Friday, April 24, 2015

The new bed

Not a ton to look at with this gardening picture.  With the new house being built next door, new lot markers were put in, and I've gotten a better feel for where the back corner of our yard is.  MORE SPACE TO FILL!!  No longer will that all be weeds back there...  I put in a very simple, narrow new bed just by making several passes up and down a stretch parallel to the southern most veggie bed, turning the soil over repeatedly.  After that I planted five new 'Jewel' black raspberries, and at one end, a 'Blanca' white currant.

Each plant got a healthy dose of compost added to the hole, plus I scattered some myco packs from Raintree Nursery in there as well.  Leaves went on after, and that was it.  I figure I'll get out there again soon, pull most of the leaves back a bit, mulch with a layer of newspaper or cardboard, and then pile the leaves back on.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Other fruit in the garden

I've shown pics of the cherries and Japanese plum trees the last two days - but wait, that's not all!  There's more fruit thinking about providing this season.  I have to say, there are some pretty impressive buds on the trees out there this year.  Now to see if I can remember what's what from these pictures.

Here's one of the two Asian pears I've had for years now.  This is the one I thought for sure was a goner - it didn't look at all healthy last year, and so I ordered a replacement over winter - this time a 4-in-1 grafted tree.  Well guess what?  This tree is looking pretty impressive this spring, and I didn't have the guts to yank it it's getting a reprieve, and the new tree found a home at the end of the existing 'Heritage' raspberry bed.  Oh, and at the base of the tree you can see (out of focus) that at least some of the Alpine strawberries have made it through another cold winter.  I definitely need to be thinking of starting new ones next year!

One of the espaliered apple trees - I think this is 'Red Delicious'?  Three of the four espaliered apple trees finally set fruit last year, and yet I barely got to enjoy them thanks to storms blowing off the fruit, critters stealing the fruit, etc.  Maybe I'll have better luck this year?

Stepping back for a better look at the espaliered apple trees.

I believe this is the 2-n-1 European pear tree.  I had some fruit on it last year, but again, storms blew off a bunch before they were even close to ripe, and then the ones I did pick were....blech.  I need to learn better timing with harvesting pears - they're kinda tricky.

Ummm....this might actually be another picture of the cherry trees, which I already posted pics of this week?

 Strawberries at the base of one of the Japanese plums....this is the healthiest looking strawberry bed - the other two got a bunch of new plants added this year.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

First tulips of the season

These pictures were taken Monday afternoon.  I expect by now the tulips have opened up a bit more, and hopefully more are popping up!

Japanese Plums

Like my cherry trees, my Japanese plums really aren't very bright.  They just don't seem to learn - every year they jump the gun and put on this beautiful show as we get some warm spells...

While this picture doesn't do them justice, they're looking amazing from all the way across the yard!

And they are LOADED with blooms!

Unfortunately, night time temps are dropping to just about freezing this year.  Sure, the amazing Critical Temperatures for Frost Damage on Fruit Trees chart that I refer to every year implies they should be ok since we're not dropping too far below freezing, but I'd rather they not take the risk.

I suppose the good news is that there are still plenty of flower buds that just haven't opened yet - so maybe even if some of the already-open blooms get damaged, there's hope that the ones that aren't yet open will tough it out a little longer...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Would someone please do a better job of giving the cherry trees a warning about blooming a bit too early each year - they're clearly not listening to me.  Here's two of my cherry trees, and they're about to have their blossoms burst open any second now.  Unfortunately, the warm temps are taking a break, and we're about to have freezing or near freezing temps every night this week.  

It'd be nice if some year I actually got a megaload crop of cherries, and then it'd ALSO be nice if I could enjoy them.  But between spring freezes and birds, I've never once gotten a cherry off of these trees that I enjoyed.

This one here isn't a fruiting cherry, just an ornamental weeping cherry.  Still, it sure does look good this time of year!  We're supposed to have strong winds blow through today - I really hope it doesn't tear off all the flowers.

First asparagus

Here's what the first asparagus of the season looks like, picked Monday, April 20, 2015.

And here's what the begger of the first asparagus of the season looks like.  When an asparagus is THIS fresh, it's actually pretty good raw.  And considering how much rain we've had, this sucker practically dripped with every bite.  While the flavor was good, the extra juicy/slime was a bit off-putting for me when eating it raw, so the dogs got more than 2/3 of it probably.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden color

Here's just some of the pics I took the other day while trying out a new phone app on my camera.  Some are really nice, some are out of focus or washed out.  I'm really not a good photographer, and should just rely on "auto-focus" and nothing more.

I love the striped pale blue here - I think these are muscari, or grape hyacinths.

Looking down the end of the veggie beds, I've got daffodils popping up, and popping open, all over the place.  Looking forward to tulips soon.

The white in these hyacinths and daffs are apparently too white for the camera - but check out those purples and a little pink in the background.

Out of focus in the foreground is the 'Jane' magnolia I put in last year.  I see buds, but don't know if they'll result in blooms after just one year, or if I'll have to wait awhile longer.

Here's sort of a "woodland corner" I'm trying to establish - this is just to the side and behind the garden bend, which has honeysuckle and clematis growing over it, and then just to the south of that is a river birch - so this area is becoming more shaded each year.  All of the forsythia are in bloom now, and the pussy willow (a cutting from my parents years ago) is covered in fuzzy catkins.

More daffs!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tree peony

I came around the corner of the house recently as I was working on cleaning up beds only to be surprised by this.  What is it!?!?

Thankfully it still had the tag on it - oooooh yeah, I picked up a dirt cheap tree peony on end-of-season clearance at the garden center last year.  I've grown peonies, and love them, but never a tree peony before.  I totally forgot I'd put this plant in.  It's a little out of focus while I still figure out a new camera app on my phone, but it's definitely attention getting - interesting color and shape.  Can't wait to see what it looks like this year.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

One little, two little...

... three little asparagus sprouts!

Dutch baby

Here's part of last Sunday's breakfast - how good does this baked pancake, also known as a Dutch baby, look!?!?

Hold on - it's missing something!  Here we go...

And what made it even better was a spritzing of lemon juice just before eating.  Brett smeared peanut butter all over his piece - blech - he does that to all pancakes, waffles, brownies, etc.