Thursday, March 30, 2006

Comment Follow-Ups

First, to whoever anonymously provided the link for - me and my community garden plot thank you! Very cool. I'm still messing with the program, but something like this is well overdue. My community plot is a whopping 4' x 18' and I want to make sure it is laid out wisely; this will certainly help.

Second, I was recently contacted by Janet of Amity Roses, who had come across my previous comments here about the difficulties I had with their website, and how I cancelled my order and stated that the reply I subsequently got from Amity wasn't very nice.

Janet wanted to clear the air and I really appreciate it. That to me shows a real dedication to customer service and professionalism; it's no wonder their Gardenwatchdog rating is so high.

If I was more "into" roses, I would certainly be ordering from Amity, who hand-propagates and grows the own-root roses they sell.

My Dutch Gardens roses did arrive earlier this week, and they look pretty good. We'll see.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Please, Please Contact Your Senators...

The Endangered Species Act, as it stands now, is...well, endangered. While many agree it is need of a tune-up, the bill being considered by the Senate is downright disgraceful. One provision contained in the act would remove restrictions on the use of pesticides in biologically sensitive areas for five years, including chemicals that have been linked to the declines of Pacific salmon, sea turtles, and other aquatic species.

Read more about it here.

Please contact your Senators through the NRDC website now.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Welcome Back

For one reason or another, I've been surprised at a few of the plants that have sprung back to life now that temperatures are warming around here a bit. Some plants are popping leaves out at a breakneck pace, while others are sprouting a bit more cautiously.

The latter is probably a wiser approach. We've been known to have one final, cruel freeze during the last two weeks of March in past years; the forecast is hinting at such for next Monday night. We'll see. At the moment, the only thing that would probably bite it is a squash plant that's in a big container by the pool.

Shredded Umbrella Plant

Remember when I reported this Cordyline as dead back in December? Well, lo and be-frigging-hold...

Hosta 'Stained Glass'

Several of the cannas are showing themselves already.

I built this walkway along the back of the Front Yard Garden in about 30 minutes. Turned out pretty well, I think, for being just stone and mulch.

Speaking of the FYG, looks pretty crappy at the moment. I'll show another photo in June and I bet y'all will be amazed. (Notice that I left being "amazed" open to interpretation...)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nothing Personal...

Don't you love receiving garden catalogs with a cheezy, personalized message printed on them?

"We've got the perfect plants for TAMARA's garden!"

"TAMARA, we miss you! Take $10 off your next order!"

I got one from Dutch Gardens yesterday with the telltale capital letters screaming at me:

"TAMARA, you ordered DAHLIAS last year for your PLANO, TX garden! See what new DAHLIA offerings we've got this year!"

To which I responded: "Yes, TAMARA was an IDIOT for planting DAHLIAS in her PLANO, TX garden!"

Needless to say, my dahlias didn't do well. It gets ungodly hot here and they just don't like that.

Although...the heat apparently didn't kill them. There are a few shoots already emerging from the tubers that I left in the ground. I wish they would grow and bloom before July gets here...we'll see.

On a related note, I am planning on putting the new roses I ordered where the dahlias are now. It's about a 25' long bed, so I'm hoping there'll be room for everybody.

Lastly, I know I wrote in January that I had ordered roses from Amity Roses, but I ended up cancelling the order within a day of placing it. Amity was already sold out of two of the plants I wanted, and Dutch Gardens had all of them, and had them cheaper. No sense in paying double shipping to order from two places, right?

Well, the lady from Amity who wrote to confirm my cancellation was not very nice about it. I found their website to be really messy, which is why I didn't notice a couple of my choices were sold out, but whatever. No hard feelings.

Here's what I'm getting -- hopefully within a week or so -- from Dutch Gardens:

Distinctive Rose Collection: includes Honey Dijon, Neptune, Sunstruck and Caribia
Ebb Tide

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

Could It Be...?

Here's a not-so-bold statement: Spring has arrived here in North Texas.

Our usual last freeze date is around March 15, and the forecast for the next ten days has nighttime lows nowhere near 40°, let alone 32°.

Am I gloating? Yeah, a little.

It's been a weird winter, the strangest one I can remember since coming here in 1989, actually. Every time I am with a bunch of other gardeners, the topic of our unusual winter always surfaces, mostly because we're not sure how our plants will react.

Several plants in my landscape did not go completely dormant, despite the single-digit temperatures we briefly saw in mid-December. I wonder how they'll be when the sweltering summer comes. This is a common comment from others too, regarding their own gardens.

In other news, I'm happy to report that my name was one of only 12 drawn in the recent Plano Community Garden plot lottery. (The plan is to eventually get up to 80 plots, but they're starting with a dozen for now.) I would have been terribly disappointed if I hadn't been selected, not so much because I've devoted several volunteer hours to the project already (in pouring rain and mud, at times...that's me in the green Target wellies below), but I just really, really want a plot to grow veggies in. Vegetable gardening is probably my favorite kind of gardening, and our current yard just has no space for such an endeavor.

The food we grow is being donated to a local shelter, which makes it even more rewarding. I am looking forward to spending many an evening tending to my new little rectangle of land.

My gardening engagements are starting to stack on top of one another, however. I'm supposed to be helping out at the Heard Museum Native Plant Sale on April 8, but now the Community Garden is tentatively planning to have the opening ceremony (complete with an appearance by the Mayor) on the same day. So, you know...being only one of a dozen folks to have a plot, I feel I should be there.

Besides, I can probably reschedule my hours for the Plant Sale. In fact, (and yes, this is self-serving and evil...), if I work the members-only pre-sale on Friday, I could get my hands on some yummy plants before the crowd descends...mwahahahaha!