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It’s been raining since Thursday! ughhh. On Thursday/Bloom Day, I actually had to take a (rainy, and cold) trip to Baltimore for work. So I never got around to doing a post, but I did take some pics that day when I got home. And…it’s STILL raining on Sunday.
I really like how some of these turned out – the rain makes everything look different. The mums look like candy to me.
Here are the winners of my first t-shirt giveaway. Congratulations, guys! I’ll be contacting you all by email and/or twitter shortly. (Note: I gave my comments/the pingbacks a number, but if the number of those was picked, I picked again! Also I was going to take screenshots of the Random.org winning numbers, but I got excited and forgot. So trust me!)
#9: Sarah from Toronto Gardens
Also, be sure to check in with Kylee of Our Little Acre – she has a few of these tees that she’ll be giving away soon. And if you don’t want to chance it on a contest, head on over to the store for You Grow Girl, where you can buy one in a similar design.
And now, a few pics from this VERY RAINY week. ugh.
My Mardi Gras helenium finally bloomed! I love it as much as I thought I would! Sweet. The red looks like it’s painted on, the center looks like a little pincushion. The flowers are small (maybe half dollar sized?), but it looks like there will be a bunch, and supposedly it blooms all season and is a good cutting plant. Hope so! They are slightly taller than my daylilies and help fill up the gap back there and add some interest behind my still itty bitty euonymus bushes, just like I hoped (I have a mix of helenium, echinacea/coneflower, and various rudbeckia back there).
Also, noticed this leaf while I was strolling through the yard the other day (strolling – yeah, I was strolling, what of it?). I loved it! Took pics. It had rained for a ton of days previous, but not the day I took the pic, so that leaf had been holding on to it for a while. Can anyone tell me what kind of leaf it is (this is not a test, I really don’t know – it’s the tree that makes the orange flowery things though, I think)?
Stay on the lookout for a giveaway, guys…I want to get good pics of the goods, but here is a preview (in which I look lame): http://www.twitpic.com/6xq8w. I have a few of these to give away, no strings attached!
It’s still been raining like crazy! Ugh! It had better stop before Saturday so I can get that pre-vacay checklist at least partially done. I think hubby may also have to check the gutters, because we do have guards, but the rain was sheeting (!) off the house today in heavy rain. No plant damage now really, but they aren’t blooming yet.
I’ve also noticed that we have 2 landscaping lights out. HATE that! One is prob just a bulb, but the other one has been driving me crazy forever. The annoying one is on the end at least (pack came with 4, and this was a 1-off we bought to make it all the way across the house), so it doesn’t look too “off”, but still. You touch it a certain way and it turns on, then move your hand and it turns off. Going to try to get my hubby to really fix it this weekend. I may just end up buying a new one. It drives me that insane (I’m a bit crazy about order/neatness, and the lights are all hodgepodge now – ugh!!)
And one last one – any one have any idea what’s up with my tomatoes? See a pic here. I don’t see any bugs and there don’t seem to be any holes (besides old bunny muches) on the peppers, radishes, or other plants in the bed. They seem to be growing fine despite whatever this is, but I want to know if it’s something I should do something about.
Most of my pansies in pots look pretty much like crap. These are very happy, though. The ones planted by my steps in the front of the house are also very happy. I think next fall I’ll plant some more in the ground. They really help brighten things up when nothing else is around through the winter and early spring. (Note that the deck rain gauge also lives in this pansy – looks like we’ve probably gotten almost an inch of rain!)Here’s a quick snap of the side garden. The veggies will go at the very top where those 2 pots are, so not much going on there. Early bulbs in this garden are done or almost done, but the tulips and hyacinths are still blooming, and one bulb I forget will hopefully bloom soon (a new one in my Dutch Wonder set from Breck’s in the fall). One thing I’m concerned about is that bush that’s looking very brown (the last large bush on the left). All the bushes came with the house. They were planted waaaay too close to the foundation, so we dug them up and moved them to the side of the driveway, now known as the side garden. There were 2 azaleas so small I first thought they were weeds (on the extreme left, still small), 2 of some variety of wiegla (those are to the right of this pic, just starting to leaf out again), 2 of some sort of holly (perfectly fine), and then these other 2 bushes (one not in pics). They have kind of waxy leaves and white blooms that look a bit like gardenias. I pruned them back in the fall because they were both growing a little oddly and were getting weird holes in the back – I was hoping they’d fill in. Now I’m hoping I didn’t kill them. There are still green leaves at the bottom and the branches are still pliable and alive feeling, but I don’t really see any buds and I don’t remember this happening last year. There was some brown, but not the whole bush. Any ideas on bush ideas? What should I do to it? leave it? Shake off the brown leaves? Help appreciated! I can provide better pics when it’s not so darn ooky outside.
The tulips are the only thing making the garden look a bit lively right now. I love the mixed colors on this cheapo bag I got from Lowe’s. This is their second year.
The seedlings are still patiently awaiting being planted outside on Saturday. Hubby is supposed to go and pick up a truckload of mulch plus a few bags of compost and topsoil for the veg garden at some point this week. So while he’s working this weekend, I’ll be doing that. It’s supposed to be in the high 60s and low 70s all weekend – perfect!
UPDATE: Pretty sure that brown bush is a gardenia bush. Which means I probably should not have pruned it so late in the season, but instead right after it bloomed. Oops. So if it recovers, it may not bloom this year. Still doesn’t totally explain the brown, though. We had a pretty cold winter…I hope it recovers soon!
It’s my second bloom day! I actually have some blooms outside, so that’s exciting. One thing that is definitely NOT in bloom is my cyclamen that was beautiful on Valentine’s Day when my husband got it for me. It’s just too warm in my house at 70°, I guess. So it slowly yellowed and I cut it down and put it outside. I’ll plant it when it gets warmer, and hopefully it’ll come back outside next year. Now on to things that ARE blooming on this rainy day.
And as a grand finale, the mystery bulb does appear to be a daffodil (look towards the bottom of the pic below). If that one stays, I might have to plant to friends there for it this year. Not a bad spot for some daffs, anyway, and I do have a pot coming in next week from the Daffodil Days for Cancer thing I sponsored at work this year (must remember to post about that when they come in – will have to sneak some pics at work!). The daylilies are also coming up! The bed looks pretty sparse now, but it fills in fairly well, and hopefully the stuff I’ve ordered from Bluestone will also help with that. Also I really need to get to weeing and put in an order for a couple truckloads of mulch with the nursery that is conveniently located about a mile from my house. If only it would stay warm so I can feel good about removing all the old foliage that provides a bit of protection. Come on, weather!
Also, to end the post, a confession. I planted my daffodils and tulips in SLOP. They line the front of the “driveway bed.” Sigh. What can I say. I suppose I planted them before I knew that this was an affliction. But I’ve since planted more bulbs around them, and they should still clump up fairly nicely as time goes on and I add more in. Please don’t hold this against me. More details on the condition as more blooms arrive.
I will also admit a Freudian Slip. When I first write this post and went to preview it to make edits, I realized I’d titled it “Bloom Day – May 2009.” Sigh. Wishful thinking? On Bloom Day in May, I’ll actually be in Hawaii, and my mom will be looking after my plants for a week!
I believe I found the link to Gardeners for the Bay on this blog. I signed up – it’s free, and according to the email I got, you get some cool extra freebies like stickers and (yay!) gardening gloves.
I actually live very, very close to the Patuxent River. So I know I’m well within the watershed area, and try to be conscious.
Here’s the manifesto/pledge, from the website linked above, with my intentions noted:
As a Gardener for the Bay, I will:
* Conserve water by diverting runoff downspouts and paved surfaces to rain barrels, rain gardens, or garden beds. Yes! I have a rain barrel, and during the summer I also always keep a bucket under the a/c drip (the amount of water you can get in no time at all from is this astounding. I hate when it rains now and the barrel is already full so I can’t save it!
* Plant with native, non-invasive species that are adapted to conditions in my area. I certainly try! Before picking ground cover-type plants especially, I check to see if they’re invasive.
* Enrich my garden beds and lawn naturally with compost, leaf mold, or other organic matter. Got a composter for xmas that I can’t wait to get set up and use!
* Eliminate my use of toxic chemicals (synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides). I try to do this, and basically only use inrescticides for stupid aphids. I’m going to make it a point to look for more friendly ones this year.
* Reduce my lawn area by planting native trees and shrubs and enlarging garden beds.OK, so we actually increased the lawn area when we flattened out yard, but we’ve also added a lot more garden space, and I’m sure more will be added. We’ve added lots of native/friendly trees (some planted, some still growing in pots).
* Encourage other gardeners to join the fight to protect and restore the waterways, farmlands and forests for the Bay Region.Going to send the link to my mom, and I’m posting it here, so I’ll count that 🙂
* Speak out for decisive action to save the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure.Yes!