the north side of the house

the ground is full of these holes.


What animal is doing the digging?  Fox?  Raccoon? Skunk?  And what is it after?


Outside the front door this garden will be getting a makeover starting tomorrow hopefully


with the replacement of the walkway I did myself many years ago.  Later a nursery will replace the lavender with another hardier variety, remove the Russian sage in favor of pink muhley grass and Japanese beauty berry.  The butterfly bushes and hydrangeas (on the right above) to the left (below) will remain.


The vegetable garden is showing little life.  The only thing planted is garlic and its just showing green shoots.


As I type this the frogs are just now warming up their croaks.  The goldfish are enjoying the warm sun.




This pond garden bed will be redone this year.  I'll move the various plants I put in there attempting to make a rock garden on the hillside down from the screen porch.  The liriope at the top edge and the water irises along the pond will be allowed to spread and meet up.


Back to the back door.  Almost time for the seedlings to return inside after their first exposure.


It's to be 70º on Saturday but snow in the forecast for Tuesday.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

First Spring Colors

Just in time for Bloom Day, these appeared.




These crocuses managed to make their way through the leaves which have been a protection layer for the perennial beds all winter.  Can't remove it yet because another winter blast on its way here on Sunday.

Postscript - just discovered I posted similar photos for last year on this date.  A few more crocuses were blooming then but I thought that spring was so much earlier than this one.  Maybe not.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Last Winter Chore

We've had two days of below freezing temperatures so I figured with Spring coming this was my last chance to cut down the cattails in the pond.  I had tried once before but the ice was in crispy layers and I went through.








Today there were some solid sections but not enough for me to reach all the cattails.  I did go through once but did not go in above my boot top, thankfully.



The cattails that remain in the middle will have to be clipped when I can wade in there.  There's lots of cleanup to do around the pond.  That will wait for warmth.



 Lots of Spring chores to do once we get some warmer weather including cutting down this miscanthus.



I'm looking forward to having this front garden redone.  The stone pathway will be redone by a professional.  The lavender will be dug up and replaced by a different variety.


The Russian sage will go and be replaced by 5 Japanese beauty berry bushes and pink muhley grass.


Inside there is a bit of Spring.  Lettuce and bok choy seedlings are up and some were thinned and added to our salad last night.  Spinach has not made an appearance yet.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Enough Already!

We had another snow storm on Monday as many did in the Mid-Atlantic.  Yes, more snow but I'm not taking any more photos of the stuff.  Enough already!

Time to think of spring and lovely greens and blooms.







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