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Early spring in the Garden

 
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lilbees
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Joined: 21 May 2008
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Early spring in the Garden Reply with quote

To me this is the most exciting time of year. It seems that everything is coming up and I have buds on my roses. No thought at this point of the need to spray for bugs, anything. Only lots of fertilizer and the pulling of some stray weed that thought they would grow in one of my flower beds.

Having baby leaves on the trees is fascinating. Especially on my oak. To see those little minitures of what they will be later in the season is great. I have some plants that say, nope! Too early. We have been in the upper 60's and low 70's but not quite warm enough for my lawn to green up. Having a southern lawn is really different. Golden to brown after the temp at night drops consistantly below 60 but as the soil warms in the spring the grass begins to green up. What is really nice is that when we have our very hot summers it stays quite green even without lots of water. Here the lawn needs to be fed monthly while actively growing. Considering the problems of drought we have had the past 3 years it is a good thing.

Having plenty of rain right now and our lake levels have come up from a deficit of 17 or more feet to only 8 or 9 feet.

I am trying to avoid the nurseries at this point. There is still some danger of frost here at least until about the 20th of the month. Some people, as usual, jumped the gun and when we were hit with a frost last week they certainly lost a great deal. I will admit, driving by some of the nurseries, that the flowers and hanging baskets look beautiful but certainly taking note that even the nurseries have most plants under some kind of cover.

My cherry and plum trees have bloomed beautifully this year for a change. I am hoping for lots of growth this year on all my trees considering the stress they have been under through the drought. We are still being held to the tight water restrictions of only being able to water and only by hand, 2 or 3 times a week for 20 minutes between midnight and 10:00 am.

Had quite a storm blow through here last night, so not able to walk around the garden this morning. Too wet! My, that is such a beautiful thing to say now.

Hope all have a nice day and a very Happy Easter.

lilbees

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Gil
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Joined: 02 Oct 2006
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Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound pretty busy with your garden. Hope you have a Happy Easter!

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Easter Lilbees
I have been to the garden centre already there's one just 5minutes from my house and I pass it every day. Temptation!!!! They have a cafe there too which sells delicious HUGE meringues filled with fresh cream Drool Drool Drool
I bought some plug plants of begonias etc and I planted them out but about 12 of them have died the others are growing ok but I'll keep them in the greenhouse for a while longer yet - we had a ground frost this morning but now its like a summer's day. Just hope the frost hasnt done any damage to my plum trees the flowers only started to show two days ago Pray Pray
Now to go and relax and watch a film on TV - Charlottes Web about a spider and a pig- this is the 2nd film where the pig goes off to find a lamb- Must keep up with the children's films Silenced Very Happy Just love it when animals talk!!
Emmy

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've been back at the garden centre and i've bought myself the following:
All Small plants yet---An olive tree, a fig tree, an orange tree and a lemon tree I was so disappointed this year when I lost my 3 lemon trees that I had grown from seed they were over 4 years old but it had been too cold for them in the greenhouse during the winter, before I had always put them in the conservatory but I had been told the greenhouse would be better Silenced
Should have listened to myself that time!!

We are still getting some frost early mornings on odd days just hope the plum tree blossom doesnt suffer from it. Apple trees are beginning to blossom now too.
Emmy

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lilbees
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Joined: 21 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emmy, so sorry about your tree loss. Hope your new trees do well.

We had a frost a week or so ago and it seems all is okay. Three of my daylillies got nailed really bad. The are in what I have found to be a colder part of my yard. I know they are pretty hardy so just cut back the severly frozen parts. I noticed since they are putting up new shoots so it will be fine in the end. Sad though, they we quite large and beautiful, now, a rather ugly affair.

Just planted some ferns under one of my trees in the corner of the yard. The tree is finally large enough to give good shade. I hope they do well. I love ferns. I am trying an Australian hardy fern. Not much informaiton here about it. We will see if it does well in Georgia. Wanted part sun and part shade but here our sun is so intense in the summer I opted for more shade than required. Wintering over shouldn't be a problem though.

I haven't tried begonias in years. The color selection here is limited. The lovely begonias I had in Oregon were colorful and beautiful. But that climate was cool nights and not very hot days. I think much like England and Scotland. Our temp last night was 69 degrees F. and will probably remain so until later in the fall. Supposed to be in the high 80s today. Again, to continue over the next week or two. I have my vegetables planted now. Eggplant, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, and best of all, hot banana peppers and green peppers. I did plant some sweet peppers since there are times I need the flavor of the pepper without the heat for those who have no tolerance for spiciness.

Do you have an herb garden? Mine is growing slowly. I love the decorative aspects of thyme and oregano. I allso favor bee balm but not to use for tea but just for the beautiful flowers. Haven't been able to find the red bee balm yet. Only the pinkish ones. Less of a problem with mildew. That's okay since our summers are usually humid and hot.

I do have a problem with the basil. It tends to jump to flowering so soon. For what I planted I have to use clippers to shear it back and keep it going.

If you have any suggestions let me know. Haven't tried garlic here. I just this year, stuck some cloves in the ground. I think our season is long enough that I should see something from it. Fingers corssed.

Speaking of gardens, need to get out there. Have been spreading a good layer of mulch over the beds to hold moisture. With the drought it really saves the plants and trees.

Have a good day. Hope your garden does well.

lilbees

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lilbees
I used to have a lovely little herb garden but I switched things around and gave away lots and lots of cuttings bet you've guessed what happened ! I had to start all over again Silenced
At the moment I have oregano, corriander, parsley and sage in the greenhouse but I will be planting them outside shortly. I'm considering removing one of the benches in the greehouse and putting in 2/3 tomatoe plants this year , my son had a lovely variety last year he grew from seed- small cherry type but the flavour was really good and the crop he got seemed to go on forever- so I'm just waiting hoping he puts some more seed in and I'll get some plants from him. My daughter who lives near me is keen on growing her own vegetables too and she's always telling me to grow more myself but i keep saying I dont have any room to plant anymore -she looks on that as a joke because I have a huge garden- but I would need to dig up some of my lawn to do that and I wont do that because its good large area for the grandchildren to play in and for my dogs to run around in.
The other seeds I'm putting in shortly will be Tagettes and egg flower plants ( not aubergines) they are both little yellow flowers that last a long time and give a lovely show of colour. My other daughter in France and her husband grow all their own vegetables too. They are exceptionally lucky because they have apple trees, pear trees, kiwi fruits, grapes, figs trees and walnut trees and a few other kinds too that I cant remember.
The one thing I can grow without much bother is dandelions Dancing My problem now is I really need help with the garden because its really far too much work for me to keep it as it should look and I get frustrated because I love gardening. I have a young lad who cuts the grass but he doesnt know much about plants/flowers so I'm trying to find someone who knows about plants and wont pull them up thinking they're weeds which has happened before!! even 2/3 hours a week would be a big help. Just a pity I cant train my too wee pooches to dig and weed at the same time Applause Applause

Going off to have a coffee then off to bed, got an early appointment at the opticians tomorrow morning my Doctor has advised me to have the drops put in my eyes this time just to make sure my High Blood Pressure hasnt caused any damage to my eyes. I wouldnt be able to drive back home for a while after I had the drops put in so my neighbour is taking me Very Happy
I would love to have a magic wand just to stand there and everything to turn out how I would like it to be Whistle Whistle
TAKE CARE
God Bless
Emmy xx

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lilbees
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Joined: 21 May 2008
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Emmy!
I envy your fruit trees. The only fruit I have is a fig tree. Still real young but enjoyed the small fruits it had last year. Would like to plant another fig tree or two. I am not sure the Italian fig would work here. Have to check my books to see.

My herbs are limited at this point but finally found some beebalm in the herb section. I have been looking for this plant for some time. I had really good luck with it up north and it is recommended where I live now. What is nice is that what I found is fairly mildew resistant and the plants are of different colors. No red though which is what I love but they have not been able to come up with a more mildew resistant one yet. Here in the south with a high humidity and heat level the red would not survive. I know I have had to dust them quite a bit up north. Can't imagine what it would take if anything to help them to survive. Too much work I think.

Speaking of gardening, it is becoming quite a chore to keep up. I have found as I have gotten older that a lot of it is becoming too difficult to handle. Now, when I plant a large plant I have to use my old plastic sled to drag it across the yard. Saves trying to load it into a wheel barrow since it is usually too heavy. Sliding it from the truck onto the sled works great and pulls easily across the grass.

Since I have a self propelled mower it makes that job easier. Of course, I only do half at a time. First the front yard then the next day I do the back. Edging is done on another day. Too much to try and do all at once. I don't think it will be too much longer before I hire a service to do that chore. You know, it is like cleaning house. There was the day when it was nothing to fly through the house from top to bottm with lots of time to spare. Now I split it up into small pieces. By the end of the week I have completed the whole house in time to start over. Now I tend to ignore some of the dust. Thank goodness I have a self-cleaning oven. That is a life saver.

Fertilized a bunch of plants yesterday so will need to water it all in today so I need to get to work while it is still cool this morning. By noon it is too hot to work outdoors.

Back to work.

lilbees

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