"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clean up day.

Yesterday ended up being another surprisingly mild day.  I took my two little gardeners out and we did some cleanup.  We cleaned out all of the raised beds, did some minor weeding and my daughter even found some potatoes.  The red potatoes were pretty small, so she cut them up and replanted them in the area that the tomatoes will be in.  On the trellis behind the raised bed is a clematis.  It makes a boring wood fence very colorful in the summer.  I also cleaned around the blueberry bushes.  I'm pretty sure I will have to move a couple out, because they aren't going to have enough room.  
 I think I'll wait until fall since I can see flower buds forming on them already.  
I've been working on enlarging this corner bed.  There had been a compost bin here, so the soil in this area should be really good for planting.  I haven't quite decided what all will go in.  I've put up a trellis for the sweet peas and a variegated hydrangea is already there.  I'm still thinking I may make this a small cutting garden, and possibly have a few herbs at the front.   You can see one of my very professional blue plastic shovels here.
I also spent a lot of time raking out the flower beds along the pathway.  Everything is looking good there as well.  
The winter hazel 'Buttercup' has lots of buds on it as does the camellia japonica 'Marie Bracey'.
I ran out to take these pictures this morning and it had just rained.  I see now that the sun is coming back out and I can hear the chickadees singing.  Hopefully it'll be another good day for some more cleanup in the front yard.
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  1. Oh blessed! Can it be? Is it almost time??? Lol.... It feels good to get out and play in the dirt again. I am sick as a dog and still I have thought about getting my coat on and going outside. It is still cold here, but mid 50s this week. I will join you soon. Good job!! Makes you feel good to be ready.


  2. How nice that your whole family helps in the garden. Four people get a lot more done than one, in my case! Love the blue shovel. We have a few of those lying around, not so artfully placed usually, though. :) - Karen

  3. I must have one of those professional blue shovels!! Your gardens are looking great. It's 42 here in N. FL with a wind chill of 30 something. I came home from church and ran around covering little seedlings, Oh, how I hope they make it!!

  4. I like clean up time. This time of the year it is the last until the fall-yeah! Love your raised beds. They are really great.

  5. Hi Catherine

    That blue spade just shouts ACTION!

    You mention sweet peas in your post. I look forward to seeing those.


  6. It looks like you got lots of work done.Makes one feel good doesn't it? Love your profession blue plastic shovel. I think every good gardener needs one of those! lol

  7. There is something about getting outside and tending our little paradise. Yesterday's weather was indeed hospitable for the task. I cut back the water sprouts on my pear tree. Not exactly my favorite chore but it had to be done or else it will just get more difficult. My corylopsis (winter hazel) looks like yours--almost ready to bloom. Today is dark and drizzly but warmer, thank God. And no wind! We take what we can get...

  8. There is something about getting outside and tending our little paradise. Yesterday's weather was indeed hospitable for the task. I cut back the water sprouts on my pear tree. Not exactly my favorite chore but it had to be done or else it will just get more difficult. My corylopsis (winter hazel) looks like yours--almost ready to bloom. Today is dark and drizzly but warmer, thank God. And no wind! We take what we can get...

  9. Yeah! You got a lot done before the rain, before the sun came back out. I can't wait to get outside. We should have rain this week so maybe it will take the rest of the snow. Your yard is really waking up.

  10. Isn't it a great feeling when you get the garden all cleaned up? I was hoping to get some work done this weekend but we had rain and then snow today. Maybe next weekend!

  11. Brooke - I hope you feel better soon and you can get out as soon as it warms up. It's great to be ready for planting, the fun part!

    Karen - It's great to have help. My older daughter helps entertain her sister too out there and then I can really get some things accomplished. You know kids are around when you see plastic shovels everywhere :)

    Darla - You really should get one of these shovels :) I bet you've had some from your kids too! I hope your seedlings are okay. I can't believe it's warmer here than Florida!

    Tina - You're right, the last clean up until Fall. And this cleanup is fun because you can find all kinds of surprises!

    Rob - I'll be sure to show the sweet peas. I love having them and they just go crazy in this area. Maybe I'll use the blue shovel to plant them with!

    Susie - It does feel great to see all the dirt cleared and ready to plant. I thought every gardener did have one of these professional plastic shovels :)

    Grace - It ended up being drizzly here today too. That makes me even happier that I got some things done yesterday. How large is your corylopsis?

    Heather - Hope the rest of your snow melts away. Do you usually get more? Hopefully you're at the end of the winter weather so you can enjoy being outside!

    Phillip - Once it's cleaned I keep going and looking at it to see what I want to do with the area. Soon comes the fun part of putting in the plants or waiting for them to return. I hope you're able to get out next weekend. How come the weather can't always be nice on weekends so we can get out there when we have time ? :)

  12. I see lots of potential in those beds. I love the stone path and toad stool bird bath?

    Today it rained all day, yet for the first time this year we could see 2 inch tall peas from the porch!

  13. Hi Catherine, I do like the blue shovel! :-) The spot where the compost pile had been will grow nearly anything better than anywhere else in the yard, choose well! It all looks good, I am jealous of buds on the blueberries, we struggle with them here. I hope mine are still alive. I loved the post about watch out! too. Such a good subject and title for it. The aconitum has such pretty leaves, something I have never grown before. I have a new winter hazel, Corylopsis spicata and have no idea what the buds should look like. Thanks for showing yours and do show it in bloom too, please. :-)

  14. March is not a good garden month here, so I suppose a spring clean up will be it's purpose. Still bitter cold, so no clean up for me, but as soon as it warms up, I'm there!

  15. I buy sweet peas at the farmers market and they are lovely, but just don't have the scent that you get when you grow your own from seed. I'm envious.

    FYI, my husband was looking over my shoulder while I was reading your blog, and wants to know why HE isn't called the muscle. I reminded him that I usually refer to him as my Vice President of Operations (much better than chief hole digger)so he has a perfectly nice title already.

  16. It all looks great Catherine. Isn't it wonderful to have everything budding? Mmm, blueberries, I've acquired a couple more in the last week as well. That new planting area will be awesome. I like the idea of a cutting garden!

  17. Randy - My sister gave me that bird bath years ago, and I love it. I'm busy planning what will go where in those beds. How nice to see your plants growing. Maybe they liked the rain!

    Frances - I'm trying to take my time on the new bed. I'm usually very impulsive and then wish I would've thought about it more. It's fun trying to decide. I will show the winter hazel when it blooms. I think it will in the next week or two.

    Msrobin - I hope it warms for you so you can get your spring clean up done! It's hard waiting for a change in the weather when you want to get outside.
    I think your husband's title sounds very professional :) Mine would be offended if he didn't get some credit for all the work I ask him to do.

    Susan - Sweet peas are a favorite of all of ours. My daughter loves to pick bouquets of them for every room in the house.

  18. Melanthia - What varieties did you get? I'm glad I was patient with them. I thought I'd never get any, but after a few years we started getting a pretty good amount. I love all the buds, I'm out checking their progress everyday to see how close I am to seeing flowers.

  19. Isn't it fun to have a blank space to fill? I hope you found a place for another compost pile.

  20. You have loads of life in your garden. I love those red raised beds. They are very attractive and you sound like the rest of us---we all have to move stuff when it gets bigger than the space we allowed for it. Half my garden moves every year ;)

  21. Sue - I did move the compost pile to the other side of the yard, I use it all the time. I love the blank slate, so many ideas are going through my mind.

    Anna - I guess part of the fun is moving the plants around. My husband did a great job on those beds, I love them!

  22. how fun! I can't wait to remove the mulch from my beds ~ it's a little bit too early for that yet tho. I enjoy spring clean up because (as you said) of all the discoveries. I love that little toadstool birdbath too. Do the birds use it a lot? Your garden is looking so good. Hope you get another nice day to "play" today!

  23. How wonderful to share the garden work w/ your children...hopefully as they get older they'll still want to help;-)

    It's so nice that you are able to have things cleaned up and ready to bloom--and/or plant, etc! I HAD started cleanup, and actually had planted some things...then this sudden snowstorm just passed through. It will be gone in several days, though, so by next weekend, I'm going to be out there too!!!

    Oh yes, and can you tell me where I can find one of those blue plastic shovels? I've heard they're very user-friendly and have wanted one since I was a little girl:)

  24. Kathleen - The birds actually do use that birdbath a lot, especially the chickadees. It's sunny, but cold today so I'm not sure if we'll get out, but at least I feel like I got something accomplished this weekend!

    Jan - I hope my girls maintain their enthusiasm too! I know when I was a teenager the last thing I wanted to do was yard work :)
    Isn't that shovel a dream? :) It can really dig a great hole, especially if in sand. Maybe you'll get one for you next birthday :)

  25. Do you ever mentally fill in blank spots you see out and about, like I do? LOL

  26. I had a lovely weekend clearing up the garden too - although my spade isn't as pretty as yours!
    My tree peonie is starting to sprout and, this year, it has 3stems - it's a pity it's still in its pot by the back door! I will get round to planting it in the Japanese garden this year - but I'm loathe to plant too much until the tea house is built, just in case stuff gets trampled on or squashed by timber ...that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!

  27. Nutty Gnome - A teahouse? How cool! I love Japanese gardens, and your tree peony will look pretty there. The take a long time to get established anyway, as long as it's happy in its pot I'm sure it'll be fine.
    Glad you had a chance to do some yard cleanup! That shovel is pretty impressive isn't it? :)

  28. your raised beds are beautiful-did you make them?

    And your yard i love the way it looks. Hmm now my wheels are turning from inspiration.

  29. Momma Bear - Hi! Yes, well actually my husband built them. I found a plan for them years ago in Sunset magazine. We altered it a little and made on large one and 3 of the smaller ones. They are great to work in!


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