Spring is in Here Somewhere

May 2, 2014 6 Comments

I was so proud of myself.  A couple of weeks ago, when it was actually hot, I managed to spend three hours in our yard cleaning up all the winter debris and cutting back some of the dead stuff.  That included cutting back the Butterfly Bushes.

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The rabbits “helped” me trim the miniature rose bush.

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The fern peonies were doing well

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even the ones I moved from Cosgrove to the front of our house last fall.

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They don’t look like much, but at least they are growing.  I was a little worried about them after the winter they just went through!

I had moved a bunch of Bill’s irises to a new spot.  I don’t know what kind they are, but they bloom early, they are short to middle-sized and they are dark purple.  I moved them kind of late last fall so I covered them with straw for a little extra protection for the winter.  I wasn’t sure they would make it, or they would get too wet, but they look pretty good.

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The tulip bed isn’t filling in as nicely as it did last year, but at least stuff is green!

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The front bed is starting to show signs of life, too.

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I also made sure the pots that spent the winter in the garage were at least draining with any rain.

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And, when we visited Dwayne’s mom a couple of weeks ago, we brought home a new pet…

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He doesn’t have a name yet and he has migrated to the backyard right now.

The first thing that shows up almost every single year is the first bleeding heart we planted.  It is in the smallest space we have, but it apparently loves it.  It will bloom all summer and into the fall.

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I walked around the yard on Wednesday to see how things are doing.  Here is the corner bleeding heart…

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It’s just a little bit bigger!

The others on the north side of the house don’t get as big, and they start later.  Some of these have white flowers, some have pink flowers with Chartreuse leaves.

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The pots are showing some signs of life, but the mums have yet to prove their hardiness.

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The sedum and older fern peonies are looking fantastic….

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The front fern peonies are getting bigger, too!

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The poppies have taken over a section

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We put some columbine around our red birch tree during the drought last year.  They don’t seem to have suffered too much.

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The rhubarb definitely likes their new home.

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On our “hill”, the phlox and penstemon are growing, and we have a tiny bit of life on the miniature rose bush.

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Sigrid, one of University of Minnesota developed roses, is starting to grow, too.

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We even have some sunflower seeds from last years’ plants that missed a bird’s gullet.

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and the boys have been enjoying the early spring crop of catnip.

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The bed of Bill’s irises is looking good, too….

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I see that I missed a few….

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The tulip bed is starting to fill in…

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The serviceberry is loving the cool and rainy weather, she’s ready to bloom.  I hope there are butterflies around to enjoy the flowers.

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The lilies are pushing up.

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The front bed is looking good, although the winter was rather hard on the creeping phlox and the Bird’s nest spruce

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I put in some new bulbs last fall and at least some of them have come up.

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The bigroot (perennial) geraniums and the coral bells are all coming back, but I think the dusty miller bit the dust.  They are supposed to be annuals here, but I had them come back three years in a row.

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The rabbits were kind enough to trim my new red twig dogwood but it seems to have liked the pruning.

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I look forward to seeing how big it gets this year.

Sorry for all the photos, but I figured I had better get them posted before I got busy with something else.  Again!

Dig it!


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  1. Paul Anhalt says:

    The rabbits seem to have pruned all mu bushes as well, except for my roses. They appear to have died at some point – I see no sign of life on either.

    • Eileen Loan says:

      Paul, my south roses are just starting to put out some growth so don’t give up on them, yet. The winter and the cool spring have not helped, but give them another week or so. The warmth we are aiming to get next week should help spur growth. If you have nothing after Memorial Day, go ahead and replace them. Good luck! -E

  2. Rebeca says:

    I am in awe of your fern leaf peonies! I have not had any luck with them.

    • Eileen Loan says:

      Rebeca, Thanks! I was worried when I planted them since everything I’ve read and heard is that they don’t transplant well. Our soil is pretty good. When I take some to my mom’s, I plan on making sure her mainly-clay soil is replaced by a bag of topsoil. I also always add bone meal and blood meal to the hole when we plant anything in the garden. Good luck! -E

  3. Jenni says:

    I was wondering if you could give me some help with my Hen and chicks. I have had to plant new ones every year because they seem to die off. I did buy a pot for them like the one that is shown in your pictures above but I just can’t seem to keep them alive. Can you give me some quick advise? Or maybe I just need to research them a little bit more.

    Thanks, Jenni

    • Eileen Loan says:

      Jenni, Do you protect them in the winter? If they are in a pot, they will need to be buried in mulch in a somewhat protected area of the yard, or wrapped and put in your garage or basement. I put them in my garage, and while they don’t always look the best when Spring rolls around, they usually do okay. Some of the other succulents don’t fare so well, but the hen and chicks don’t seem to mind being wrapped in a towel and blanket and shoved in a crate in front of where the truck parks. We try not to water them too much, but make sure they get half an inch to an inch of water a week. If we get a nice rain during the week, I don’t water the pots, although I will check them, especially if it gets as dry as last summer did. Keep trying! -E

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