Monday, April 24, 2023

A Sunday Spent Mostly Outdoors

It is all too obvious that my cherished plans for landscaping with perennials is a project that has been unrealistic from the beginning.
However, that doesn't stop me from continuing to poke and putter, making the best of what I can do to encourage plantings that have survived through a tough winter's cold. 
Nepeta, related to common catnip, is unfussy, growing in tidy mounds. The first dainty blossoms are appearing, luring bees as the weather warms.

The iris plonked under the ground level window are not particularly elegant, being salvage plants; they provide color and serve to crowd out weeds and undesirables.

The purple ones though ordinary are pretty. I moved these from the area where the former owner's house stood; there are a few more growing around a power pole which should perhaps be transplanted.

Clematis Candida is still opening fresh blossoms and stretching vigorous tendrils that grasp the trellis and fence.

Dr. Ruppel is in full flower. 

The small white buddleia is valiantly attempting to recover from the Christmas week freeze.
It will need more pruning and care if it is to bloom this season.
Sadly, there is no sign of recovery on the formerly glorious magenta-flowered one nearer the west wall of the house. Disinterring it will be considerable labor.

I don't think the front raised bed was a good choice of location for this small nandina. Last summer the surrounding Michaelmas daisies over-whelmed it.  I thought it had succumbed to winter kill, was ready to remove it when I noticed one frail sprig of leaves. During the week of warm temps it has revived.

Mayapple is flourishing along the shady edges of the north and south ravines where Jim has cleared brush.

I discovered several clumps of this delicate flower growing beyond the compost heap. 
An online search of Kentucky wildflowers identifies it as 'Phacelia' with a common name, Miami Mist.

Another shade-loving wildling, Oxalis.

Working outdoors or in I am companioned by cats.
Robert insisted that J. let him outdoors before daylight on Thursday.  Sounds of an altercation immediately followed. Robert spent the day recuperating. He was apparently more bruised than wounded. I found two tiny spots marked by tooth or claw which had bled a bit. I cleaned these, brushed his rumpled coat, offered choice tidbits. By the following day he was recovered but not as anxious as usual to be out at all hours. 
The sunroom provided him a comfortable and warm place to convalesce. 

Rosie loves the screened porch when the door is propped open on a warm day.

Shelby also heads for the screened porch at any opportunity.

It was 42 F at 8 A.M., thus we missed the frost that had been warned.
I went outside within the hour, the usual tending of the litter box, checking the plants and seed trays in the greenhouse.
In spite of bright sunshine, the air was chilly and I wasn't inclined to linger.
By early afternoon the temperature climbed to 60-ish.
Feeling sleepy from reading I bundled up and did a bit of weeding and pruning. J. had dumped a small heap of black compost near the back gardens, so I dressed the base of each clematis vine and the two David Austin roses, survivors of the winter cold.
Weeds are very visible between the clumps of foxglove and amongst the stepping stones in front of the raised beds.
I tweaked, dug, prodded and pulled, then came inside for lunch.
Futile as the project may be I can't abandon my plants, so spent another hour or two before dusk.
Tending gardens takes me out of myself--going out each day to see what has blossomed is a joy.

Pansies and violas in pots by the front walk have enjoyed the cooler weather and the intermittent showers Friday night.
Beyond is the tangle of monarda interspersed with Lauren's Grape poppies which self-sowed in profusion. 

My trays of seedlings haven't done well; I moved them from under the grow-light in the lower level and arranged them on a shelf in the greenhouse.
Willis believes that the shelf belongs to him and it appears that he has plodded through the trays. 
Its a toss-up whether Willis or I will win this particular battle.



  1. I left a comment earlier but then a message popped up that said I should try later. Interesting!! GM

    1. G.M. Blogger does some maddening things! Thanks for letting me know you stopped by.

  2. I can remember the time when I used to go out first thing in the morning, often in my nightie, to see what had bloomed. Your perennials, no doubt, are lots of work, but a joy to have. Thankfully we missed the frost here on the hill, but the lowlands were cold and frosty. Hilltop Post

    1. Mary; I pull on some assortment of clothes before going out--and usually a pair of old boots against heavy dew. Especially as summer heats up those first thing in the morning explorations are wonderful. 39F. on Monday morning at 8 a.m. but no frost!