Thursday, May 22, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
This week was tulipmania in the garden! A couple of days in the 70s coaxed all of the tulips to color up just in time for mother's day. Couldn't have planned it better if I tried. Each spring I'm in awe of tulips more and more, and this time around I wanted to better capture their fleeting beauty! Here's the 2014 lineup, in order of opening in my little tulip bed:
Orange Princess and Apricot Impression
Akebono (above- my favorite!) and Jaap Groot (below)
Pink Star (above) and Apricot Parrot (below)
Carnaval de Nice
Queen of Night
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
The first garden blooms open in the warm little microclimate created by a rock wall!
In the cutting beds the plants are farther behind, but this 'Dick Wilden' narcissus is budding up nicely.
Allium multibulbosum emerging looks like tillandsia of the dirt.
Low tunnel of stock and snapdragons enjoying the cool temps.
I've been checking the tulip beds at least three times each day to look for any buds and as a bonus, I get to spend time staring at the awesome leaves of 'Tsar Peter' greigii tulips. I decided to do a small planting of these for their foliage, and I'm psyched to get to watch them develop!
Fritillaria meleagris unfurling. Some of these spring-flowering plants are among my favorites of the whole year, so I'm feeling really excited about soaking it all in these next few weeks!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
The little flower plants are growing well in the relative warmth of the hotbed and the high and low tunnels. The nights continue to dip below freezing, so I still tuck the seedlings in each evening with blankets of row cover and greenhouse plastic. A couple of days ago, I noticed a few nibbled snapdragons in some of my trays, and the next morning, even more. I set a tiny Havahart trap with some peanut butter to catch the culprit and hopefully put an end to further seedling damage (note the stubs of snaps in the corner of the tray below).
The next morning, I uncovered the hotbed and saw the trap's doors were shut, and this little one was inside. Not a mouse like I was expecting, but another rodent I didn't even know lived here! After brief internet and field guide research, I'm still not sure what sort of critter he is. Some kind of vole? A Southern bog lemming? I settled on mouse-bear. I waited a day to see if I might catch any of his pals to relocate with him (no one else ended up visiting the trap), and then took him to the edge of the woods a few miles away. Too bad we couldn't be friends, mouse-bear; you're really adorable.
Outside, the predominant color is still brown, but signs of spring are everywhere. The alder catkins are loosening up and showing pollen, narcissus and tulips are finally emerging from the ground, pond ice is melting, and the chickens are loving being able to scratch for worms again in the dirt.
I'm appreciating the chickens' surface tilling efforts in some early planting areas and am really looking forward to digging in the dirt soon myself!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
It's been an unusually cold March so far, even for Maine, but with the seedlings getting a solid start indoors and tomorrow's first day of spring forecast for rain and temperatures in the 40s, I'm feeling hopeful. Here's what some of the little flower plants are looking like today, the last day of winter!
|Orlaya's impressive cotyledons|
|Snapdragons looking forward to being transplanted into bigger soil blocks today|
|Three successions of stock at one, two and four weeks old|
|Tiny lavender is the CUTEST|
This 10' x 60' caterpillar tunnel is the next destination for the seedlings. We reconstructed it on Sunday and built a hotbed inside using straw bales and horse manure. Once the hotbed really warms up in the next few days, I'll move the seedlings out to the tunnel where they'll grow until they can be planted outside in the ground. Yay for springtime and all the flowers to come!