Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring So Far

Hard to believe we're already entering the third week of May.  I don't know where the time has gone.  So far, this spring has been very dry.  We've been exceedingly lucky that we haven't had any severe weather like other parts of the country had earlier in the month, though.

Tarda species tulips--blooming later than usual for us.  Like me, tardy on posting!
We were fortunate to have one half inch of rain on Monday which helped quite a bit.  The farmers around us are nearly all done planting their crops; it certainly was bizarre seeing dust rise as they worked land in May.
Work here has been, like always in the spring and summer, hectic.  We're trying to get a lot of things done all at once for upcoming garden walks and weddings.  The calendar is full of dates for when people will be visiting; I just hope I remembered to write them all down.
The daffodils are getting long in the tooth already and the hostas are starting to pop out of the ground at a rapid rate.  I've been weeding as fast as I can.  I had to lock the hens in their run for the summer; they've been a big help catching bugs and scratching around, but the hostas are just too tempting to resist.  Some cultivars must be extra tasty because the chickens had certain varieties pecked right down to the ground. Any time I put mulch down, they have to see what is under it and mulch goes flying everywhere.  Sorry, Girls, it's time to give this ol' gardener a break.
The Girls last fall, free to roam again.
I've been working in the greenhouse part of the day, getting my pots planted up and making cuttings of annuals I want to propagate.  Last night the temperature dropped to near freezing, so we had to make sure everything was covered in the greenhouse, too.  I haven't planted any annuals out in the garden yet, around here the last frost date is June 1.
Grass is growing, weeds are sprouting, trees need pruning, everything happens all at once in the spring, doesn't it?  Sometimes it is completely overwhelming! 

 We generally try to pick the worst problem first and deal with it, but this year, that is proving to be a difficult task.  Since we had no snow cover to speak of last winter, we had alot of plant damage along with a lot of frost heaves-- we've had rock formations shifted substantially and everything will need work.

'Golden Shadows' dogwood
I was walking through the hosta bed the other day and came across the above sight, 'Golden Shadows' dogwood in early leaf against a black rock looks like little butterflies, doesn't it?

The trilliums are almost done blooming, too.  I wish spring flowers lasted longer.

I was glad to see 'Gold Heart' dicentra pulled through the winter.  There were many plants that did not.

I'm not sure if this is 'King of Hearts' or 'Luxuriant' dicentra, but by any name, it's still pretty.
I haven't been feeling fantastic this spring; I think it's mostly related to thyroid (again!) and stress.  I don't sleep well, which then leads to keeping later hours than I should which I know is not good for me.  But what's the point of tossing and turning in bed if I can't sleep?  Might as well cut out the middle man. (I am working on keeping on schedule, I am.)

Here's the Quarry (while it still has some water in it) with early water lilies.  I see one is in bud already, it seems too early, but I guess it's just me.  Mother Nature is right on time.
I was feeling extremely overwhelmed when I took these pictures and just plopped down on a rock and aimed the camera haphazardly.  Sometimes I need to get a grip and take a breather.  Everything that needs to get done will get done; and whatever isn't accomplished will still be here in the morning (or evening) or in the case of Castle Aaargh, in a decade.
 Visitors continually ask us, "Do you ever sit out here and just enjoy the view?" and our answer is always, "No, because then we see more weeds."  Sadly, that is the truth.  So when I took these pictures I thought what the heck?  For once I will sit here and enjoy the view.  (And yes, there are weeds, and lots of 'em.)

After I got done with my Quarry break, I decided to go get the planters in to the greenhouse so I could pot up their summer flowers.  When I tried to put one of the urns on the two-wheeled cart, the entire urn broke in two.  Oh, yes, now I remember; I hit this urn with the snowblower on our tractor one of the two times I removed snow last winter.  Looks like I did a good job. 
Luckily, Carl was able to fix it for me the next day. With a weld repair and a new coat of paint, it looked good as ever.  I was just sorry to make more work for Carl.

I forgot to write about Willie the Willow: we had to cut him down in March since he developed a long crack along one of the main branches.  The yard is just not the same without all the shade; I have no idea how the garden will fare this year.  It's all about change, that's for sure.  Where Willie stood we had a blank slate to work with; below is the end result of moving a few of our trees from other places in the yard.  We're really pleased with the look; these are all slower growing conifers that can be controlled with pruning for size to some degree.

L-R: Serbian Spruce, Weeping White Spruce, Fat Albert Blue Spruce, Sunkist Thuja Occidentalis
 I'll have to do a Willie Memorial Post soon and show some before and afters.  (But we Really miss the shade!)

We've already had our first visitors this year, a prom court from a high school:

 They were so young!  Were we ever that young??  

I'm still exercising every day; usually walk ten to twelve miles on average.   Another new thing is my rebounder (mini-trampoline) that I bought in December, yet another post waiting to be written, but I will say this, that piece of exercise equipment has made a phenomenal change in my exercise.  I love it!  

Our next garden event is a wedding coming on May 30 for photography followed by a bus trip of master gardeners from the southern part of Wisconsin on May 31.  

The Big Event is Joel and Abby's wedding in June!  The clock is ticking...........

I can't afford to be tarda.......(ha, tardy!) at all!  


Alison said...

So glad to see a post from you, Karen! What a shock about the willow. That row of conifers looks very nice, though. Happy Spring!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dearest Karen ~ So good to see a newsy post from you. I'm sorry you've not been feeling well or sleeping well. Glad you decided to just sit on a rock for a spell.

I know what you mean about sitting and enjoying. We tend to see all that's wrong, all that needs work, instead of just enjoying what is going on around us at any given moment.

You have a lot growing and going on there, and a family wedding next month too.

Sorry about the loss of your lovely willow.

Take care dear heart ~ FlowerLady

Donna said...

Karen all looks wonderful with all your hard work even the space where Willy stood. Frost here last night and thankfully our 90 degree weather with no rain for 2 weeks has passed and the garden is now refreshed with normal spring temps and rain...seeing the prom pictures there in the quarry was fabulous...made my heart soar and I bet made their prom.

Junebug said...

Spring certainly has sprung with all the pretties! So glad to see your post and know you are busy, busy with weeds, ha-ha! Sorry to hear about Willie the Willow. When I had to have three trees removed I felt naked, yep exposed!!

Enjoy all your company and for sure the upcoming wedding!!

Beth said...

Karen, I loved seeing the girls in their prom dresses in the quarry garden. Such a pretty scene and pretty dresses! Your gardens are lovely, Karen, and I look forward to continuing to see the progress over the next few months. Weeds? Oh yeah, got them too. I don't have nearly the size garden you do and I can't imagine how you do it all. But you do, and beautifully! I ADORE YOUR GARDENS!!!!
Hugs and blessings to you, Beth

El Gaucho said...

So happy to see a post from you. Good luck on getting the garden ready, you and Carl do great work!

Garden Fancy said...

Karen, all your gardens look wonderful to me! I'm sure you see the weeds and the spots where things didn't make it through the winter, but all the rest of us see the beautiful design of your pond and all the lovely flowers in bloom. Leave a few weeds -- even if someone does notice, maybe they'll pull them for you!

I hope you can get some sleep. Have you ever tried melatonin? I've been taking it for more than 15 years now and I was a major insomniac before it (it and the chlorpheniramine that I take together at night). You'll enjoy your springtime much more if you're well-rested. Take care,

Indie said...

Woah, that's quite the busy spring! That's too bad that winter was so hard on the plants. And poor Willie the Willow! The new grouping of trees looks really nice, though. I love that 'Golden Shadows' Dogwood -so pretty! I hope you can get some much needed rest for all this work!

africanaussie said...

Oh my gosh you always have so much on the go - it makes me tired just reading about it all! I am glad that you took a quarry break and enjoyed the view for a while. I love your daffodils, and those yellow and white tulips are awesome.

myomyohi said...

Spring is always so exciting, seeing the rebirth of our gardens. Things have really greened up here the last week. Most of the trees have leafed out and the tulips are gone. My redbuds are almost done blooming and the weeds are giddily taunting me. LOL

I love your golden shadows dogwood. It's so pretty.

I don't know how you and Carl keep up with everything. I am having trouble keeping up with my small garden, I can't imagine one the size of yours. I just don't have the energy I had a couple of years ago.

Everything looks fabulous and I love that I can enjoy your gardens, and your stories even though we've never actually met.


Lona said...

Hello Karen. You are not the only one that has been lack when it comes to posting on the blog. I do not know where the time goes anymore. Your spring blooms are looking so pretty and it is good to see things growing and starting to bloom again. A busy time for you I know. The pond makes such a beautiful backdrop for those prom pictures. How pretty.
As for the urn... girl you are one wicked snow blower driver. LOL!I an laugh because I demolished my little red wagon this spring fixing the pump for my pond. How much can a little red wagon stand anyway? Some silly woman jerked the hose out of the pump and had to take it all apart. Not naming names though. Luckily my daughter got me a new wagon for my birthday. Wonder how long it will last around me. LOL!
Sadly my walks this spring has amounted to one. I miss them.
Girl be careful on that trampoline.. no nose dives. Hugs.

Betsy said...

Time is moving way to fast, hot balmy summer will be here soon for sure.
Never seen a dogwood such as the one you have shown here, very pretty against the rock.
I know it hurt to have to lose a willow like that, they are so beautiful to watch the branches moving with the breezes.
Mine seems to not be leafing out like it used too. I am wondering if they get diseases and die. Gosh I hope not.

Love those little yellow daffodils.
spring flowers are the prettiest and we must slow down a bit at this time to enjoy them.

Betsy said...

Time is moving way to fast, hot balmy summer will be here soon for sure.
Never seen a dogwood such as the one you have shown here, very pretty against the rock.
I know it hurt to have to lose a willow like that, they are so beautiful to watch the branches moving with the breezes.
Mine seems to not be leafing out like it used too. I am wondering if they get diseases and die. Gosh I hope not.

Love those little yellow daffodils.
spring flowers are the prettiest and we must slow down a bit at this time to enjoy them.

Bonnie K said...

Beautiful! Everything looks just grand.