Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Afternoon in A Springtime Garden

A beautiful warm day on Tuesday, with soil still too wet to work in the main gardens.
I was content to snip away dead stalks in the herb garden, enjoying the scents of sage, lavender and lemon thyme.  Many of the 'gum balls' which fell from the sweet gum tree have spent the winter rolling amongst the herb plants.  I plan to rake lightly over the area today, but suspect the spikey 'balls' will need to be removed one by one--by hand.

Tri-color sage.
It would be tidier if I sheared back the longer stems, but just now its a joy to see, with fresh, distinctively marked leaves.

Salvia officianalis.
This variety often oever-wintered in my Vermont garden, although it took weeks for signs of life to show on the grey stems. Here it has been ever-green. 
A plant survived, albeit feebly, in the strip of border which I labored over in Wyoming--where I was mostly defeated by the climate.

The common variety of purple coneflower, which I started from seed two years ago.
I bought plants of more exotic modern hybrids--which have not proved thrifty.
One, labeled 'Summer Sky' is at least showing signs of life in the upper border.

In September I moved lily bulbs which I had planted along the east facing garage wall. [Folks here refer to them as 'tree lilies.'] That small strip of garden has proved rather shady and is now crowded with the mints which have rampaged around the Double-Red Knock-out roses.
I disnterred the bulbs--which had produced offspring, and stuck them in a group in the upper border.

You can see the green strap-like leaves of the plants which have sprung up from the smallest of the corms.
It will be interesting to watch how many seasons it takes for these little starts to reach blooming size.

I washed some plastic trays [the kind in which thin-sliced sandwich meat is sold]
and brought them, along with packaged soil mix and seed packets to work on the concrete pad of the carport. I planted three varieties of tomato seeds, lavender, foxglove and achilliea.
All are on the south-facing shelf in the garage. If the nights turn cold, the tomatoes will need to
move indoors.
I was watched at all times by the cats.
Here, at the end of the afternoon when I was putting away my tools, are
Teasel, Charlie and Chester.

Willis is always involved in whatever we do outside.
I was checking the spring progress of the roses in the lower border.
This rugosa, 'Hansa', didn't flourish last season and I cut it severely back.
I was interested that Willis was rubbing along the thorny trunk--maybe he is itchy?

Willow and her elusive brother Wilbur watch from the sliding door.
Wilbur--after many months in our house--still does not like humans.
He cannot be touched unless I am quiet and quick enough to nab him when he is sleeping.
He has become a hugely ponderous cat--about 20 pounds.
J. thinks this is because he hides and sleeps away the days, then ventures out at night to stuff himself at the cat feeders.

I intended to have this post up early on Tuesday evening, then devote some time to responding to comments and touring my favorite blogs.
Blogger had another of its inexplicable fits and it took over an hour and three attempts to load photos.
So much for my plans!


  1. Snap! I've been out in the garden too. Pottering about (governed by feeling poorly) but the sunshine has felt good to be out in. I even set some seeds today too, ones I saved from last year's plants.

    Your garden is probably about as far along as mine here, so we shall have to compare gardening notes.

    Can't believe that Wilbur is so huge! Our Misery Guts always looks on the point of giving birth, but it's just flab!

  2. Hi MM your garden is going to look pretty,love the pic of Willow and Wilbur they look full of fun.Love Jill xx

  3. Isn`t it good to see the first signs of new growth in a garden? Planting those first seeds of spring is such a hopeful, cheering thing to do on a warm day.

    So many gorgeous cats....Strange how Wilbur is content to eat and sleep his life away when his sister is so much more willing to interact with you.

  4. I love seeing your garden growing. Loved seeing the kitties watching you, too. I am loving this 70's weather we are having! Snow possible next week :(


  5. the cats are so beautiful Sharon! I spent part of the dfsay outside yesterday with my son- he did the heavy work, i pottered! Its lovely to see it all waking up and growing isnt it?

    Leanne x

  6. he hides and sleeps away the days, then ventures out at night to stuff himself

    sounds like my son when he was a teenager LOL

    I do love your cats I could just hug them all.

  7. It's so nice to see your garden started to grow and those great cats.

  8. Loved being with you as you pottered and had to smile at the audience. I had to also smile at the thought of 20lb Wilbur ...Bilbo might be that size as he looks more like Balloo the Bear than a cat but our little ones (Pheobie and Willow) are not much over 3lbs.Rusty devours EVERYTHING in sight so I think he will be big when he is older.... it was left over peas, this morning that I had forgotten to put away.xx

  9. Wilbur and Willow are beautiful. Your garden is coming right a long. Can't wait to see it in full bloom. I spotted a crocus blooming today!

  10. I spent most of yesterday cleaning up leaves and debris in garden. It felt so good to be outside. Your garden is certainly full of promise. Patty