Saturday, April 03, 2010

Excitement in the yard!

How excited am I right now?!?!?!?

I'm this excited!!!!

"Excuse me sir, is that an asparagus in your bed, or are you just happy to see stuff sprouting?"

Seriously, I KNOW I checked yesterday and there were no asparagus. Now? Probably about 6 spears around this size. These two were close together, but being coy - there was no way I could get BOTH in focus at the same time.

Oh well, it's starting to look a little porno around here, so let's move on to some prick-ly stuff. Check out all these raspberry canes starting to pop up!

And what's got me really excited? This Sensation lilac! It didn't bloom last year after I put it in - now it's LOADED! I can't wait to see one blooming in person!

Right, now I'm bordering on needing a cold shower. Wait, no, I can just look at how crappy the lawns looking right now. You can see that it looks baaad, right? Just look right past this year freshly (and CORRECTLY) pruned asian pear that, wait, OMG look at how it's LOADED with fruit buds!! (I actually think I'll have to be a tough guy and thin some of the fruits...AND I'm hoping it gets inspired to put out some fresh stem growth this year...)

Even though it was a fun day that turned crappy, with wind storms blasting through here and ripping the points where the velcro tabs were stitched onto the tarp/"roof" of the "gazebo" on the deck...things are starting to look a bit more sunny...

Another bit of excitement? A new gadget arrived today. Thanks to the Camel Camel Camel service I got emailed a price reduction alert on this the other day, so I got the THGR810 extra thermometer/barometer for the WMR100 weather station for under $35 - usually lists for $59.99! Here it is hanging outside temporarily, so I can double check the data on my existing weather station....but that's not the only purpose it'll have...

See that cardboard outline? That's where the future 6'x8' greenhouse will go! Thanks to a neighbor down the street forwarding me an email coupon, I have a raincheck to get the out-of-stock $380 greenhouse for $299! (Oh I see they're now listing it for $299 on the greenhouse - oh well, coupons rock! 'Sides, I SWEAR it's the same greenhouse I see everywhere else for $600-$700!) Anyhow, off to the left of the imaginary greenhouse? The new Mantis Compostumbler...more on that on a later post. And the empty wooden bed to the right? The future dedicated herb bed....NOT to be shared with pretty flowers, perennials, dog pee, etc...

K, back to pretty flowers - the hyacinths are finally blooming! They're looking a bit tired after 2-3 years of blooming. I think hyacinths are something you need to replace periodically to keep from having sparse blooms?

I feel like I had more daffodils last year... Perhaps I killed too many while doing landscaping last year...Anyhow, the ones that are up are beautiful!

What's this that's about to bloom!?

The weeping cherry in the backyard. It's very heavily branched AND covered in flower buds...pretty!

This worm's eye view of a tree in the front yard looks sort of menacing...

It's not - it's the front yard red bud, which has way more buds all over it than the one in the backyard. Can't wait til these flowers start popping open!

Also in the front yard is the other weeping cherry. Considerably fewer branches, and with way fewer buds, their more vibrant pink color should make them pop at little more at least...

Started from seed last year, and even moved once, this lupin looks like it's finally taking off - yay!!

I'm also starting to see where the peonies have been planted the last two years. Seems I forgot to mark many of them - now how'd that happen!?!? I should definitely put markers down this year.

I put in two mail-order cherry trees from Stark Bros last year. The sad thing about mail-ordered bareroot trees is they look really pathetic... Both trees have their trunks lopped off about 3 feet above the ground, as were their few side branches. I know that's for both portability AND to promote new growth....but they're still looking really sad...

While Doogie and I were out roaming around the yard taking pics, we had a visitor. (Ignore all the messes - I'm part way through about a dozen projects, and today's high speed wind storms didn't help matters!) Anyhow, we were out there, and Tucker strolled on past. Um, WTH? I double checked the back door - did Brett let him out? No. Did he pry the back door open? (Which he HAS done before) Nope - not this time.

Oh nice! Well - I take most of the responsibility for this one - I just put the screens back in earlier this week, and did it from the outside, and didn't double check from the inside, and I guess I didn't have this one back in all the way. Oopsie!

K, back to the fun stuff!!! Check out this sexy bitch I couldn't resist bringing home with me today!

I don't know if you can tell, but the different branches are at different levels of budding out with leaves. Why? Well...

That's right, it's 4 types of cherries grafted on to one tree (I goofed and said 5 on Facebook earlier).

Check out these varieties (something *I* need to do since I haven't heard of all of them...)

(Uh, I thought it was MontmorEncy?)

And two of my blueberry bushes bit the dust this winter, so I replaced them...

The trick is to get different varieties to improve cross-pollination/fruiting.

And something I've wanted to try growing on the south side of the house the last couple of years? WINTER-HARDY KIWI! The deal is - we can't move for at least 4's going to take them awhile to fruit.

Oh, plus you have to get a boy plant and a girl plant. Donzells had one girl left and lots of boys (and she was looking a little victimized!) So I brought her and the most handsome of the guys home....we'll see how this arranged marriage goes over the years...

Also in the shopping today? Four HUGE rosemary plants for $3.50 each at Lowes!

And I've honestly tried being cheap and growing my own hen and chicks from seed. Doesn't work for me. So I cheated - aren't they sexy!?

Wrapping up...shots of the backyard...

Just look at the pretty forsythia and cute puppy - ignore this weekend's projects that are still a mess.

Oh yeah, the started-from-seed leeks are itching to be planted.

And the last of the excitement - the two thermometers are REALLY close in their readings. Channel 5 is the new one, and Channel 1 is the original.

Channel 5 will end out going INSIDE the future greenhouse, and then when I finally get the software to figure out which one Channel 5 really is, I can get email alerts if the greenhouse temp gets too high/low... ;-) 'Cause gadgets are FUN!


Betsy said...

1) The 1st pic looks like a body part from CSI - one to get prints from?
2) Sensation Lilac. I am soooo envious. My lilacs were not good color choices and look pretty bland.
3)Thanks for Camel3 tip. I signed up.
4)Greenhouse, et al - you only need some chickens and a cow to qualify as Farmer Jeph.
5) I googled Hyacinth cultivation and yeah, you need to plant new bulbs annually. Bummer I used to get some nice grape Hyacinth owner had put in, but they finally died out.
Or something ate them?
6)Daffs. Ditto, something ate some of the bulbs? I think some of my new Iris went that way.
7)Hens and Chicks. !! Hello, Gorgeous. Where did you buy?

Wonderful photos, Jeph, as always. My envy cup runneth over.

Kris said...

Gee, your stuff seems to be way advanced than mine even though you are further north. Whyisdat?

Great selection of new plants. A word of warning on the kiwis. If you grow them next to a house they can tear down gutters and downspouts. My nabe has one and there are at least 2 downspouts pulled and twisted in the vines from over the years. The gutters have to replaced regularly. Those vines are more aggressive than grapes, wisteria and trumpet vine all rolled into one.

An herb bed?. Gosh, where do you come up with these great ideas???? *snark*

Have you checked my blog? About all I have now are daffs and this may be my best year yet!

Jeph said...

LOL Betsy - I probably won't be doing any finger-printing.

You might also want to check out Camel Camel Camel's other services, but I think they're more tech-oriented.

There's also the Invisible Hand plug in for Firefox, that'll check a small group of other sties for price comparison's on some stuff when you're on Amazon, but so far I've never found the other site's cheaper prices worth it when also considering the shipping.

Trust me, I want chickens!

I got the Hen & Chicks at Battaglia's between Kent and Ravenna...and they had SO MANY MORE varieties! BEAUTIFUL! I had to cut myself off at two. For now. ;-) They were $3.99 per pot I think?

Kris - I've no idea why ours would be further along - that's really interesting. I wonder if our temps have been just a little warmer lately?

Thanks for the warning on the kiwis....these are the kinds of things you don't read about in catalogs and most web sites. I planned on getting some metal trellis' to put up on the side of the house for them to grow along, but then last nite I was wondering about putting some decorative posts on the south side of the house (up close to it) and then putting wire between them to train the kiwi on - like espallier...

ROFL I know, I know, the herb bed idea is SO innovative, hunh? I'm just switching over to that because growing herbs in beds with the other flowers, perennials, shrubs etc is choking them out.

And no, I'm behind on the blog reading, but I'm hoping to catch up this week!

Michelle said...

Things are looking great! I never could get my lawn to look nice, lol.

FinnyKnits said...

OK, the lilacs. I'm glad to hear that you didn't get buds the first year you planted yours because I've been wondering why mine (an Angel White) is all leaves and no flowers while my neighbors' are all flowers!


But this makes sense. Much like our apple tree that didn't fruit the first year but is now holding some pretty hot looking blossoms.

Good call on the 4-n-1 cherry, by the way! We love the one we got from our neighbors - but it's 4 different types of cherries than yours.

Good times in the garden :)

Jeph said...

Michelle - I mowed yesterday, with the blades set REALLY low, and it still didn't touch the mess of snow mold in the front yard. The backyard's looking better. I have someone coming out to do a core aeration next week, and then I'll do some sort of fertilizing...

Finny - That first year (or two) (or three) is such a long, frustrating wait. I've heard this expression a lot lately: The first year they sleep, the next they creep, and then finally they leap... So I guess we're supposed to have patience with our newly planted growies...

Meg said...

Hi Jeph :)

Came across your blog while doing some gardening research... (Amazing blog, btw.) I actually work for Stark Bro's - how are your trees growing for you? You're right about mail order, it is a completely different experience for gardening. The main leads & branches are professionally pruned, so hopefully you've seen that work out to your advantage this growing season?? Let us know if you need anything!

Thanks for the exciting post :)