Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Last Crocus

It doesn't look like much yet, but the earth is bursting with fresh life. A rude round of snow and temperatures in the teens put a hurting on some things, but new life will not be denied.

The last crocus blooms. Their time has passed.

It is time for new things. One of two Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' fared better than the other. One was slightly nipped. This one was untouched.

Sometimes you don't have to press your nose to the ground to see what is happening. New life can bust forth in bold vivid color.

But I walk the garden now bent over, looking to see what is waking up. I am most happy when I see that things I planted last year are returning.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Twin Falls

Fall number two is hooked up and running. The first test went very well. It needs a few details tended to, but it works as intended.

Would you believe I ran out of rocks? They are all used up except for a small pile of little ones. I need more big rocks. I will have to go fetch me some rocks. Fortunately I know where a good pile of them are.

The existing chute that was mortared onto the large boulder worked just as I had hope. A full sheet of water slides down the boulder to the next fall and the stream channel below.

More rocks, a set of details and Twin Falls Pond will be ready to flow. All I needed to finish this project was the proper operating temperatures.

I took the lower trail and dipped into the forest on the way to supper. The Hepatica are blooming and I saw the first Bloodroot coming up.

The Ramps are here.

Tiny blue bulbs survived the snow and cold just fine.

The daffodils were squashed. There were way more daffodils fallen than standing. Half the show has been lost. The cold did not hurt them. They were crushed by the snow.

Thank goodness there are thousands of tiny blue bulbs to keep us happy while we wait for the second showing of daffodils.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Squashed Daffodils

As the snow melts, impressive daggers of ice drip off the mountain into spring.

And great quantities of squashed daffodils were revealed. Those that can will perk up. Great quantities of daffodils in reserve will still come into bloom. Our guest would have seen perkier daffodils last Friday.

There was one incredibly rare sighting on our stroll today, the garden blogger in situ.

It is such a rare sight, it will be repeated now, because it won't be happening again anytime soon.

"This big rock does all kinds of interesting things."

The freeze, as is often the case, was hit or miss. All the iris seem unfazed. Daylilies and hellebore got a bit singed. The next two days will tell more about what plants have the vagaries of spring hardiness. Spring can be beautifully cruel.

Unperturbed, spring will just move on. The gardener did offer a few items some protection. The new Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' were waking up and loaded with flower buds. I did not like the idea of them freezing. Both were covered with leaf litter and then nicely covered again by a thick blanket of snow for this morning's low of 17. They look like they made it.

I try not to be perturbed, but I do like my daffodils perky.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Six Inches

The weather diagnosis people at NOAA have regular problems with quantities. The general prognostication is usually on target. I just can't ever count on the specifics.

Maybe an inch of snow in the night turned into twelve plus hours of steady snow and six inches on the ground by morning. The low was 18, lower than what was suggested.

What daffodils? I won't know how they fared until late tomorrow afternoon.

Thankfully it wasn't a wet heavy snow.

And it proceeded to melt the moment the sun came out.

Which is good. A guest is coming tomorrow to check out the Bulbapaloozathon. I can invite you to see the wild cultivated gardens, but my diagnosis of how things will be could be a little off.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Then It Snowed

A big box of summer blooming roots and tubers arrived that needed to be planted in my stomped through beds. There were dahlias, begonia, calla lily, gladiolas, astilbe and crocosmia.

I'm still not willing to discuss what the construction worker dudes have been doing to my new beds. I think it is plain to see.

Every thing but the crocosmia got planted. I have a whole new bed in mind for that and need to discuss it with the Lady of the House. I did wait until the major stomping was done. Now if they can just confine themselves to the paths and keep their debris out of the beds all will be well. I'll have a word with the fence painter when I see him just to make things clear.

The summer roots and tubers were planted and then it started to snow. Someone's diagnosis was slightly off apparently.

This new bed's fate is unknown. The construction is the base for a wedding gazebo. It will have two side walls on either side parallel to the wall in the foreground and fill will be brought in to level the lawn area. The lawn's fate is also unknown. It may become a stone patio for church pews. An extra wide aisle for the bride has to lead up to the gazebo some how.

This new bed will have some adjustments coming for sure.

I think the new beds on the view side of the house are pretty safe, minus the current losses, as long as the railing builders and painters don't have any accidents.

The Posh Estate #2 has a name and it's own website. The Inn at Tranquility Farm is going to be a distinctive and unique event venue and lodging destination situated in the peaceful Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. With over 60 acres of land, Tranquility Farm offers an exclusive, elegant and exceptional back drop for your special event or wedding day.

I will be the gardener in the background.

And the head operating technician of fisheries and pond scum.

It was a might too cold to be gluing stiff pipe and filter falls together. The second fall will have to wait for a day when it is not snowing. I did spend some quality time organizing my rocks and tidying up the area. I work better in tidy.

It is a close to finished pond, rebuild wise. The pretty comes after the construction, usually. I've been stirring up the water to get the dirt that fell in moving so the filters will clean it up when I have it running. I want my baby fishes to have clear clean water.

Back home on the mountain top the hellebores are blooming well. Then it snowed. And it is going to get cold, as in the lower 20's. Helleborus flowers do not do well with that. I expect they will be toast.

It was nice while it lasted.

Will it be a crushing snow? Daffodils will actually lie down when it gets real cold and stand back up when it warms. Heavy snow can snap the stems though and then they can't get back up.

We have plenty of daffodils in reserve just in case things go bad.

Even the trilliums will do a wilt and lie down routine in the cold. Most of them have not even made an appearance yet so they are safe for now.

What will the garden look like in the morning? The snow started twelve hours earlier than indicated. Will it be over sooner or will there be more than expected?

I'm not in charge so I'll just have to wait and find out.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Other Gardens I Tend

The bulbs are in full swing at Client#1's.

Client #1 has two gardens I tend.

This is the other one. The Magnolia stellata is in full bloom just in time for a big freeze.

I haven't planted any new bulbs in this garden the last two falls. You can't tell the difference. He may have been sneaking in some new bulbs behind my back. It is hard to keep track in a garden packed full of bulbs.

I switched him to daffodils after the great varmint harvest of the tulips one winter. The beds starting filling with bulbs permanently from then on.

I finished early enough again today to add another twenty bags of hardwood mulch to the roadside vegetable garden. It is halfway done. I actually feel caught up with work after such a dramatic backed up start. I can dedicate April to new ponds and new plantings. I may even get some editing in. Come May, my regular schedule will resume in earnest.

The spring ring of crocus is winding down.

And while I was taking this picture I discovered something new, a circle of grape hyacinth in the Great Lawn that I completely forgot I planted. I'll have a smaller purple/blue circle next.

I wonder how the Trout Lily is going to react to snow, possibly one to two inches, and temperatures in the 20's twice?

It's nothing new. We do this every year. I expect we will do it again before April is over. Despite the regular assault a garden continues to form. In another month, the time of the Lush will have arrived.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In Gardens I Tend

The new fountain is full and running at the Posh Estate #2. It is my hope that the construction worker dudes are done digging trenches through this one main entry bed at the least. I know they are not done stomping through it. We won't discuss what they have been doing to all the other newly planted beds.

I will be doing my best procrastination routine to delay planting the flowering perennials until the chaos there subsides. I will remain calm and breathe.

One fall of Twin Falls Pond is up and running. The first test run went splendidly. The second fall needs to be rebuilt. Then it's all about arranging rocks. After that comes plants and fish. This will keep me busy while the construction worker dudes are stomping through all my newly planted beds.

I will remain calm and breathe.

I calm right down the moment I pull into my driveway. I am the only person who is authorized to go stomping through any notion of a proper bed that you might find here.

Then over the creek and through the woods to supper I go. There are calming sights along the way.

After dinner there is time for a stroll through the ridge top garden where the forest floor is bursting with colorful life.

The Puschkinia above and the Chionodoxa here have been self sowing dramatically. I thinks it helps that I have been killing off the Silver Lamium that used to form a thick ground cover in large parts of the garden.

Chionodoxa and daffodils.

There is a freeze and a chance of snow coming for Friday and Saturday. The bulbs usually handle that with no problems. Bud break for most everything else is still in a contemplation phase so all should be well with this freeze. April can be cruel though. The gardener always wishes for the best.

I will remain calm and breathe.