Monday, April 5, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

Early each spring the garden is a mix of the old and the new: last year's spent stalks mixed with the fresh green emerging leaves.

Or in this particular case, last year's hay used as mulch for 'Blush Noisette'.

I spent this weekend finishing the garden clean-up at an almost feverish pace.

The cats have been faithful gardening companions. I'm outside with them and on the ground, I must be there to pet them, right? After getting her allotment of attention Prissy is content to lay nearby.

Here she is resting in the shade of some old Biden stalks as I was in the process of taking them down.

Here comes Tommy. He's a Maestro when it comes to getting as much attention as possible.

As you can see from all of the pulled weeds in the path, the chickweed and the grasses have taken off at an alarming rate. I leave the Lamium because the bees love it. The big perennial bed is a pasture of Lamium right now.

The temps have reached the mid to upper '80s here so it hasn't exactly been hot. The humidity is low and there has been a good breeze. The warmth is drawing out the flowers like crazy. A few days ago the redbud went from this

to this.

And like always, the bees are going nuts over the flowers! Carpenter bees, bumblebees, and honeybees are all over the tree in swarms.

Almost every spring I see a huge snapping turtle, usually going from our ditch to the neighbor's pond. This year I saw her(?) going from the woods to the ditch.

There are all of these wonderful shades of spring green.

The daffodils have held up well to the hot sun.

The daffs around this rose are supposed to be Thalia, but is it possible to be unhappy with these?

The serviceberries did blow out very quickly, but they never last that long anyway. I love them but it's so hard to get a decent picture!

Everything seems to be coming into bloom all at once.

More pictures to follow -- the blossoms on one of the apple trees is open, the crabapple down in the floodway field is full of buds, and we're getting to see the wisteria bloom this year.

After a two year hiatus, the chickadees are indeed using the nest box at the back of the big perennial bed. They were fussing at me the other night because they thought I was too close as I was working. Today they didn't seem to take any notice. I'm not sure if the female is incubating already or not.

By the way, these pictures were taken before The Yellow Haze descended two days ago. Today I was filling the water trough in the horse pasture and a huge cloud of pollen came billowing from the pine trees. It was such a ridiculous amount of pollen that it was actually funny. I'll have to post pictures of Prince's face. It looks like someone hit him with a big yellow powder puff.


  1. Your garden has just taken off blooming! I guess I can't complain about cleaning up my small yard knowing how much work you have to do there.
    How cool to see the turtle, looks like it's got mud all over it's back.

  2. Lovely pictures, have a nice day/Gela

  3. Love the snapper, it's like a piece of the Jurrasic period rose up out of the mud to visit your garden. We have a couple of monsters that still visit us at work. I hope you have a great week!

  4. Another early morning treat of a visit through your gardens. I can't wait to get outside to putter here today. I love everything that's in bloom at your place, and your feline helpers are sweet. It is really funny how cats get right in your space when you are pulling weeds and just have to be petted. It's like they are jealous of the weeds getting all the attention. :-)

    Looking forward to seeing more pictures from you and your wonderful gardens.


  5. Sweet bay, your yard is exploding! So much is going on and it's all lovely. Except that snapping turtle, she's just scary. As always, your pictures are wonderful. Can't wait for my redbuds to look like yours. (PS: my last post was for you, about my sweetbay magnolias! Thanks for visiting.)

  6. I've just been reading about the pollen haze; doesn't sound like fun.

    So much to comment on but I love that Redbud, oh and Snapping Turtle!!!

  7. Hello! I love all of your pictures. Your cats are beautiful! I can't believe the pictures that you took of the bee. They show so much detail. We are right there with you on the pollen situation. I had the windows open yesterday until I saw pollen clouds blowing through the air. I had to close them and turn on the air. I am hoping for some rain on Thursday to wash some of it away. Have a great week. Carla

  8. Sweetbay, Your photos are so delightful...I can't say exactly which is my favorite, okay, it's the ones with those perfect bees. How well you capture bees! Your garden looks beautiful and the kitties content...Isn't spring grand...gail

  9. Things are opening up quickly here, too. I can hardly keep up with seeing all the brand new flowers. We just finished with our "yellow cloud", and we couldn't be happier. Pollen can create such a mess without any rain to wash it away.

    Always Growing

  10. Love the photos of Prissy. What is that yellow flower, the first one under everything is coming into bloom at once? I know what it is intuitively but I forget its name. (That happens a lot in spring, LOL). I've been doing garden cleanup too and have a lot to go...

  11. Oh, those redbuds are so beautiful! And wonderful bee photos! Oh, and the snapping turtle...what a great garden guest. I just love your property!

  12. It is looking wonderful around your place. Great photos of the cats..and you can see the cloud of yellow around here too...!

  13. Lovely pictures! The yellow cloud descended here over the weekend - I'm looking forward to the showers that are forecast for the end of the week to wash it all away!

  14. Love that turtle! It looks like it just crawled out of the pond from hibernation. Too cool! Fantastic photos. I have that yellow celadine poppy and I truly love it. No blooming serviceberry here but it will be soon. You are so right, these temps are splendid and popping everything.

  15. There is so much life in your garden and I loved seeing it all in your photos....your cats, redbud, turtle and the bees. Spring is here!

  16. Such an amazing colour show you are preforming, all those lovely pictures of yours, I missed them and somehow it seems like you never had any winter nor snow. I liked your photo of mrs Turtle, but what on earth happend to her, she really need a bath in the pond now, her back was all covered in clay, wasn't it or was her back broken..
    Keep on enjoying spring and please, do promise to show us more photoes :)

  17. You have so much blooming. Love you muddy little turtle.

    I have the same problem photographing my service berry. The branches are so far apart it is impossible to get a picture of a nice clump.

    Allergy season is about to start for me. I'm allergic to everything from animals to pollen to dust.

  18. Thank you everyone for your comments.

    Mia snappers like to submerge themselves in mud. I have to wonder if like Tina said she has awakened for spring. She was fine, if a little slow, as turtles are. :) She always stops whenever she sees anyone. I don't get too close, as snapping turtles can be aggressive. They can actually run on their hind legs and have strong jaws. And yet, if you happen to set on a submerged turtle, I've read that they don't do anything. That's a good thing since I wade into the ditch to plant things from time to time. Anyway I think she spends the bulk of her time in the neighbor's pond.

  19. So cool to see the Snapping Turtle Sweet Bay. Reminds me of my childhood and finding them around my grandparents place (their property had a marsh on one side and a river on another). They definitely have strong jaws, I remember being terrified of them as a little girl!

    Your photos are captivating. I think you are the absolute best at bee shots. The macro of the bumblebee upside-down is superb. Your cats look so content "helping" you outside. I can just picture you scurrying around trying to get everything done now that it's getting so warm. That's a lot of scurrying too since your place is so big!
    Happy to hear the chickadees are nesting in your box. That is always so fun to watch. You have to be at least a month ahead of us?? No redbuds in bud here let alone bloom ~ I just saw a forsythia today (in bloom) but most things are still brown with maybe the teeniest hint of green? I guess I should take heart that it's perfect weather for daffodil blooms although yours do still look really good. Enjoy the bounty ~ you've got an abundance of it!
    ps I'll look forward to that picture of your horse. I can't imagine that much pollen. I think it would make me have allergies! (and I'm not usually affected too much)

  20. Sweetbay, your garden looks like one of Spring's favourite spots :-)

    I love that snapping turtle with her parcel of mud on her back - too cute!

  21. Wow, spring sure has sprung your way! It's trying to here, but the 70s don't seem to be sticking around much. It says 72 for Friday, and I hope that doesn't change, unless for the warmer.

    I love your blooms and bees photos!

  22. Your photos of the bees are magnificent, Sweet Bay! There is so much going on in your garden right now; I enjoyed seeing everything in bloom. And your garden companions are sweet as well--I have a couple, too, that like to act as garden supervisors here:) Hope you didn't get too close to that snapping turtle!

  23. I'm just crazy nuts about the snapping turtle photo. We have friends who live on a river and have dozens of snapping turtles that make their way from point A to point B. That won't happen for a while in our area, but when it does I hope to take Phillip to see them.

    What is the short flower stalk that Tommy has his nose close to?

    Your killing me here with all those redbud flowers...simply gorgeous.


  24. some great pictures. they do look beautiful. The bee photo was great

  25. You're way ahead of me in the out with the old department,lol. This weekend sounds like a better one for working so hopefully I'll get alot done. I'm jealous of your Redbud! Mine is just pitiful this year:(

  26. I've been working on mine at a feverish pace too. That reminds me. I need to go fertilize the daylilies for the best show. Sigh. I did the roses day before yesterday. Love your kitties. They look like wild cats on the prowl in their own savannah.~~Dee


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