Monday, April 24, 2017

Garden, late April


Hello! It feels like I haven't blogged in a really long time. I've been away from my computer for days. We had a nice Easter, as I hope you did as well, but the following week was pretty challenging as the Bear recovered from his surgery. We went back to the hospital for follow-up appointments and he worked from home a bit, but mostly needed to rest and get better. I was trying to juggle a lot of different things on my own. We both slept poorly at night because he was uncomfortable and keeping me awake. He's doing much better this week and has returned to work and we're both sleeping better, so things are looking up. Thank you for your kind words and get-well wishes, they mean a lot to both of us.

This weekend, we tackled some outdoor jobs, which was actually very invigorating. He felt well enough to work for a couple of hours and I was just so glad to be outdoors and getting stuff done. All the perennials are blooming now and it's just lovely to be outside. This time of year is definitely one to savor; the temperatures are usually perfect and the sun isn't too terribly strong yet. In a few weeks, yard work will be a brutal endeavor, but not just yet. I spent an hour or so on Saturday morning weeding the front yard and pulling out volunteer shoots of Russian sage, which pop up all over the yard. Sunday was for the backyard and all four of us worked on getting things ready for the growing season. It's all finished now and I'm really excited to see what unfolds.


I planted my annuals, finally. I was itching for weeks to do this, but I held back. I might have done it a bit too early as it is, since the forecast is calling for lows in the upper thirties by the end of this week, but as long as the temperature stays above freezing, I think it will be okay. Anyway, I've really refined my annuals game over the past few years, after planting too much in the past, and now I'm down to just my half-barrel and this small Talavera planter, and I feel hopeful that I can have good annuals all summer long.


Last year, I planted beautiful lavender-and-yellow violas in the Talavera pot but they couldn't handle much sun and they died by early June. This year, I deliberately chose plants that want long periods of direct sun. I really love this planter and I want something to survive in it! I chose two small celosia plants, a pink and an orange. Celosia thrives with 6 or more hours of full sun, and I'm only hoping that New Mexico-strength sun has been accounted for. It's a small, lightweight pot, so I can always move it into shade if it seems like they've had enough.


In the barrel, I planted five geraniums. I have had geraniums in the barrel for years, but I've always added other plants, such as lobelia or verbena, for color and design, but I don't think I'll bother with anything but geraniums anymore. I ended up pulling four out of six verbenas last year because they were too crowded. The back of the barrel is in partial shade so things don't grow as well there. So just geraniums now. I planted them closer to the front of the barrel to give them more sun exposure. I know they'll do well here and I'm glad I resisted the temptation to fill up the barrel with other things that will only look nice for a little while. It's a terrible feeling to throw away plants, isn't it? All that water wasted. I tried to go with a theme with my flowers this year, sticking with pinks and oranges. I thought it would be nice with the new house paint. The barrel has two fuchsia geraniums on the left, a peachy-pink in the middle and two orange ones at the right. I was thinking about kind of a wave through the colors, which works in my head, but we'll see.


Less beautifully, we planted our vegetable containers too. I don't remember exactly what is in which container at the moment, but they include two kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash. They'll live here on the west wall of the yard, near the chicken coop, where they'll get good but not terribly intense sun.


Other things are planted in the side yard, along the house. We have two kinds of grapes back here and they're doing really well. We also have an outrageous amount of tarragon back here that I'm always looking for ways to use. Annual-wise, we plant tomatoes and herbs over here. We have a large planter with basil, chives and thyme this year. We try different herbs every year, but there is always basil.


This post is mostly about the back yard but I am so excited about this Spanish lavender we planted in the front about eighteen months ago. We planted an English lavender at the same time, to replace a big, old one which had died. Neither new lavender did much in their first spring, last year, but this year the Spanish has bloomed so nicely! The new English has buds (as does the other old one we still have) so I think it will flower soon too. The front yard smells better and better every time I go outside!


Back to the back...I bought a new patio umbrella this spring. It's from Target and I took advantage of a big patio sale with an extra discount coupon code. Our old umbrella was in sorry shape and I really wanted a bigger one anyway, so it was a good time to grab a new one while they were cheaper. I chose a neutral color to blend with the house and let the flower colors stand out. It's just lovely. We've eaten lunch out there almost every day for the past couple of weeks. I also sprung for a concrete base for the umbrella. I've never had one before; I always took the old umbrella down and put it away on the porch to keep it from blowing away. It turns out you don't have to do that if you have a base! Duh. I don't know why I never thought of buying one but it makes a big difference.


And check this out - the new umbrella tilts! I know, this is probably really old "technology" but the old one didn't have this feature and I was constantly moving the umbrella around and sticking it back into the table at different angles to block the sun. But not anymore, now that I've leapt so proudly into the um...twentieth century.


Look what I found while I was gardening! We're not sure where the nest is, but we all marveled at the idea of a baby robin who was small enough to hatch from that little hole. And we all agreed that baby birds and teeny eggs are some of the nicest things about springtime.

************

I just wanted to say hello and welcome to new readers and followers! I've noticed several new commenters lately and I am really glad you're here. I hope you'll enjoy following along with our homey adventures. 

I've had some questions about the Winter Project Link Party lately and I thought I'd address them here; the party will resume in October, provided there is interest among my readers. I will ask about interest toward the end of summer, probably in August, just to see whether people wish to participate again. It only takes a few to have a nice link party. I hope that if you're interested now, you'll keep my party in mind come the fall. I'd love to have you!

18 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking lovely! I'm itching to get my hands in the dirt and start planting soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely post Jennifer, I love to hear about your garden high up in the sunshine. Geraniums are a great choice for pots aren't they, I haven't grown any for years but suddenly this year I am desperate for them. Not quite time yet, it's still a bit on the chilly side here, but soon, very soon. I am envying you your tarragon and basil. My tarragon died over the winter and basil never seems to do very well for me which is a pity, it really is a fantastic herb. Love the little egg. I found part of a blue one the other day which I think is a song thrush. I shall post a picture of it soon. Nature really is amazing. The tilting parasol is brilliant. I ended up getting a big, oh, I can't think of the word, pagoda? sort of like a tent with no walls, as the sun was just always going straight under our parasol. We can pick this thing up and move it around, plus it's much bigger. I do love our parasol though, it has solar fairy lights built into it. Nothing like a solar fairy light on a summer's evening. I shall look forward to seeing your garden through the season. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so enjoy your blog. Love the gardening photo's & like it that everyone pitches in. I'm itching to get back into the garden, but here in Portland we're still getting a load of wet weather & it's been a bit too cold for the things I need to plant. So far, I do have a few summer bulbs that have popped up with 6 inches of green leaves. Do you know where Mountainair, NM is? We have friends (Pamela & Ken) that purchased part of the town there. She has a store on the main street Called Treasures of the Gypsy. It's worth the drive as the whole town is very artsy. It's not too far south east of Albuquerque. Take care & keep posting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everything is looking lovely, Jennifer. Could you send some of your warmth our way, please? We had flurries of snow today! Yuck!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh that's so lovely!!! Geraniums!!! so fun!!! Elizabeth Goudge's _The Little White Horse_ lovingly has them! (fave kids/ya book of J K Rowling!)... so nice to have these few weeks of Spring! I am so glad your husband is on the mend; that sounds like a challenging week!!! Hope for a good recovery for him!!! Blessings on your evening!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so envious of your lavender, I've tried English and French with no success. Tried it in the ground and in a pot. Maybe I'll look for some Spanish lavender.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So lovely to see everything blooming around you now. We are having iffy weather today. I try to find beauty but mostly feel like I live in a dust bowl. Definitely not looking forward to summer heat. Just hoping that some of my plants will survive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your flowers are so pretty! We have a while to wait before planting, but it's getting there! I love the little egg, and that photo of Bear and GB is so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just catching up so sorry to hear about The Bears surgery, but glad to hear he is now on the mend. I must admit that it is my garden that I left behind that I am missing about this move but over time I am sure I can develop something. Loved that the whole family got involved to get your garden sorted. Such pretty flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful little egg. The hue of blue is just amazing. I remember geraniums on my parents windowsills every year, in fact, geraniums are almost the Swiss National windowsill flowers! They have a strong scent at night, have you noticed? I am glad the Bear is recovering well if slowly. Your parasol is fab. I would love to have one but we really don't need it here, the sun is never quite strong enough. Have a lovely week. xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's going to be wonderful Jennifer. I grow scented pelargoniums which I overwinter indoors and now after their annual tidy up they are in the porch as it is still far too cold outside for any tender plants. I have trays of seedlings on window sills so I hope it warms up soon. The attar of roses scented pelargonium is a particular favourite as I make tea with the leaves. I love a glass of home-grown mint or lemon verbena tea on a hot day. Good to see the Bear up and about, I hope his recovery continues well and you can get back on your bikes very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry I haven't commented for a while and missed the opportunity to send get well wishes to the Bear. Glad to hear he's up and about and on the mend. Such lovely photos here, Jennifer. That iris is beautiful. All your growing sounds great. I've got a load of basil seedlings in the greenhouse and have my fingers crossed they'll grow well this year. Look forward to seeing your plot develop over the summer. Enjoy that smart-looking parasol! Sam x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good news about the Bears healing! Yay! And your gardening thus far is inspiring. My youngest adult son has planted some seeds, and has a row of peas that is daring to pop up in spite of rain trying to wash them away, or hail trying to beat them down. I am hoping to plant Geraniums in my window box soon. Such a pretty shell you found, and I treasure the ones I have found in the past, too...a sweet part of Spring. Wishing you a happy week! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely to have a catch up Jennifer I'm glad everything went well for The Bear and that he is recovering well, I'm sure your plants will do well geraniums are such sturdy plants mine have lasted all through the winter. Love the new umbrella, mine has flown away many times it usually ends up in the neighbours garden and I have a base! It's still too cold for me to get out and do much in the garden we had snow today. Enjoy the rest of your week. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your yard and flowers look so pretty. I love that big barrel, and I've admired that colorful pot ever since you bought it. I hope your hubby is doing well with his return to work after surgery. It's been 8 weeks for me and I'm still in PT...and still struggling with swelling and stiffness. He's younger and more fit than me though, so I'm sure his recovery will be easier and quicker than mine.

    ReplyDelete
  16. your garden is looking lovely. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's so nice that the whole family help out in the garden. You really got a lot done! That tiny egg is amazingly tiny! That baby bird must be so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really enjoyed this virtual tour of your garden. It always make me smile to think that I am positioning things for maximum sun while you are doing the opposite. We have an umbrella just like yours and put it up a few times a year, but I agree that the swivelling stand is fantastic. Your lavender is going to be gorgeous. I love lavender - I think it might be one of my favourite plants.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...