Monday, March 31, 2014


We woke to cloudy skies Sunday morning, rather disappointing because I had wanted to work in the yard. On Saturday I began pruning the roses, but had a few interruptions and didn't get the job done. So Sunday was the day to get a lot done outside. And we did. While it was cloudy, the temperature was mild and we didn't have wind. Not like today: Sunny, windy, and cold.

Now that the weather is warming up, the inside projects will go to the back burner. Little crocheting, some sewing, a bit of scrap booking, but for the most part we will be in the garden. At long last.

Last Sunday we started tomatoes, a variety of peppers, broccoli, cabbage, squash, alyssum, and pansies. So far everything has sprouted except the pansies. Just by reading the label, I suspected that I might have trouble with them.

The little plants in all of the pots are growing so fast. Everyday there is new growth. We have the table set up in the east window of the living room where the seedlings get full value of morning sun. The grow light is set on a timer to come on early afternoon and goes off at about 10 PM. The living room is still pretty bare after painting more so because of Boone's propensity to grab anything and everything with a desire to chew it to pieces. So I will forgo curtains a bit longer. Luckily we are in the country and don't have window peepers.

Last fall we planted more new bulbs. I remembered planting tulips and daffodils and I vaguely remember buying dwarf iris. Look at these little beauties. They were such a surprise because I expected them to bloom later with standard iris foliage. I will have to dig in my records to see if I saved the label because, honestly, I do not remember what they are.

Whatever you are, your are beautiful.

What a mess at the front door step. The roses look so ratty.

Gertrude Jekyll grew so tall and unsightly. A cat or some critter knocked over my blue ball.

So here is the question I always ponder: how and when to cut back roses. My strategy has always been to prune in March when I see the first sign of new leaves and  to cut back at the point where the new growth green ends and the dead brown begins. So I began whacking away. Then after the fact as I toured Pinterest I began seeing several suggestions on how and were to prune. Too late. I haven't killed a rose yet; however, if I pay attention to where I prune when I deadhead the roses after first bloom, I might increase my buds. I'd like that.

Much better. I didn't even bother to photograph the other side because it is still a disaster area. The pond is full of snow melt water and the waterfall needs to be rebuilt because it has leak. 

The garden is all tilled. The Head Gardener got that chore done on Saturday. I decided that we needed to clean up the black berry that just grows wildly.

So the Mister started removing sod to make clean lines so that I have a nice flower bed. 

We were out in the garden working, when I told Mr. that something was missing. He wondered what. Max, I said. The old dog was always with us, along with Country the cat who is usually with us, too. The Head Gardener disappeared for a time and returned with Boone. He had a blast digging in the loosened soil behind Mr. as he dug sod. He especially loved the soft soil after it had been tilled. He is still very much a wild child and must remain on his check cord that is looped over a fence post until he learns not to run off. And that will be when?

Boone is up to 38 pounds now. Big. Strong. Funny. A real handsome handful, though. And he loves digging in the dirt.

Not to be left out of the activities, the hens do their digging, too, looking for grubs and bugs.

The sprinkler heads have been marked with yellow flags so that the front pasture can be seeded this week. The Head Gardener has tried to hand broadcast grass seed but because the seeds lay on the surface, the birds ate them all. So we have a true professional coming who will use a grain drill to plant new seed. Right now the pasture is bare in spots, weedy in others, and just ugly.

I set out to trim up the rambling blackberry, but decided that it was nearly impossible. I have forgotten if  it fruits on new growth or old canes. I finally decided it didn't matter and we gave a hard prune. It will either bear fruit or it won't, but I should know if it fruits on new or old canes by mid summer. Besides, I had a bug infestation on the few berries that it had last year.

As the canes grow this summer, I will have better control over zip tying them to the trellis.

Do you see it? Look very, very closely. Asparagus. One nice sturdy sprig on plant #1.

Plant #2 just might produce enough for one meal. The 13 plants we planted last year have yet to show their heads. Waiting.

Could not resist this rose. No name. It is one of those little super market gift roses--a green rose. I don't know if the center will be green or yellow or pink. I am hoping pink. Once I dead head it, it will be planted in the courtyard beside my other super market roses. I love them because they are small roses and look so pretty in little vases or nosegays that I like to make for the little girls.

And here is Heather as she sees her doll house for the first time. It was a great surprise party. She loved it. Thanks everyone for joining on the fun. 

So. I proclaim Winter to be gone for Northern Colorado with Lady Spring here, but still showing her bad temperament. March came in like a lion and seems to be leaving in the same manner. We have 60% chance of something--snow, rain, a mix with lots of wind this week. Some one asked where the lamb of spring is. We will be spending lost of time outside with so many projects to get done. We decided not plant so early; instead, working on the infrastructure of the garden. Next we will install our bean trellis made of hog wire, like we have talked about for how many years now? We still have weeks before we need to plant. Around here we say after Mother's Day to avoid any hard freezes on tender shoots. Our farmer friend who plants tomatoes by the acre plants the first of June, so we still have plenty of time.

What sort of time table are you on? 

Hope your have a great week in the garden. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Ann, looks like you have a good start on getting things ready for planting and on pruning. There is nothing like getting seeds planted and ground tilled!

  2. Well - you have been busy - so much to do after a long drawn out winter - it won't be long before your garden is full of colour.

  3. Hi Ann! Aw! Heather is so pretty!
    It was SO windy yesterday and today wasn't windless either. Oh well. I am soaking the sweet pea seeds finally! You have A LOT going on at your place.

  4. It looks like you are a little ahead of us there. My poor roses look like snow cover and super cold winds in November have almost done them in.


  5. Ann you have a lot to look forward to, plants to prune and yummy veggies to grow..It's so agonizing waiting for Spring to Sprang forward when we have plans for our gardens... I was always tortured by Michigan's long drawn out winters so I completely understand.....But before long you'll be out in the nice warm sun doing what you've planned and love...

  6. Just ordered some seeds so we still have a while to go yet, the frost was very deep this year so I'm thinking it will be later before it will be safe to plant. Can't wait tho we planned the garden and have a list of projects to get done this year around here, looking forward to getting outside to work. I hope Heather had a wonderful Birthday!

  7. I love the photo of Heather...she is very happy indeed! And that first flower is so exotic and pretty. Hope you have a wonderful week! It's in the 80s here all week....feels more like summer time! Sweet hugs!

  8. Our spring has been ill-tempered so far but she seems to be mellowing. My daffs are up and I even found a pulmonaria blooming! That was a surprise! Your daughter is beautiful and looks so happy. :o) Can't blame the dog for loving to dig in the dirt!

  9. Looks like you have been busy as usual. We could get frost up to the end of may however it has been much milder this year and I could easily plant earlier. I'm behind as usual with sowing seed. The blue iris bulbs in your garden are wonderful looking flowers.

  10. It looks like ambition is running rampant at your place! Whew, it sounds like home, the work just never ends. I'm getting some lettuce seed today to plant, that's the extent of our planting so far. Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter, may she enjoy that wonderful heirloom doll house!