Tag Archives: flowers

Simple Garden Moments

It finally feels like summer to me.  The kids have all returned from various camps and grandparent visits.  Our evenings have opened up somewhat and I am not dashing here or there to sit and wait at practices, rehearsals or lessons as often.

The good news about this is that I have more time to be outside working and enjoying our farm and the simple pleasures of gardening.  Moments like these, for example, when you are digging around in the flower bed and look over and see a beautiful butterfly enjoying your plants.

The bad news is that I usually write my posts while I am sitting at practices, lessons, rehearsals, etc., so I have less time now to blog about all the stuff we are doing around here!  Summer is short, however, and things will be back to the usual high-speed chaos before you know it.   In the meantime, I will continue to do my best to steal a few moments to provide updates…maybe on rainy days when I am forced indoors.  🙂

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Punishing Minnesota Heat???

It seems like just yesterday that I was lamenting about the frigid May temperatures we were experiencing here in Minnesota.  Actually, it was only two short weeks ago when we woke up to snow one morning and frost the next.  Scenes like this in May are disheartening for anyone, but especially for a gardener.

My perennial gardens endured these frigid temperatures, however, and bounced back quickly.

This past week we have seen much warmer temperatures and starting yesterday, the humidity rolled in too.  Today, just two weeks after temperatures in the high 20’s, it is in the mid-90’s with a dew point of 64.  The air is thick and oppressive.  The National Weather Service has even issued an “excessive heat” warning.  Bottom line is that it is damn hot and miserable.

Instead of snow and freezing temperatures, my perennial gardens must now suffer under this punishing Minnesota heat.  The same Autumn Joy Seedum plants pictures above with snow look like this today.

They are wilted and look pathetic, as do the Shasta Daisies. Continue reading

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Mixed Feelings on the Signs of Spring

March has been unseasonably warm so far this year (although it sounds as though temperatures are expected to return to normal by the weekend).  With temperatures sneaking into the 60’s several days already, the snow has completely melted and signs of spring are everywhere.  Generally speaking, I welcome the signs of spring.  It means that soon I will be back in my flower and vegetable gardens.

Over the weekend I found this little gem in the flower garden in front of the house.  It was such a sweet surprise and reminder of spring.  This lone violet was the first sign of life in my perennial garden.

The last few warm days have brought other perennials out from their winter sleep.  Seedum and Ajuga intertwine here.

A volunteer Lamium plant also has greened up under the shrubs by the house.

Even the vegetable garden is showing signs of life.  The rhubarb plants broke through the ground in the last few days.  I think their appearance is premature and I’m a little worried about how they will fare when the cold weather returns this weekend.  They are tough plants though and will likely recover quickly from any setbacks.

Along with the lovely perennial plants and vegetables, some unwelcome signs of spring have also appeared.  DANDELIONS are already popping up all over.  This Stella de’Oro daylilly is fighting for space with this huge dandelion.

Dandelions and grass have also showed up among my peonies.  I am not opposed to using herbicides on these rogue weeds and hope to eliminate them before the flower plants get much bigger.  It is time to get out the Roundup and blast these pesky weeds.  I need to wait for a calm day, however, so I don’t kill my flowers.

And this weed…it is all over in my bed of peonies and I’m not sure what it is.  It used to grow in abundance in the cow pastures when I was growing up, but I don’t know the technical name.  Any ideas?  It also needs to go.

Spring time also brings a reminder that we have a dog.  Our dear Sofie, that we enjoy in so many ways, definitely manages to leave her mark from her quick trips outside the house during the cold winter months.

In contrast to the healthy green lawn that she graces above, is the spotted lawn that appears every spring.  This spring is no different, and we will need to re-seed these areas.

The weeds popping up all over and the dead spots in the lawn are the frustrating signs of spring.  But my excitement over the perennial flowers and vegetables that are appearing easily outweighs these irritations.  I am ready to get in the dirt and start gardening.  Unfortunately, it is only March!

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A Rainy January Day…

Every Saturday I make a trip into the big city to take our daughter to rehearsal for the youth symphony.  This weekend she also has a piano theory exam to take at a local college.  I’m waiting for her now.  I spend a lot of time driving and waiting for my kids at various activities these days.  It’s one of the reasons I decided to start blogging.  Recording aspects of our country life provides me with an outlet while I wait at practices, rehearsals and lessons in my crazy and chaotic modern life.

Today is a dreary and rainy winter day in Minnesota and it definitely doesn’t feel like January.  Instead, it feels more like April with its snow-melting spring rains and I’m daydreaming about spring and my gardens. I’ve started noticing the gardening magazines in the grocery store check-out line.  Although they call out to me as I stand in line, I have resisted purchasing any so far.  The seed catalogs have also started to arrive in the mail and I peruse them with grand ideas of all the different vegetable varieties I am going to try this year.

My real gardening passion is flowers.  As each growing season comes to an end, I contemplate all the things that I will grow “next year” in my flower gardens.  On this rainy day, looking at random pictures of my flowers cheers me up and inspires me for the upcoming growing season….even if it is months away.

William Baffin climbing rose and Jackmanii Clematis

Zinnias and Bachelor Buttons

Hollyhock

Johnson's Blue Geranium

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