Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunshine weekend

This weekend has been gorgeous. It finally feels like spring again after weeks of unusually cold temperatures (and snow) where I live. I know it will come and go for a little while longer before it's here to stay but I'm relishing it right now.

We worked in the yard yesterday, getting our planter beds ready. There was dead grass (which shouldn't be there at all - must keep up better on the weeding this summer), last year's growth of primrose, wildflowers and herbs, depending on the bed, and lots of leaves blown in during fall and winter.

Cleaning out the beds was also important for letting our bulbs grow properly. Lots of things were already sprouting so we did this none too soon. The previous owners of our home were bulb-crazy. They planted them in every bed and nook and cranny. They were an older couple from France and they were very talented gardeners. The yard and landscaping are some of our favorite features of the house. It's a fair amount of work to keep up with but it's very rewarding for me and the Bear to work on it, side-by-side.

There are irises galore and I cannot wait for these to be in bloom. You can see all the little pointy, green iris shoots just starting to pop out of the ground.

There are just a few hyacinths. They will be light pink and, historically, irresistible to a certain GB. I'm hoping this year will be the first since she began walking that she does not pick my hyacinths as soon as they bloom.

There are also tulips, which were difficult to photograph because the shoots were in shade. But these will be reddish-orange when they bloom. I think there may be a couple of yellow ones too.

We have numerous rosebushes, both miniature and full-sized, and I was pleased to see that they have leaf buds already too. This large bush grows against the east wall of our backyard and gets western sun all afternoon. It produces large, dark-red roses. They aren't heavily scented but the flowers themselves are really pretty. I don't know the variety but I have enjoyed researching rose-care and I think I have a good system with them now. They produce flowers throughout the growing season.

Meanwhile, at the base of this large rosebush, the perennial primrose is beginning to sprout. I love this plant for its pale pink flowers. I enjoy the way they wave in the breeze on their tall stalks. What I don't especially appreciate is the way it takes over and grows binding runners which choke other plants. It's a chore to keep up with primrose, pretty as it is.

While the Bear and I worked, the small Bears entertained themselves in the yard, sometimes playing and sometimes joining us for simple tasks they can help with. The Bear found a small lizard under the pyracantha and gave it to them to play with. The LB really surprised us with how gentle, and focused, he was with the lizard. He played with him for a good half-hour before we suggested it was time to put him back under the bushes.

We have many of these little lizards around the yard. They like to sun themselves on rocks and on the patio. The small Bears love to try to catch them. I held this one a little while too and he was really sweet. His skin was smooth and dry and you could feel his heartbeat. He was probably terrified but he was surprisingly agreeable to being held.

Mildly naughty behavior went on too. The GB thinks these railroad ties are her own personal balance beam. Fortunately, it isn't very far to fall.

We feel the yard is ready now. It was a lot of work but between the two of us we got it done and now it's just a matter of weeks before there will be lots of colorful blooms to enjoy. This bed is where I will be planting wildflower seeds in a few weeks; there are iris shoots in the front corner.

And this is the central portion of the large bed on the eastern wall; it extends another several feet on each side. That's the large rosebush surrounded by iris shoots and primrose. This bed is lush when everything fills in.

Today continues to be sunny and pleasant but I've been catching up on indoor chores. I've changed all the beds and washed many loads of bed linens. This afternoon I plan to open windows in the kitchen/family room area of the house and run the oven's self-cleaning cycle. Grilled chicken fajitas are planned for dinner.

It feels good to get things done. The house is cleaned up and plants are coming to life in the yard. St. Patrick's Day seems to be the general turning point for plants where I live. Trees will suddenly begin to leaf and flowers will bloom. My own flowering trees will be in full bloom by April. I love this time of year. There are fresh starts everywhere.


  1. My son would love to find little lizards in the garden. Lovely photographs.

    Leanne x

    1. Hi Leanne! Thank you. The lizard was really fun. I have seen at least one already today; they're coming out of hibernation, I guess!

  2. Spring is coming, it's so good to see the sun shining, Your garden looks like it'll be awash with colour. My son would have been beyond himself to find a lizard in the garden... even now at 24 yrs of age :) xx

    1. Hi Cheryl! I'm so happy it's coming. It won't be too long now. I think boys of all ages like lizards, my husband was pretty taken with this one as well. :)

  3. Thank you for those beautiful reminders that Spring is indeed on its way. You will be so organised and able to enjoy it.

    1. Hi Linda! You're welcome. Oh, I hope so! I'm so ready for it. :)

  4. How lucky you are to have inherited a beautifully planted and landscaped garden with your house. I love the feeling after some hard work in the garden, it's so satisfying. But I am very jealous of your self-cleaning oven. I wish mine did that, I truly hate cleaning my oven and only do it just before my mum comes to stay.

    Gillian x

    1. Hi Gillian! Yes, we are so lucky. The plants and landscaping were a huge reason why we bought this house. We first saw it in late May when everything was in bloom and it just drew us in. The oven is wonderful, I have to say. This is the first place I've lived with a self-cleaning one and it makes life so much easier.


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