Making the Best of a Ho-Hum Day

It has been raining steadily for the last 2+ days, and it’s just about done me in. It’s cooler than it has been in recent weeks, and I’m damp and chilled clear down to my bones.  I have been unable to conjure up the energy or motivation to do anything more than mope about the house, dreaming of warm temps and clear blue skies.  I don’t know how many more winters I can bear in this harsh northern clime.  heh.

During a short respite from the rain yesterday, I planted my seeds in their respective raised beds.  My only hope now is that they have remained in their assigned spots and the rains have not washed them into the yard.  I had planned to start on the fence this weekend, but clearly that was not meant to be.  I am concerned that critters will find their way into the boxes and start digging at my seeds.  I considered laying chicken wire over the tops of the boxes, but that’s not as cheap as it might sound (approx. $30).  As I was poking around Lowe’s this morning, I found a large sheet of bird mesh, which is designed to keep birds away from berries and whatnot. My thought is that if I drape it over the beds and anchor the sheets with landscape pins, that would deter unwanted visitors (mainly skunks, groundhogs, and a rotund but utterly loveable feline named Pujah), at least for the interim. And only $5!   Once the mudbogs dry up a bit, I’ll cover the beds and start working on a permanent fence.

Here is my backyard as of March 25th.  Not many changes have occurred in the garden department, but check out all the new color!  The apple and cherry trees (left) bloomed earlier in the week, and the redbud (right) popped out over the weekend.  There’s even a moss-laden branch in the foreground for added texture.  And I am loving the wild groundcover creeping in around the raised beds.  I haven’t figured out what it is yet, but it looks like it’s going to bloom in the next few days, which will help me with the ID.  It’s such a gorgeous color, I’m going to let it take over and just weed out the uninvited wildflowers/weeds (wild violet, poke, Tree of Hell Heaven and poison ivy)

My happiest discovery is all the new growth on my baby boxwoods.  What is the saying again?  “1st year sleeps, 2nd year creeps, 3rd year leaps”?  I think this is year #3, and they are showing more umpf than they have since I put them in.  At the rate they are going, this side of the garden should be filled with shrubs in another 10-15 years.  No rush. I’ve got time.

My little seedlings are hanging in there. Everything sprouted except the lavender (which, I suspect, prefers longer, hotter days).  I’ve left space in the garden for these potential transplants, but I’m keeping them in the cold frame until I feel more confident about the weather.  There’s no imminent threat of frost, but it’s still possible during the next 4-6 weeks.  At this point, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Lastly, just a few shots from around the yard.  The bulbs are still coming in, slowly but surely.  The muscari is finally coming into bloom (the little purple flowers below), but they aren’t putting on much of a show.

Between their late planting and this unprecedented early spring, I’m surprised they bothered to bloom at all. Much like the tulips (left), which are clearly taking their time.  My neighbors’ tulips are already in full bloom.  I’m feeling slightly inadequate.

The smoke bush came to life this week as well.  The leaves are a beautiful deep orange-red and sets off a rather dull corner of the front garden. However, I’m looking forward to they day it matures enough to produce those famous smoke-like “blooms”.

Lastly, the forsythia blooms are on their way out, but the summer perennials are already making their presence known.  The irises and daylilies have multiplied out of control, and I know they need to be thinned.  But that’s yet another thing I’ve never done and don’t have the energy to teach myself at the present.  Hopefully they’ll tolerate my negligence for one more season.

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