Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring Report from the Gardens

Here are some photos of a few of the flowers that are brave enough to be out these cold days. At this time of the year I'm so grateful to see just a few tiny flowers. The blue are miniature iris -iris reticulata - they grow from bulbs not rhizomes like more typical bearded iris. And, of course, the pale yellow and golden flowers are crocus. I've got a few others in pale lilac and white blooming too but those pictures look really washed out and I'd be embarrassed to print them. The mini iris bloom very early and there are others in the Main Garden that haven't opened yet. They are dark purple and maroon-purple and are about 4" tall.

Not far from them is a small, slow spreading clump of snowdrops - galanthus nivalis . About 6" tall with tiny white scalloped bell shaped flowers that have a small green spot on them. They were blooming under the snow last week when I uncovered them.

Most of the snow is gone now, but the ground is still frozen an inch or so down and the temps at night are below 32. It will be a while until I'll be able to do outside work in the gardens. In the Main Garden (all perennials and bulbs) I did a huge re-do last fall and put in hundreds of bulbs as well as adding many plants. A family of voles had destroyed many of the plants and all the bulbs there were originally there so all summer I put down vole repellent (ground up corn cobs with castor beans) and scattered poppy, larkspur, and other annual seeds. That filled in the bare spots and in Fall, without any more sign of the vole family, I replanted the area. I still have lots of cleanup in that garden - raking etc.

The voles my be history, but the 10 deer that came in the back yard to eat birdseed and the bunnies that hopped around on the moonlit snow are very real. And they have left all sorts of evidence of their comings and goings.

All of our arborvitae shrubs have been completely stripped of needles by the deer. There are six, 4 columnar and 2 globes, that look like skeleton bushes. I'm pretty sure they will not grow back and will have to be dug out. I didn't know arborvitae were a member of the cedar family and a big favorite with deer. And they did give the rampant wintercreeper - euonymus fortunei - a much needed pruning. At least that will survive.
The bunnies have girdled all the stems of the two large burning bushes also. We'll have to cut those to the ground and in about four years they'll be back to their original height. We've done that before with those and other burning bushes in the yard and they are quite resilient and grow back quickly.
The pugs and I took a long walk through the yard and gardens and there are all sorts of bulbs sprouting everywhere - in the two new planting areas Steve made last fall, around the Willow Tree Garden, bordering the house, in the back gardens and under the trees. It will be wonderful and I'll have pictures to show you all.
Bye for now,


Ziggywigs said...

Great blog Alyssa. Enjoyed reading it all. Your grand daughter is very beautiful. Thanks for leaving nice comments on my blog. It's nice to see how folk do things on the other side of the pond. Will be back to catch up with you real soon!

Lizzie A said...

I love spring flowers! Ours in our yard are finally coming out into bloom! I, also, have become obsessed with making tissue paper flowers. Some look like the real thing, others are sometimes more fun. My new personal favorite is called a pom pom, but you don't make it with tissue paper, but rather with in aluminum foil. Thanks for your comment on my blog, it is nice to hear from you even if I don't know anything about you, other than what you put on your blog (which is more than some do).
Have a happy spring!!