Monday, March 9, 2020

Spring is in the Air

"It smells like spring. Come out and smell the air," said the Head Gardener as he left the house to feed the horses. I obliged, taking a long deep breath of clean, freshly washed air. A light rain had dampened the patio and softened the lawn and indeed spring was in the air. Still officially weeks away, Spring is making her intentions clear at the Garden Spot this morning.

Last week I was lamenting the lack of moisture, hoping for rain and took the photo on the left for Instagram to show that Garden Spot was beginning to green up. Wanting to show how much the rain has helped stimulate the grass, I took a second photo today, but the shadows don't help to accomplish my goal.


Spring bulbs offer more proof that Spring is lurking about. In the front courtyard the crocus and tulips have a good start along with the wild hyacinth ready to burst forth in bloom. While in the newly planted bed at the end of the barn circle, the tulips are barely poking through the ground, making me nervous that they won't bloom at all. Be patient, I tell myself; they are young.


When the HG is gone, I am on chore duty which isn't a big deal: feed the horses and the hens. There is a certain perk to chore duty: a handful of fresh eggs. The ladies are now producing 3-6 eggs a day. I think I'll make some deviled eggs today. 



We've lost more fish, some now in the large pond. Yet Big Boy the koi has survived. I'm so glad. We lost the other koi last year when a great blue heron took it. 


As the garden comes to life and the gardening catalogs arrive, we can't help but begin to plan the garden work that will begin in a few days. We have five acres, so there is a lot to do. Some of those chores were neglected last year as we prepared for a wedding here, so some things got out of hand. Here's my list of TO-DO in the garden:

  1. Prune and feed Roses in front court yard
  2. In the center garden, rake away dead debris and top dress with compost to help discourage the bindweed. I've been doing research on how to control bindweed. There are 3 approaches: Round-up, aside from the risks, it does not reach the roots so only the surface plant dies and will regrow; cloth or plastic weed barrier only cover up the plant and it is strong enough to grow out from underneath the weed barrier; finally, composting or changing the soil make-up. The roots grow very deep and are very hardy and the plant like this Colorado clay, but it does not like compost. We will have the local nursery deliver a load and where the bindweed grows, we will top dress and water like crazy--another thing bindweed doesn't like, water--with the hopes of at least reducing it.
  3. The pastures and lawn need fertilization, which my husband will spread either using his 4-wheeler or the golf cart to spread the fertilizer. 
  4. Replace all of the drip system that the dog tore out. Ugh.
And that is a partial list. Mostly maintenance in early spring.

So as the days warm, we will be spending more time outside enjoying the sun and doing what we love the most, tending plants. 

What's on your garden list? 

Thanks for visiting. I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Some Bunny Loves You

Good-bye February. You were a brutally cold month. Hello March. Please be gentle with us. As February left us shivering and wishing for Spring, March came in like a lamb this morning--no wind, but March gifted us with a skiff of snow. 

I never know what my one daughter will come up with next. Yesterday it was a photo shoot for the the rabbits. The three granddaughter have show rabbits, so we had a photo session yesterday.

First up was the test, Peter. Peter is an 11 year old Himalayan who arrived with the Easter Bunny when Elinore was just three. Peter is not a show rabbit. He's too old and neutered. He is just a love pet who lives in Ellie's bedroom.




Next up, Midnight, Little Lily's bunny. While Lily is too young for 4-H she does take him to the open shows and while he is generally the only Dutch and places well, he did well with the competition at his last show.


Meet Texico, a red rex, Mom's bunny. She hasn't showed him yet, but he is registered and show quality. His coat is like velvet.


And then the newest baby, Blue. Even though she is very allergic, the middle granddaughter Lucy bought her own rabbit to show. He is known a Blue Rex known as an "otter" because of his white belly. 
 (I really don't know why).


These are Ellie's last two babies of her first litter of babies. Now about six months old and not show quality they are looking for new homes. The boy on the left is a seal point Himalayan while his sister is a lavender because her points are lighter. They are very sweet and very gentle, having been handled since birth. They will make excellent pets for children.



They weren't the most cooperative sometimes.










And Fritz the pup got his portrait taken, too. 


And the horses, but they weren't into getting glamor shots.

  

Here at the Garden Spot, we are really anxious for Spring to arrive. The pond has finally thawed completely while the fish just hang, waiting to warn up. We really have a mess in the bottom.



The dreary brown landscape is as dry as it looks. Rain would be nice, but I'm sure that there is more snow in our future.


The Head Gardener fired up the rototiller; the garden is ready for a good dressing of compost.


If you look really close, you will see the horses at the far end of the hayfield. They were excited to get out back this morning.


Brody's favorite pass time: heckle the hens. He sneaks up on them and they go running to the henhouse.



The girls survived the winter, all looking fat and sassy, four of them laying eggs, others in the middle of a serious molt.



So there you have it: a quiet weekend at the Garden Spot.

Thanks so much visiting. Join me at Angie's for Mosaic Monday.

Just a Hint of Spring with a Dose of Cuteness

It's not safe to say that Winter has made his exit. He's still hanging around waiting to surprise us. We know the routine: freezing ...