With thanks to commentor JeffG166:
Top pic: 4.16.2022
Sour cherry tree flowering. This tree is on its last leg. The core of the tree is rotted. A major wind gust could take it out.
Peony tulips under the sour cherry tree. These are performing better this year than they have for the last several.
Planted in a south facing concrete container last October. Wintered over. No idea how long they will last into the summer.
Here just north of Boston, it’s been clement enough that I can start cleaning the winter detritus out of pots & beds… and start glaring suspiciously at a lot of ’empty’ dirt. Surely some of those supposed-to-be-perennials will return by Memorial day, but: Is there a varmint out there that eats dianthus plants? Or columbines (aquilegia)?
None of mine are showing up, and from prior experience I expected to see some green leaves among the daffodils, daylilies, climbing rose and iris shoots. We’re officially Zone 7 now, but it was an unusually snow-free & fairly warm winter. So the voles never went into hibernation, and I suspect nor did the squirrels, bunnies, skunks…
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
Here in the UP we’re supposed to get up to 3 inches of snow tonight. Quit taunting us with this imaginary “spring” you speak of.
Much like Jesus, my weeds have come back to life.
Happy Easter! ??
I lost a bunch of Echinacea plants one winter. We have deer and squirrels and moles and voles, oh my!
Ohio had a freeze last night. Much better than snow, but still very out of place.
@germy: No water needed?
Beautiful flowers JeffG, sorry about the cherry tree, it looks glorious. This year, the squirrels took it upon themselves to prune all the blossoms off of our cherry trees. I’d get upset but it’s not like we ever get any cherries anyway.
@Baud: It’s all in there.
The weeping cherry and dogwoods have already bloomed. The azaleas have been amazing, so all is good. Off to prepare for festivities.
@Baud: It’s a miracle.
Here in Denver peony shoots are peeking out of the ground, columbine are starting to green up; been rather cold and my veggie garden is slow this year ( seeds are now just starting to peek out of the soil). I suspect that tomato plants won’t be planted until after Mother’s Day.
Apparently not. I used to work with a guy who did something similar but on a smaller scale and he mentioned condensation being part of the whole process.
In the springtime of my dotage, strength waning, joints audibly creaking and having to make barber appointments for my nose and ears, I have been considering retiring from gardening.
My quandary, what would I replace it with. A hobby that would allow me to thumb through catalogs and putter in shops planning for future projects, while simultaneously indulging my twin passions of procrastination and Indolence; yet, and most importantly, provide fodder for boring the hell out of Magas I am too often forced to consume adult beverages with.
Yesterday, thanks to this small blog, named after spittle in flimsy rubbery tubes, I had an Easter Eve epiphany – QUILTING.
@OzarkHillbilly: First time this year I have one squirrel that has taken to trashing the ornamental quince flowers by tearing them off to eat. It also has attacked the 80 tulips I had come back from last year. I had not expected these tulips to reflowed. I was so happy they did. The 80 flowers are now 40. Picking a tulip when it flowers means the bulb will never flower again.
I looked up how to skin, gut and cook squirrels yesterday on YouTube. They are out of control here.
My neighbor has taken it up herself to put raw peanuts out three times a day for the squirrels. They make a beeline for my garden with them. I found the first peanut plant coming up the other day. Pulled it out.
I remember an old Don Martin cartoon, a guy combing his mustache but it keeps jumping up SPROING! and then he says “You can’t train nose hair!”
@Baud: When I was about 10, a neighbor made one. He had a half dozen or more different plants in it. It thrived until the day he died, almost 30 yrs later. AFAIK, he never had to do a thing with it.
@germy: Yes, the plants “recycle” the water.
@oldgold: My wife uses a weedeater on my ear hairs. At least, that’s what it sounds like.
@OzarkHillbilly: Too bad we can’t do that with people.
@Baud: I feel like we have and one look at the planet says the experiment has been a disaster.
Not true, the tulip growers in the Netherlands cut the flowers at full bloom to improve the bulbs.
Ear hair: nature’s comb over?
O. Felix Culpa
Greetings from Schiphol airport! Have there been any updates from Imm on the Immp?
We had a hard freeze last night, down to 24° in some parts. The sun is out and it will warm to the mid-forties, but I haven’t had the heart to go look at my not quite ready to bloom spring bulbs yet. Early hyacinths and daffodils I hope are ok. ?
@O. Felix Culpa: No.
@Baud: My grandmother had one of those. It would “rain” inside the bottle. As an adult I realize the plants would release water vapor which would collect on the glass and fall back on the plants.
@debbie: Normally we’re still a ways from really “warm” weather but I’ve never seen winter hang on like it has this year.
Here’s a story for the garden thread: Pots of gold: the world’s most expensive house plants.
O. Felix Culpa
@Baud: Fingers crossed they’re ok.
High 40s to middle 50s overnight at four digit elevation on Maui. Practically unheard of for mid-April. That’s normally February weather.
I’m wondering about varmints too, because only 3 of about a dozen liatris have sprouted. Maybe I’m just being too impatient. I have my tomatoes and pepper plants sitting in the sunny bathroom waiting for it to get cold again tonight and tomorrow night before I put them out. According to the monthly forecast, we will have an overnight temp of 31 again on the last night in April, but I hope they’re wrong. I don’t know if I want to wait that long to plant them. My lettuce plants are palm-sized now and I picked the first radish yesterday to check them out. It tasted fine, but was only the size of a marble.
Love slicing a radish in half and spreading a dab of butter on each piece before popping it into the piehole.
My perennials are slowly peeking out. It’s that time of year. The grape hyacinths are blooming and there are lots of bees around. That always makes me happy.
In houseplant news, my little Thanksgiving cactus has produced another single flower bud and will bloom again. It’s the wrong time of year, but it doesn’t care!
@satby: Hope you are right. I will have to wait until next year to find out.
We are supposed to get a frost Tuesday AM, that should be the last of them till October. Meanwhile I have more than 2 hundred plants that I started waiting to get stuck in the ground. Some no doubt would shrug off any kind of frost (the wild thyme for instance, maybe the yarrow too) but after coming this far I am loathe to risk it. I am not a patient gardener.
I am building a garden table out at the veggie garden. It will be a place to hang all the tools I most use out there (saving me 15 -20 steps to the garden shed) and to put the flats of plants I am working with. The garden shed is an overflowing disaster area very much in need of cleaning out.
I need to clean out the water feature in the Zen garden and get it flowing again. Most everything there has come back, but a few plants are looking pretty sad. I may have to fall back and replant some things.
I needed a few more 3″ peat pots so yestermorn I rounded up the hounds and got them into the truck, started it up and put it in gear and…
Revved up the engine.
Finally got it going in the lower gears and reverse was just fine but…
Time to get a new tranny.
Looks like we all survived the overnight hard freeze! Sunny and already nearly 35° outside, and almost 54° inside ?
Weather outlook for the rest of the month shows no more below freezing temps, though we’ll probably get a couple more frosts. Relieved!
@JAM: If you put them out be ready to cover them at night and watch carefully for frost predictions. That’ll cut the risk down of losing them, but it won’t eliminate it if you have a harder freeze unexpectedly.
I use tulips for cut flowers. They’ll come back. Don’t cut the leaves back until they are yellowed and floppy. The energy for the bulb comes from the leaves, not the flowers.
Tulip plantings “fade” though- they don’t multiply like daffodils- so if you start with 100 you’ll have 80 the following year and so forth. Add 10 or 20 bulbs a year. Alternately, you can look for varieties that are marketed as “perennials” – they supposedly reliably come back year after year, although I have not compared.
Tulips really respond to fertilizer. I think gardeners skimp on fertilizing bulbs because they’re so easy. I use 8-8-8 or 10-10-10, ordinary granular fertilizer in the fall after the flowers have gone by and the leaves are gone.
@NotMax: I’ll have to try that. We only use them in salads and I planted way too many at once.
@oldgold: I never thought about it, but quilting and gardening have some things in common. Planning, choosing colors, sketching designs. You don’t get as dirty quilting, but one does accumulate threads and bits of fabric that gets strewn around the house (my floors show evidence of current projects, lots of blue and yellow fabric bits around).
So, you want to quilt? I say “Welcome to the Party!” Lots of good info on the Internet to get you started, and quilting is so much easier than it was when I made my first quilt 50 years ago! Whoever invented rotary cutters is a god (or goddess) in my world!
@satby: Glad you’re ok, and I can sympathize. An ice storm took down some power lines, and the house got pretty cold. We pulled the couch close to the fireplace, snuggled under blankets and read and dozed there, and the cats joined us.
@NotMax: bread and butter topped with sliced radishes. Yum
@oldgold: Full service blog!
@satby: I will. I have some of those big plastic food buckets, and usually what I do is put incandescent Xmas lights underneath them with the plants (if the plants are small enough). We are only supposed to have that one cold night though, so I’m hoping the weather forecast ends up being wrong.
Unseasonable chill continues here in NE Illinois. High today in the 30s. A warm-up to the 60s is forecast for the end of the week, but we’ll see.
Bloodroot are finally popping up in the woods–last year they opened in early April. Crocuses are winding down. Maybe 5-6 of the 25 orange crocuses I planted in the fall bloomed. Lovely colors, but very tiny–the entire plant measures maybe 2 inches? Daffs are opening. The hellebore. Forsythia is close to popping. Pussy willows just starting to flower.
One of my favorite things is the little spring beauty cluster that’s managed to survive at the edge of the driveway for the last few years. Four plants are forming buds. Not sure if the laggards will bud or if they’re still at the building stage.
@Quiltingfool: Yes! My mother taught me that one.
Here in Pinellas, Fl ( zone 9b) you can, to my sorrow, forget about spring bulbs. No Daffs, Croceii, Tulips, Squill, Bluebells etc. On the bright side the Flag Iris are having a ball, the Amaryllis are looking lovely , Bouganvillia is doing its thing and next doors Crepe Myrtles are a sheet of purple and the perennial Peanuts are flowering away
The Calladiums are beginning to sprout as are the Hostas. It is a lovely morning here and I’m happy to see it
@Quiltingfool: “Whoever invented rotary cutters is a god (or goddess) in my world.“
It would be a real serendipity if they worked on nose and ear hairs!
I just discovered that something burrowed and tunneled under one of my flower beds. I’m going to need something other than coffee before I go inspect the damage. Damn. Today is going to be an inside chores day.
@kalakal: You could do spring bulbs if you had a refrigerator to store them in for the cold period they need.
@Kay: I may have thrown some bulb fertilizer on this group last fall when I planted the new bulbs I had. Will throw it on them this fall.
@Jeffery: I actually thought of doing that. I may try it someday. Plant them out in milk crates or something similar and swap them with something for the rest of year. Years ago I went to Monet’s garden at Giverny ( which is truly glorious) and they do that on an industrial scale through the year in order to keep it awash with colour*.
*Not the woodland lily pond bit, the round his house bit
@jnfr: All the “holiday” cactus are day length sensitive, so that bud is from having passed the spring equinox. You get more buds when the plant sees it as having gone from long sunny days to shorter days; that’s why you can sometimes get a few blooms in spring, but not as many as in the fall.
There’s summer blooming ones as well, the leaves are similar but the blooms are more daisy-like. I thought I had the plant tag to give you the plant name, but it’s gone. It has loads of pink flowers for over a month in summer and the plant is very upright.
The “fancy” tulips do fade away with the years, but the smaller species tulips will naturalize like daffodils. Varieties like Persian Pearl or tulipa clutei are gorgeous and smaller in size so great for rock gardens and dry native landscaping. They definitely multiply.
This last week we woke to fresh snow 4 out of 5 days, after most of late March and early April being so warm that most bulbs have or did bloom before we hit 18 one night. The nectarine was in full bloom and is now toast but we look at it as an ornamental that provisions the bees early in the season. I’m hoping the pie cherry, which hadn’t bloomed yet, and the blueberries will still produce. We did get 3 great days of backcountry skiing in powder, and by the 4th day it was too deep to make downhill progress (4′) and too risky as far as avalanche goes to hit the steeper slopes with all that new snow. After a pretty low snow spring, this last blast was a blessing for the water supply but no way near enough to break the drought. I’m glad the infrastructure bill is sending a chunk here for wildfire mitigation because it will be needed.
The sour cherry tree blooming so spectacularly in spite of being “on its last legs” with the core “rotted” is, well, inspiring. I’m in my 70s and I have a tendency to look at whatever’s left of my life as nothing but decline … but the tree shows me that I could flower if I try. JeffG, thanks for this lovely Easter gift to us.
Here in north Florida, I provided home grown broccoli for our Easter family gathering out doors. We ate in small tables around the pool and some of us thought the water was warm enough for the first swim of the season. I prefer to wait but it was a nice warm day. Spring is almost over. Roses are doing great. I should mow the lawn but it rained so I will wait. It will be hot soon.