Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's to Come

The warm weather continues to amaze. Disconcerting, yes, but enjoyable? Heck YES! Seed planting is going on at a hectic pace. The garden is getting gussied up for spring, with a top dressing of compost and leaf mulch. The county again seemed to leave extra. I call it "mulch mountain 2," but at least I did not block my car in the driveway this time.

My clay soil can be unwelcoming to Fritillaria, but I had success with half of the varieties I planted last year (the snake-skin patterned meleagris probably rotted, but the purple-brown and yellow uva-vulpis and acmopetala did well). I was encouraged enough to try a new one when I saw this F. persica with its nearly black blooms. I thought maybe I had not amended the soil enough, but then I spotted them emerging, with the bonus being I have four plants for the price of three, yay!
Thanks to Martha Stewart for introducing me to so many things, but especially for Fritillaria! In addition to their unique beauty, they are not eaten by squirrels, and they are long-lasting as cut flowers.

 Also emerging is rhubarb, but this is one I planted bare-root and practically tossed on the ground. The three-year old plant that I dug a bed several feet deep for and amended with gobs of compost died. Hmmm? 

The asparagus is off to a slow start, but I think this is how it was last year. I hope I am correct and will see a flush of spears soon.
The "Betty" Magnolia tree is beginning to bloom--quite early, as this variety was bred to bloom late to avoid the late frosts that often damage Japanese Magnolia flowers. If this means earlier leafing out, for my tree as well as my neighbor's much larger tree, then that means the McMansions behind my yard are blocked sooner, so I'll find a bright spot where I can.

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