Friday, March 25, 2016

Oh, hello blog!

I recently realized, both because it was brought to my attention, and also because I just realized I hadn't done it in a long time, that this blog had been seriously neglected.  As in "no posts since last summer" neglected.  OOPS!  I guess I honestly don't know if that bothers me too much - I do sorta miss the extra social interactions with other folks I don't know on Facebook, plus it is a great place to go for tracking back through old recipes, or how the garden did each year, or different knit projects I worked on (even though I also have that in Ravelry)  

Anyhow, I figured I'd play around with a new posting to see how much I miss the blog...and since the garden is coming back to life after an incredibly dull winter, with very little snow, few days/nights where the temp dropped to 0F, etc....maybe I'll use this as a time to also wake up the blog.

Let's take a look to see how things are doing...

First off, the hellebores are looking amazing this spring!  The first one here is a plant I picked up a spring or two ago at a local garden club sale I stopped at.  I think it was two years ago, and that last year it didn't bloom?  I had no idea what it would look like.  I think the blooms are bigger than any of my other hellebores!

These next three are the plants I probably got at a big box store years ago, and have been established for awhile now.  I've tried collecting/sprouting seeds, but no luck with that.  I do think they're all spreading a little bit, so that's good.

A friend joked that I should get my hand out of all the flower pics.  Well, if you don't hold hellebore flowers up for their picture, this is what it looks like.

The crocuses are almost done, and the different daffodil varieties are coming and going...  No signs of tulip blooms yet.

Here's one of the black currants I planted last year...I don't recall what the tag says for this one's specific variety.  Their leaves are very thick looking at this time of year.  I also have a black currant that I tried overwintering in the basement - it came out of dormancy early and was covered in blooms just under shop lights!  I'll need to start hardening it off to move it outside soon.  Oh, and brushing the leaves on currants STINKS!

The red raspberries ('Heritage') are leafing out all over the place.  Shortly after taking this picture I gave them a heavy pruning.  The raspberries and asparagus were initially planted at opposite sides of a shared bed.  I didn't realize how eager the raspberries would be to spread, and now they've filled the whole bed, but the asparagus doesn't seem to mind too much.  Some years I've mowed down the whole lot first thing in the spring.  This year I'm trying something different - I pruned all the raspberries at the asparagus bed down somewhere between 2"-6" I would guess As it gets closer to the just-raspberries end of the bed I started leaving them taller, some up to chest height.  Maybe I'll get a longer harvest through the entire season this way?

Clearance tree peony picked up last spring - wonder if it'll bloom this year!?  Probably not...

I don't recall what this is, but look at that blue!

The clematis are all waking up after winter - see the leaves starting to open up?

Plum and cherry trees are budding out all over the place, and I really hope they hold off until the weather levels out and has warmed up consistently.  Right now we could have highs in the 70s, the 30s, or anywhere in between.  The top two pics are fruiting Japanese plums, and the bottom is a weeping cherry.  I have other trees that are fruiting European plums and fruiting mixed cherry trees.  If they open up too much they become really vulnerable to the cold weather.

Last winter's really cold temps killed this cherry tree next to the green house and herb garden.  Before I could chop it down a neighbor pointed out a new sprout near the base, and that has now grown nice and tall.  I don't know where it is in relation to the graft line (this was most likely a yummy fruiting cherry tree on top of a not-so-good cherry's rootstock) - if the sprout is coming from below the graft line, I probably won't get good cherries from the new growth - I guess I'll just wait and see.  In the meantime, I'm appreciating the beauty of the original tree breaking down as fungi grow up it.

And finally, not a great pic, but this rose made it through the winter and is starting to leaf out!

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