Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

This combination appears every year, just in time for the 4th of July. Planting was unintentional, but I sure do enjoy it.

Paprika Yarrow

My day will be spent cutting back more salvias, as well as the Russian Sage so that it isn't so thin and leggy when the monsoons come, which they usually do, even in a dry year. Speaking of dry, the other day it was announced that we had received only 2.8" of precip so far this year, compared to the usual 8". That's quite a difference. That was before a good rain that we had yesterday. Just stay away hail!!! I will be happy to spend the weekend at home and not out on the road, just nice a quiet (I hope) and taking care of my gardens. Can't ask for more than that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Over The Top Garden Art & Other Stuff

We visited an estate sale last weekend and this caught my eye. Just what I needed for this corner of the patio where our fountain used to sit. They wanted $50 for it but gave it to me for $30. And, of course, I just couldn't leave it alone. Those cute little shelves were just calling for something to sit on them. Now I have a place to showcase some of my watering can collection.

One BIG Fuzzy Bee!
Time to cut these back
The Salvias were stunning this year as set off by the Silver Sage
Summer has arrived for sure, as we will see temps in the 90's this week. I have already begun cutting back the many salvias in the strips. They certainly have been lovely and thick this year. I feel sorry for the bees that are trying to get a last minute taste as I hack off the tops. I tell them not to worry... there will be more soon.
Evelyn is lovely as usual

This Heuchera looks nice to welcome visitors. I can't find the tag to identify it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Beautiful Blues

Iris and May Night Salvia

Blue Montana

I just about made it for GBBD for June! But being only a day late is not all that bad, considering this is the first month I have made this year! Seems to be a theme going here, and it's BLUE. I do love blue/purple flowers and they are in abundance in my gardens this time of the year.

HUGE leaves of Japanese Anemone due to my special winter mix

For some reason the salvias are particularly strong and beautiful this year. Even my DH noticed and commented on them. The stems are so tall.

False Indigo

Creeping Turkish Veronica

A few daisies to break up all of the blue

Bright Blue Flax

While I lost a large number of new plants to winter kill, the older perennials really prospered. I'm wondering if it was the special winter mix I put on them last Fall (EKO Organic Compost, Earthgro Garden Soil, horticultural corn meal, Yum Yum Mix & Winterizer, and alfalfa pellets.) To that mixture I added bits of cotton bole and mushroom compost that I had left over. It certainly has been worth the effort, now that I see the results.

It's About Time??

Know that statement, This is the first day of the rest of your life? Well.... that is more fitting for me today than I'd like to admit. I can't believe it has been sooooo long since I've updatede my blog! Good grief... there are still snow photos of April! It's not like I forgot or anything. Illness and dealing with my father's death had to take priority over everything else for a while. As of this week I finally have his house cleaned out, remodeled, and ready for sale. What a difficult journey that has been, especially not feeling well. The house was in horrible condition because of my parents' declining health in the last several years and it needed a LOT of work. Throw in a handyman who was as slow as molasses in winter, and a recently diagnosed back condition, and there you time or energy (mostly energy) left over for blogging. I feel like I have my life back as of today. There are so many things that had to go undone for the last three months that I had to do triage every day to see what would be a priority. Thank goodness my wonderful DH did a good job of cleaning up the perennial beds in the Spring and putting in some new plants. I was only able to keep up with a little weeding and some watering. But bless their beautiful little hearts, those perennial beds have just carried right on without me. That's one of the wonderful things about perennials.

We had a very strange, cold spring with little moisture. Not a good tulip year. The cold got to them, as well as most of the new plantings I put in last Fall. Quite a few plants and bushes suffered a lot of winter damage. The problem was that it was sooooo cold, and yet sooooo dry!

I missed Bloom Day on the 15th, but did take some photos which I will go ahead and post a little late. I'm looking forward to catching up on every one's blogs and getting back in action. Gardening will be limited while I have a shot in my back and start some extensive physical therapy. But I plan to take care of myself now and get healthy. Gardening is my inspiration!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't Like the Weather? Just Wait!

That's what they say about Colorado. I think the rest of the sentence is something like 5 minutes. There are many areas of the country that use this saying, but in Colorado, we really mean it!

Here we are, all cleaned up and ready to go for another year. I love this Silver Sage. Temperature was in the 70's.

And... here we are a couple of days later. we are the next day. Back to Spring again!

This part of the area that is under construction in the back.

Yes, there are tulips under here somewhere!

Pasque Flowers a week ago.

And, here they are buried in snow. True to their nature though, they recovered nicely the next day.

Aliums trying to grow through the snow.

The weather has been beautiful, although windy, for the most part since this last snow. But don't count on it staying that way. We still have a couple weeks or so before we are out of the snow danger zone. I've seen it snow a foot or more in late May... we'll see how it goes this year.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ready to Roll for Another Year!

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae)

Okay, bring it on Spring! I'm ready. Every day there are new green sprouts springing up among the last of the winter debris. This is also my blogaversary. I began my blog last April, 2007. It's hard to believe it has been one year already and that Spring is coming so fast now. We still have snow every couple of days or so, but it is not staying around long, thank goodness. Soooo.... bring it on Mother Nature, and let's get this show going for another beautiful year!

Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

My very favorite spring flower is beginning it's beautiful display. And after coming close to getting run over last winter by a neighbor's truck. It's a hardy little thing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Continues Like a Lion, For Me

Looking back over March, I can't believe so much has happened. This month now seems like a year. Lots of good and lots of difficult times. So, please excuse this self-indulging post before I get on with the 2008 gardening season.

My doctor had just informed me that I still had another six weeks to fully recover from my second round of bronchitis which is sweeping the country. The next day my father began his final decline and passed away on March 12. The beautiful part of this sadness is that he was 92 years, and had been ready to leave his earthly body since my mother died 2 1/2 years ago. He missed her immensely every day. He was always a very stubborn man and refused to go to a doctor for many, many years. It is very difficult to care for someone like this, as I didn't know what to do when he became ill. His greatest wish was to die in his own home and not go into a nursing home (don't we all want that?) and I shouldered a great deal of stress in supporting him. (I kept thinking that any day now a social services person was going to knock on the door and tell me that I was guilty of elder abuse... keeping this declining person from medical care, all by himself and almost blind.) But he was actually happy being alone and was a very independent person. FINALLY I got him to agree to ente a hospice/palliative care program and this was a lifesaver for me and a way to honor his wishes. They were great most of the time, but as with almost all healthcare services these days, were overburdened and not always available for as long as a few hours when a crises arose. In the end they were really there for me and I could have not done it without them. I now have the wonderful image of my dad being placed in his new hospital bed which he LOVED, holding onto the rails that made him feel so secure, and smiling as he looked out at his beloved backyard for the last time. That was probably his last conscious interaction, and in the years to come it will mean everything to me to have honored his last wishes. He died peacefully the next day.

Now, onto more pleasant times. My wonderful son who lives in Boulder supported me every day and continues to do so. I am so fortunate to surely have the MOST wonderful son in the whole world! Don't most of us mothers think like this??? He celebrated his 40th birthday in the middle of all of this and I feel bad that he had to share such a special day during such a difficult time. Being the great person he is I didn't hear one complaint, and I hope we can make it up to him one of these days. He even sent me these beautiful flowers to cheer me. Didn't I just say how great he is??

Back to gardening! We had a couple pretty good snow storms so far in March, including a good one Easter Sunday. They melted fast and have added lots of good moisture. The snow pack in the mountains is 126% of normal, so let's just hope it doesn't all melt at once and cause flooding in various areas of the state. My heart goes out to the people in Missouri and other areas that have suffered recent flooding.

My DH has cut back almost all of the perennials, grasses, and trimming. How nice and fresh it is to look out at my strips and see lots of little green areas and many tulips peeking through the ground. It smells fresh and wonderful. The little crocuses always bring a smile to my heart.

As to my Garden Tracking program....well.... I haven't even had a chance to install it yet. My plan now is to get it started along with spring flowers and begin recording with this season. I will play catch-up later in the year when things hopefully calm down. I spend my days doing triage...whatever needs the most attention at the moment gets done. I'm really anxious to get caught up on my favorite blogs. My joy comes from taking a nice stroll along my gardens, smelling the fresh spring air, and listening to the beautiful chirping of birds. Aren't our gardens such solace at times like this? They give back so much for the time we spend tending them. There is nothing like working in a garden to bring a feeling of peace, calm, and gratefulness for all that life has to offer.

Spring is here, days are warming, and my heart is healing. What a beautiful time of year for a new beginning!