Sunday, February 28, 2010

From This

The low spot on a North Carolina mountain top on February 28th, 2010.

To... be continued.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ready For Spring

I generally start my rounds at Client #1's here. This is what I see when I first arrive, currently in its more open winter phase, but far from a dull planting. On the left is a row of White Pine that screens the main four lane highway. The tree in the foreground and those in the left corner of the parking lot are birch of some sort. The three trees on the right are Platanus, the Sycamore. The shrub plantings from left to right are Kerria japonica, (hate it) Doublefile Viburnum, Cotoneaster and a pink Spirea. This screening continues on the right to include a grouping of rhododendron, juniper and large spruce trees.

I have been spring cleaning the perennials to prepare for the bulb show that is stirring in the still cold ground. Though for some reason I did not want to cut back the grass mops in the island bed just yet. I still find them interesting while waiting for the bulbs and hosta to gather more of an appearance. The big pile of snow in the parking lot has been removed.

Looking in the opposite direction is the pond garden in the rear of the building. The four lane highway is right behind the planting of evergreen trees of Hemlock and Spruce. This is the time of year when I cut the remaining dead brown remnants of the perennials to the ground.

The main perennial bed on the sunny front side of the building has gotten its late winter haircut.

Thousands of bulbs are stirring throughout the grounds.

I needed to get this done before I left and would have done it sooner but the weathers have so not been cooperating. By mid March this kind of heavy cleaning could cause damage to the awakening bulbs.

In sunnier spots some tulips are well up. Mostly there is just an inch of an inkling or less of what lies beneath.

The bark of the Pinus bungeana, Lacebark Pine is most interesting. One of these is on the wish list for my own garden to be.

The iris bed on the pond overflow end is mowed and ready for green. While the summer foliage is totally appropriate, lush and nice, this particular pale violet iris does not put on much of a floral display and is more aggressive than it seems to be worth.

A garden is now ready for spring. I can leave it be for a while.

Tsunami? What tsunami? What is that saying? Come freezing hell or high water I am going to Maui.

Friday, February 26, 2010

After Another Winter Storm

It is getting the right idea at least.

The sun came out directly and meltage occurred even though temperatures were less than optimal.

That sun is a powerful thing.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Half A Foot Plus

Good thing it snowed heavy all day. It made house cleaning hard to avoid. I made progress against the filth and only have one more room to go. It is slow going when all the nooks and crannies are attended to. That is where the hairballs hide and the spiders live.

The snowdrops and few daffodils I saw peaking out of the ground are buried once more.

I have a feeling spring really will be a bit later this year.

The constant snow pack has slowed the bulb's emergence.

Meltage has to start over from scratch and it didn't get that far before another half a foot plus was added on top.

A late afternoon stroll as the snow began to ebb and a cleaning break seemed like a good idea.

It was a blowing snow.

It blows right under the cozy cabin when it blows.

Will this be my last winter storm of the season?

I hope it gets it all out of its system before I get back. I will accept more snow if it promises to all melt within two days of falling. Deal?

I was pleased to find that the blog function with the Picasa photo editor was working today.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Google search has been failing to connect rather frequently of late. I am wondering if they have gotten so big with so many applications that they are losing control of their product.

It is just another one of those systems not operating smoothly. It is nice there are things in life that can be counted on to remain predictable.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just Rime

Well never mind, maybe. Unless it snows a foot tonight the winter storm was a no show. Maybe there has just been an atmospheric delay. That worked out fine for today's firewood splitting, hauling and stacking. Real snow did began to fall late this afternoon. The predicted two inches for last night and today was just the hovering frozen cloud, the rime.

This has been a time of a thousand little irritations. Multiple systems have not been operating smoothly. I fought with the water system since it froze around the first of the year. I fought with the furnace for a month from the time the power was out for four days in mid-December. I have fought two long snow covered driveways through every iteration of snow that can fall. With one of them I was forced to concede defeat to the snow.

I always fight with the sluggish Hughes satellite internet. The computer has been more of a battle ground ever since I quit procrastinating about renewing the McAfee anti virus program. Hughes won't download that even during their safe download times. I was forced to buy a CD. Now one would think a CD has the program on it. Not so. I still had to download the program from the internet with the CD and discovered that after exceeding my limit on Hughes.

After six weeks and numerous chats with Sam in India the McAfee is finally installed and running. Now the Internet Explorer browser and Picasa's blog function have crashed. Did one lead to the other? They both have full permission in the firewall settings. A thousand little inquiries and fixes may be needed for that.

Fortunately I have the Firefox browser on my computer and Scarlet, the Hughes representative in India led me to find that Hughes was not at fault, Internet Explorer was the problem when I called for help in exasperation. There was no online solution. There was no online until I starting using the Firefox.

It takes five minutes of struggle to get the zipper on my heavy winter coat zipped. I have been fighting with that zipper for a month now. It really does need to be fully zipped for the coat to operate properly out there in all that rime.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Before The Next Snow Drops

Never mind. We will be having another winter storm. The diagnosis vary of course, but one suggests there could be up to a foot of snow along the susceptible Tennessee border locations. That would include me. There wasn't enough time to get to a full melt and the temperature has already dropped below meltage.

The clouds have descended to hide the storm as it sneaks in during the night.

Poor little snowdrops, you are about to be buried alive once again.

It has been nice having you around for a few days. See you when you get back.

I may have to shovel the driveway again so the resident gardeners can get in and I can get out.

Nice that the driveway was clear today. Those tire tracks on the left hand side are from the big truck that came today and put a new pump 260 feet down into the well. I replaced everything that could be replaced, cleaned everything that could be cleaned and the water still flowed intermittently. All that was left to be broken was the well pump. And yes it was. I think winter killed it and the pressure tank.

After a little lesson in winter water maintenance, the resident gardeners should be good to go and won't suffer the aggravation I have for the last two months. Oy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Snowdrops

For now it is the botanical Galanthus nivalis variety, but there are more snow drops in the weather diagnosis for the days ahead. It is that northwest flow again. At least it isn't another winter storm.

There is so much beneath the snow just waiting to happen.

But then again I am headed to Maui for two weeks. Spring can take its sweet time getting here and I won't miss anything while I am gone.

It looks a little perkier don't you think than how it looked two weeks ago.

It is like a cold dead weight has been lifted.

Bare spots in the snow are giving rise to the buried treasures beneath.

There are even places where the daffodils don't want to wait for all the snow to melt away.

I am having a habit it seems of thinking spring is late this year. This year it just might be few days behind schedule. A few days behind schedule, which means it is right on time. I do recall from last year marking two days prior to the March 15th Garden Bloggers Bloom Day as an official day to remember in regards to spring. I need to try and remember that every year.

When is spring? March 13th. Repeat. When is spring? March 13th.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

There Is Hope

The meltage is revealing life beneath the snow.

A little more time is being spent outside sniffing things.

Now let's hope this trend continues to build momentum.