Tag Archives: Flowers

Spring

This is the first year that my male kiwi is starting to show signs of the stunning leaf color it is capable of.

fig_cuttings

Last year I started figs via cuttings in two batches. One had a rooting hormone treatment and the other did not. While the treated batch did do better, the untreated batch did well enough that I didn’t treat any of these cuttings. This batch was taken from the plants last fall after they went dormant and placed in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper drawer in the fridge. They are simply stuck into soil and kept in the shade.

I may lose half of them but since I haven’t a clue what I will do with the half that should live I am ok with that. The batch on the left is light brownish fig and the batch on the right is a smaller deep purple fig. Bother were labelled as brown turkey but obviously one is not. I’ll post some detailed pics of the leaves and the fruit once they start producing and maybe someone can help me identify what I have.

hnashiki

Eric’s Hakuro-nashiki willow is so pretty. Last year there wasn’t as much variation in the leaf color as there is so far this year.

I saw a hummer visiting our tulips this morning which reminding me of the hummingbird feeder that I picked up on Monday. Time to get that bad boy out and filled with some sugar water.

I picked up two stevia plants last night while at Lowes getting plumbing parts to fix the broken faucet. One Stevia went on the side of the house and the other went in the herb bed. I am going to try to see if I can get the one by the house to overwinter. I have had it happen a couple of times before and the area where I planted it is somewhat protected. I am going to try planting a fig there too.

ajuga

If half the blueberry blossoms get pollinated I should get a great crop. Typically I see a lone bumblebee doing the pollination but so far this year I haven’t seen any bees of any kind in the yard.

Karen’s ajuga plants are blooming and spreading.

Happy Mother’s Day

liatris

White Liatris – Blazing Star aka Gayfeather

shastaDaisy

Shasta Daisy – Crazy Daisy

russiansage

Russian Sage

Out and about I picked up some perennials while waiting for Kylie’s driving lesson. This white Liatris, Shasta Daisy and Russian Sage will do nicely.

purpleCoreopsis

Purple Coreopsis – Sweet Dreams

falseIndigo

False Indigo

jacobsLadder

Jacob’s Ladder

whiteEchinacea

Echinacea – White Swan

dahlia

Dahlia – Dahlietta Anna

asters

Asters – Celeste

Like any good gardener’s kid Kylie took mom to Natorp’s garden center where she showered me with more plants for Mom’s day. Thank you Kylie. I was only able to get a couple of them planted. Its been rather wet here and rained some more today. I shall have lots to do this week though 🙂 How was your mother’s day?

Little bulbs all over my yard.

These little guys are about 4-6″ tall. Their leaves look like slightly thicker blades of dark green grass that sometimes have a light colored stripe down the middle. The bulbs are whitish-yellowish, and about the size of a pea but more of a teardrop shape. You can hardly dig a shovel of soil anywhere in the yard without running into at least one of these bulbs. Fortunately they don’t get very big, are gone before too long and aren’t a problem for me.

I did some digging on the net and I believe this is an Ornithogalum umbellatum aka Star of Bethlehem. A member of the Hyacinth or Lily family depending on who you ask. According to all but once source I found, this plant is poisonous, possibly (though rarely) fatal. Something to keep in mind if you have small children or grazing animals.

Blooms, some spots and where are all the pictures?

 

blueberry-blossoms

The blueberries are a bloomin’. Normally it is a little colder when the blueberries bloom. Rarely do I see any honey bees out yet but the yearly visit from my lone bumble bee should be starting up any time now. She can often be seen doing her best to pollinate the blueberries. I do everything but build a shrine to her. She is my hero.

The first blooms of the season on both the June bearing and everbearing strawberries are starting. The currants and my Miss Kim lilac are both loaded with what will be future blooms. The tulips are up and in full bloom. I only have two of them and ended up cutting them last night as we were supposed to get a bad storm. Thankfully it missed us.

This is mom’s creeping phlox. I took a start of this from mom’s place after she passed. It has lived in a 3 gallon pot for the last 10 years. I supposed I could separate it out and put some in the ground. When is the best time to separate phlox? Have I missed it this year?

moms-phlox

One of my new Brown Turkey Figs has some spots on the leaves. I picked the one at the top of the page up at a local place (Jungle Jim’s) and about a week or two later noticed these spots. Any ideas? I tried googling fig and spots but every entry maked fig. 132, fig. 87 etc came up. I went with figs but that was of little help. And why the heck are all of these University publications lacking photos? With digital cameras as cheap as they are these days can’t we get some pictures on those fact sheets?

Observations

lovage-spring

My poor little apricot is always in such a hurry. This one lives in a half barrel and I do believe that next winter I am going to move it to the north side of the house to discourage such an early showing. I had meant to do that last winter but the time got away from me.

This is one of the two lovage plants I put in the ground last year. So far this is the only one that has made a showing. Some sources list this plant as a potherb (stalks and leaves) and as a medicinal. I’ve never tried it for either though I may try steaming some of the young leaves if it makes a strong enough showing. It looks a lot like a loose celery when it is growing.

coldframe-open

If it weren’t for these automatic openers I probably would not have attempted the cold frame. It is so nice not to have to keep such a close eye on the temperature and run back and forth opening and closing the lids. That is sorrel that is peeking out on the left.

sorrel-spring

Garden sorrel is great in salads when the leaves are young. It has a lemony flavor that really adds some life to milder greens. It is one of the earliest herbs to come alive in the spring. I was able to keep a couple of plants going in the cold frame all winter. This is a form of Dock, fairly common in some parts of the world.

timex-daff

I call these Timex daffodils. They have volunteered in the same spot in my garden since we’ve lived here. This is the first year I’ve seen flowers though. Normally I forget they are there and end up tilling them when I renovate the strawberry bed.

Grape Vines and More Seeds Started

I said I was only going to get two but I ended up picking up 3 grape vines last night via Millers. I located a publication on growing grapes in Ky from the Univ. of Ky (great ag college there). I’ve worked with 3 of the 6 authors of this publication during my time at UK and would go to them in a heartbeat for anything agricultural in Ky.

I was looking for seedless varieties that will live here in the northern part of the state. I found that the Interlaken variety that I purchased a couple of years ago was pretty much at the bottom of the list for winter survivability. Wish I would have read this publication before spending my money. I ended up choosing 3, all American-French hybrids. One each of Himrod (white), Reliance (red), and Candice (red). I believe much of the research on varieties for Ky was conducted in the western part of the state which is a bit warmer than here so this little experiment may or may not work. All 3 are rated to zone 5 (we are just south of the zone 5/6 border) with Reliance doing the best at winter survival. I chose three different varieties as there is a bit of harvest times and disease resistance.

Today was a vacation day so I started it off right with some seeding. I used to plant my tomatoes much earlier but over the years have come to the conclusion that early March is early enough and seems to give the best results for me. I finished up last years tomato seeds, planting Big Beef , Celebrity and Classica in the float tray down stairs. The Big Beef are an indeterminate variety so they fruit over a longer season than the Celebrity, a determinate variety I like for canning. Classica is a paste type tomato I grow for drying. I have about 1/2 of the dried tomatoes from last year left. They are so expensive to buy and so easy to dry. I prefer the flavor of heirloom tomatoes but unfortunately we have no shortage of tomato diseases here. If I want any kind of harvest I am limited to the hybrids with disease protection. Unfortunately I’ve not run across a paste tomato with as much disease resistance as I would like so I have to get them in and out quick before they succumb.

Also in the float tray went some herbs, horehound, anise hyssop and elecampaine along with some dwarf delphinium. The herbs are older seeds so I don’t expect much out of them but I had the space and thought why not.

Sowing Perennials and My Cat’s NDE or How Blogging Saved my Cat

 

Not much has been going on around here garden-wise as is evidenced by the post drought and snow cover. That is slowly starting to change though. The past couple of weekends I have been seeding flats with some perennial flowers, herbs etc. Johnny Jump Ups, Baby’s Breath, Rudbeckia, Butterfly Bush, White Coneflower, Bellflower, Roman Chamomile, Green Onions and about half a dozen others I can’t remember right now. Nothing fancy but something I’ve really never tried before.

seedflats-cf

After seeding a flat I piled some snow on it to give it a slow watering as the snow melted. I placed the flats in the cold frame to give them a boost on spring. For a test I seeded some basil too. I am interested to see if it comes up at all, comes up too early and dies or waits to come up when conditions are right. I laid a piece of plastic over the flats as I didn’t have any glass and trying to get plastic wrap from the kitchen to cooperate ended up with a pile of plastic wrap on the ground next to the cold frame and still uncovered flats. The plastic will help conserve water. I locked the one frame without the automatic opener to keep the wind from blowing it open which has happened several times this winter.

coldframe-snow

Max usually follows me to the garden but I had a lot on my mind this morning as I returned from the coldframe and didn’t notice her running past as I walked. I spent the next 20 minutes or so puttering around the back porch and noticed that she wasn’t underfoot then either but sometimes she is off doing her own thing so I didn’t think too much about it. I decided to blog my morning and thought it would be good to include some photos. I picked up the digital and headed back outside. Imagine my shock when I opened the cold frame and saw her face sitting there looking back at me. I am soooo glad I decided to blog today. It ened up saving my cat. I had not planned to even open the cold frame till next weekend and I am sure she wouldn’t have lasted that long. She must have snuck in and ran to the uncovered side while I had my back turned. With the snow cover on the lights/lids I wouldn’t have noticed her unless she came over to the side I was working on. I can’t even image walking out there next weekend and finding her.

Wild berries and Butterfly Bush

 

For the last couple of years I had just assumed that the red berries I had seen all over this time of year were choke cherries. A closer look and a browsing of the net told me differently. These are honeysuckle berries from the species Lonicera maackii if I am not mistaken. The plant can be found pretty much EVERYWHERE in this part of the country and tends to be very invasive. The birds do enjoy the fruit though. I understand the fruit to be edible but bland though I’ve never tried them.

dartmoor-buddleia

This Dartmoor Butterfly Bush started out as a single plant last spring. This spring when it came up I decided to move it as it was pretty cramped where it was. As I dug it up it came apart into 3 distinct clumps so now I have three. Last fall I picked up a Nanho Blue and a Black Knight but neither of those made it through the winter. I think I planted them a little too late last year and didn’t keep an eye on the water situation

Cosmos n more on the raspberries

 

I just love these cosmos. I believe they are called candy stripe. Both of these are from the same seed packet. The lighter ones are what was on the packet but I do like the darker color too thought it is more purple than the photo makes it look. I planted these away from other cosmos so I could save some seed.

cosmos1

I picked almost 3 lbs of raspberries on Wednesday and another 3 lbs today. I’ve got raspberries comin’ out my ears and probably another month or so of picking. The raspberry jam I made early on is still very thin. I read somewhere that raspberries don’t have a lot of natural pectin. Probably because one minute they are nowhere near ripe and a couple of hours later they are so ripe they are falling off the vine. Perhaps I should try adding extra pectin next time. Anyone have any luck with raspberry jam/jelly?

by: kerry