Monday, March 25, 2013

Mother Nature Says "No Spring For You"!

Although the calendar may say that spring has arrived, Mother Nature has other ideas. Here in middle Tennessee, Mother Nature has decided that it's not quite time to say goodbye to winter. We've had some very cold, gloomy, wet days since the first day of spring. Today I woke to a dusting of snow with more in the forecast for today and tomorrow. 

I had a lot of plants coming out of dormancy, so I hope all my "babies" are okay out there!

This past Saturday, 3-23, the weather wasn't great, but it was nice enough for us to do some work in the garden. We were able to get the new beds in Morrow Park Phase III completely ready to plant. 

We just added this small path that connects to the larger path. The small section in the right front has a little bermuda grass in it, so it will need to be sprayed with grass killer once the bermuda comes out of dormancy. It wouldn't do any good to spray now because since the bermuda is dormant, the spray would not travel to the roots.
Compost and aged horse manure have been added to all planting areas. My hubby tilled everything together and I smoothed the beds with my rake. My hubby is a master at making new beds. He tills every new bed to a depth of about 12 inches. Now all we need is some warm weather and some plants......

Well I'll be darn, look what I found in the garage :-)  I have quite a collection waiting to be planted.

There are 42 plants here. This coming Friday, some of us gardeners from Clarksville are going to a wholesale nursery in McMinnville, Tennessee. I have my list already made and it's a looooong one! Many of the plants I buy on Friday will be used in the BIG SURPRISE coming to Morrow Park Phase II. I also have 41 types of flower seeds waiting to be planted.

I know spring will be here soon, I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I can still enjoy all the bird activity going on in the garden. I can always count on them for some great entertainment. For those of you following my Bluebirds, they are still here but haven't chosen a house yet (as far as I know.) The male is the most aggressive Bluebird I've ever seen. He has no problem chasing other birds away from the houses he's interested in, even though he's still "just looking". I did buy them more mealworms, but I've found that many of the birds enjoy mealworms, so I hope my Bluebirds got to eat some of them. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and until next time.....

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring!

The first day of spring has finally arrived.  It's a bit chillier than I would have liked 
(our area will be in the 40s and the forecast for tonight is 22), but it's finally here! Oh how I've dreamed of this day. This day signals the start of blooms, sunshine, leaves, green and working in my garden! Every day I take my "walkabout" to see what's happening in the garden. Come along with me and let's take a look......

This little guy sits in a pot of flowers on my front porch and welcomes visitors.

Behind the pot of flowers is this table with some spring decorations.

My Camellia is finally opening!

More flowers will be open soon.

The Creeping Phlox is starting to bloom.

Last fall I did not plant any Crocus or Hyacinth bulbs. I've seen so many beautiful pictures in other blogs that I just had to have some. So what to do.....easy, go to the garden center and buy pots of blooming Crocus and Hyacinth and plant them!


All of my Peonies are getting taller. This one is "Sorbet".

I enjoy hearing my Cardinal windchime while I'm working in the garden.

This is one of the Daffys I planted in January. I didn't know how they would do since I planted them so late, but they all have buds on them and this was the first to bloom!

 The buds on the Cheddar Pinks  are about to burst open.

I have to include my violas for the first day of spring.

My hubby just planted this evergreen Witch Hazel, Distylium "Emerald Heights", last Saturday. It's doing great! (He planted nine shrubs I had waiting in the garage.)

This Pearlbush, "Snow Day Surprise", is leafing out nicely.

 Another shrub, Weigela, "Sonic Bloom Red", planted on Saturday. These three shrubs are in Morrow Park.

The ground cover, Veronica, "peduncularis, Georgia Blue", is blooming. I have clumps of this along a path in one of my beds. 

The Trumpet Vine on this arch in the front garden is really leafing out and looking great. Last year at this time is was only about two feet tall and had a fungus. I sprayed it repeatedly with neem oil and now look at it!

The Viburnums by the driveway are blooming.

This Flowering Quince always puts on a show in spring!

The buds on the Clove Currant are starting to open. These flowers have the intense fragrance of cloves that fills the air in the back garden. It's intoxicating!!

The Oriental Lilies have broken through the soil and will be going up, up, up towards the sun!

And what would spring be without Forsythia. It's coming along nicely!

 I've put out the spring decorations in my home. I have to say the spring decorations are my favorites because they're just so cheery! This mantle is just inside the front door.

I also wanted to give everyone an update on my Little Blue Visitors. My Bluebird couple are still hanging around and checking out the house I put out for them. They haven't taken any nesting material inside, (as far as I can tell), but they sure go in and out a lot. Here's the oddest thing of all.....yesterday when I was doing my exercises in our gym (which is at the front of the house and the kitchen and office are at the back of the house), the Bluebirds both came and landed on the window and looked in at me. When I was done exercising and went back into the office, there they were at the office window. Very odd behavior by my little Bluebirds! 

Happy first day of spring everyone and....

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Little Blue Visitor

This morning while sitting at the kitchen table I noticed a little blue visitor at the window. I ran and got the camera and got this shot of him. (Sorry it's blurry!)

All morning he continued to come to the window. He was not fighting with his reflection as I've seen Robins do. He just looked in at me. When I moved to the office (which is next to the kitchen), he came to that window. I pressed my finger against the window and he wasn't afraid. I know this sounds crazy, but I got the feeling he needed me to help him. 

He was checking out everything on the patio; the potting bench, the hanging baskets, the heater and the two birdhouses.  Soon I saw his mate and realized she was checking everything out too.

The Sparrows have already begun taking nesting material into the two birdhouses on the patio, however the two Bluebirds checked them out anyway. I knew they must be looking for a house and I thought "I've got to help them". In the past I've seen Bluebirds start to build nests in the houses around the property, but the Sparrows usually take over the house and move the Bluebirds out. 
I wanted to help them, but how? Then I came up with an idea. I had purchased a birdhouse on a pole at the lawn and garden show. It was still in the garage waiting to be put out. I originally planned on covering the hole so it would be a decoration only, but I needed to help these little sweeties. I put the birdhouse on the patio next to the office window.

I know this is not the correct size for a Bluebird house, but within just a couple of minutes both Bluebirds were checking it out. 

It's late afternoon and the Bluebirds are still on the patio. I don't know if they will use this house, but at least I know I tried to help my little blue visitors.

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Is In The Air

We've had a couple of nice days and I was able to go out into the garden and get some work done.  I've finally finished trimming last year's growth from all of the perennials. This project took me about five days to complete. I always forget just how many perennials I have until I start trimming. After the  trimming is done the garden looks so neat and clean! 
Yesterday I also planted 40 Gladiolus bulbs and look forward to seeing them bloom. One little problem though....when I dug my third hole, I dug up a toad (I am really afraid of frogs and toads....very odd for a gardener). After a scream that I'm sure they heard two counties over, I gently put him back and hope I didn't disturb him too much! 
 Now when I look out into the garden, I'm seeing less brown and more green. There's still not much green, but I'll take it!! Here's what my garden looks like today....

Our biggest backyard bed is 65'x35'. This picture was taken from the patio and is the middle of that bed. See all the green!

The next two pictures are taken from the same spot looking left and right.

Yesterday I transplanted the three small plants, two May Night Salvia and one Moonshine Yarrow,  in the second photo to this new spot  which made room for my new Sonic Bloom Red Weigela in their old spot. This area also has Daylilys Coneflowers and Burgundy Blanket Flowers!

Love in a Mist has self seeded all over this bed!

Into the front yard we go....The perennial bed in Morrow Park Phase I is showing signs of life....lots of Poppy and Larkspur seedlings as well as all of the perennials.  

This bed has two shrubs, Pink-a-boo Deutzia and Buttonbush and lots of perennials. The German Chamomile is really looking green!

Here's the front seating area. The Violas are looking great. I was having some rabbit problems, but a spray of Liquid Fence took care of that! There is also Veronica, Salvia, Phlox, and other perennials along this path!

Another front bed. The shrubs include Mock Orange, Weigela and Abelia. I see green, green, green!!

The bed along the front walk/path. Soon it will be covered with blooming Iris, Bee Balm, Blanket Flowers, Larkspur, Coreopsis, Daylilys, Coneflowers and more!!

This picture was taken from the driveway looking toward the front right side of the yard. Yesterday I got to MOW for the first time this year!! I just LOVE to mow my yard! It is so relaxing and offers instant gratification.

This photo was taken from the end of the driveway looking towards Morrow Park Phase III

The Violas are looking great! These are on a table right outside our kitchen window.

 My Helleborus is blooming! Maybe I would have seen the blooms earlier if I'd known to cut off the old and learn!!

 All of my Coneflowers are coming up!

Likewise the Phlox!

My early blooming Daffys finally opened!

Bee Balm gone wild!! One of the things I love about Bee Balm is how easy it is to transplant. No need to buy more, just move it around!

Poppies, Poppies everywhere!

All of the Veronicas are looking good! They do really well in my garden and I'm planting more this spring.

 Looking good Gaura!

Finally, two of my bunnies say "hurry up spring...we can't wait!!

Spring is definitely in the air and I'm really looking forward to it! Don't forget to take a good look at everything in your garden and I hope you'll see a little "green" too!

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden.