Sunday, April 25, 2010

PJM Rhododendrons

My PJM Rhododendrons are blooming! I planted them last summer here, so these are the first blooms I'm getting from them. I'll take a picture when they're in full bloom but for now, here's what they will hopefully look like soon!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Girls are back!

My favorite garden blog, Greengirls, is back! It's produced by writers at the Star Tribune and has great daily advice about gardening. A welcome sign of spring!

On 4/19, the kids and I planted 25 new strawberry plants. I will be diligent about picking all flowers this year, as painful as that may be!

Perennials are growing like crazy here. Still no daffodils or tulips, though.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bluestone Perennials Order

I placed a Bluestone Perennials order today: I ordered some Lady's Mantle, Summer Sky Echinacea, Biokovo Geranium, Black Snakeroot (aka Bugbane), and a Butterfly Bush. The thing I'm most excited about, however, is the Innocence Mock Orange (pictured here). It reminds me of the first house my husband and I lived in. Next door to us was a charming old woman with a beautiful garden that happened to serve as a border between our two lawns. In the spring, the scent from her Mock Orange was just heavenly. Wherever you are, Mrs. Winchester, the Mock Orange will always remind me of our little place in Moose Lake and our lovely neighbor!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Busy Saturday

Well it was a busy day here today! I expanded the raspberry bed. I'm pushing the limit in terms of how much sun the expanded area will get but we'll see what happens there. I planted some lettuce, and we tilled up the gardens at Rita's house. We'll order a load of black dirt to add to the gardens there since they haven't been used for a few years. Em and I dug up our strawberries and planted them at Rita's, readying our bed for the new plants that are to arrive any day now. I also was able to get a wheelbarrow full of compost from my makeshift compost pile from last year to add to the strawberry bed. I'm so proud of that - makes me want to really get serious about composting this year. I may have to look at actually purchasing a compost bin if that's the case.

Gotta love spring!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First bloom

I have flowers in bloom! The pulmonaria is in bloom, and I have one purple and yellow viola cheerfully announcing that spring is here! Almost everything has come up already, even the hostas, which are slow to arrive, are starting to appear. Astilbe hasn't shown its face yet nor has the liatris, but otherwise everything else has broken through the ground.

I still don't have any daffodil or tulip blooms yet. They usually bloom later here - I don't have them by the house and they just don't get enough sun. But hopefully next week we'll see some spring bulbs in bloom.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strawberries - Change of Plans

Ah, the best laid plans... I went to order my strawberries today and they were sold out. So I'm ordering Earliglow, which should be ok, they're just a little less hardy than Glooscap so I'll need to remember to put a good thick bed of straw over them this fall after the ground freezes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

More on Strawberries

After talking to my brother about how lovely his strawberries perform every year in his garden south of the Twin Cities, I decided that I'm going to grow strawberries come hell or high water! After researching the University of Minnesota Extension Service site for information on strawberries, I decided to pull up my strawberries and start over. I think I planted ever-bearing plants there four summers ago and made two mistakes: 1) I let fruit form the first year and should have pulled the flowers, and 2) I shouldn't expect high yields from ever-bearing plants. So I'm going to order some Glooscap plants this year from Indiana Berry & Plant Company, which I found from a simple Google search. I did some research on a site called Dave's Garden. This site is incredibly useful as it provides feedback on mail order sites. So I'm going to order 25 of these babies, pull the flowers this year, and see what happens next year. If I don't get fruit next year, the strawberries are coming out and will be replaced by raspberries, which do very well here!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pretty Much Picasso petunia

I've seen this 2010 new variety petunia in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and in Better Homes & Gardens. Hopefully some greenhouses in our area will have some. I don't have many spots in my yard that get full sun, but I always plant some petunias in hanging pots that are facing the lake and these will be just gorgeous there!

Easter Weekend

What a beautiful week it's been. We've had temps in the low 70s, all the snow and ice has melted (even on the lake!) and we're almost done clearing out the leaves. We have a heavily wooded, large lot, so it takes the equivalent of two weekends of my husband and I both working out there to get it done. I'll save some leaves to chop up for mulch on the garden as it helps reduce weeds and when I till them into the soil in the fall, it adds some organic material.

I was at Rita's the other day measuring away to plan the vegetable plots. Exciting!

On a flower note, most everything except hostas, astilbes, lilies and peonies have started to grow.

Now to think about what to do with those strawberries - give them another year to see if anything happens, or pull them out to plant something else. Wish I knew a strawberry expert!