Over the winter (and what's blooming!)

cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)March 14, 2005

Hi All!

Well, the dogs managed to get into my nursery and kill/break off 9 or 10 Japanese Maples I'd purchased. Right at their graft points, too. A bunch of small Dynamite Crape Myrtles are broken off at the ground, several different plants that were peeking out of the ground were smashed to death, my small nandina sprouts were stomped, labels and pots ripped out of the ground and tossed about.

Actually, on one bed, I'm not sure it was the dogs because my cat was also mauled and my dogs didn't have scratches. Bentley is recovered nicely, thank GOD, and I've double locked and tied my dogs in and my cats still don't go outside without me. What a nightmare the first and only time they've gotten out!

I tried overwintering some plants inside. Pauley (another cat) had daily salad, Lucy (another cat) threw up in one -- hairballs, you know -- Tosha (another cat) nestles in the ficus pots, and the dryness I think killed everything but the latter and a hibicus. Woe for my beautiful coleus I tried to bring in, but at least I tried.

On a brighter note, my Helleborus are both blooming. A lovely greenish color and another a deep purple. I am thrilled! Day lilies, tulips and daffodils are sprouting out of the ground, my sedums are making their little rosettes and today I'm putting out my seeds. Oh, sure, I should have had them out before, but better late than never! :)

I'm looking forward to the swap and seeing you all!

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- Oh, so sorry to hear! Bad as an infestation of deer + woodchucks combined, it sounds like. Let me know if there's anything in my gardens you can use some of to fill in. And you are always welcome to all the horse apples you care to shovel. (Can i double their tax deduction value if i call them "horse truffles?")

- i think your cats and Ivan the Indoor Jungle Cat have formed a secret pact. Ivan has killed off about a quarter of the hundred or so plants i've been trying to over winter. Well, as long as the CAT is happy, that's what counts. i mean, he is the cetner of his universe, right?

- and i thought philodendron were foolproof.

- Happily, he hasn't killed off the last one of anything, so if they do well during their sumemr vacation on the verandah, perhaps i can re-stock enough pots for next winter to keep him amused.

- Nice to hear about your helleborus doing well. i got a couple pot's worth in trade in the fall, a week too late to put in the ground,a nd Ivan has killed all but one of them. So, i don't know if i'll have any to plant in the spring or not.

- The first hundred daffydillies are up and blooming!

- Christine, thanks for the deadnettle. It's one of the very few plants that are actually up and growing now that isn't a weed!

- Spring is coming! Spring is coming!
- happy gardening,

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 4:05PM
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Laurel7286(3b Wyoming)

Hi Christine,
Sounds like wildlife to me, very possibly raccoons. They will destroy and pull things up just for spite. If they get caught in an enclosure, forget how they got in, they can do incredible damage.
Remember, we have a lunch/shopping date this spring ;-0

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 6:15PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Thanks, Vlad. :) I'm glad to hear the dead nettle is lively. It's encouraging when we're in such an inbetween stage, isn't it?

Philodendren isn't cat proof, but it is poisonous if I'm not mistaken. Don't let him chew!

Laurel, the plant stomping was definitely the dogs. The cat attacking, I'm not certain. The feral-turned-domestic cat nexgt door's spine was snapped and we had to put her down. My own Bentley was mauled, but I think thanks to his magnificent claws, managed to escape. I'm fairly certain whatever got him, got him in my "nursery" where he was trying to get under the porch. That would explain the demise of 6 nandina sprouts, 6 Japanese Maple grafts, a Kentucky Coffee Tree, and 3 more saplings I had there.

Would a raccoon attack a 20 pound cat? And if it does during the day, it would probably be rabid, I'm afraid. The autopsey on the neighbor's kitty showed negative, though, thank God.

What a nightmare. I cried over my gardens, though. I'm frustrated about the labels being ripped out, too. I try to be careful about that for trades!

Yes, we have a lunch/shopping date! Your schedule is tougher than mine, so when it's warmer, you decide and off we'll go!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 8:20PM
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treehouse(z7 MD USA)

I've got 3 Christmas cactus blooming again.

What a nightmare with the destruction. I hope you can figure things out.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 5:40PM
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oogy4plants(6B MD)


Sorry about your trees.

I learned this winter that cats really enjoy eating the leaves off pepper plants. I finally put up a barrier to stop them, and I think 4 plants have made it through.

I also learned that with more than 1 cat, I am never absolutely certain which cat made the mess unless I see it with my own eyes.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 3:08PM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

Sorry to hear about your troubles!

Having a real good year with my helleborus, started out with 3 blooms, looks like it's now close to 10 blooms. Also, lungwort is putting on some nice flowers....daffs are about 50% up now, along with the other early spring bulbs. This has been the slowest spring to arrive in a very long time. Suz

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 7:49PM
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Hmm, what's blooming...the daffs are almost there, and my crocis are up and lookin' good! Chickweed's thriving too! :)- I notice my peonies are starting to show and now that Flanders the Flibber-de-gibbet has been banished from the front yard due her fence-jumping skills till the end of time or until pigs sing--which ever comes first--they might actually have a chance!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 12:01PM
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My very first camelia has pretty pink buds, I expect bloom very soon!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 12:53PM
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My King Alfred daffs have started to bloom, and also the hyacinths. The crocus' have been blooming for the last couple of weeks, and my angelique tulips are still establishing their leaves.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 1:00AM
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juliat(z7 VA)

What a bummer about your maples -- heartbreaking!!

Suz - I don't know why, but my lungworts NEVER bloom. They're in partial shade and get reasonable water, so who knows. Maybe too much competition from tree roots. I'll try fertilizer and see what happens.

However, the bulbs are putting on a pretty show. I experimented as usual last fall, and here's what's looking good:

chionodoxa - pink in one bed and blue in another -- pretty, lots of blooms, not troubled by squirrels or voles, and they are proving to be very long-lasting.

tulip turkestanica -- suddenly came up and bloomed, all in one day it seemed, and still going strong. Small, white/yellow blooms close at night and on cloudy days, but fortunately the plant form is graceful even when the blooms are closed.

ipheion "Rolf Fiedler" -- a few pretty blue flowers; nothing spectacular but the star shape is pleasing.

My crocus came and went fast -- squirrels and voles love them too much.

No daffodil blooms yet, but the neighbors' early ones are up, so I expect mine will pop soon.

Sedums are looking pretty. They get more sun this time of year, before the sage and caryopteris fill out and take over that part of the bed.

Foliage plants are still important, this time of year. I'd like to get more heucheras and try some new sedums... my lot is too shady for cannas .... Merrifield's heucheras -- Raspberry Ice, which is what I bought from them a few years back -- never look as good as that original one, so I keep putting it off.. and my original has never grown big enough to divide. I've got to move it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 10:51PM
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