Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
I finished raking the front yard today and was looking at a flowerbed to clean next. By gosh there was a hellebore blossom just out a few inches. Pink so far. I have my camera and batteries but no cord to put the pictures into the computer. Will have to ask someone about how to replace it. I also have one dandelion blooming. ^)^
I have tons of robins also. And crows. The man across the street feeds them every morning. I also have a pair of jays. They are pale blue with white and black markings. Couldn't believe it when I first saw them. They are here most every day.
Does anyone know what the flocks of noisy birds are that sit in the tops of trees then swoop around together, landing on the ground and pecking around for a bit, then swooping back up in the air in undulating patterns, then return to the trees? They won't stay still long enough for me to focus on them with my binocs. Kind of smallish, brownish. The whole bunch chirps a lot when they are in the trees. At my place they favor cottonwoods, which are my tallest trees.
I think they are too small to be starlings, although it could be. They won't stay still long enough for me to figure out what they are. They also look more brownish and starlings are usually so irredescent. They do have a pretty song, and that fits with starlings. I'll keep trying to focus in with my binocs.
That winter jasmine is beautiful. One thing I like about living here is I have seagulls. Always had those where I grew up. I have flocks of what I think are wrens that flit around like that. They are busy, busy, busy.
SC, I think you are right and they are starlings. Whenever they flock to the top of the tree, they are so backlit I can't make out much detail, but they do have long pointy beaks. I also went online and watched some videos of massive starlings flocking in England - very similar to what I'm seeing. Impressive flying, beautiful coloring, pretty songs...but sure wish they'd all fly back to Europe.
Yes, back to England!! The smaller birds will not come when those guys are there. I may have to buy some smaller wire to put around the feeders. They keep telling their friends and family to come to the free meal.
I have fuschia, primroses, snapdragons, osteospermum, hellebore, and dianthus in bloom. A very strange winter, indeed. I just planted onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, parsley and lettuce under cover yesterday. So nice to see the sun in January. Tulips started coming up in late November, and are about an inch tall now. Weird!!!!
Those flocking birds finally landed all in my front yard, and yes, they are the dreaded starlings. Already fighting over nesting spots. I don't have problems with them at my feeders, but they sure make a mess in our barn. The ceiling insulation appears to be their favorite nesting material or site -- we end up with big dripping gobs on unsightly fiberglass on everything. Wretched creatures.
DH and I had fish and chips yesterday for lunch. I threw all the leftover fries out in the backyard and they were gone in fifteen minutes. Crows, starlings, jays and sparrows. Got pictures of the house and ordered a cord so I will soon start a thread for the yard. We are having that very large deodora cedar taken down on Monday. Should be interesting.
I went to work today to get ready for Tuesday in case I can't get in safely until the last minute, and ended up driving home in a shower of funny snow pellets. Luckily the cloud hadn't yet moved over the hill on my road, so getting through the last stretch was okay.
Celebration for me tonight. I completed my fourth on-line course, exam and paper e-mailed in by the 10:00 deadline. Hooray!
Went to Freddies yesterday and bought 4 heathers (2 kinds), a white bleeding heart and 3 hellebores. A new one called Moonbeam. Think it looks like an Ivory Prince and they are good bloomers. Something won't let me post pictures now. Really irritatting. I have loads of crocus blooming, daffs in bud and the neighbors plum is blooming and beautiful
Had to go to WM and get a new mouse. Got a blue wireless one and love it.
I just read the article on creeping phlox and it reminded me that several years ago I put a creeping phlox in a large hanging container and it was beautiful for about 5 years. Cheaper than fushcias and didn't have to worry about it over the winter. Just leave it out.
Your new chicks look so sweet! Likewise we have mixed rain and snow. My crocuses are being pounded into the ground by slush falling from the sky. I have no daffodils at home, but the ones planted with my class by the south facing concrete wall of the school are beginning to bloom.
Last year my DH spent a couple of weeks putting in some French drains in the front yard. They work beautifully but in the process we had to dig up a planting bed to hook into the city storm drain system (all done with permits btw). The soil was re-spread, the lawn was re-seeded and voila! This spring we have some errant crocuses (crocusii?) and daffs growing in the middle of the lawn...hmm...plant more next fall and let them naturalize? It sure is tempting. nothing else in bloom but the brunnera is re-growing. Usually it blooms for me by now.
I have a few errant crocus also. Since they just disappear for the summer I leave them alone. This place is also infested with grape hyacinths. All over the beds and the lawn. The blooms are up about two inches. Guess I should say naturlized.
One of my daffs opened today too. Two tone and really pretty. I spent the day outside again and the long bed is looking like someone loves it. Still a lot to do. Got two containers filled with yardwaste. Yippee. I have a golden chain tree, a hawthorn tree, a yew, a baby flowering plum and five roses in that bed. Along with phlox, lilies, daffs, violets, columbine, and of course grape hyachith. And a lot of empty space. This should be fun.
Everything is so beautiful, and I appreciate everyone's pictures even though I have none to offer of my own right now (too swamped with exams and papers...aaagh). My Osmanthus burkwoodii is in bloom, and smells so good right now. I love it. I want to plant another between the kitchen window and the back door, so I can have the lovely aroma waft inside.
My beds here are looking good. I've been out weeding on every good day. I have the old front beds all weeded and some new plantings done. The beds were covered with old dead and rotten iris tubers. Had two garbage cans full. I left just the very end tuber in a wandering row down the middle of the bed so I can see what colors are there. I started on a backyard bed yesterday. I was dreading it because it looked so bad, weedy and rocky but I started lifting up the soil with a pitchfork and all the weeds came out quite readily. I weed here with a smile on my face. GREAT SOIL! My young neighbor came over and said she likes to weed. I told her she could come over anytime and indulge herself. Hope if she does she knows to get out the roots not just the top parts. LOL
Springcolor, you have some beautiful gardens with great colors and textures!
Kosk, I love the closeup of the red flowering currant buds about to pop.
Willow, I'm so glad you are feeling more at home in your new garden. See what a little springtime (and great soil) can do for a person?
Welcome suzyq, I don't think I've seen you post before, although I easily might have missed something in the last year.
Summerkid, That is a really touching quote about a garden taking care of you. Special, thanks for sharing it.
I also find ATP a bit confusing, and kind of overwhelming with extra stuff (words and visuals) and advertising, also, My friends are here, so I decided to stay here.
Thanks for the pics SC, all lovely. I've poked around on ATP a bit. Didn't find a PNW forum, closest thing was a Pacific Coast forum which seems to be primarily California. I also like the tools feature of DG for keeping track of my to do list and to journal my garden. I don't particularly consider it a blog although I guess others can follow it if they like, it's mostly for my own use. Would be hard to transfer that information. I 'do' FB but am not enamored of it - way too much silliness, but it's a good way to share photos with the family. I also follow a couple garden blogs but on a daily basis. It's easy to become scattered.
Back to topic: Iberis just opened, fruit tree buds are very swollen, the forget-me-nots are popping up wherever they like, and I'm daily finding new perennials shooting out of the ground. Seems there is such a small window to move things while they are still small and manageable. Has anyone tried to relocate Joe Pye? I think his roots are set in concrete! I'd like to move a whole patch of it from inside my herbs to just outside the fence and let it spread out into the field grass. It's such an extremely tall plant that I find it a bit difficult to place appropriately.
I have a beautiful red camillia in the front yard. The apple tree is showing color. The masses of grape hyacinths are beautiful and I have English blue and white bells all over. The wisteria has hundreds of buds. I am finding baby starts of yews, hazelnut, quince, lavender, lots of fun stuff. I'll get more pictures maybe I'll be able to post them.
Thanks for the welcome Maury and Spring. I've posted before...but its been a long while since I had let my membership lapse. :-) I was going to post a few pics of what I have blooming but I can't get it to work. Will have to try again later.
Here is a pot I made using volunteer Johnny jump ups. Aphids in the greenhouse slowed down the growth, but I think I cleared the infection and it should be covered in glorious purple blooms pretty soon. I bought 3 of these pots for about 5 bucks on clearance. Made two others with violas and pansies that I started from seed. One with a trailing pansy 'Waterfall' or something and another with bronze colored violas.
Any tips on aphids in the greenhouse? I'm using Dr. Earth garlic infused spray pretty aggressively...it's working. But I sure wish they weren't there at all. They only went after (so far) my pansies/violas and hyacinth beans. And a few alyssum, too.
Kosk - love your spring scene. I have a few similar saxifrage. Just love them! Spring - your hostas look good. Mine are all leaving out this week. Things are looking up in the garden! I have my first open clematis. Will try and snap some photos tomorrow.
Spring prep is complete with the accompanying May 1st flowers. I dug out via pickaxe a pampas grass and replaced with the red dwarf Japanese cedar; it turns green in warmer weather. And all my dahlias are now planted and sprouting.
[quote="PNWMountainGirl"]My favorite rhodie...Blaney's Blue![/quote] Yes, that is a wonderful color. I told a neighbor of mine (who was inquiring about a centerpiece flowering shrub for his front yard) that an azalea or small form rhodie might be the ticket. That blue would be quite nice in his yard. That might be a little tall for his needs - but that blue...
If I made the pond myself I would still be digging the hole! LOL!! I had a wonderful man do it for me. He also built the one I had at the old place in Silverton.
Here is a DG link I kept on the pond project from last summer if you want to see all the work that is involved. It is a long , messy and noisy process..but well worth it in the end. I am enjoying it so much!
BeaHive, you are SO CLOSE to me!!! Like, 45 minutes away -- I probably passed your house driving to kosk's last spring. I'd hire your pool guy in a second if anything bigger than a wheelbarrow could get to the area I have in mind.
I'm leaving for a couple of weeks in Chicago tomorrow but please let's get together this summer?
Beahive---those are incredible pics! Your pond is spectacular. I love all of the plantings around it.
Oooh...the elusive Himalayan blue poppy. I have 7 seedlings that I am nursing along in peat pots. They are by far the slowest growing seedlings I've ever worked with. Very difficult to grow, and I never see it available in any nurseries, which is why I'm doing the seed thing with it.