Saturday, April 30, 2011

5th Blogoversary!

My how time flies when you're having fun.

May 1st is my 5th Blogoversary

5 years.
700 posts.
Countless new blogging friends. 
Thousands of impulse plant purchases.

And, the odd realization that I've been blogging since before blogging was cool.

T-Shirt Give Away. Just leave a comment.
I began this humble effort back in the Dark Ages.

There was no Twitter. No Facebook. (Restricted to college kids at the time.) No Blotanical. No r.e.s.p.e.c.t.  People who knew what blogs were thought I was silly for having one. People who'd never heard of blogs looked at me funny when I tried to explain what they were.

It's loads more fun nowadays. Don't ya just love how big your world becomes when you start blogging? All the kindred spirits you meet? It's like a whole new virtual family. And, you'd never know they existed were it not for their blogs... 

5 years. Wow. Who would have thought I could drone on about flowers for 5 long years? 

This calls for a celebration. 
So, I'm giving away my all-time favorite t-shirt. 

Now don't worry. I'm not sending you mine. You're getting a new one. A clean one! But, you'll get to look just like me. Which is a super scary thought...

To enter the drawing for this cute as a button t-shirt, simply leave a comment and tell me what you love most about blogging.

And, to those of you who have visited here before... thanks for being out there. I feel fortunate to have met you.

* My darling daughter will randomly select a winner, from the commenters, next Friday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Depressed Daffodils and Sad, Little Tulips

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. ~ Terri Guillemets

This little gardener is in desperate need of some sunshine.

I get so cranky with the false starts and stops of gardening in springtime. Wasn't it just last week that I was happily slathering on sunscreen and madly cleaning up the garden beds?

And, just that quick winter made a comeback.

Each morning, I peer hopefully out the window only to be greeted by heavy dark rain clouds obscuring the mountains. Mother Nature having a giggle at our expense.

Sweet spring bulbs try their level best to add cheer to these gloomy surroundings and I guess that's why we plant them. No matter the weather, they insist on doing a colorful job. But, just look at this gal...

Have you ever seen such a depressed Daffodil?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flower. Power!

Three cheers for the well-established garden.

Not well-planned, mind you.

Just, sort of, well-established.

I was thinking about that as I slaved away, prepping the garden beds for a brand new season. Man! I'm outta shape. Muscles squawking mightily this morning. I'd intended to clean up one, maybe two, areas but I got in a groove and just kept on going.

Plus, I wanted to stay ahead of the weather. Spring doesn't really happen in the mountains. We vacillate between summer and winter, and back again, quite often in the same, darn day.

I lack that gene, commonly known as self-control, so my yard is home to 11 different flower patches, the first of which was planted in the summer of 2003. (AKA, the 'well-established' one.)

At some point, this crazy mess might merge into one gigantic garden. Like you see in those jungle movies. Where The Rock, or Schwarzenegger leads the way, wielding a machete  ~ should you have the hutzpah to go for a stroll.

But, right now, they're just separate, sunny flower beds. (Mild-mannered enough that you don't need a macho guide.)

The oldest garden is the last place I visit and the longest place I linger. Not so much to admire. Mostly to catch my breath.

In spring, I'm so exhausted by the time I reach that flower patch, it's nice to just plop down and inspect the perennials peaking out of the muddy soil.

These perennials are so big and bossy, that after 7 summers, they are super self-sufficient. Making life easy as pie for lazy little me.

Heck, they even weed themselves.

Mostly because they're packed in like sardines.

I know... I know... I should thin them out a bit. But, I highly doubt that's gonna happen. I'm likin' this dense pack. It's so crowded in there, most weeds don't stand a chance.

* My dense pack flowers are just tiny green shoots this early in the season. Bulbs are squeezed into what little soil is left in these over-crowded gardens. They keep things colorful while the long-blooming perennials wake up and start growing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ April, 2011

Things are just getting started at my place. With the weather finally cooperating, I donned those much missed and very tattered garden gloves to clean up the first of the beds. 1 down, 11 to go. The bulbs are beating me to it, this year. Blooming without the usual TLC from me.

Grecian Windflower (the whities are heirlooms)
Peeking out from beneath the debris were these fancy little Windflowers.

Peter Pan Heirloom Crocus
Pretty white Crocus trying hard to steal the show but ~ up until yesterday ~ she was flowering in the snow. I didn't even see her until the last of it melted.

Rip Van Winkle Heirloom Daffodil
This is my "I Wish I Had More Money Garden," hence the reason it's so sparse. :) I'm madly in love with Old House Bulbs ~ their stuff is a little spendy but well worth the expense ~ seeing as how all of these bulbs will multiply over time.

I was up early, traipsing around with the camera, shivering on a 30 degree morning, feeling extra proud of this band of bright bloomers.

We've had an unusually cold winter.

An unseasonably cold spring.

Though that seems to bother me a whole lot more than it bothers the flowers!

It's as if they have little wrist watches attached to their roots. No matter the weather, they're always happy to put on a pretty show.

Pay a visit to Carol @ May Dreams Gardens to meet more flower lovers participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

And, I'll leave with a mystery bloomer. A mystery to me, that is. I can't remember her name. Perhaps you know?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Diana Garden

Flowering Sweet Peas will decorate the fence behind the new Diana Garden.
Do you name your gardens? I do that out of love ~ and also by necessity. I don't have an automatic sprinkler system (which is unusual in the Desert Southwest.) Naming my flower patches helps me remember where I watered last and who's in need of a drink.

Plus, it gives them lots more personality. Everyone who visits loves the Impulse Garden best of all. It's a chaotic, colorful mess of all the flowering perennials I simply had to have! Whether I needed them or not. All squished into an ever expanding sunny spot.

Holy Frijoles! Sadie's Horse Beans (left) & Pinto beans (right)
This week, I've been starting the Diana Garden ~ thus named because it's a collection of heirloom veggie seeds from my blogging friend, Di. I skulk around her blog quite often because she includes recipes for the harvest.

Di gifted me with all kinds of great stuff. These pretty Horse Beans... black tomatoes... Hungarian peppers... and some sweet and sassy Watermelons.

I'm coming off a bad luck year for growing veggies of any kind so this inspired me to design a new raised bed for all of Di's goodies. One that's more protected from the elements.

I'm dolling up the ends of the raised bed with climbing sweet peas and Hyacinth vines. All of which I'm starting by seed.

That's one of my favorite, Zen-y things to do.  Sitting Indian-style on the floor, planting teeny, tiny seeds with an eye brow tweezers.

Been doing that every evening this week. Will probably be doing that every evening next week, too. I went way overboard on seeds this year.

And, just in case you're wondering where your seeds are... Not to worry! I should have those in the mail to you real soon. :)

Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes
Seed Planting Tip: The fabric mesh wrapper on those ever popular Jiffy seed pods do not decompose in the soil. Remove the mesh before planting in the garden to avoid sad root-bound little flowers.

Thanks, Di!