Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marching Into Spring…

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Hello from windy Southern Indiana.  No, we haven’t been blown off the hill, but it’s been close.  There seems to have not been a decent day to be outside for a week.  And quite honestly, I am a bit stir-crazy.  Today it is in the mid-60’s but 30 mph gusts of constant wind keeps me from staying outside for very long. 


I must say I am an irritable gardener.  But thankful as well for less than 10 miles from us the damage from last weeks storms begin.  We were very worried for a bit, but it all went south of us.  Such sad news in the papers and on TV.  I finally had to just turn it off. 


It seems this year is such an odd one for weather, had me guessing what summer will be like here at the lake.  A few years ago the bugs were so bad, remember those biting gnats?  I pray we never see those again.  But we did not have our usual 2 weeks of hard freeze and it has me concerned. My cousin bought a bee-keepers hat with netting that tucks under your clothes when the bugs got too much for her.  I am thinking I’ll be sporting one this year before it is over. 


The best thing we have found to use is a equal mixture of water with old-fashioned yellow Listerine mouthwash with a good splash of real vanilla added.  I use it like a body spray when the bugs get too bad.  It works well and seems safer to use as often as I am outside. 

I have been making my rounds in the garden section already and seeing what might be out there I just have to have.  I did quite a few summer bulbs last year and enjoyed them, but sad to say I didn’t dig them when it turned cold.  I am not a diligent gardener in that way, I am a “plant it and it’s on it’s own” kind of gal.  I love anything that will naturalize and can be divided.  That being said my crocuses are just cute as a button right now and a few of the early daffodils are blooming. 


Last spring my friend Kay gave me tons of Breck’s daffodil bulbs that she’d grown for several years.  I have no idea the names, but they are a beautiful assortment of whites, doubles, kinds with peach and orange centers.  They are all up but not blooming yet.  So much fun to see what they look like again when they bloom. 


Did you see my friend Larry Conrad’s pictures this past week of his spring garden?  Can you imagine all those at once.  Mine don’t look like that yet, but a girl can dream. 

What else is happening in the garden?  We’ll a few things are blooming…. pansies, Johnny jump-ups, sea thrifts, pincushion flowers, pussy willows, cyclamens, heathers…. 


What is ready to bloom in the next few days…. Flowering Almond, ornamental peach trees, dogwoods, redbuds, chokeberries and more bulbs of course.


The roses and hydrangeas are leafing out quite well.  The clematises seemed to have made it thru and have signs of life as well.  I have been wandering the garden daily looking for peonies coming up.  I planted 20 new divisions last summer and I cannot wait till they come of size for a good show.  The white ones always break thru the ground first here.  I counted 11 new ones up so far.  I had no idea the colors when I dug them for out garden club, they had bloomed already and were in a mixed bed.  They are nothing fancy, white… pink and the dark pink… but I love them all.  Each one has 4 or more eyes, so I am quite happy.  I always think how many eyes come up is how many blooms I’ll see.  I’ve had good luck with them in my soil here and hope to add a couple tree peonies this year. 

There is also some new hybrids that are crossing a tree peony with the old fashioned ones that look amazing.  They are called “Intersectional or Itoh Hybrid” peonies. I have located some new nurseries that are within driving distance and hope to locate one this year.  That can at times be a challenge for me living in the middle of nowhere.  If you want to drool over them here is a link I suggest you take a gander at….

What else have I been doing?…. Seeds of course.  I have vowed to use all of the seed I have this year.  I cannot keep hoarding seeds, what do we do with all of them?  I have added a ton of new things to the wildflower bed by the road and the mailbox.  A few things I will forget what I even planted, but that is half the fun (figuring out if it is a weed or a flower).  I love the old gardening saying if you want to know if it’s a weed…. give it a tug…. if it comes right out it is a valuable plant!  Never truer words have been said!!

Midwest gardeners, right now is a good time to add slow release fertilizer to your beds.  That is one thing you can do in this weather.  Make sure your flowering shrubs get a good dose, they will be working hard in a few weeks and need the energy! 

Wow, I got a little carried away on the chatter!  Let me know what is going on in your neck of the woods.  Remember, I have a garden group on Facebook called “WebGarden” that I share beautiful garden posts at.  We have over 1700 members, join us if you’d like!

Happy Gardening….Brooke
All photos of my own home and garden ©Brooke Kroeger – Creative Country Mom

1 comment :

  1. Hi Brooke I love your cottage plants. I am also trying to create a cottage garden. Roses are one of the top on my list of traditional plants I want to grow. We have some dead apple trees that I don't want to take out, as they are so beneficial to the wildlife here, so thought I would grow some climbers up them. Can you recommend a variety? I am your newest member and will pop in to see you again - thank you for letting me visit. Feel free to visit me in the orchard.


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