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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mid -March and the signs of spring keep on coming.

We've enjoyed the few sunny days we've had, as well as the ones that are at least dry enough to go out to the garden and do a few little jobs here and there.  Plants seem to be sprouting everywhere.  As usual in spring there are some "missing" plants.  I'm always disappointed when plants I really like don't return.  I'm not sure what I could really blame them not coming back on.  It wasn't really that cold, the rain seemed about normal and we only had one day of snow.  But the upside is room for new plants!

The little Violas that I planted in fall are all sending up lots of flowers now.

Last weekend we had a couple of nice sunny days and the chickens loved laying out in it.

We put "cages" around the blueberry bushes.  For years they weren't noticed by birds, but over the last couple years the Robins have found them as well as our chickens.  Further down we planted some raspberries and put some supports in for them.

Marsh Marigold is blooming.

The white Bleeding Heart is always ahead of the pink ones.

Hopefully these girls are finding lots of slugs to eat!

Pink Flowering Currant is so close to blooming!  The hummingbirds are crazy for them.

I just found Sugar Snap Peas popping through today.  They weren't there yesterday.  No sign of the Sweet Peas yet though.

Inside the row cover there is lots and lots of brand new sprouts.

In another month or so the shed garden will be loaded with flowers.

One of the few daffodils to come back.  The Tete-a-tetes seem to do the best in my yard.

I've started seeing a pair of Wrens working on a nest in a birdhouse in our backyard, honey bees were out this weekend and the Towhee that is here every spring splashing away daily in the birdbath is back.  I've found a few new plants to put in the garden.  I love this time of year.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Friday, March 8, 2013

What ever happened to Blotanical?

Is anyone in the know about what has happened or is happening at Blotanical?  I admit I quit going there as often when the whole way picks were done changed.  I personally didn't care for the "rating" of blog posts by the number of picks given.  I had always visited Blotanical (which I joined in January of 2009) to find new blogs, which in turn lead me to meeting new friends from all over the world.  After awhile I only visited blogs that were either on my blogroll or ones that I came to by "blog hopping".  A couple of times this week I thought about Blotanical and thought I would see if I had missed out on any news.  I looked through the forums and the newest topic I could find were posts on how to cheat Blotanical to raise your blog in the faves.  I know this was written more as a way to out the cheaters, not for that bloggers personal gain (it even says "tongue firmly in cheek" in the title).  I remember some similar blog posts about the same thing a year or two ago.
Then I started looking through the blogs I had once faved, back years ago when I was very active and I started to feel kind of sad about the whole thing. 
When I started my blog in 2009 Blotanical had such a community feel to it.  That feeling seemed to be less and less as the whole picking thing changed - at least in my own personal opinion.
I admit, that life has gotten busier and I have not been as good about blogging or blog visiting, so maybe the Blotanical community still has the same feel it had years ago and I have just gotten so out of the loop that I don't know who anyone active is there anymore.
So, has anyone heard a word about if or when anything is ever going to happen?  Or is there another place that you garden bloggers go now to find another great community of garden bloggers?

I felt like I needed to have a garden picture, so here is my pond!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Monday, March 4, 2013

Almost there...

For the last couple of days the sun has been out and you can just feel spring in the air.  I swear you can practically see things growing now.  I've been spending what free time I have out enjoying the yard, still getting it cleaned up, moving plants, starting some seeds. 

 I cleaned up some of the pond and cleaned out the filter a couple of days ago.  The fish have been swimming around and the pond plants have new growth.

 Now that we are getting close to our first spring without the huge pine tree I'm starting to get an idea of just how sunny it's going to be on the deck.  I can finally have a big pot of herbs growing on it, lots of flowers and best of all no sap or pine needles on any of them.  I'm pretty sure we'll have to invest in an umbrella too.

 You can really see the difference between the sun and shade here, but I know as the sun gets higher during the spring and summer that fence bed will get lots of sun too.  I've got chicken wire protecting newly emerging plants from the chickens who have a taste for fresh green leaves.

 Lots of bulbs popping up and the Flowering Currants are getting close to blooming.  The further away one may not do much this year since I had to move it during the tree removal.

 I planted this awesome Hellebore last winter.  It's from the Winter Jewels collection 'Cherry Blossom'.  It's become my new favorite.

 We've almost had our chickens a whole year, but this will be the first spring with them outside.  They definitely like to eat plants so I'm going to make sure I'm around to supervise what they are getting into.

 Hellebore 'Mardi Gras'

 Not the best picture, but I found this cute little rusty metal Nuthatch at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  The show was probably my favorite one yet.  I didn't get a lot of pictures this year, but many blogs had great photos from it.

 I finally got pvc hoops up on the front raised beds.  We got this one planted this weekend and am crossing my fingers this gives us more veggies than we had last year.  The plastic will be held down with clips, just waiting for them to get here,  for now rocks are doing the trick.

 It looks so bare right now, but I've sprinkled lots of seeds around the fence and more will get planted when it warms up more.  At the top of the trellis is a little visitor.  Can you see her here?

 This cute little angel was bought at the garden show too.

 I would have to say Hellebores have been one of my best "investments".  No, they aren't too cheap, but they really are worth the money.  This one has lots of little babies around it that I can dig up and share.

 I love this combination in one of my wine barrel planters.  The Euphorbia will be blooming before too long.

I'm trying to be patient to start tomatoes and other vegetable and flower seeds this year.  I think I've been starting them way too early and then I get impatient having them in the house taking up space, and then plant them outside too early.  This year I'm waiting until the beginning of April (if I can hold out that long, it may be the end of March).

All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It