It was not my intention to let so much time pass between the last entry and this one, but Life races along regardless of our plans, doesn’t it?
Although I enjoyed the chance to get away for a few days and see everyone, it was also a pleasure to return home to the Nest and my Gray Pal, who was holding down the fort and keeping an eye on things for me in my absence.
Here he is checking the progress of those sweetpea seedlings, which are coming along quite nicely, by the way. Most of the morning glories are doing pretty well, also. Both species have now had clear plastic greenhouse/tent things fashioned for them, so they can enjoy some real sunshine on the deck without suffering too much from the chilly winds we’ve been enjoying lately.
The week following the holiday weekend turned out to be sort of a busy one and also a tiring one. I’m trying to moderate my night owl instincts lately, in favor of more sleep, but that doesn’t always work out too well.
This past week, though, my exhaustion was a sign that the sinus infection had gotten a little out of hand. By week’s end I felt fairly cruddy and got myself to a doctor…and am now starting to feel a little relief, with a super-decongestant spray (that smells a little like hyacinths, I think…which is nice) and a nice antibiotic. I’ve also suddenly been getting all kinds of home remedy suggestions coming my way, too. I expect I’ll be right as rain by the start of the week.
Between getting to the doctor and finally having an evening free that also offered some nice weather, Friday was an especially enjoyable day for me. I’d come home from Connecticut with potted tulips and (more!) purple violas to add to the garden out front, which waited patiently on the kitchen windowsill, near the re-blooming “Marchmas” cactus, for planting in the garden out front.
After I’d returned from the doctor’s office on Friday and dropped off my prescriptions for filling, I received a phone message from my friend Gail. She was warning me that she’d been working in her garden that morning and would be bringing some plant divisions to me that evening which would need planting post haste. : ) We rendezvoused later on and I accepted three pots of shasta daisies, and one pot each of echinacea (purple coneflower) and anemone. The latter I’ve never grown before, so I’m looking forward to a new experience there.
Fortunately, I had marked with upright bits of stick the places where I had planted lily bulbs a week or so ago, so I was able to use those markers to help guide me in planting the new additions. Two of the daisy clumps I left large, since it’s always nice to have a bit of a show with them.
But the third pot I was able to split up into smaller sections, to help spread them around the bed a little more. I was happy to see that the tiny seedlings of the threadleaf coreopsis have begun bursting out of the ground and I always like the way their tiny yellow flowers contrast so well with the white daisies…so I was able to coordinate some closeness for those two species.
The pansies are doing well, though its possible there was a little bit of nibbling in my absence. Pinching back is really the best policy this early in the season, as it will encourage more growth at the base of the plant, so I’ve no worries about that. Still, I’ll be investing in a new bottle of Liquid Fence pretty shortly.
BTW, I recently discovered that this pansy variety I am liking so much are called Kharma Blue Butterfly, just in case you’d like to track some down for yourselves.
There’s a bit of glory of the snow blooming alongside the hydrangea by the steps which caught my eye while I was working.
It was fun playing around in the dirt some more, finding places to add the new divisions, in what I had previously thought of as a fairly well-planted plot of garden. There’s always room for a few more things, though, if you plant carefully. I confess that, despite the sinus pressure I was still feeling (having only taken the first pill), I was grinning ear-to-ear as I starting digging things in, imagining what it will look like in a month or so, and then in a year or so.
The tulips I planted in the fall are beginning to show buds. This particular one looks red. Honestly, I have no memory what color they might’ve been, but I’m sure they will be a wonderful surprise. Speaking of surprises, my remembering that the other bulb leaves I was seeing are globe alliums felt like a surprise to me. I’d completely forgotten that I’d planted some in the fall, but now I’m all excited to see them blooming, since I know they’ll be coming on pretty quickly.
It was a beautiful evening for working, the sun making the sky a lovely shimmering gold color as it descended slowly westward. Our temperature had reached 60 as dusk approached, and as I planted, I listened to Nature’s music.
I love the way cardinals start and end the day high in the treetops of their territory, singing their hellos and goodbyes to the rising and setting suns. The blackbirds cackle and sing to one another high above, as the house sparrows swarm in playful clouds around the lilac bushes. Goldfinches have joined the crowd at the feeders this week. Amorously chirping robins chase one another through the lower levels of the hedge like drunken wenches racing ’round. Behind it all, the peepers’ infinite peeping continues from the vernal ponds nearby.
Once the divisions were situated, I also planted the violas and tulips from the kitchen window, and then carefully scattered some white and purple allyssum seed around the edges of the garden bed. Once that was done and watered, I turned my attention to dead-heading and pruning those old roses on the adjacent section of fence. I lost the light before I finished, but it’s a big project anyway and a little here and there throughout the weekend will have them looking smashing in short order.
As I was working on that, The Downstairses extended an invitation to join them and some company for the first campfire and barbecue of the season in the backyard, which was a perfect way to close out the day and the week. I even had a little ceremonial rosewood from my pruning efforts to add to our fire, as befits the first blaze of the Springtime. Some barbecue grub, a bottle of hard cider, good company and glittering stars above. All in all, t’was a sweet taste of the sweet season before us!