Monday, April 13, 2009

Creaky Knees? Aching Back?

You're not're gardening!

Apparently gardening isn't just really physically good for you - it will extend your life too.

Please tell that to my body after a marathon weeding and raking session.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Conflicting Reports

Everything seems to be "off" this year weather- and garden-wise, in one way or another.

I saw a hummingbird today - the earliest ever - yet the juncos are still here. Some of my Louisiana irises are swelling with the same time as their usually-earlier German bearded and Siberian iris cousins are blooming.

Nearly all of the tomatoes planted at the Community Garden perished in sub-zero, wind-whipped temperatures last week. Because of the presence of the aforementioned juncos, I continued to hold off on planting my half dozen or so tomato plants, and am trying not to be smug about my foresight. But watching the birds was something my mother taught me from a very young age; our feathered friends possess a sixth sense about weather conditions that we do not. At least, the winter birds have it, anyway. I'm not sure what that crazy hummingbird is doing here already.

Anyway, lots of plant orders are trickling in. I don't consider myself old enough to be even close to senile, but I can never seem to remember/envision what I ordered from these companies when they get around to finally shipping the order to me. I save invoices, make notes, etc., but by gosh I still find myself tearing open boxes like a kid at Christmas because I truly don't know exactly what's inside. A Salvia Pachyphylia 'Blue Flame'? Great! Thanks! (What the heck does that look like??)

I am expecting a 10 lb. box from Bluestone Perennials tomorrow. Ten pounds of plants sounds like a lot to me...! So I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Besides that order, I have six Agastaches and Salvias from High Country Gardens to plant, plus two daylilies and 30(!) Gladiolus bulbs from Dutch Gardens that need to taste soil pretty quick.

And, in what must have been a lustful tropical plant haze, I also ordered several plants from Logee's, including one of those incredible-looking Diamond Head purple elephant ears. Not sure when that order will arrive. I'm trying my hand with a more common red Passiflora (other than Margaret, which didn't do well for me in the past for some reason) plus another round of Tarnok Sarrencia for the water barrel garden and a 'Chad' hibiscus just because it was stupifying.

Call me a multitasker, but I'm also managing several vegetable projects around the backyard. I have two new 3' x 3' beds by the driveway which now host radishes, peas, carrots and beets, and a couple of half whiskey barrels around the pool area with cabbage, bok choi and radicchio. All of these are doing well; the squirrels and/or rabbits are keeping their chewing to a minimum. I've planted nasturtiums around the containerized plants and the marauding rodents seem to be repelled by it. Amazing.

So there's a nice big, fat update about what's been going on with me in the outdoors arena. Spring might be here around Dallas...we're still not sure. But one thing is certain: I'm ready to plant!