Sunday, April 7, 2013

Me so happy...

In an old movie, one of those ancient black and whites, Louis Armstrong plays a musician alongside Humphrey Bogart in a movie called Casablanca. Nothing to do with gardening (although they do speak of watering the garden with champagne, which I don't think worked well) but Louis did sing and play a few songs. (Another side note, I've still never discovered the moral behind the movie - I'm wavering between shoot the really bad guy and you won't have to go jail or the alternative of stick with your husband even if you love another guy) All of that is not the point, though, the point is that in the early stages of the movie Armstrong and company sing a song something like....
Tum, te, tum, te "now who's happy?" (the band answers) "we are happy" tum te tiddly tum "just how happy" "Very happy!"
There is more about knocking on wood and what not, but those lines just about summed up my feelings this weekend. I cleared out the asparagus bed, which I planted last spring, and lo and behold there was life. Several large sprouts are ready for picking! I am pretty sure that I'm only supposed to pick a few from each plant this year, but that will be a lot more than I picked last year. I think next weekend will be a good weekend for steak, potatoes and asparagus (with lots of butter and garlic). I know that isn't a meal for a slimming diet, but every once in a while....

There is also a bit of growth from the spinach, lettuce and radishes we planted earlier in March. I think that the weather being warmer is started to encourage all of those faint hearted seedlings to come out from under the dirt.

All is not goose and gaters here though. No, joy does not reign supreme. Last weekend I didn't get around to pruning and fertilizing roses, so I did it between down pours this weekend. The problem came when I discovered that leaves weren't the only thing growing here. Aphids had not only set up shop, but were covering a few branches. Not on a few branches, but it was more like an aphid colony with a few leaves added. I cut off this offending branch and cast it into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of aphid teeth, but the trouble didn't end there. They had outposts on other branches. I sprayed them with a good insecticide and should stave off the invasion, but I don't remember seeing them this early before. I am hoping this is not a dark vision of things to come. Well, there's only one way to find out... I'll check them again next week.

This post is a bit like a sail ship. We are tacking back and forth. We will eventually reach the end, but there is more joy and heartache to follow. More good news though. We had some potatoes left so I set them out and they began to sprout right away. As that one fellow once said, "there is no time like the present to plant potatoes." or something like that. So I planted. I used this bin from last year and planted them in about 4" inches of good dirt. I'll add some lighter soil mixed with wood chips as the plants grow and then we get a fair amount of taters from them. The extras I put in a hole the dogs dug in the back yard. Coincidently, this is where I planted them last year as well. Whenever I dig, the dogs like to keep on digging hoping to find something I guess. I laid a bit of chicken wire over the area and after about 2 weeks, the dogs will forget that I dug there and the potatoes will be safe. 

More good news. Costco was selling their geraniums. Last year we put some in a pot and they bloomed all year. I also bought these plastic plant hangers last year (they were already filled with plants) but now I am reusing them with these new geraniums. I had to disturb the roots quite a bit to get them to fit into the small holes, so I am hoping everyone is comfortable and will not go into too much shock. I did water them well though, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

By the end of last year this container was hidden by the spread of the plants! lets hope for more of the same.
Below is our front wall and flower bed. Our wonderful landscaper planted lavender here. I thought he said he was going to plant heather, but as I didn't really pay attention they were long gone and have seemed to forget to return calls. So I just purchased my own heather. I am going to get more when finances permit and pull out the lavender, but for now they can grow together in peace. I can't quite imagine what a front planter full of lavender would look like, but I think the heather is a better choice.

 Alas, I hate to end on a bad note, but what can one do? I don't write the news of our garden, I just tell about it. This last week from about Thursday on was a torrential downpour mixed with lots of wind. Besides making all of my daffodils lay in the mud, this has also made all of the local flowering trees loose their flowers. To honor their loss, I am posting a few pictures I took a week or two ago. We usually get a month or so of these up and down our streets, but instead we only enjoyed about a week. But, like Lucy likes to say, "Oh well, maybe next time." They'll be back next spring.


  1. Oh the joys of spring gardening. Daffodils in the mud, check.
    Cats digging in the freshly dug soil, check.
    Pruning roses, what? A chore I never get right but now I know the aphids are probably already attacking my plants. UGH

    Can hardly wait to get outside and get some work done but it is so soggy right now!

    1. It is very soggy right now, but it will dry out if we can hold off the rain a bit!

  2. The tree blooms are gorgeous. Too bad they didn't last long. Mother Nature has not been kind this year! But, your asparagus is looking good!

  3. So how large do your asparagus grow by the end of the season? I'm trying to figure out where I could squeeze some in but I understand they get quite large. A nice steak dinner sounds fabulous, hope you get to it.

    1. I have Jersey Knight and it is supposed to get to 18". I think that may be a bit excessive and under ideal conditions, so I squeezed mine a bit tighter. I also put it in a 4X4 raised bed so that it won't start taking over. I am pretty sure that it is the late foliage that gets the largest, so I planted it in back of the garden so that it won't shade the rest later.