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May 15, 2005

Man, I guess it's what I get for living here.

Temps are supposed to be in the forties again tonight. I figure all my starts ought to be okay -- I'm leaving them out there, in other words. Two weeks of temps hovering around eighty, a soft frost, a few weeks in the sixties and seventies, then a night of lows in the forties (I've seen lots of people probably wasting money buying and planting annuals today, a day that looks and feels so much like mid-October I expect the brand new leaves to fall off the trees), and a week of temps not even getting to seventy. It's freaking May fifteenth! I hate Ohio, sometimes.

Not feeling like aggravating whatever it is that makes my hands hurt like I've been punching bricks by working outside and getting them wet on a sixty-degree day, I took the camera around and shot a bunch of pictures of stuff, instead. My new rosebushes and the new flowering almonds that came early last week are all in the ground, now, and they all look like they're supposed to; the flowering almonds are just now starting to get new shoots, the rosebushes look like they're croaking but they both have new growth starting on them. The paperwork from the rose people said they might do that -- look puny but start new canes -- so I'll take their word for it and hope for the best, especially since I have no choice, I can't conrol the weather, and the money's already spent. Anyway, don't panic because these images of the roses look crappy -- they're probably fine.


Yeah, actually there is a problem with the camera, or at least there was -- the dog got his nose on it a couple of weeks ago, and we didn't clean the smudge off at that point because it didn't affect the pictures. A wet smudge usually doesn't. Anyway, it's been cleaned off, but I'm damned if I'm going back out there and take all the pictures again, especially since this is mostly for my own reference in the future (did they look that shitty when I put them in? Why is that growing there? the usual).


There are three of these -- they're the flowering almonds I ordered from Spring Hill. Like the rosebushes from Antique Rose Emporium, these were very well packed and not the least bit broken. They have started sprouting new leaves, so I think they're healthy enough. Now I'll know I can trust Spring Hill to send me potted plants, I'll probably order more next year. Breck's Bulbs, another branch of the Spring Hill bunch (there's also Gardens Alive, which carries low-impact fertilizers and lawn treatments), may get some money in the fall, too, if I can think of anything like that I want.


This is a baby golden raintree we dug up out back and stuck in the spot where one of the maples came out. Don't know if it'll survive or not, but hey -- it's free, right? We've got a golden raintree that's kind of at the end of its lifespan out back, it's spitting seeds like mad every year, and there are always baby trees out there, so if this one doesn't take, there are dozens of others.


Here's the weeping pussy willow we dithered so much about back in April. Looks like it's surviving the unpredictable weather conditions okay. I'm glad we went ahead and bought it, and I think it's in a good spot, there.


As you can see, the weeping Atlas cedar, after its flirtation with death, seems to be recovering well enough. The shape comes courtesy Tony, who jammed the support pole into the ground and hoisted the far end of the plant up there. It looks like it's supposed to, and I think you can see all the new needles (it had turned brown late in the winter, I was worried it might be more than just shock from the change in the weather and all).


Here's the other Cecile Brunner. You can see kind of in the upper-right part in the picture that there's a new cane sprouting, so as crappy as it looks, that's what's probably supposed to happen. Don't know if it'll bloom this year or not.


Closer shot of the new shoot on the Cecile Brunner.


Man, they weren't kidding when they called them 'neon' pinks, were they? Even on an overcast day with a digital camera (I've discovered the only way to get 'true color' on flowers that are a little out of spectrum, like these and the navy blue lobelias, is to take them with an analog camera and have them developed by a good lab).


There are pinks, artemisias and a couple of ornamental thyme plants (the ground cover and the one with the little pinkish-purple blooms), and there's an ornamental sage plant in there, too, in the process of being overwhelmed by the French tarragon that we didn't really think would grow very well (and that didn't, last year). It's supposed to be Zone 6 hardy, but I was skeptical. Looks like for once, I was wrong.


Closeup of the artemisia -- I trim it back to the base every winter, because if it got any bigger than it already does, I wouldn't be able to grow anything in the side yard.


Here's a viola that decided to just spring right the hell on up -- it's one like I planted last year (they're annuals), only it was actually in the flowerbed. As you can see, this one is between the brick edging and the driveway.




There's some funny looking stuff on the older rosebush out front. Mostly, though, I'm willing to attribute it to the repeated cold snaps, and not disease. One of the buds looks like it may already have powdery mildew -- usually that hits later in the season, but with the weather the way it is, I'm not surprised. I think I'm just paranoid about rose rosette now, since Mom lost a couple of roses to it. She says she's still having to dig up old roots to kill off the shoots that come off them. Apparently, that's not unusual -- it's weird, though.



Here are two shots of the dwarf rosebush that's at the back corner of the 'workshop' -- the one I was sure was going to die the second summer it was out there. Looks puny, don't it? It's the biggest rosebush I have, by a long shot. I suppose I could trim it way back every winter, but it's so impressive as is, it's hard to bring myself to do that.



Here's the rosebush foundering in the shadows at the corner of the house. It starts out like this every year -- though there are some chlorotic-looking leaves on it, this time, which is kind of new. I think it's just that the soil around the roots has receded and that side of the root ball isn't getting adequate nutrition anymore. When it doesn't get enough of anything, it's bound to look kind of lousy. I just can't bring myself to kill it off unless it's really diseased -- and it isn't.


Here's the wild-ass peony bed the previous inhabitants of our little bungalow left behind. It gets bigger every year -- a couple of years back, I shaved nearly six inches off either side of the corm bed underground and moved a few around to the end of the carport. It's as big as it was when I cut it back, now. Guess I'll have to find somewhere else in the yard I don't mind having peonies take the hell over everything. I don't remember either my mother or grandmother complaining about this -- what the heck kind of peonies are these, anyway?


This is the second bed. I think I moved eight corms over here two or three years ago. They looked pretty weedy the first spring, and pretty decent after that. This year, they've gone batshit, as you can see. Ah, well -- they're pretty and smell good, so at least this 'installation' of them is safe for a while, since there's nothing nearby for them to devour.


Here's something else we planted with all good intention (one plant, two summers ago). It's called 'Robert Mitchum mint.' Remember that name -- it's a freakin' mutant. It's going to end up having a pitched battle with the catnip, probably, although if I remember correctly there already was some volunteer catnip on that side of the peony bed. I don't see any catnip there this year, do you? I guess Bob won that round.


Here's what I'm fairly sure is some kind of serviceberry that we brought up from the MIL's house a couple of years ago. It shouldn't get any bigger than ten or twelve feet, according to the information I could find about them -- it's already about six feet tall. It's a shrub unless you trim it into a tree, which is what I've done.


I know, I know -- need to trim the boxwoods. Someday. Someday before they come to life and start walking around stepping on the other plants in the yard, especially.


Here's a shot of the one plant in the whole front yard that seems to have gotten by relatively unscathed from the tree removal and the microclimate issues that probably were what affected the other things.

Finally, here's what happens when you weed into a pot that already has soil in it:


I'm not even sure what it is, but it sure looks ... um, healthy, I guess.

Sheesh, wish it had been warm enough to work outside comfortably today. Obviously the sheep-sorrel and dandelions need to come out of the flowerbed by the driveway, and everything needs to be relieved of the load of maple spinners. I should have put gardening soil in the flower bed and the front garden spots next to the house today, but I wind up aching for days if I do that kind of stuff on damp, windy days when the temps aren't high enough. Next weekend is gonna be a killer, I can tell already -- if it ever actually decides to become spring here in Ohio, of course. Maybe it won't -- maybe it'll just stay sixty degrees until October, when it goes back down again.

Did I mention there are times I hate living in Ohio? Just checkin'.

Posted by Melinda at May 15, 2005 05:24 PM


Can u tell me the name of the plant that is second to last on this page? I have aquired one and know nothing about it, so any info will help!

Posted by: Karisa at August 11, 2009 09:26 PM

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