Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's days like this I wonder if Spring will ever come

We had another 2-3" predicted for today.  There is easily over three feet of snow over most of my beds at this point, it's hard to believe that anything will come up in the spring at all, but I'm pretty hopeful that the cold will not have harmed anything but pests. 

I'm terribly eager to get out and start digging.  However, I just chucked a bunch of plant catalogs in this morning's recycle pickup because this is the Year of Gardening Austerity*, though I have to say that it's VERY tempting to buy hundreds of dollars worth of plants whose placement would be rather subject to what survives through the Extremely Cold and Snowy Winter of 2013/2014.

The Year of Gardening Austerity is thusly named not because we're spending a lot on our March wedding (first and only for both of us), but because I want to find out how much I have learned about propagation.  Many of my plants are at the stage of life where division will be necessary for continued health and beauty.  I'm also ready to try my hand at sticking cuttings of my dwarf shrubs: spirea 'Golden Elf' and weigela "My Monet" which have done quite well but look lonely as single specimens.  I also have a bunch of daylily seeds we saved - it should be interesting to see what sorts of hybrids we ended up with.  Bearberry looks like it'd be easy to layer.

My Red Drift carpet roses are screaming for a move from under the purple beautyberries which have grown bigger and better than I'd expected.  I still have to decide where they're going - they've got to go somewhere that is low traffic not because they can't handle a trampling (they can), but because they're anklebiters.  I can't get to them right now to start the process which starts with me pruning them way back, and then scoring around them with a spade to trim the roots so that I am not transporting a rootball the size of Rhode Island around my backyard.

I'm also looking forward to doing more work on the new shade beds behind the shed, to give my neighbors something to look at other than a big blank wall.  I put two plugs of ornamental grass back there last year after Broccoli Boy helped me dig up a huge clump of it from the front walk bed (I replaced it with a magenta mondarda (bee balm) - which the bees really do like) - they were doing well in autumn, we'll see (next month, maybe) if they made it through the winter.

In other news, the winter has shown us a lot of fauna that we normally don't see.  Birds like dark eyed juncos; and what I think is some sort of black and white warbler or perhaps a downy woodpecker; have been spotted at the feeder.  BB spotted what is probably a red bellied woodpecker, but I wasn't home to see it.


  1. Juncos, Titmice, and Woodpeckers like BB described are common in this area.

  2. I got to see a redbellied boy yesterday, what a size difference between him and the downy woodpecker male I spotted a week before!! I haven't seen a titmouse all winter, but saw a bunch last spring.