Monday, April 28, 2014

flower update

 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. 
Muscari!
 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

first fresh bouquet of the season!

With potted tulips ('apricot impression' and 'design impression') forced indoors, scented geranium, sweet pea tendrils, and pussy willow.  Hooray!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

spring

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!