Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Different Day

I went out to get the mail.

That was all.

Things were looking rather scenic out by the highway. I went back for my camera. I couldn't decide which shot of the cozy cabin I liked better. You can decide.

There is more snowy scenic in the diagnosis for the next two days. Further out there is the suggestion for a repeat of this scenic snowiness starting again on Tuesday. Scenic, snowy, scary maybe for the Floridians set to arrive in 10 days. Don't worry. The roads are well plowed and it's only the last two miles that might scare you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


It's here.

An Unexpected Day

The diagnosis was dreary so I was a bit surprised when it was such a pleasant sunny day with no wind and and a high above 50. Shocked really. Is it still going to snow?

I was home early enough and the day was so nice, a bit of chop and drop of the still standing dried stalks of the tall flower meadow seemed like a fine thing to do. I'll eventually get to the ridge top garden next door as I chop and drop in this direction.

The pretty little crocus opened again on an unexpected sunny day.

It was such a nice day we decided to go on a stroll after I had chopped and dropped the slope below the roadside vegetable garden.

Good thing we did. We saw the first anemone in bloom.

And the first daffodil to bloom.

It's a really good thing we decided to go on a stroll on such a nice day to the garden next door. All of a sudden dozens of crocus have started to bloom.

This grouping is from recent purchases over the last two or three seasons. I believe an executive decision was made to plant en masse. There was not going to be any waiting for things to multiply and fill in.

Less than a foot away, another kind crocus.

There were more Iris reticulata in bloom. I have not seen the yellow ones open yet.

And more different kind crocus.

I do have a suspicion though that a much larger patch of this variety may have been et up by some varmint. I know where they should be and all I am seeing are little seedling sprouts. Maybe they are still holding back. We are still shy on daffodils coming up. It is very early in the show.

It clouded up quickly at sunset and the temperature dropped rather fast. There is a big blob on the radar massed at the border. It will be snowing or raining in about another 20 minutes. The diagnosis says it will be doing that off and on until Sunday morning and by then the high for the day will be 35.

Good thing we went on a stroll on a beautiful, sunny and unexpected day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Lull Before The Snow

The rains came in the night. At some point it must have been frozen. I listened to the sound of dried rice tinkling on the metal roof off and on while I slept.

By mid-afternoon it was over and the sun joked about coming out. It was enough to get me outside despite the persistent wind. A few of the baby helleborus are blooming. The blooms may not survive the coming cold.

All of my hellebores are gifted or pilfered seedlings. After seeing how readily they self sow, it is not a plant I would willingly pay good money for. When they do bloom the flower I get is a genetic roll of the bumbling bees.

The little Crocus sieberi atticus 'Firefly' blooms on in a meager sun in hopes of being impollinated before the snows come.

I have been watching this unknown since it first appeared in the roadside vegetable last summer. I have not seen any other plant with quite the same crinkled leaf shape and extraordinarily flat and compacted rosette growth pattern. I have no idea what it is or what the bloom will be. That means it can stay until I find out.

I first noticed it when it was about the size of a small egg. It has not grown one iota taller. It is now about the size of a cantaloupe. What will it be?

Maybe I forced the beasts to get up and go outside when they rains stopped. Maybe they don't like the idea of me going out there without them and followed. It's just good to get one day of exercise in before the snows come. Snow is still highly undesirable. The initial shock of it has worn off, but quality snow time is still of short duration.


That would mean me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Things Could Get Ugly

The blizzard that is pounding Texas and Oklahoma right now appears to be headed this way. As a kindness, the sun came out for a few hours this afternoon. By dark the winds picked up. It has now begun to roar.

I may wake up to rain, freezing rain or snow at my elevation. There is now snow in the diagnosis for everyday from Tuesday night to Sunday morning. No amounts have been suggested as of yet. But it's gonna be cold.

My taxes are done. My indoor winter projects are done. It could get ugly if the kitties and I are trapped inside for a week with nothing to do.

We will just have to hope it will be cold with light and variable flurries.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

We Will Wait Some More

The little Crocus sieberi atticus 'Firefly' says spring is near on a sunny day that appeared amidst the gloom.  But you can't let a single early crocus lead you astray.

The world outside is still in the grip of the barren time.

Rain is scheduled to return tomorrow night, snow by mid week and cold cold by the weekend. Winter is not done. Spring is not here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Slow Start To The Bulb Show

I must have been preoccupied while planting bulbs last fall. Don't remember this. Maybe I was just thinking I don't need to remember. I'll find out what I planted in the spring. That certainly is what is happening. Perhaps the shock will imprint all these bulbs in my memory.

More procrastination meant there was time for a stroll. We went to fetch Miss Collar for supper.

The ridge top garden is ever so slowly waking up. There were only a few more crocus attempting to bloom. The weathers have been staying cloudy, wet and cool to cold. The bulbs are wise to bide their time.

Miss Collar popped up as soon as we got close to the house and joined us on our stroll.

We found a few iris blooming.

Then headed back into the forest for home and dinner time.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Art Of Procrastination

I had planned to do my taxes today. Everything needed has been gathered up and organized. I took a long nap instead. When I woke up it seemed imperative that I accomplish something useful, just nothing too strenuous.

A while back a large glass jar from my grandfather's garage followed me back to North Carolina. I kept thinking I better empty out all the rain and snow melt that had collected in the jar before it freezes and cracks. I never got around to it. It froze. It cracked. The bottom fell off. Now it had to find a new purpose.

I had a broken glass jar, a big chunk of Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' that fell out of the ground while I was at work last week and an idea that had been brewing after seeing it elsewhere.

This is the art of procrastination.

While I was down there I found more daffodils coming up that I had completely forgotten about. Why can't I remember planting bulbs? It's like I was asleep when I planted them all.

This is the art of procrastination in the bigger picture. Of course I can't have just one glass jar in this little garden tableau so I will need to be on the look out for more containers to bury in this slope. If they are glass they need to be broken so they won't hold water.

The Sedum rupestre that had followed me home before as tiny springs has grown exponentially. In the summer the leaves are a bright yellow and in my high elevation cold it turns a reddish orange in the winter. It is a nice mat forming evergreen ground cover for full sun and well drained soils. It will make a nice textural addition to the tapestry of texture and color on the slope below the cozy cabin.

The rain and cold that kept me in is scheduled to continue. Maybe my taxes will get done tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Have No Idea

How many bulbs will show up out there.

Every fall for the last several years I have been handed sacks of Bulbarella's overflow from her dividing operations. I find places to plant them. She is just pretending to give them to me. I'm really just a pawn being used in her grand scheme to cover her mountain from top to bottom with bulbs. It's working.

I had forgotten about planting these crocus. It was a surprise when I spotted them. I think she actually bought a sack of bulbs to give me now that I think about it. Or was that an overflow purchase too?

The snowdrops have been here a few years now. It wouldn't hurt to help them multiply.

Today I found more crocus I had forgotten about. I remember planting all the baby liatris corms I found while weeding at a client's and putting them in this bed. Why do I forget about the bulbs?

I have no idea about a lot of what will show up out there. Many of the annual and perennial wildflowers set seed. They multiply and move about on their own. I keep adding more seeds and more perennials that can do the same. I edit out the unwanted and tend to leave the good things where they show up.

What will the garden be like this year? In this garden there will always be lots of surprises.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Few Crocus

Work was mostly cancelled due to snow cover. More snow fell in that last round on the south side of the county than the normal routine of heavier snow along the northern Tennessee border. The north facing slope at this garden slows the melt considerably.

I was home early enough on a sunny, but cold day for a little stroll next door. I saw crocus. Not many.

A few more of the early yellow crocus had popped up.

This was a bit distressing and not something you see often. I saw about three clumps of daffodils that had essentially been frozen to death. With 10,000 daffodils it doesn't constitute a big loss. For the most part, the daffodils are still laying low. It is still winter.

Even the larger late blooming crocus are still hard to find. Overall emergence of the bulbs remains on the low side.

The cheery clump of crocus at the top of my drive were a bit tattered by their snowy ordeal, but it only takes a couple of sunny days for pollination to happen. After that the flowers will wind down.

It is a slow fitful progression towards spring.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There Was Two Inches Of Snow

On the ground this morning.

It was a heavy wet snow that fell in the night on rip roaring winds. Next came the rain and by days end the fresh snow was pretty much gone. The rip roaring winds have continued and it was never very pleasant out there.

I went out briefly to have a look around and found some daffodils coming up that I have no recollection of planting at all. I was just eyeing this space recently wondering what I might plant there. Something that will let daffodils come through it seems. I also found some crocus I completely forget. I can see how this may become a problem as the number of bulbs multiply and the garden becoming starts to fill in. I should make a map. Right. Like that is going to happen.

There was also a strange sight I have never seen before. Something nibbled on the poisonous daffodils. The cats are all still alive and no one has been acting sick. There are plenty of green winter annuals, hardy perennials that hold some green through the winter, even green grass to chose from. Who could it have been?

The evergreen dogwood's piqued look is peaking. The leaves look burned. The stems look fine. Now I have to wonder is this what it will look like at the end of the winter by refusing to shed its leaves until spring? I'm not sure I am going to like this look. I don't think it really qualifies as winter interest. It's more like winter despair.

The beasts aren't interested in staying out in that wind for any extended time either. At least not until right before the sun goes down. That causes a major shift in perception and attitudes about the elements. All of a sudden they can't wait to get out. Their older sister has more sense and is on the opposite schedule. That is much more to my liking.

It was buried in snow this morning. It was buried in snow two days ago.

I'm thinking this spring is going to be very moody.