Monday, April 13, 2015

A Wild Turkey Sighting, Daffodils and Violets

Look at what DH saw when he looked out the window on Easter Sunday afternoon!

He called downstairs to tell me there was a turkey in front of the garden, and we managed to get the window open and the screen removed without scaring her off. I think the noise of the camera made her a little nervous though; soon she headed across the driveway

and into the neighbor's pasture.

The redbud was at its peak Easter weekend. As you can see I still have a lot of clearing from last year to do!

I like how the redbud looks with the nearby red maple, nicknamed the
apricot maple due to the color of its spring flowers and fall leaves.

This has been the best year so far for daffodils.

DH's grandmother's daffodils finished up in early April

On March 28th

and then Quail, Curlew , and Thalia took over the show.


There is still plenty of space for more daffodil bulbs so I have been dividing them as they finish blooming.

'Thalia' has a unique sort of grace. I love the way it nods. To me the blooms smell like vanilla.

Curlew (the little white daffodil with the custard yellow cup) is also very sweet.

This time of year weeds are as important to the bees as garden flowers. This is the year of the field pansy. I don't recall ever seeing so many. They covered the neighbors' lawns.

Many are white

but I found some growing near the front yard that are pink and lavender, the loveliest of all.

Thanks to a couple of wet years blue violets have formed a nice carpet in several of the garden beds. I know some people regard them as weeds, but they are native and I desperately need a ground cover that can handle moisture and part shade. Besides, they are purple and I have always wanted violets in my garden.
Incidentally, blue violets were not growing wild on the farm when we moved here. Instead, there were 3 other species. One, the early blue violet, which looks much like a unicolor bird's foot violet. Two, what I believe is a marsh violet, with smaller leaves and flowers than the blue violet. It's very floriferous and typically grows in wet places.

The flowers range from blue to lavender. Three, a lilliputian
white violet, which I think is a bog white violet.

My quest to get lamium growing somewhere other than in the garden is succeeding! Now it's growing all over the front yard. This is a bee *favorite*. Once the clover starts blooming that will be a bee favorite too.

The bee looks like she is saying that this lamium is the best thing ever.
I predict there will be arguments with DH about when to move the lawn. lol

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring has arrived

Spring arrived a couple of weeks ago. The pastures started to green
up and Bradford pears and daffodils started blooming everywhere.

I don't have any Bradford pears, but it seems like everyone else does. Actually that's not true. Now that other cultivars have been released that are compatible with Bradford Pears, those trees produce a lot of fruit. I can't tell you how many pear seedlings I have seen pop up on my farm in recent years.

Here on the farm redbuds and daffodils are the first harbingers of
spring. All this past week the redbuds were getting more purple every day.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus, also known as Lent lily, is the earliest daffodil to bloom here.

The daffodils are shining, even through the detritus of last year's garden.

I was inspired to do some clearing. The birds are still using the old stuff for cover but many of them -- the song sparrows, the white-throated sparrows, the juncos, the hermit thrushes -- will be moving on soon and there's still plenty of cover elsewhere.

The daffodils in the front are 'Trevinthian', a fragrant jonquil that blooms for a very long time.

The daffodils in the back are from DH's grandmother's garden.

'Trevinthian' by the front sidewalk

A tiny little 'Tete a Tete' daffodil

and crocus in the old back yard.

The only way I can grow crocus is in sunken pots mulched with gravel.
Still, they were eaten by deer as they were starting to fade.

Spring starflower (Ipheion uniflorum). So far these are mostly blooming at the edges of the beds now; it's nearly impossible to not pull the short slender leaves while pulling chickweed.

Blue speedwell

The serviceberry that was covered in flowers last year doesn't have nearly as many flowers this year.

Unfortunately we're expecting a low in the mid 20s tonight. I hope the wisteria buds will be spared. We didn't get to see it bloom last year because a) I had cut it back too far the previous summer and b) it would have been frozen anyway even if I hadn't done that.

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