Saturday, February 28, 2009


Don't you just just Hyacinths! I only have a few, but goodness they make my entire little backyard smell wonderful..and they are such pretty flowers!
I chilled mine in the frig along with the tulips for about 6 weeks. They were the first bulb I saw start to appear in early February.
Practically the minute they start to come up you see the buds-so many of them! I love to watch each bud open until you have a beautiful flower.
I have 2 different colors; purple and this light pink. The pink is so much more bushy than the purple. After reading my bulb book, I discovered that hyacinths are one of the easiest bulbs to force inside. They even have special forcing glasses just for hyacinths. You know how I love to force blooms inside, so it is already in my notes for next year to try these. The only thing, I'm not sure about is that sweet scent. I love, love it outside-but will it be overpowering inside?
I have grape hyacinths in front mixed in with the pansies, but they do not bloom until much later for some reason. It is a real pleasure to walk out the back door and see the pretty showing of these hyacinth bulbs and smell that sweet scent. Another reminder that spring is on the way!
"It is a greater act of faith to plant a bulb than to plant a tree!"
Clare Leighton

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trimming Trees and Planting Seeds

It's been another busy weekend at my house. We started off Saturday morning looking for granite
...again. We've spent the last month and a half trying to find the right slab for new kitchen counter tops. We finally found what I hope will be perfect...but more about that another time. Luckily we got home in plenty of time to get in some gardening!
The first thing I did was plant seeds in these fiber cells. These are biodegradability so I can put them right in the ground as soon as the seedlings are big enough. I planted Gomphrena-Strawberry Fields, and Nasturtium-Alaska. I've had Strawberry Fields several times and I love the vibrant red color. They are perfect as a filler flower in cut arrangements. First time for Nasturtiums. They don't like our Texas heat, but I thought I would try keeping them as long as I could. I love the beautiful jewel colors. I put them in a sunny window anxiously waiting the sight of green! Wish me luck-- this is the first time I have ever started seedlings inside.
Then on to tree trimming. My husband trims, and I drag the limbs to the parkway for pickup on Friday. Hubby trimmed some on the Red Oaks, and some on the Bradford Pear. This is what I have waiting on. I needed some of those branches inside so I can force the blooms. Looks like I will not have to wait too long-the blooms are just about to open.
I put a small group of stems in the kitchen window. You can tell these are so close to blooming-I can't wait for the pretty white flowers. They will add such a cheery, spring-like look to my house.
And before you ask..yes, that is a snowman. He is ready to say goodbye until next year and will be replaced with a bunny March 1st.

Hurry Spring--we are all waiting!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I need help!

I need help! This is an area of our little backyard that I did not worry much about last year. Our back is long and narrow. The flagstone patio is in the middle. To the right, there is sun. I have no worries in that area. However, in these pictures is the left side--my problem child!

I have hostas that will hopefully reappear around the inside of the bricks. I love rocks and have a large rock with a juniper planted right in front of it. There are a few little bluebonnets that I think the wind planted. Container plants are along the fence, but of course not all are growing right now.
I want to keep the chiminea here--it's a good place for it. The soil is in terrible shape, the drainage is bad, there is not much sun at all...sounds like a real problem doesn't it! So, I am begging for help. I need something besides hostas, something that likes shade, something with color...HELP!! Anyone have some great ideas for me?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A sore back, but a happy spirit!

This has been the perfect weekend for working in the garden. Saturday and Sunday both started out cold, but the afternoons were sunny with highs in the upper 50's. Wonderful gardening weather! I was really behind on February gardening chores, so I had lots to do. I started by deadheading the pansies in front. I deadhead some almost everyday, but I have pansies all across the front and took the time to check every plant today.
I then headed to the backyard to cut back the grasses.
Some are in pots..

The big one is in the ground. (Now don't ask me what undesirable rodent I found nesting in this grass, but if you heard a scream around 3 o'clock was me!!)
One of the major things I had to do was clear the flower beds of leaves and add mulch. I have to add "no float" mulch to this bed because rain will carry it off . Note: I do not add mulch where I have wildflowers, that is why there is no mulch to the left--there are a few bluebonnets there.
I pulled leaves out of the bluebonnets in the wildflower garden..
don't the bluebonnets look happy!
I cleared the little garden and planted onions..

One of the most pleasurable things I did was to clear the leaves out of the flower beds along the flagstone path and spread pine bark mulch around the flowers.
I was so pleased with the way these beds looked when I was finished. The tulips are coming up all along this path, the candy tuff is starting to bloom, and the hyacinths look like they could start blooming any day.

Today I also pruned the salvia's and cut back all the wood fern.

The last thing I did was clear the bed around the Bradford Pear and add more pine bark mulch. I will buy Boston Ferns in March to place around the base of the tree. And I think because it will be so easy to water, I will buy impatiens to plant in the containers around the bird bath.

I still have so much to do, but this is a start. And I can't tell you how good it felt to be outside both afternoons feeling the sun on my face and the dirt on my hands! It was just heaven, but if you will excuse me now....I need to find my heating pad!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is it Spring yet?

This is one of my favorite stitchery pictures. I usually get it out right after Valentine's Day. The answer of course is "no, it is not spring yet!" However, an article in the newspaper this morning caught my interest about spring. Marianne Green is the gardening columnist for The Dallas Morning News. Her article this morning was titled "The ribbits may be right" She says ever year she remind readers (including her husband) that spring is not until March 20th; we will have an Easter frost, and if you "succumb to the siren song of those beautiful geraniums retailers are putting on shelves, you better be prepared to cover them!" I agree! (but I will still buy when I can!) But..she goes on to say she may be forced to "eat crow with an extra helping of humble pie." This is an excerpt from her article:

"As I was tucking the city chickens in for the evening on Sunday, I heard what sounded like a burp. It was definitely not a chicken syllable; it was much too deep a pitch. I latched the chicken coop door and squinted into the night. I heard a rusty, weak croak but didn't trust my ears. But by the light of the moon, I saw a familiar shape skimming slowly across the top of the backyard pond: The big bullfrog who lives among the elephant-ear roots in summer had surfaced."

She goes on to say she has never heard a bullfrog "begin their chorus" before mid-March . Are they fooled by our warm weather? Are they letting us know it will be an early spring? My goldfish usually always stay at the bottom of the pond until mid-March. Right now they are up at the top wondering about food (which they will not get yet!)
No, I don't believe it's spring yet...just when we think winter is over we'll get an Arctic Blast that will bring us back to reality. But just in case, I'm keeping my stitchery picture out!

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A busy weekend..and an award!

I spent a very busy, but very happy weekend. My daughter was in town..with her fiance!!!
They met in grad school at UVA and have dated about 3 years now. He took her to Boston on a snowy weekend in late January. As they walked down a very pretty street, with snow falling all around , he got down on one knee and proposed. How romantic!! Of course, her daddy knew this was going to happened...but he kept the secret so I could be surprised. They have decided to get married in Dallas, so we spent the weekend looking at reception sites. And today (sniff, sniff) she tried on wedding dresses. My mother went with us.... 3 generations together experiencing a very special moment.
And, I received an award from Debbi at Aunt Debbi's Garden! Thank you Debbi--you put the finishing touch on a wonderful weekend. All I have to do is tell 6 things that make me happy:
1. My wonderful husband
2. Hearing my kids laughter when they are all together
3. Planting a seed, and watching it turn into a beautiful flower
4. Camping high up in the Rocky Mountains
5. Taking my Mother to the Arboretum
6. And of course, the sight of my beautiful daughter walking out of the dressing room in a wedding dress.
So tell me...what things make YOU happy???

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Good Magazine!

It was beautiful here today. The high was in the 70's. I had a wonderful afternoon working in the yard and taking a nice long walk. After a tiring and productive day I decided to sit down and look at my new magazine. (Are you like me and buy every garden magazine you see! )
This is the 2009 issue of "Small Gardens" published by Country Decorating Ideas. The title caught my eye because I do most of my gardening in the backyard which is a very small space.

This magazine is great! I thought I would show you some of the articles--things I bet all of you would be interested in. Like this article on perennials...

So many areas including mine fight drought conditions these day..
You know how I love container gardening!

We all need some low mainten-
ance ideas at times..
Isn't this a good thing to know...

We are talking about bulbs this time of about some for the summer!

I thought of you Racquel when I saw this article!

I love accessories in a garden. I do think they give a garden personality, and usually they copy the personality of the gardener!

Our great day today will turn into a cold day tomorrow, but how much fun to have a great new magazine to look at and dream and plan while waiting for spring.

What garden magazines do you like!