Don’t Listen to the Groundhog

Since I have a garden, not a groundhog, I tend to consult it as to when spring will arrive.

The first place I go for this information is the weeds.  Yes, that’s right.  WEEDS.

They know more than the hybrids. Their DNA has not been tampered with.

They use old school, and I do mean old, methods to determine when to start growing.

Well fellow Carolinians, the weeds say get busy.

The mint family(square stems) and dandelions are all ready blooming.

That means if you delay in weeding, you will be weeding mama weeds and baby weeds.  Two generations!   That’s way more than twice as many.

You don’t have weeds, you say?  Lucky you.

Then consult some of your garden favorites.

The BULBS say spring is near.

Tete-a-tetes say yes.

The crocus concur.

The old daffodils on the hill are thrilled.

Bulbs are always ahead of the game you say?

Ask the PERRENIALS.

Foxgloves are growing foliage.

The columbines are coming out.

Perennial poppycock you say?

Then go see a SHRUB.

The Pieris are ringing their spring bells.

The Quince is quite convinced that spring is near.

If you still need to consult a CRITTER, or two.

The bunnies have some spring in their hop.

Get busy people. Being a gardener is like being part of a horse costume.  If you’re not a head, you’re a behind.

I said spring is near NOT here. You crazy people better not set out tomatoes yet. They go out the third week in April.

P.S. I do have a groundhog. But we don’t mention such things around Mr. Flower.

FLING

 

 

 

Forcing Some Spring

I am trying something new this winter, besides my usual Amaryllis and Paperwhites

I purchased some bulbs that needed rescuing from a big box store at 50% off.

The poor babies were starting to sprout in their bags.

I planted them all in one pot and have put them into the cool dark corner of the workshop.

IMG_6179

These three would not normally bloom together, but I thought that white Navona lilies surrounded by Orange Queen tulips and light blue  Chiondoxa forbesii would make a lovely combination.

IMG_6178

In early March, I will pop them into some warm sunshine inside and hopefully be rewarded with a pot of early spring color.

In the meantime, I will enjoy thinking about them waiting for spring,

just like me.

FLOWER

 

Feeling Fall

There is a first frenzy here in North Carolina before fall.

The first one involves moving plants around in the gardens.

The ones that are crowded must be separated.

IMG_4962

The ones that are unhappy must be relocated.

This is hot dry work that involves digging holes and amending soil.

Followed by digging, dividing and moving plants.

It’s also time to trim back the overachievers.

IMG_4957

Lastly there is a lot of mudding-in of the transplants to ensure the roots make good contact with the new soil.

I use a soaker–hose.

IMG_4959

This has been my project for weeks now.  It has been hot and dusty, but not any more.

We had almost two inches of rain yesterday.

Now there is a cool breeze.

IMG_4955

That starts me thinking about fall frenzy number two.

Hauling all the delicate plants into the house and workshop.

IMG_4963

Another multifaceted job with much preparation.

Also some potted plants need to be put in the ground.

IMG_4965

At least it is cool. At least I can stop watering all my parched plants.

There is something final about fall.  Autumn always makes me anxious.

It is an ending.   To everything there is a season.

I like to end all this fall preparation with a ritual planting of spring bulbs.

It is my way of showing my faith in spring.  Bulbs are my time capsules that I put in the ground as a message to myself.

IMG_4969

“See you on the other side.”

I think of them all winter, under the snow, waiting for spring …just like me.

FLOWER

 

The Cutest Daffodils in the World

I have many daffodils.

img_9078

Tall and short, yellow and white, white and white, orange and white and even some doubles.

img_9104

I love them all, but one type always stands out the most and shines the brightest.

img_9089

Even though it is the tiniest.

img_9100

I love it that there are clusters of them all over my gardens.

img_9098

My parents gave me a pot of them blooming one spring over two decades ago.

I have been dividing them and sharing them for over twenty years.

img_9099

They are like little spots of sunshine.

Tete a Tete is the cutest daffodil in the world.

img_9112

It is a miniature Narcissus. Its name comes from the fact that many stems have two flowers.

They look like they are having a little chat.

img_9115

I would like to mention the unusual vase that belonged to a dear friend Beth.

img_9118

It has a eight-parted,  fluted, clear glass vase and a silver stand decorated with roses.

img_9119

She would love to know that I have shared it on my blog.

FLOWER

 

Bloomed Incorrectly?

Last month I posted photos of an Amaryllis blooming.

I expected it to be a peach color. I have many reds and whites.

I wrote to the supplier and told them that the bulb I ordered,

Amaryllis Exotica, had turned out to be a double red/white.

img_8825

Their emailed reply stated that they were sorry

that the bulb BLOOMED INCORRECTLY and that they would ship another.

img_9058

I just received an email that a new bulb was being shipped at no cost to me.

Now folks, really?

Why not admit that a person packed and shipped the wrong bulb?

Why blame the poor bulb?

What is this world coming to, when we blame a plant instead of a person?

Let’s admit that a mistake was made.

I will let you know if the new bulb BLOOMS CORRECTLY in a few months.

FLOWER

 

 

Underground Growth

Just because you don’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I have an example of a White Peruvian Daffodil/Hymenocallis festalis.

img_1830

I planted one bulb last year.

It grew.  It bloomed.  Then it sat there all summer… I thought.

It is hardy to 10 degrees F, so I figured I had better bring part of it in for my stock plants.

img_5721

Surprise!

I dug it up today.  There were 23 bulbs.

img_5724

The other shocker is, I dug half of it up last month.

One bulb to 40+ within one year.

img_5725

Just because you don’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Sometimes you have to dig a little.

Pay attention. A lot goes on underground.

img_1828

flower

 

 

Bunnies out, Bulbs up

I have been telling folks that my bunnies are as big as the neighbors’ beagle. Now I have a photo to prove it. Thankfully, I had my camera with me photographing bulbs when this encounter went down.

IMG_8142
Charlotte standing her ground.
IMG_8145
Barley. To dig or not to dig? That is the question.
IMG_8133
Alberto Costello Starflower
IMG_8119
Anemone blanda

I spent every day last week sliding up and down the hills on cardboard.

No, not for amusement!     I’ve been digging weeds.

Spring is just around the corner in NC.  Wait for it………

Follow the Flower to spring.