Monday, April 25, 2011

Taking A Break

I am in hiding. Self imposed. Required. This is the last week of classes with one more week of final exams, and I am grading 75 freshmen research essays. The grading will take me all week and most of next week, and while I am taking pictures here and there, I don't have time to blog. I am, however, reading all of your postings and commenting here and there just to let you know that I am paying attention. I'll catch up in time. Until then, I will keep visiting you. cheers

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Heather's Garden

I have introduced our youngest daughter Jennifer, her daughters, and her horse Sundance. Today meet our oldest daughter Heather. She graduated from the School of Agriculture at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado in 2000 with a BS in Horticulture. Since her graduation, she has worked for a lawn and tree care service where she learned about weeds and diseases and how to treat lawns and trees. She then moved on to work for a small city as the city's horticulturist, and now works for a small tree company in sales. She is also a certified arborist. The company she works for is a full service tree company that does everything from tree removal to providing and planting new trees. She does the onsite estimates for both commercial and private customers. 

And she gardens. She began her latest project last summer. We were at her home yesterday for the little guy's 2nd birthday, so I took some pictures of her water feature which she has designed and built all by herself. She still has the tender plants covered with burlap and chicken wire to protect them from winter. I'll return later in the spring and take pictures when the little pond is filled and the waterfall is running.

Still covered are her miniature trees that she purchased from Two Green Thumbs, a nursery that specializes in anything miniature for miniature gardening.

There are always children in our gardens! 

Much of her plant material has come from a little nursery in Ft. Collins, La Porte Avenue Nursery, that specializes in succulents and alpine plants. They sell most of their inventory to High Country Gardens, a catalog and wholesale supplier that many of you have probably heard of, and by appointment

Jacob makes friends with resident dog

When you see a green house full of succulents, there is such symmetry in the display.

Her purchase for this trip. We will return again. I may just have to hire her to create a small rock garden here at The Garden Spot.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Heartbreak of Spring

Patiently we wait for the first signs of spring. Slowly, gradually, new life begins to emerge. We walk about the garden poking in the ground around mounds of dead leaves looking to see what bits of green life are emerging. We bend the branches of last year's newly planted trees to see a trace of green signifying that the new trees survived the cold, dry winter. The air begins to warm. The sun is sunnier. The house finches begin their mating calls, a beautiful melody sung from the tops of the tallest trees. It is April in all of her glory, warming and wonderful. April showers bring May flowers. We are nearly lusting for the daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips to explode in color. Then the wind comes-- fierce, cold, howling an announcement of the storm on its heals. The storm starts with spits and spatters of rain. We welcome the rain, for there is wildfire raging just west of us in the foothills above Fort Collins. We are hopeful that the rain will drown the flames. We learn later that 15 homes have been lost to the wild flames.

The sprinkles turn to snow and the snow soon covers the ground. We rejoice,  really because we have had so little snow all winter and the ground is dry and thirsty.

This morning it was 29 degrees. The remnants of the snow had turned to ice. Gardening in Zone 5 is the pits.

 Moving Day for the Girls

Eight chicks are now 4 weeks old, four are 3 weeks old, but all are getting feathers and they have outgrown their tub home in the dining room. The hen house is ready. We miss their peeps and chirps and the red glow of the heat lamp that became a night light. This morning the house is quiet and the girls are adjusting to their new home. They will stay in the hen house for a bit longer until the pen has been predator proofed.

Rather scrappy looking in their teen phase of life, this one will be a golden brown. Can't wait to see her adult colors.

Still huddled for security. They are not used to seeing the Mr. standing tall and erect. 

A Rose by Any Other Name

Jackson and Perkins roses have been in the garden for at least 10-12 years. This year they have been spectacular. The bushes were taller and...