My Garden – April 2015

stubborn snow

Today is what I’d call the first nice spring day. It’s sunny, it’s in the high 60s, and really you couldn’t ask for more after months of cold, snow, and more recently — rain. I decided to walk around the house and take stock of my plants. As you can see, winter still seems to be holding on. I found that bit of snow that refuses to melt!

The first things I wanted to check out were my lilacs. Last spring my parents scored some free lilacs for me and we planted them. I also got a horrenoudous case of poison ivy during yard work that weekend, so I was sincerely hoping they took. Otherwise the pain and itching would have been for nothing. I could barely believe my eyes when I saw tiny little buds on the stems! It looks like I will, at the very least, have some foliage. Hopefully there will be some flowers, too!

lilac

Next, it was on to my forcythia. They’re very healthy so really I just wanted to make sure the deer didn’t do a number on them in the last month. So far, so good!

forcythia

My daffodils have sprouted (finally!) and by the looks of it could bloom this week!

daffodils

The pussy willow out front seems indestructible. Seriously, this thing has thrived through quite a bit of severe weather.

pussy willow

pussy willow

I’m not sure what will happen with my lavender. I would love for it to come back! The leaves still smell heavenly, though!

lavender

And finally are some herbs and veggies my husband picked up for me on Friday. Two varieties of tomatoes, green pepper, sweet red pepper, and purple basil. I am hoping that I develop a green thumb this year! I’m glad, however, that he’s as optimistic as I am.

tomatoes, peppers, basil

Most years I get really excited about plants at the beginning of spring, but my interest wanes as we get into summer. Maybe this will be the year I finally get bit by the gardening bug!

Scratch That…

Poison Ivy photo poisonivy_zps8305eace.jpg

Last week my dad was able to get his hands on some free lilacs that a lady nearby was digging up. Because I was obsessing over them this spring, he asked if I wanted any. Of course I did! So Saturday my folks came down for the day (bringing along my sweet little niece to play with Laura). 

We got down to business digging holes and getting the plants in. (My parents now also realize why I put off planting anything. I’ve told them that we have rocky soil, but they learned just how rocky.) We also cleaned up the planting area while we were at it, and I pulled out what seemed like miles of some annoying, invasive vine that wrapped itself around my forcythia. I typically thing of poison ivy as shiny leaves with a red tinge, like the photo on the left up at the top of this post. The vine I was pulling looked (so I thought) a little more innocuous.

Well, a couple days later I woke up with bumps on my arm. I thought maybe I get bit by a spider or some other pest during the night. Then… huh… I also had something on my neck. I soon realized that it was poison ivy. In retrospect, the vine looked like the one on the right.

Sigh…

So far it hasn’t spread too bad, but it is so itchy and uncomfortable. (Not to mention unslightly — especially on my neck!) Unfortunately, aside from riding it out there are only so many things you can do. I’m using calamine lotion and Tecnu scrub (suggested by a friend) and that seems to be helping. Of course, Benedryl is helping the most with the itch factor, but I only take that after everything is done for the day and I can crash. It makes me so groggy, but it’s worth it for a decent night’s sleep.

Let’s hope this clears up fast!

This Week

Country Living Fair 2014

Ah… the school year is finally winding down. The last few weeks have been so busy! Four concerts, Field Day, Court of Honor, and Preschool Graduation (just to name a few) have kept us on the go. But summer is actually in sight!

Today was Laura’s preschool graduation. What a sweet ceremony her school put on! Drew wrote and performed a song with the kids — abosultely adorable. She was in tears the other day because she’s going to miss school so much. I reassured her that most of her friends with be in Kindergarten with her in the Fall. “But it won’t be the same!” she said. Awww… So bittersweet.

Laura's preschool graduation

Last weekend a friend and I went to the Country Living Fair here in Rhinebeck. I will have to do an entire post just on the fair because it was SO much fun. Next year I think I’ll opt for the two-day pass and get my mom to come on one of the days. So many pretty things and creative ideas. But more on that soon.

My crochet has been tucked away for now, just because there hasn’t been the time for it. But I have been busy in the garden planting blueberries, rhododendrons, various perennials… My dad was able to get me some lilacs another lady had dug up, so tomorrow my parents are bringing those down and I’ll get them in. I adore lilacs and just pray they take so I can have blooms next year!

Hope you all have been well. I miss my little corner of the bloggy world!

In the Garden

welcome to my garden

Well, this year my garden is overgrown and underwhelming. The one-two punch of some heavy rains and two weeks of crazy hot weather made the weeds go crazy and sadly I’m just not motivated to keep up with it. (Happens every year — I’m a gardener in my head, but not in reality, LOL!) But I figured I’d share a few snapshots of the plants that haven’t died!

First, there’s my knockout rose bush. This is one of the hardiest plants we have in the front! And what’s amazing is that a few years ago, I bought the plant half-head on clearance for $1, just to see if it would take. I love how bright the pink is.

rose

Then there are these Black-Eyed Susans that came from my mother-in-law’s garden.

flowers

And the Tiger Lily from my mom’s garden.

tiger lilies

Even though Queen Anne’s Lace might be considered a weed, I love having it around the house. It’s so pretty and delicate and when I feel motivated to cut some flowers to bring in the house, the Queen Anne’s Lace makes such lovely filler.

queen anne's lace

This one is called a Balloon Flower and I think we might have gotten it as a bare-root plant from Spring Hill. We placed an order when we first moved here and while a lot of the plants didn’t take, a few did! The flowers close up in the evening and look like little balloons.

balloon flower

And here’s the Spoon Flower my dad made. This one is pretty rare 😉

spoon flower

I found this spiderweb this morning and I never tire of how magical they look. I left it alone — I feel bad anytime I have to wipe one away. I know it’s silly, but they just seem like so much work and this web wasn’t in a place where it was bothering anyone.

spider web

 

 

And finally, my hydrangea. I had only one pathetic bloom last year and it doesn’t look like I’ll have any flowers this year (no idea why!). I did, however, find this adorable little toad hanging out on a leaf! 

tiny frog

Maybe in September I’ll put out some mums and marigolds and kale… I’ll try to take advantage of fall flowers and pretty things up for autumn. So, how are your gardens doing this year?