Well now, it seems I have once again been remiss in keeping this blog up to date. Take this post for example. It was actually completed back in February. I really need to step it up and update this blog in a more timely fashion. With that said, thank you for reading and thank you for your patience!
Originally written February 7th 2018
It always happens around this time every year – right around the time of my birthday. The winds are shifting, the days are staying awake longer and the sun is warming the earth. As in all previous years, I see signs of life. Already, daffodils are beginning to poke through, the flax is greening up, irises are poking through and insects are darting about. Yet, it is still only February and just the beginning of February at that.
Spring officially returns March 21st but here, in my little Rocky Mountain garden we will be flirting with winter well into the third week of May – typically. I mean, this could be an off year but I won’t be planting anything that doesn’t like the cold until after Mother’s Day. Just like The Who once lamented … I won’t be fooled again.
On this glorious day of days, I am afforded the opportunity to just sit outside. I wish you – you being any kind soul who happens upon these words and reads them – could be here sitting with me now, outside under my pergola, on my dusty, dirty chair and enjoying this quiet… this solitude.. this moment with me. Perhaps I would make us some iced tea. That does sound good and I was halfway tempted to stop writing this post and go inside and make some but this white tea I have is so strong, I find the effects of the caffeine to be too long lasting. So, perhaps, if you were here, I would make an iced tea but some sort of herbal blend. Hibiscus perhaps.
Oh, the GLORY! The sun is warming my aching bones and I can feel the healing transformation. There is a breeze and it is cool but not cold. It is blowing my wind chime about. Don’t you just love the sound of wind chimes? I would love to have them all over my garden. This one above me is a soprano chime so I quite fancy a bass or alto chime to accompany it.
As each day lengthens and warms, already I am feeling it. If you are here, reading this post, you must be a gardener of some sort or at least someone mildly interested in making something of a bit of earth, or container or something along those lines. I say this because if you have any appreciation for the natural world and how it invigorates the gardener, you know what the ‘it’ is.
“It” is abstract in form and changes with each passing day. “It” is a desire, a passion, a longing and a purest form of love. “It” is what is inside me, you and well, everyone really. “It” is what makes me feel alive. “It” is the perfection of a connection that is discovered – and not by accident. In my life, there are only a few core desires that equate to need. Beyond the tangible, the “it” for me is to sink my hands inside the warming earth, letting it slip through my fingers – but not before inhaling its aroma and mold it into something beautiful. It is this love I breathe into it that produces a garden.
My friends, I thank you so kindly for reading. Please accept my apologies as always for any and all delays in between posts.
Until next time, I wish you all the very best of all things. May this day and all days be blessed. Happy Gardening!
Please enjoy these photos of my Rocky Mountain garden in February:
26 May 2013
The title of this post immortalizes the feeling I had the day I planted four of these seeds. They were unusual looking seeds and I am looking forward to them sprouting.
Here is an excerpt from my written journal I created that day:
I sit now in relative peace and quiet and it is very relaxing. I was up with the sun and I feel blessed to have seen it rise. As I write these words I am reminded of Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun as she writes a postcard for someone else. I am reciting what I write in my head just as she did in the movie.
There is a slight breeze which makes the aspen sing; this combined with the bird chatter creates a peaceful melody.
There should have been more to write in my journal that day but as it turns out, three hours later, I was rushed to the hospital due to a nosebleed that just would not stop. When all was said and done, the suspected cause was stage two hypertension and the severe nosebleed was a symptom to alert me to this. What an alert it was! After that, I could not do any work in the garden for over a week which was very frustrating considering all there is to do.Fast forward three weeks and my blood pressure is more under control and it is business as usual in the garden and there is much to share. First, there are seedlings abound in the large pot where I planted the Kiss Me over the Garden Gate (Polygonum orientale). One item of note is I really should have taken the time to spread the seeds out more as there is a large mass of seedlings competing for space and I fear this may not work out too well. A few of the Polygonum seeds have sprouted but I am hoping there will be more. I may purchase some more seeds as I would love to have a grove of these growing along the entire fence. I paused from writing for a bit to order a few hundred seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. Though I of course do not need this many, this will ensure I am able to create that grove I want. From what I have read, there is a long germination time so I will be sure to soak the seeds first to speed up growing times.
Beyond the sprouts in this pot, there has been a prolific amount of growth everywhere in the garden and each day’s new discoveries are so humbling. There is a beautiful sort of magic that only tending a garden can provide and I am so blessed to have such a tremendous amount of beauty surrounding me.When we first moved into this house, I noticed some viola tri-color volunteers emerging from the grass. At that time I employed a lawn mowing service and thankfully I noticed these volunteers before they came in with the machines and removed them. I rescued them and placed them in the half whisky barrel where eventually a group of day lilies went (note I need to get a few more clumps to create a mass planting). Within the last couple of days I noticed the small flowers of what is my favorite species of flower poking out which reaffirms my opinion of these being among the friendliest flowers. Speaking of volunteers, I intentionally purchased a plant from Holly Acres Nursery that had a viola tri-color contained within. At the moment, it is outperforming the original plant. I suppose that cannot be helped though considering it was a victim of the hail we had a couple weeks ago. Though not a devastating storm by any account, it did its fair deal of damage. My new Virginia Creeper was mangled and shredded along with scores of tree foliage, extensive damage to the bee balm and a fair amount of damage to other low growing plants including the Corsican violet. I am pleased to say that most everything is recovering nicely now and I have left a fair bit of the leaves etc. on the lawn in the hopes of providing organic material for it to possibly grow better.
Back in February I wrote an article about how I was waiting for some Impatien seeds to sprout within containers inside the house. Well, to date, none have but a few weeks ago I nonchalantly threw a few into the whisky barrel at the front of the house and today I am pleased to announce I have sprouts! As I added all the varieties I purchased from Plant World Seeds, I do not know which will come up but the fact that any are growing at all is very exciting. I will provide updates over the coming weeks.
Before closing, I wanted to journal some plants I purchased from Wilmore Nurseries over last weekend (15-16 June 2013). The main reason for going there was to replace a St. John’s Wort, Mother of Thyme and trumpet flower that did not break dormancy. While there, I purchased some new plants to help fill in some blank spots. Here is what I purchased:
Two Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Blue Butterfly’
Two Penstemon “Scarlet Bugler”
One Lemon Balm
One Mystery Grape Vine
Two ‘SunPatiens’ Compact Deep Rose (Note, I really should have looked at the labels of these plants. I do not like engineered plants really. Despite being for the sun, these were placed in the shade)
One more thing for the journal is to note that the Strike It Rich rose did not make it sadly. I was able to exchange it and I chose this as a replacement:
Olympiad Hybrid Tea
Description: Each large bright true-red bloom is held on long stout stems and holds their color to the very end. Distinctive grey-green foliage on a very vigorous upright plant.
Color: Bright true-red
Bloom/Size: Medium-large, double
Petal Count: 30 to 35
Fragrance: Light fruity
Parentage: Red Planet x Pharaoh
The world of gardening is probably best summed up as ordinary miracles happening every day. Being a gardener is a sheer joy and to make something out of a little bit of earth is a blessing. I hope you are having an amazing start to the growing season and until next time, Happy Gardening and Blessings to you all!
It is amazing what can happen in just two and a half weeks! Spring has finally arrived and actually, the temperatures lately have been more summer than spring like. Like all things, this is only temporary though and cooler weather returns this week. With the warmer weather, I am pleased to share that everything seemed to make it through the record cold mentioned in the last post. All the new plants suffered a little bit but overall made it through unscathed. The rock jasmine’s canopy of miniature white flowers died off so I cut them back. Today, I noticed they are coming back in grand fashion. There was some burning on the bellis but through it all, the pink showy flowers are still pink and showy. All the buds formed on the aspens, elderberry, etc., made it through fine as well. There is so much new growth and new surprises every day. It truly is miraculous and so humbling.With the rise in temperatures, I have been very busy improving soil, digging, planting plants and seeds and moving things around to conform to whatever my current mood ends up being. I want to make a point to keep a journal of everything I do outside so I can refer back to it in the future. This will be particularly useful when it comes to planting seeds. I tend to forget not only what I planted but also where and when. Hopefully I can be diligent enough to remember to write in the little notebook every time I am outside. Here are my notes thus far:
Friday, 3 May I planted several Flanders poppy seeds along with some marjoram near the mint julep. I also planted some carrot seeds in the green house.
Saturday, 4 May I planted some purslane. (UPDATE 13 May 2013) I can see the purslane seedlings emerge.Saturday, 11 May
Imperial Giant Larkspur planted behind the juniper shrub. (Note: I am very doubtful this shrub is going to make it. Is the growth (if it is indeed growth) green or grey? It is so hard to tell. It looks so tatty at the moment and though I am a very patient gardener, I am not sure about whether I will keep it.
Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate from Seed Savers planted in large pot near shed
Red Flax (Linum Rubrum) from Native Seed Company (I believe this went in the large pot near shed)
Wave Petunia Mix planted in two small stone planters and also in leaf shaped bird bath. UPDATE 19 May – I converted the bird bath to what it was made for and dumped the dirt with seeds, etc., in retaining wall bed.
Found tag for blackberry planted under the large aspen and now I have its name — It is called Triple Crown Blackberry. This plant has been slow to break dormancy.I retrieved the roses I purchased from Holly Acres. I opted to plant them in front of the large planted area that contains the large aspen tree. I already had the hole for one dug so I placed the rose into its new home. Here is the information on the tag:
(cv. WEKscemala) Chihuly Rose (Floribunda)
In naming a rose to honor America’s famous glass artist, Dale Chihuly, it had to have impeccable style and an ever-changing array of flashy colors. This rose has it all! As the sun hits the opening petals, they blush from subtly-striped apricot yellow to dazzling orange and deep red . . . . producing a remarkable display against the deep dark green leaves and mahogany-red new growth.
Bloom/Size: Medium-large, double
Petal Count: 25 to 30
Fragrance: Mild tea
Parentage: Scentimental and Amalia
Comments: Larger flowers in cool conditions
I purchased another trumped creeper to mirror the other planted on the right side of the patio. I dug its hole today. Here is the information from the tag:
Campsis x tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’
All summer flowering
Large, fast growing, clinging vine with stems to 15 to 30 feet
Tuesday, 14 May:
Planted some desert sunflower seeds near the Chihuly rose
Thursday, 16 May
Planted old Marigold seeds among the clover under aspen
With the ground wet from fresh rain, I created the other hole for my second rose. Note, when removing from pot, the root ball collapsed. This rose is definitely struggling a bit and the broken root ball is not going to help things. Here is the information from the tag:
Strike It Rich
(cv. WEKbepmey) Deep golden yellow spun with orange-pink. Grandiflora
You are in the money . . . If you love spicy fragrance, loads of bloom and super-long elegant buds of gold polished with rosy pink. The long-lasting sparkling yellow-orange tones are rich and opulent enough to bring out the gold digger in any gardener. But id does not take a stash of expensive chemicals to keep this good lookin’ girl happy in the landscape. The natural disease resistance and strong vigor do the deed. Very dark green leaves and unusual red stems set off the many showy clusters of blossoms. Hit pay dirt with Strike It Rich!
Height/Habit: Medium-tall/upright and bushy
Bloom/Size: Large, double, informal
Petal Count: About 30
Fragrance: Strong sweet spice and fruit
Parentage: ChRiscinn x Mellow Yellow
Comments: ‘Scent-sational’ for a bouquet and ‘beauty-full’ in the landscape.
Hollyhock – Outhouse (Latin: Alcea rosea)
Planted these seeds behind where I buried my little clump of Vinca Major. I purchased these from eBay from Heirlooms R Us Seeds
I threw some of these into the terra cotta pots where I planted some alyssum. These were planted toward the back while blue fax was planted toward the center. I also threw some seeds near the log. These seeds were purchased from Plant World Seeds
Mint from Russia. Planed in the crevices near the juniper
Latin: Nasturtium officinale
Purchased these also from Herilooms R Us. I cannot remember where I put these. I think in the main bed with the clover. It will be interesting to see where it pops up.
Friday, 17 May
This morning I was up bright and early to head downtown to take advantage of the member’s only morning at the gardens. I will create a blog entry dedicated to this but I mention it now to highlight the plants I purchased:
Two Vining Snapdragons
Salvia ‘Christine Yeo’
I also purchased several seeds which I hope to plant soon
The carrot sprouts are emerging so I am very happy the weather will be turning cooler. Other items of note: two days ago, I noticed poppy sprouts and four days ago sweet pea sprouts! Also two days ago, I had one lone daffodil bloom emerge.
Saturday, 19 May
I have a vining plant of some description in the big pot located in the corner of the Adirondack chair seating area. I am thinking perhaps it gets too much sun. It probably is not but still, this prompted me to plant hollyhock seeds around it in hopes of shaded cover. Not stopping there, I planted some around the Viola Odorata as well. One can never have too many hollyhocks planted. I believe I planted more but cannot recall where. I will find out soon enough though.
Curious if the bee balm located in the half whisky barrel where the chamomile is dominating is coming back to life, I moved some leaves where it should be growing and in that area are leaves coming up which look like they could indeed be bee balm. When there are more, I will rub them in the hope I reveal that distinct aroma.
The marjoram sprouts are emerging.The snap dragons are now nestled among the marigolds under the thistle seed feeder. Speaking of which, I am blessed to have gold finches visiting said thistle feeder. I also planted the new marigolds. As mentioned earlier, I decided to move the leaf shaped bird bath to the top area and use it as such as opposed to a planter. I also moved one of the clay gnomes and the before mentioned marigolds were planted at the foot of the gnome.
I rummaged through some boxes and found soil improver along with a lot of old seeds. I spread the optimizer and in a care free fashion, I broadcasted dill, alfalfa, desert bluebells and African daisies in the planted area where the struggling juniper is. This in addition to the copious amount of clover I broadcasted a couple days ago.
I think it is important to include the notes on the dill I planted. The seeds were purchased The Seed Savers Exchange and the name of this variety is Grandma Einck’s Dill. Here is the description on the back:
Grandma Einck’s Dill
Description: Iowa heirloom grown near Festina, Iowa since 1920 by the Einck family (Diane Whealy’s grandmother). Large fragrant heads are great for making dill pickles, spicing up summer salads or as a unique addition to flower bouquets. Foliage is abundant and long lasting. Being permanently maintained at Heritage Farm for its beauty, fragrance and warm memories. Self-Seeding annual.
Despite previous intentions, not only am I leaving the ‘petunia pot’ on the ledge of the planted area under the large aspen but I also added more pots. Filled with compost, I planted all my rock cress seeds (Aubrieta Deltoidea) in these pots along with some bulbs I believe are rain lily bulbs.
This reminds me . . . Yesterday I planted several onion bulbs along with some garlic in the planted area beneath the large aspen. I have a fear of rabbits infiltrating my garden and demolishing my clover patches I am currently enjoying very much. This is one tactic I will begin with to hopefully repel them. Note, I must take care of all the gaps under the fences to prevent them from getting in at all.
Seedlings are emerging from the large pot near the shed. The best part is, I do not know what the seedlings are as it is part of the mix o’ seeds I placed in the middle of the pot. I am anxiously awaiting the Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate Seeds to sprout.
The clover sprouts are emerging in the bed where the struggling juniper is.
Planted some dandelions in the tomato earth boxes and pumpkin seeds in small pots in the greenhouse.
Each day brings something new to behold. Spring has arrived in all its spectacular, miraculous glory. Each moment I am outside communing with my garden I am studying everything looking for new life and I am always filled with joy and amazement at what I see. Until next time, I wish you all the very best and pray your days are blessed.
I leave you now with some images related to all I have written about. 🙂