Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When the Ants Come Marching In

So, I didn't see any frost this morning. It was above 40 degrees here. But still, I wore a heavy coat. *sigh* Stupid wind chill.

Last night when I was trimming the hostas so my tulips could get some sun, I noticed holes in the leaves. Slugs! This early! Eek! So, I sprinkled my organic slug treatment. I didn't see too many holes in the iris, so they might be safe this year.

And while I was out, I noticed two of my peonies have buds! Buds! I might finally have peonies that bloom this year! And one of them is the new one! Yippee!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

True to Form

So, after a beautiful end of the work week, we had a weekend steeped in rain, with harsh weather on Monday. The cold front that worked its way though is leaving us with lows in the 30s and there's talk of spotty frost in suburbs further out than I am. The tomato seedling does not like the drafts at the window. :/

Crabapples and magnolias and wisteria are blooming in the neighborhood. Tulips are soggily coming to an end, except for the ones I tucked in the hosta bed late. Silly me, I thought they wouldn't put up flowers this year. I mean it was February when I saw the stalks and figured they needed to be in the dirt. I'll have to wack those hosta leaves back so I can see the blooms.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

WFF When?

I got my tomato plant in the mail from White Flower Farm. I am not happy. Why am I not happy? It's not the packaging. It was well packaged, sturdy cardboard, no shaking around. It's not the plant quality. It's moist and happy with plenty of leaves. It's the fact that it showed up this week! I can't plant tomatoes out until the middle of May! I have to nurture this poor little seedling indoors for at least three more weeks! Eeep! I was trying to avoid seedling care! Ugh. But its a nice tomato and I'll do my best not to curse it.

The rest of my red tulips opened up. Very lovely, but not at all centerfold quality. ;) Squirrels got two more, but left enough stem to be put in water. The pink ones, 'Angelique', opened up. Again, lovely, but very rough looking. Iris are putting up buds. new daffodils are all different kinds. Some white with orange centers, some white with pale yellow centers and a few tiny white ones with white centers.

Oh, and I mowed my back yard today. It went wild after all that rain.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Soggy Sunday

Well, we've gotten quite a bit of rain in the last 48 hours, and it keeps falling from the sky. A couple tornadoes passed through the area, and the Potomac will crest above flood stage in one particular little town. The storms yesterday were particularly dark and wet. Quite a bit darker than twilight and during the middle of the day.

But, all that rain knocked down the pollen, and more importantly, knocked down the maple blossoms. Granted, the oak blossoms seem to have weathered the storm quite well. But on the plus side, the dogwood flowers held on and are quite lovely. And the holly bush is starting to open its flowers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Open Pollination

Well, I haven't seen frost on the ground the past couple of days, but there have been ice crystals on my car. Not fair when the days are in the 60s and 70s.

I haven't gotten a picture of the yellow tulip yet, as I've been under the weather. I know maples and the like have a good pollination scheme, especially with the plight of the pollinators, but sometimes I just wish they didn't throw their pollen into the air and hope for the best.

Speaking of pollinators, I've seen a good handful of bees around my gardens. Granted, I'm not too thrilled about the carpenter bee that seems to be obsessed with my front door frame, but a bee is a bee.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Everybody Tip Toe!

Okay, I can handle the 50s. Granted, I'm not pleased about frost warnings for tonight. Thank goodness everything outside is hearty. And that I did not give into my impulses to plant seeds last week.

But, I have tulips! The one under the hydrangea appears to be yellow. Hopefully, it will survive to open, so I can get a good picture.

The peony-type tulips are starting to bloom. The variety is 'Miranda'. Very lovely red. Although, a squirrel chewed off one bud. I have that sitting in a glass of water at the moment. I wish the squirrels would leave a little more stem if they're going to poach. Anyway, picture!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The weekend has come, and despite all the drippy weather knocking down the pollen, it is pretty much a continuation of yesterday's beautiful weather. Even if it doesn't get up to the 80s. I did some weeding yesterday. Basically freeing the iris from dandelions and grass. Every year I say I'm going to get ahead of this and weed before everything starts bolting. Ah, well. Periwinkle looks nice among the leaves, doesn't it?

This morning, I trimmed the hydrangea. Basically deadheaded all the winter interest flowers, and took off some branches that were not showing signs of life. I also snipped a few crossing branches on the holly. And proceeded with some tough love on the rhodies. Granted, the bits of it buried under the holly probably weren't going to thrive anyway.

Then more weeding out back with a little Zeppe help. And pictures. Ignore the weeds I didn't get to yet. ;) First up, some blue/purple pansies that survived the winter and are watched over by one of my new daffodils.

Then, some of the buds on my peony-type tulips. Those are supposed to be the same variety of tulips, too. And that's the Big Ben peony in the background.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Up Up and Away

So, I found out that the trilling critters outside my window were not frogs. They're toads. Not sure what type though. I discovered this fact as I stopped by my park yesterday afternoon. All the silly toads were trying to romance each other in the koi pond outside of the nature center.

I was there to pick up boating stickers and obtain a mooring site. Only 7 left, glad I didn't put it off any longer.

While, I had intended to fly my kite in Herndon while waiting for my brother to get off of work, he had been sent home to New Jersey. So, it goes. I'm glad he got home early. But, I had my kite in the car, so I flew my kite at the park. I thought I would have gotten better breezes off of the lake, but it just wasn't windy. It was gorgeous blue skies and 70 degrees, but not windy. I got a couple of good sustained alofts, but nothing very high up. Still, that's probably for the best. My shoulders and some other muscles are feeling it today. Ouch.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Silly String

Last night the temperatures were in the mild 50s, not the chilly 50s as it has been for so long. There is also another frog out there trilling its heart out for love, than the spring peepers. I know this because I slept with the window open last night.

I opened the window because I was hot. After my laughter as exercise class, I simply had to find my kite. Don't know what was driving me, but I needed to find it. It wasn't in any of the obvious storage areas. I was up and down several flights of steps several times.

I finally found my kite in the pantry, of all places. I don't know what I was thinking. Although, while I was checking the pantry, I found something else. I'll say they were potatoes, because the plastic bag I found them in said "potatoes". I must admit I'm kinda disturbed. They looked more like I had burned them in the oven, than they had been sitting in the pantry for about 3 years. Ick.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Buffet is Up

I noticed through a report on the Blogosphere, that the hummingbirds have returned. Granted, I still think it's a bit chilly for them, but they know what they can stand.

However, my current hook is currently serving the goldfinches. And those little balls of yellow fluff are getting serious about territory. I don't think they'd appreciate the hummingbirds being assigned their area.

So, I put up a new hook a couple feet from the finch sock. So, win win. Hummingbirds get a feeder and the goldfinches get to keep theirs.

And the juncos keep lurking beneath both of them.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring Continues Apace

My tulips have buds. I think at this point, we just see if the squirrels behave themselves. The rhodedendrons seem to have failed another year. Although, the buds that I thought I had spotted disappeared. Drats. I even pruned them last year.

Cherry trees throughout the neighborhoods are blossoming prettily. So, is the great white boulevard of pear trees outside of my development. Daffodils are lining the sides of the highway and exit ramps.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Other Side

Well, I've crawled out from under my taxes. I need to stop putting them off. Unfortunately, I've discovered that instead of using my rebate check to buy a nice electric chipper shredder, it's been sucked up by what I owe. Somehow, old company didn't quite take the standard withholding levels out of my check leaving me short. *grrr*

On to spring. Or at least the period that involved sleet yesterday. It's been rainy. April showers and all that. Hydrangea is starting to leaf out. Tulip leaves are going gang busters. I'm seeing yellow buds on the new daffodils. Not sure I like them being that much later than the old daffodils, but they're in the ground so it's a little hard to change.

Cherry blossoms are all over the place. Early ones, late ones, ones that are washed off the tree.... Still, I love cherry blossoms. When I can actually plant a tree, I'm going to get a pink one. Maybe a double, even. DC Cherry blossom festival was chilled with winds last week and washed out this week. Even the sun predicted on Sunday won't really help since the blossoms have been hit with several days of rain after several days of rough winds. Ah well. There's always next year.