Tuesday, April 24, 2018


I didn't want to be one those are those folks who don’t take down their Christmas decorations at the end of the holiday season. You’ve seen the houses with the lights still strung around the gutters, gussets, and chimneys. You’ve wondered how the neighbors could leave the mini twinkle lights draped around the tree branches. You drive past the house everyday wondering why they don’t clean up and put things away. The Head Gardener always get our Christmas lights down and packed away mid January or even sooner, but me? Not so much. The one thing that I am in charge of lingers and lingers until after Valentine’s Day. Makes sense to me. Red is the color of February. Valentine’s Day. Right? And evergreen is a year round kind of plant material. After all the Garden Spot has a dozen giant pine trees. The truth is I just kept forgetting to take down the Christmas wreath. 

For the past several weeks, as we leave the house thought the front door, a little bird--a house finch--would fly out of the court yard. We inspected the front of the house but couldn't see any place where a bird could possibly perch, much less nest. Then Sunday when I walked out the front door I caught sight of the little fellow fly out of the Christmas wreath. "Great!" I thought thinking that the bird had probably made a mess in my wreath. Karma for not getting it put away. So I looked at the back of the wreath and instead of a mess, I found a nest with two little babies.

You can't see the babies, but they are there and I will keep you up dated on their progress. So the neighbors and passer-bys can say and think whatever then want. The Christmas wreath will stay up until the Finch family is done with it.

And then the weather has not been Spring’s normal temperament. I’ve been wondering if Old Man Winter has been pushing his own agenda, refusing to give up his power to the energetic, warm-hearted tender lass, Srping. Oh she has tried to assert herself. Much to her own credit between cold winds and flashes of snow, she has offered a few sprinkles of rain and moments of sun, which really haven’t been enough to lure me out into the garden with much enthusiasm. But Sunday was so beautiful and there are those annual chores that must get done early. So I followed the Head Gardener outside, feeling the warm sun on my face and taking deep breath of fresh spring air. We were ready to get down to work. 

The daffodils have been spectacular this year, but they have had a bit of struggle, surviving wind, frost, and dustings of snow. While I bemoan the fact that Spring has been so cold, the flowers have flourished. They have been in long enough that the clumps are all thick and lush with blooms. I worry each year too about the my precious Eastern Redbud because we have had others die after the winter. But look, she is blooming. We still are not frost free here--not until after Mother's Day, so we are holding our breath, hoping that a major frost does not kill the buds on the fruit trees. The apricots are beginning to bloom, showing three blooms, the peach trees are still sleeping--trying to wake; the cherry trees are all budded out, including the new one that we planted last year, and the apple tree we hope will have branches heavy with apple. Hoping. The hawthorn that we planted last year survived the winter, and will have beautiful little white flowers shortly.

We are doing better at getting our trees to survive the winter. Here in Colorado it is not the cold that kills trees, but the lack of water. Our winters, while cold, are often very dry with little snow. We may have one huge storm all winter and then little moisture the rest of the season, so the Head Gardener must water the young trees mid winter, sometime a couple of times to keep them going. 
Tool of the Month

Black and Decker  20 V Max Hedge Trimmer

I have planted several clumps of ornamental grasses. The front center circle has three clumps that have grown so big that I can't use nippers anymore to cut them back by hand, so last fall I purchased the hedge trimmer.  The chore is much easier now. First we tape the clump tightly with duct tape and then cut below the tape to get a nice smooth cut. Works great. Not only did we trim the grasses, but we also cut back the peonies and other plants that needed last year's growth removed.  The trimmer is batter operated and I am glad that we have added it to our garden tools.

Now the front point looks cleaner. I still need to do more cleaning and maybe even redesigning the point. It gets pretty messy in the summer with bind weed that takes over. The grasses will grow and wave in the breeze and we will enjoy them.

Last week I bemoaned the fact that my iPhone photos were out of focus. I discovered that I was uploading them with at the lowest quality so when I tried to upload at best quality, they essentially wouldn't upload. I had 13 photos that I wanted to used today, but the uploading stalled last night and I decided that I will use my Canon for the blog photos. Any suggestions on the phone images?

Well, I suppose that it is time to start my day. I tutor at the university Writing Center today, so I need to get day started. 

Thanks so much for visiting. Join me at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday--a fun place to be.


  1. How lovely to have your own birds' nest!

  2. Nice to see the young ones. They have a safe nest. Beautiful flowers!

  3. A Christmas wreath bird's nest will be the newest fad in home design for the birds this season. What fun! Glad that the daffodils are putting on a show. Cold weather has lingered for a long while here, too, but not as cold as you have it. Here's hoping for spring to kick old man winter out.

  4. Don't birds choose the most fascinating places to build nests????

    I didn't know winter water was such an issue for your part of Colorado. Would it be considered 'high desert'? Our landscaping for our new house will be going in soon, and our major issue will be summer precipitation - drip lines will be our best friends!!!

  5. Hello Ann, actually, I can understand the bird, the wreath still looks so inviting to bring up a family in it :-). Hope your season starts to the full soon, here everything is out and splendid, because we had a week of very warm, almost summer temperatures. We sold our farm to the first visitors at the asking price and are now starting the process to find a removal company. It is not 'horsey-people' but they have no use of the paddocks and stables, so there might be a chance that the horse can stay? They fell in love head over heels with it but it was also the very best moment to put it on the market and the weather was at its best, cloudless and all magnolia in full bloom. So far, there is only good karma around us, let's hope it continues that way. Take care, xxx

  6. It was the Christmas wreath’s destiny to provide a home to the little bird family, how serendipitous it was that you didn’t take it down. When it comes to growing things in my garden “hope” is a word I use often too. Wishing you warmer weather soon.

  7. Hello, the finch found a nice place to nest in your wreath. Cute photo of the nest. I love the daffies, they are one of my favorite spring blooms. Our Redbud is struggling too, I hope it survives. But, a Mimosa tree died in the same spot years ago. Enjoy your day and week ahead.

  8. So glad spring is heading your way - we had a nice week with highs around 70 and sunshine - but now the weekend is pouring rain and 48 for a high - wish the sun would come back. I'm not sure about iphones - but when I want to use photos from my android I send them by email to my gmail account and I can open them instantly at high resolution - so much better than trying to upload - once I learned how to send by email (they call it "share" on the android photos. Happy weekend and hope your week ahead is great.

  9. My spring is behind this year, yet yours is even behind ours. Guess we need to be extra patient this year!

  10. So nice you have a Finch family nesting in your Christmas wreath, so you see that the wreath still serves something in spring: new life.
    I also use my hedgetrimmer for cutting down the ornamental grasses, that makes work light. Daffodils are already gone here, we also had a late spring but in comparison with yours it's early. We had two warm sunny weeks and the catching up of nature is really amazing.
    Wish you a nice and happy week!

  11. It's that work, work, work time of year, isn't it? I dread the weeds but anticipate the flowers.

  12. You have daffodils and your own baby bird nest ... I'm envious! What a beautiful yard.