Friday, April 27, 2007

First Hair Cut

Well, I actually got out and mowed last night. The front yard is a fairly lopsided affair, with the huge oak tree in the neighbor's yard. One side has sun, and the other has tree roots. The side with the tree roots is mostly moss, so it only needs stray grass and weeds trimmed.

I did about two thirds of the backyard, which is far more than I planned to do. I did the bit by the gate, since it was thick enough to get in the way of opening the gate. And I only meant to do the bits threatening my gardens. The grass was taller than most of my plants, and was beginning to shade itself. But I ended up mowing the entire clover patch. That's a lot of clippings that needed emptied. I still haven't decided what to do about the evening primroses sneaking out into the grass.

Lots of rain today, and some thunderstorms predicted later, so the rest of the yard won't get trimmed today. The one "problem" with electric mowers is that I can't use the extension cord when the ground is soggy. Oh, darn, prevented from mowing. What a giant shame. *wink*

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spring Clean Up

I have tulips flowering! Not the ones under the hydrangea that I've been watching forever, no, they aren't going to bloom. But rather some that are under the rhodadendrons that I didn't even know where there. A pretty purple color, too.

I got out last night and picked up all of the tree limbs from the front yard. This is so I can mow tonight. It is past due, in that the little pockets of actual grass are different heights than the crab grass and dandelion greens. Then, since my bag of yard waste wasn't full, I trimmed down the dead branches on the hydrangea. It is better to get in there before it leafs out fully. We won't talk about how tired that made me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Horrid Weekend

Wow, last weekend was really bad. I visited my parents and the rain and wind on Sunday and Monday was really something. Plus snow on Monday. Saturday was actually a pretty nice day. My dad worked in the yard right up to sunset. I didn't get to enjoy it at all because I was flat on my back with a nasty stomach virus that popped up out of nowhere.

I'm still getting back to eating a solid three meals, even if I'm not eating my normal foods. I'll probably spend most of this beautiful weekend sleeping.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Problem with Dandelions

The main problem with dandelions is that they have not allowed the breeder or gardner or farmer to beat them into submission. While that sort of behavior is tolerated in herbs, it is frowned upon in the vegetable garden. If dandelions were well-behaved, they might still be a popular food, as they were in the colonial days.

Dandelions are actually a vitamin rich, nutritious food. I've actually eaten dandelion greens. It was at a fairly fancy sandwich and bread shop when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Florida. Anyway, along with the sandwich came a side of salad greens. The fancy types that don't come in the supermarket packs except for spinach. And you can't miss dandelion leaves. They were pretty good. And that's coming from someone who turns their nose up at lettuce.

The leaves can be served up as salad greens or sauteed. Although, they are best collected while there are still frosts. The leaves get bitter during the summer months. Although boiling them with the flower bud smooths the flavor out. The yellow flower bits can be eaten raw or made into wine. While the root can either be eaten akin to a carrot, or brewed into a coffee like beverage.

Most of us would not bring a weed into our kitchens, but harvesting dandelions would certainly reward the avid gardener for their efforts to remove it from their bed. And maybe, just maybe, its return would not be treated with such dread....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Catalog Dreaming

Well, I logged in to get rid of some spam, so I might as well write something up. Air temperature and sun angle are behaving oddly. It's been cold, right. A real return to winter weather. Hat, gloves, heavy coat and scarf. All perfectly normal. Until I get out to my car that has been sitting in the sun all day. Inside, it is a veritable oven, and off comes everything. Ack! Then I have to shrug it all back on when I get somewhere. *sigh*

Also, this down turn in temperature has me flipping through planting catalogs again, as well as all those garden magazines in the stores. I'm making lists again. I can hear my wallet crying. I'll probably be good. But that's because I have peonies to replace and they aren't sold in catalogs until Fall......

Monday, April 09, 2007

Seventh Inning Stretch

Obviously Mother Nature thought Spring was moving along too quickly and needed a break. Five days of freeze warnings (including tomorrow) is a bit much. And we're not expected to see normal temperatures until Saturday, if then. Argh! But then some procrastinators need to be spending this week doing taxes, instead of gardening... *whistles nonchalantly*

Baseball and the Cherry Blossom Festival went on this weekend as planned, despite the return of snow on Saturday. It wasn't more than a quarter inch, if that, and it was gone by 9 am, even in the shade. But it still wasn't a happy thing to see. Nor were the snow flurries that persisted until noon.

The daffodils in the back yard are finishing up. Although, that's just due to the passage of time, rather than the temperatures. Everything else seems to be faring well, except for my holly. That's going to need some pruning when the weather actually warms up.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Horror

Today on the way to work, I watched in horror. Today is the day when we are expecting a hard frost. The warning is until 10 in the morning. There are even lake effect snow flurries in the region. Think on that. It was cold enough that snow from the Great Lakes stayed aloft and landed in the DC metro region. No accumulation, but still.

Today is also the day where it was only hitting the freezing mark on my way to work. The freeze is occuring after 6 AM. Can't protect those tender perennials when you aren't home to keep them from steam roasting. Even though all the radio commentators and weather guys were talking about it.

The true horror I saw this morning? The gas station had its sprinklers running

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Rough Day

Yesterday was a rough day at work. The kind of day that makes you want to go out and buy plants to make it all better. Yeah, er, well, if the weather wasn't crap out. There isn't always room for house plants, I just don't have enough windows with good exposure. And I just added a new one on Saturday when I was getting the pansies.

I've wanted a little kalanchoe for awhile now. But the ones in the grocery store were either too big, or the wrong color. I seem to be partial to a nice golden yellow color, and the buyers were partial to pinks and reds. Or larger plants. But finally, they had some little golden yellow ones in stock. And wow, what a wonder the one that came home with me is! It's a double! Whee! (I will try and get pictures up soonish, but I've found my evenings unexpectedly filled. :( )

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Icicle Pansies

Well, I was good about not buying plants early until I got the grocery store. They had pansies on special. I figured why not, pansies can handle a little frost. They actually prefer cooler weather. So, three pots came home with me. I didn't plant them right away. Something about the way the weathermen were avoiding talking about the weather past Wednesday.

It turns out that there is going to be a hard freeze later this week. And there is an Alberta Clipper heading this way too. Winter just has to hang on doesn't it? *sigh*

Well, I did get a few more weeds dug up last night while it was nice.