Sunday, April 1, 2012

Something about non musical violas and non child raising nurseries...

This weekend started off with a bang having Lucy's birthday. She has since been going from toy to toy like a butterfly, flitting and sipping. Helen is glad Lucy got presents because she also gets to share in the spoils. However, since this is a gardening blog, not a how-are-the-kids blog (some grandparents may beg to differ - I won't mention any names) we'll move on to Saturday.

There is no getting away from the fact that sunshine brings out the "let's get stuff done" spirit in most gardeners. I happen to be one of them - even if it's only for a couple of hours. However, there must be a good moderator over such impulsive gardeners (like myself) or it can lead to trouble. Example: Don't go shopping at nurseries or greenhouses if the sun is out. We went to Watson's to get cucumber seeds, and I had some questions about strawberries. We didn't exactly come home with answered questions and cucumber seeds. No, it went more along the lines of buying cucumber seeds, strawberry plants, rhubarb plants, violas for one of the driveway planters, walla walla onion starts, and two of these fancy do-dads that looks like a "long plastic sock that has three holes with planted impatients in them which you hang on either side of the garage door and by summer and they grow out and trail down the wall blooming their pink little heads off." (I know quite a mouthful and I've probably only confused the intelligent readers) No, it wasn't in the budget. Once again I'll have to water down the kids formula or put extra water in the milk or something.

You would have been proud of all the plants I didn't buy that looked really nice and probably would have gone somewhere in the yard... well, maybe not.

The garden is coming along. I had to add a new 5 X 5 planter (I had it in back last year, but the dogs kept digging up everything I planted in it) to the garden for asparagus. I think I'll have to buy some Jersey Knight crowns because my little helper picked all of the little tops off of my seedlings and they haven't quite shriveled up, but they aren't looking healthy. If they haven't shown some signs of improvement I'll hand them their dinner pail and look for a sale.

The rhubarb is next to the raspberries. I dug up the area by hand, added some compost from the oldest and finest bin, and put them in the ground with just a bit poking up to show that something good is on its way. Most good nurseries actually have a paper on what to do and what not to do when planting your newest addition, so I've made it a habit to ask. It sure helps because I would most certainly have done it backwards with out instruction.

More good news, the first yellow gold finch arrived this morning. I think there have been some females around, but I might have been mixing them up with other birds. The yellow males, though, are hard to miss. They usually get here a bit earlier, but being as Catherine (agardenerinprogress), my mother-in-law, our neighbor, and others have much nicer yards, I don't hold a grudge. I'm just glad he (the goldfinch) made it over. The few sun-breaks we had this weekend brought a lot of different birds out. Lucy and I sat on our front porch just listening to them sing, screech and banter back and forth. It almost had a spring feel - then it started raining again and we went inside.

Our flowering currents are spreading their sweetness and light (as apposed to hiding it under a bushel like the person in Matthew). The humming bird was flitting and sipping (like Lucy with her presents) and I ran, got the camera, came back - realized I didn't have the right lens - retrieved the zoom lens, took a picture. But no, there was no memory card. Found the memory card and came back and of course he looked at me, winked and flew off. If you look at the picture below and imagine a humming bird sipping out of the flower, you've got the right idea though. It is always fun to watch them.

Last, but not least, I started my summer squash, cucumbers (the starters of trouble), and more summer squash called starship. They look like little UFOs and should loads of fun. They should be ready, according to my guesswork in about 4-6 weeks, for transplant into the great out doors. I am hoping for spring to have actually arrived by then, but only time will tell.

Well, I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine, and remember, when the sun is out, don't go plant shopping - no gardener is safe!


  1. You're right about the dangers of going plant shopping when the sun is out. If I go shopping in the rain I come home with chickens instead.
    The Goldfinches almost never visit my yard, so they weren't hanging out here. I've only ever seen them a few times here.
    I think we all like hearing about not only the garden but the gardener as well. I like hearing stories about your girls!

  2. "But then it started raining again, so we went back inside." That gets the award for Most Often Spoken Comment in Western Washington! But I can imagine a hummingbird flitting about the flowering current, which is beautiful, by the way. I almost bought a flowering current last year, but now I don't have room for Any More Plants--and I mean it. I think those are your best Noah's Ark animals so far.