Thursday, May 09, 2013

Spring Clean Up

The spring clean up is nearly done. Shrubs are pruned and dead leaves are pulled out of flower beds.  The roses showed absolutely no winter-kill this year, likely because the snow cover was quite generous.  I pruned them only for shape and size.  The spring bulbs are up, and I inevitably squashed a few while tromping around out there.  Now that things are cleaned up and I can finally see the stepping stones, the rest of the bulb shoots should be safe!  I can see greens of the tulips, daffodils, species tulips, alliums, pushkinia and grape hyacinths.  The other early spring bulbs are blooming, with large flowered crocuses done already and scillla, chionodoxa, and the tiny spring irises blooming now.  I've found that the bulbs here all do best in the sunniest spots available.  Bulbs planted in shady areas never get around to blooming until it is too late in the season and seem to bloom very poorly, maybe because of the warm temperatures.
Chionodoxa is blooming in a sunny spot

Spring clean up around here seems to be best done in the first week of May, which is before anything produces much new growth.  I noticed some grubs and some little brown pellet-things in the crowns of the siberian irises.  I'm not sure of the significance of those, but the evidence will be in this year's growth.   
Alpine bed, with a healthy dwarf mugo pine
Iris danfordiae, a tiny yellow reticulated iris just starting to bloom
Scilla sibirica
Rhubarb just emerging from the ground
Kona, the northern doggy, lounging on the deck
Otherwise in the garden, I should be putting in annual seeds as soon as possible.  I see that the self-seeded annual corn poppies are already up.  I'll have to thin those out quite dramatically.  I also want to add a few other flowers to the mix, including some Nigella, bachelor's buttons, dwarf cosmos, and some sunflowers.  I also received some gladioli bulbs in the mail last week, but really don't know when to plant those.  I think I'll soon put them in a pot in the garage, for lack of any other ideas. 

Kona got a very early morning walk today, and thoroughly enjoyed sniffing all trees, bunches of grass, poles, and tires.  She ate a rabbit that entered her fenced yard last month, and I'm sure she's looking forward to more tasty wildlife this summer.  Huskies and malamutes (she is a cross) are breeds known for high prey drive, and are very distracted by potential food running across their path (i.e. biking with her can be precarious).  Despite this, she's pretty mellow, mostly ignores other barking dogs, and tolerates a very affectionate 3 year old.       

1 comment:

Northern Shade said...

It's such a fun time of year to go out everyday and see what is popping up in the garden, with bulbs appearing everyday. I especially love Chionodoxa and Scilla, with that pretty blue colour and great hardiness.