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March 30, 2007

Hey, ho -- let's go!

I started out less blitzkriegy, then lost the entry (damned Firefox -- it's too easy to close tabs when you've had a couple of glasses of wine) but what the hell. It was a pretty day, it's been a decent week, shit's a-growin' -- might as well just hit it.

'Kay. There really hasn't been much changed since we did the major clearing on the back slope. I tried planting some stuff last fall, but the weather was so freaked-out and I ordered so late, most of it didn't come back up. That what I liked, I ordered again this spring, so I'll throw it down again and see if it establishes this time. Toad lilies, which were already pretty dried out when I dropped them, hellebores that were supposed to be plants that came as bareroots and the squirrels dug them up.

I'll be honest -- I could bug Spring Hill about any of that and get them to send me new ones, but heck widdit. The squirrels and the weather ain't anybody's fault, and I'm willing to pay again to try again. The wintergreen (no pics for this entry, sorry) is doing okay, I've bought more of it that should show up somewhere the middle of April.

You know it'll either be snowing or an utter deluge when all the hundred or so bucks' worth of plants I've ordered show up, don't you? I mean, you really know this? Because I do. I'll be out in forty-five degree weather with a spade and some fertilizer. Bitching all the way.

But on to the things I already have photos for -- and it's early for that, no? This is the first year my hyacinths have looked good enough at bloom to actually document. I planted the ones in the pictures three or four years ago and every year since they've been snapped by slugs, frost or rabbits and looked diseased by the time the blossoms opened. For the first time, I actually have something worth documenting:


Yee ha!

Every year I worry a bit about my Snofozam weeping cherry out front. It's not a graft -- it's the whole enchilada from the roots up, own-root. This is the stuff they graft onto other ordinary cherry trees to get those big, fluffy weeping cherry trees other people have in their yards. Me, I just wanted the smaller jobbie to fit in a smallish space. That's what I got, and it's looked just like this every spring for about the past six years:


I planted some windswept anemones, which reputedly aren't necessarily hardy in the agricultural zone where I live, though ... a.) they're right next to the house in the big warm dirt hole and, b.) the NOAA has been toying with the idea of extending ag Zone 6 north of Dayton since it ain't seen 20 below since the eighties sometime. So technically, even if where I live isn't really Z6, the four feet of the flowerbed in front of my house probably is, by hook or by crook. Anyway, here's what I got for my anemone trouble:


They're not very tall. The poppy anemones (also not supposed to be hardy in my zone) are much taller. They're coming back up this year, as well, though they're a little slower than the windswepts. No, it's not the plants -- I didn't clear the dead leaves off soon enough, so they're getting a later start of it than they usually do.

And of course, what midwestern flowerbed would be complete without dozens of grape hyacinths? Not mine -- these little suckers are hardy, reliable and they naturalize and spread. Who can beat that when they also look like this:


Interestingly enough, my corkscrew hazelnut went absolutely hog wild once we took out the swamp maples a couple of years back. Not only did it start growing bigger, this is the first year it bore these things:


So that means it's in pretty good shape, right? Since it grew there for five years before it did this. I figured it became a completely different plant once the shade of the maples was out of the way.

Curious to see what happens to the Harrison cedar. I'll shoot you some shots once the brown needles fall off it -- it always browns up a little over the winter, but it looks really snappy this year other than that. I'm not the least sorry we bought it because it reminded us of Charlie Brown and planted it a zone out of range because we were convinced it would do okay.

PS -- my Cecile Brunner by the driveway is ailing. There are root sprouts this year, but all the old wood has mildewed. I think it had to do with the very wet feet it ended up with from the two snowstorms so close together, and all the driveway snow (and salt) getting heaped on it. I'm going to order another one, if the rose place in Austin has them this late, and plant in the back yard. The one in the small bed where the big swamp maple was is in pretty crappy shape -- it has one tiny little sprout on it and that's it.

Not incidentally, the Louise Odier I planted later last summer did A-OK over the winter, even though it still had blooms on it when the first hard freeze hit. It's sprouting new growth and looking stellar. The older one by the house that I think is probably a Blaze hybrid of some kind or other also is starting to green up. Happy me -- I used to make fun of 'rose people' but the old ones are fun, and they don't require nearly as much work as the cheesy neon-colored WalMartian roses most people buy now.

The little white 'magic carpet' rose, and four out of five of the shrub roses I planted last year also are starting to green. Yay -- I always expect to lose at least one. As pathetic as it is, even the Cecile by the driveway ain't dead yet, so this counts as only losing one of all of them. That ain't bad, I guess.

Eh. Hopefully I can keep my ass in line and post more when the plants come in and we get to set them in the ground. Spring is pretty well sprung, and my thumb only hurts once in a while, now -- must be getting warmer!

Posted by Melinda at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)