Our gardens in March!

Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoMarch 11, 2009

Hi all,

With the cold weather most of us are having right now, this might not seem like the right time to start this, but itll be warm again in a few days, so here it is anyway!

IÂve had crocus blooming since the beginning of February this year. This was the first pic I took of the "snow crocus" on Feb. 6.

Feb. 25 when the purple ones started blooming

And some of my "real" crocus on March 3

Unfortunately this year they didnÂt last very long! They seemed to be "closing up" and taking care of themselves pretty well when it got COLD out, but I think it was the heat that did them in! IÂve had a whole bunch of days in the upper 60's and even into the low 70's, and theyÂre just not built for that! My one batch of snow crocus does seem to be having a second flush, so maybe the others will too.

I just posted a pic of my first couple daffs on another thread, but hereÂs the full story on them. I had never gotten around to cleaning up the cottonwood leaves next to my shed this year, and when I noticed on Feb. 6th that the daffodils were growing up thru the 8-10" layer of leaves, I decided I better get them out of there. This is what they looked like when I got the leaves cleaned up. All yellow!

And this is what they looked like on Feb. 24 when they had been out in the sun and had had time to green upÂand set bud! I cut the bud off when I took the pic!!! Oops!

And this was yesterday, a couple days after the first two flowers opened.

As I wrote on the other thread, they wound up with a couple inches of snow on them last nite and were all bent over this morning, but when the snow melted off, they promptly stood back upÂand look as good as before!

I donÂt remember exactly when, but sometime last November I posted a pic of my primroses that were still blooming! Well, believe it or not, theyÂve been blooming all winter! The foliage looks AWFUL, but they keep blooming! The first pic was taken on Feb. 6. Only the purple oneÂs been blooming all winter, and you can see that the buds and flowers are half whiteÂapparently because of the cold.

And this pic was taken yesterday too, March 9th. The yellow one is blooming now too, and the others have LOTS of buds coming along. The older buds/flowers on the purple one are still coming out half white, but the newer buds and flowers are all purple now. (I donÂt know why, but they always look bluer in the pics than they do in real life!) The foliage looks TERRIBLEÂor did I say that before! Hey, itÂs still winter! ;-)

Almost ALL of my perennials are up already, but theyÂre still pretty short and IÂm expecting/hoping theyÂll still be able to handle the cold. IÂm supposed to be down around 11 tonite. HereÂs one of my columbine, A. chrysantha thatÂs getting pretty big already. ItÂs been growing all winter, and itÂs been bitten a couple times by the cold, and if it happens again, oh, well, itÂll just start all over again. But itÂs looking really good, so I hope it makes it and keeps going!

HereÂs a view from one end of the main perennial bed. You can see all the patches of green where things are coming up. The only thing I havenÂt cut down yet is the Agastache, and I only left that up because I had to cut down my switch grass since it got smooshed this yearÂand I wanted something left that was still tall! But I REALLY need to cut it down SOON because the new growth is already several inches high and IÂm gonna have a real problem trying to cut out the old stems without damaging the new growth if I wait much longer.

I was absolutely delighted to discover a week or so ago that my Zauschneria made it ok! I got it at the Spring Swap last year, and if was a pretty small plant, and I was kind of wondering if it would make it or not. Now that itÂs made if the first winter, I wonÂt worry about it anymore!

And one final picture! Hehehehe!

Somewhere, some time ago in one of the threads I mentioned that I had discovered I was growing a worm farm under each of the remaining bags of leaves I had laying on my veggie garden area! Well, I can still hardly believe myself how many worms are under the bags, and I figured nobody else would believe it eitherÂso I took a picture! Actually, only some of the worms are in the pic, because as soon as you lift the bag up, most of them scoot quickly into their holes! So this is just the bigger, slower ones that couldnÂt get underground before I took the pic. I have 7 or 8 bags laying out thereÂand a maze of worms under each of them. Easiest way I ever found to improve my soil!

So now everybody else come tell us about, and show us, whatÂs going on in your March garden!

Happy (almost) spring,


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lattefairy(Zone 5, CO)

Beautiful pictures, Skybird!

Here in Northern Colorado, my crocus are just starting to peek and have no buds/flowers yet. Same for my daffodils and tulips. Just starting to peek through the mulch.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:42AM
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Dan Staley

Nice, Skybird. Certainly we are benefiting from the heat, but not the moisture.

We're about to have the first daffy pop, many are up. We haven't cleaned up the perennials yet, due to this colder period we're having now but will start soon. Most woody shrubs have swelling buds, my coldframe is getting close to being too hot, might put a row cover over it.

I just ordered a heavy-duty row cover (supposedly 24º) for early planting in the bed - target date April 15 - not sure when to start containers yet, but seeing as how there are people farther along than we are...


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:43AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Thanks for sharing the pictures, Skybird! Your garden is a bit ahead of mine, though I do have some daffodils starting to bud, but our high temps have only made it up to the mid-50's so far, so I'm not surprised.

Dan, I haven't cleaned up my perennials yet either. It's actually working in my favor with the deer though. They can't eat the new growth on the dianthus, because of all the dead stems poking up. They may have finished off the Heucheras though. Need to get that corner bed started in the backyard, and move them if they are going to have any chance of surviving.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 11:35AM
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david52 Zone 6

Do deer like Heucheras, or what?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 11:40AM
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Dan Staley

I don't think it is a bad thing, Bonnie, that the perennials have stems on them - that is a favorable microclimate to buffer any weather swings and to hold snow for insulation.

I'm trying to figger out whether we will have any more nights in the teens after this weather pattern moves on. Since I can't wager at this point, I'm leaving stems on until maybe end of March, but I have a Clematis j. against a stone pillar that has maybe 2" of growth on it, and that concerns me a bit.

Grasses are coming down this weekend, though, they'll endure whatever La Niña throws at them, except maybe this precipitation pattern. I might put out one container for potatoes if I'm feeling really lucky.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:24PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

LOL, David! You're a man of few words lately, but humorous as always!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:31PM
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Skybird, what on earth are you feeding those worms!? Wow, everything looks so nice in your yard.

I'm really not sure that I could take any photos yet. The zombies are slowly being revealed as the snow melts away, but then tiny bits of new snow cover them back up again! Some small signs of life such as the thymes, campanulas, veronicas, sedums, pansies and irises.

The bulbs in the beds, where the snow has left, have not come up yet, phew! The other bulbs are still under about a foot of snow pack.

But, while I was at the post office Monday, my neighbor told me that she was worried because some of her tulips have started out. And, sure enough, as I walked by her house she showed me the little green tops peeking out by about three inches.

And, to top it off, it snowed that night!! Honestly, I'm checking everyday to see if any bulbs pop out of my yard!

The other neighbors have daffy tops about two inches out now.

Sigh, maybe I should make sure I pick up ALL the dog stuff before I take any photos!!

I am very happy to see that my perennials I planted last year are showing signs of survival and return! Now, if the Lavandula angustifolia "munstead" comes back, that would be great!


Did I forget to mention that the weeds are starting to pop up?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 12:44AM
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david52 Zone 6

Last fall, for a host of reasons, I had to leave a thick mat of leaves on a fair amount of lawn and flower beds, and I was a bit concerned about smothering stuff. But it's kind of fun now to see the daffodils come ramming through an inch of sodden leafs, lifting up a huge tile of the stuff, and the leaves on the lawn are rapidly disintegrating as the grass is starting to turn green. 2/3 of the roses are whacked back.

I'm putting in a French drain down by the new veggie patch, which was just fine before I tilled it up last year and somehow disrupted the underground flow of water. I'm working on putting in two new smallish raised beds for permanent food items like tarragon and bunching onions, and another one for goose berries. This year, I can get down into my pond and scrape up that 100 yr old compost from the bottom, wheelbarrow it up, and fill the beds.

But today I have to go over to Durango and pick up the '52-mobile which has been at the dealership getting repaired after running over a small but very, very expensive rock on the highway a month ago. If you put a nickel-sized dent in the transmission case, it can short out the wire which fries the solenoids which fries the mother board which sets State Farm back about $4,000.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Thank you so much for posting pics. I have all kinds of stuff coming up but the only flowers are 2 Johnny Jump-ups that I have so far. I'm gonna take some pics today and post them. Oh it's so darn exciting. XOXO, Jilly Billy

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:27AM
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My driveway is sprouting a nice crop of weeds.


But my spring flowers are all several inches up. Crocuses have been blooming since early February. My pussy willow tree (I don't know the real name of it) is filled with pussy willows. My lilacs and other bushes, and my basswood and peach trees, are starting to leaf out.

I lopped down an overgrown rose bush about a month ago. I don't see any new growth. I hope I didn't screw that up.

I haven't started seeds yet. I have to see to that soon. It's just that my spare room is cold because of my lack of furnace, so I don't know how well the sprouts would do.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 4:11PM
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windwhipped(Z4 WY)

Well, my crocus are in a bag in the garage because they never got planted last fall. When will I learn not to be tempted by those end of the season sales! Daffys are up about an inch, which is good for here. We didn't have quite the warm spell that you did down in CO, but we had some days in the 50's that got everything going. I, too, have tulips coming up early, and the odd thing is I didn't even know I had them. Planted some in the raised bed a few years ago so I could have them for cut flowers and I thought for sure I had removed all the bulbs. Thought that last year, too, when they came up.

Snow-in-summer just starting to green in patches, sedums showing little green rosettes. It always surprises me that Autumn Joy is one of the first things to come back in spring. Lo Ho Silver irises showing about 2 inches of green; new TB's planted last year not showing anything, but I'll give them a little time before I panic.

Started my tomato and pepper seeds 2 days ago. Have to go out and get some WOW's and red mulch so that I can get the plants out a little early this year because, like an idiot who never learns, I am trying a full size 75-day tomato this year. It's Nepal from High Altitude Seeds. Know I shouldn't do it, but couldn't resist the description. What a sucker!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:57PM
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phloxy_mary(5 Lafayette)

After reading here all day Saturday and working in the gardens all day Sunday I had to quit cuz of a large hole in my hand. It's better now. So far I've started my compost box, pulled back the plastic on half the veggie bed, spead out paper and cardboard, covered with bark, pulled some weeds, cut back the honeysuckle and had a few beers. There are a few crocus and dafs coming up but nothing like what I saw above - nice! I think I have the "late-Spring blooming" version. :-) Oh, and I planted lettuce, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers in little peat pots. The lettuce (2 kinds) have sprouted already! So I really need to get busy digging out those raised beds! I'm very excited. Thanks to all of you -you are helping me with my motivation tremendously!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:04PM
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sister_k(Zone 5 Lafayette, CO)

Well, I don't have a yard, so here's some of my bulb containers as they've progressed.

I don't know if this is cheating, but these first two photos are plants that live inside now. The bulbs were coming up so fast in early February, I panicked & took them in to my office. On 2/27/09, these were "botanical mini tulips" that I got on sale at the end of the fall. They were supposed to be pink with a yellow center, but they were pure white with bright yellow center.

Here are these beautiful hyacinths "Pink Frosting Fondant" that I got online from Von Bourgoundian last fall. These were so beautiful and fragrant, what a joy to come into my office every day! This from 2/27/09:

Okay, these are some iris I planted last fall. Since then, I realize the package said they should be planted in spring. I also don't know if this is too small a container for these iris, I really didn't know what I was doing and it was before I had discovered Garden Web! There are three in there, they seem to be doing okay, a little brown on the edges, that may have been from the mulch, which I've since read is bad and I cleared it out. Well, I'm hoping they will turn out okay:

Here is one pot of mint. This one has Kentucky Colonel Spearmint, Chocolate Mint & Apple Mint. The other (just above) has a Peppermint, Spearmint & totally different looking Apple Mint:

I have two of these pots. I just love these white "snowbunting" crocuses. I don't know how these will turn out -- I saw all these horribly expensive combinations in one of the catalogs (White Flower Farm, maybe?) and read how many bulbs they stuffed in each pot. The pictures looked so beautiful, I decided to try it with my own bulbs! I now realize theirs were all probably properly chilled & timed for forcing indoors. Now, I sort of feel bad for crowding them so much... Anyway, I'll have to wait & see how/if everything grows and hopefully survives this cold spell:

This is a pretty big pot I got a Big Lots for $10. I think this has a whole bunch of different stuff in it, including my first lilies ever planted! This is on 2/28/09:

These are a bunch of bulbs that I experimented with by keeping them in the refrigerator for most of the winter. I planted them on January 31 in the garage, thought I'd give them a couple weeks to get roots before going outside. I didn't pay attention to them when all of the sudden, I realized they had just shot right up through the soil so fast. They are mostly tulips and hyacinths, I can't wait for them to bloom:

That's about it!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 12:30AM
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gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

March, still has our gardens nicely mulched with several inches of snow.I am enjoying it right now.Concentrating on getting the veges under lights getting ready for the hundred or so chicks that will be coming in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:50AM
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I watered a lot of my flowers and shrubs today. It's been so dry, I figured they needed it. Usually the ground gets soaked by layers of snow, but not this year. I sprinkled some granular fertilizer around the bulbs, but without water it won't melt and soak into the ground to help the bulbs flower.

I didn't plant garlic last year, but so far this spring I've found three volunteers. The bulbs I have near the back of the yard, iris and crocuses, have been mowed down by the squirrels. Grrr!! They're bold. They'll sit on my picnic table on my back porch, and even when I open the door and go outside, they still just sit there eyeing me, deciding whether they should bolt or not.

I saw some prices for Yukon Gold in a gardening catalog. 2# for 5.95. Not too bad. Maybe I can afford some potatoes this year.

I'm determined to prepare the ground by the fence for more vegetable planting. It's not a hobby this year. It's a necessity if I want to eat!

During the war they were Victory gardens. What did they call them during the Great Depression? (Or should I say the Last Depression?)

I may plant some lettuces in the flower bed in front. And I've heard it said that roses and carrots make good companions. Maybe I should plant some carrots among my rose bushes.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:01PM
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irisgirl(Z5 - CO)

Lilacs - Better to plant chives among your roses, they'll keep the aphids away! Then put the carrots in among your tomatoes w/ the basil and lettuces & spinach. Many crops from little room; yum. I have some beautiful Irises I would share w/ you if interested. (Chive seeds, too.) Email me if interested. Have you tried growing Iris in a container?

Back to the topic...have some 132 'mater sprouts, and about 60 more 'mater seeds planted along w/ maybe 60 pepper seeds, all these are IUL. Outdoors, WS beets & chard have sprouted. I direct sowed peas, mesclun mix, carrots and spinach in one raised bed the first week of March when it was warm but no sprouts yet due to the recent cold snap. Weird weather*!%$! grr.. Time to start beans & corn pretty soon but I'm running out of room already!

Today planted 2nd crop spinach to be an edging in front of the tulips (now all of 2" high)in the front yard. Will probly put carrots in among them soon. Daffies are budded out & the first one bloomed today. The little sand cherry has lots of little blooms on it already, about a month early like so much else this year. Columbine, peonies, coral bells all on the north side are just peeping up thru the mulch. Spring is springing!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 1:06AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Wow, Irisgirl, that is a lot of tomatoes! Last year, I did half of them indoors, and wintersowed the rest. This year, I'm taking a leap of faith and wintersowing all of them. The peppers are the only thing I'm starting indoors, which is a good thing considering the fact that they just about fill up the kitchen windowsill. The wintersown spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, and sweet marjoram are up, but no sign of the chard, beets, cauliflower, or peas yet. Peas are another one that I experimented with last year, direct sowed half, and wintersowed the other. Better and quicker germination on the wintersown ones, so I'm doing all of them that way this year. I haven't sown carrots or radishes yet, but I went to turn the soil a bit in the veggie garden, and found about a dozen carrots that I missed in the fall! Most of them were still good, had a purple one on my salad tonight as a matter of fact : ) Apparently, David, my deer aren't as smart as yours, LOL.

Oh, and I wintersowed a couple of new-to-me things today, one was a purple tomatillo, and the other is called Thai Red Roselle. It's a member of the hibiscus family, and it's used to make Red Zinger tea. I can't wait to try both of these, assuming I can find a place to grow them, LOL. I've already decided to get rid of a couple of mums to make a spot for some rhubarb. Gotta have your priorities ya' know.

Got to do my favorite thing today ... dig up more sod (for my new bed in the backyard). Hey, Skybird, you should have seen all of the earthworms under there!

Happy Almost Spring!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 1:59AM
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We have a ways to go before we are out from under snow here in Idahos Wood River Valley, but things are certainly melting out. Looks like the big storm hitting the Pac NW right now is mostly passing above us. We will probably get hit with it later as a matter of fact, just starting to see some flakes drifting down.

Well gladly take whatever comes our way. More snow good for xc skiing and snowboarding. Sunshine and warmer temps bye bye sno, hello grow.

Can anyone tell me how to post some pics? Newbie me needs help with that. tanks

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 1:38PM
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Irisgirl, thank you for the offer. I am definitely interested in the iris and chives. I might plant some chives around my broccoli, too. The aphids just smother them. I've never gotten a crop of broccoli for myself.

I saw my first robin today! Then later I saw a bunch of them. It was nice enough that I got out into the yard and did some work. I got some bricks and stones out of the way, then I hoed the area by the fence for some more vegetables and fruits. (Determined to try melons again.) Then I raked some leaves and put them into the compost bin.

I still have to start my indoor seeds. I peeked into the plant room, and it's a mess.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:01PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi eatsivy! I'm not the most computer savvy poster here, but here is how I do it. I upload my pictures from my computer to Photobucket, then I copy the HTML code, which is the third one down under each picture. There are other websites, such as Picasa, that will work too. If you did it right, you will be able to see the photo, when you hit the Preview Message button.

Hope this helps some.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Ivy,

Here's a link to the thread from 2 years ago where I got LOTS of friendly RMG help to post pics. Bonnie told you about Photobucket, and if you go further down in this thread, there are directions for how to do Picasa. I like Picasa because after you download your pics to the computer, you can edit them (with basic functions) before posting them. To post them with Picasa you download into Picasa, edit if you want to, and then transfer them to Picasa WebAlbums to post or send in emails.

If you decide on Picasa, I can help if you come up with questions. If you decide on Photobucket, I'm sure Bonnie or somebody else we come to help.

You might want to start a separate thread so more people will see it. Many might miss it here.

We'll be glad to see your pictures,

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:49PM
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sister_k(Zone 5 Lafayette, CO)

Hi all, I'm not sure if I should post this here or start a new thread? Irisgirl, I saw your comments above asking about iris in a container, and I just posted a question on the iris forum last night (link below) because I don't really know what I'm doing with those irises. Anyway, if irisgirl, or anyone has some advice for me on that, i'd be happy to hear it! Thanks so much!

What a beautiful weekend we had here, I got a lot done:

WSed a few more seeds
Cleaned & swept the balcony, driveway & walkway
Rearranged the pots
Tugged on all my bulb shoots to find any rotten ones (unfortunately, a lot of my crocus, all my chionodoxa, and a few tulips in smaller plastic pots that I've found so far turned to mush, I guess from too much freezing-thawing). Luckily, most things seem to be coming up okay so far.
Also, my friends who do a lot of property maintenance work just scored me three awesome 3-tiered plant stands that will work just great on my balcony!

Went up to Lyons & Estes Park today and saw two huge herds of elk grazing their way right through town and eating all these shrubs and trees around one house in particular! Just amazing.
Oh, and I bought more seeds and bulbs though I don't know if that should be considered an achievement, since I'm supposed to be on a moderate spending moratorium...

This week should be great, here's hoping I can get out of the office at a reasonable hour and enjoy the beautiful weather. I wish everyone the best of luck with their gardens!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 10:36PM
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laura_42(4b-5a Colorado)

Here are some pics of my little garden that I took today.

4x4' raised beds:

Garlic peeping out:

A hint of chives:

Autumn-sown carrots under ziplock bag experiment:

Autumn-sown carrots, indoor experiment:

Grotesque mystery plant: (Can you guess what it is?)

First winter sowing jugs with spinach and chard:

My garage "greenhouse":

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Is it too early to plant iris? I have a clump of iris and a spot to put them in.

Did a lot of raking today. My compost bins are full of leaves, and I'll have several bags more. I don't really want to leave it out for the trash. It's useful stuff, after all.

I have got to start some vegetable seeds! I've never left it this long. Usually I'm so eager that I start them early.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:53PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Sadly, my garden was covered with snow again this morning, but it seems to be quickly melting off. I never prune roses until the forsythia blooms, which it hasn't yet, and that's when I get going on the rest of my "spring cleanup". But I do have most of my seeds to start now, I just need the starting pellets I ordered! Hopefully they'll show up soon. And we bought clematis roots last weekend, which I need to do some reading up on.

Spring is coming...slowly, it seems...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:22AM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Only the weeds coming up here - somehow they're always a few weeks ahead of the plants I really want to grow. I spent the day watering perennials and pruning here and there. Cleaning up before the big sprint ahead. I hope to sow some salad greens and such in my earthboxes this week or next.

It's always hard this time of year. When it turns warm I want to start planting everything, but over the years I've learned that really never ends well.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:30PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Im absolutely, positively astounded by my perennials this year! Here are a couple pictures of the main bed I just took today. You cant see some of them, but almost everything is upincluding even the Crocosmia and the Panicum Heavy Metal switch grass! And even the HOSTA, when I push back the bark mulch, is starting to grow! Who ever heard of hosta coming up this early!!! I sure hope it has the good sense to stay below the mulch for another month and a half! I sure dont feel like having to run out there to cover it up if its gonna freeze! Im absolutely certain that all the perennials have made it this year, and the only thing Im not seeing yet are seedlings from the seeds I direct sowed here and there a few weeks ago.

Heres a few more pics of the dafs. I cant get enough of them, and I wish theyd start multiplying faster!

And even the blue and yellow hyacinthson the sunny sideare already in full bloom! The pink ones are always later! Totally unexpected by me, the hyacinths are multiplying WAY fast!

And last week I got the Agastache cut down that I was talking about in the original post. It took an hour, and I didnt do TOO much damage to the new growth! Here are before and after pics!

Happy, happy, happy (almost) spring!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:57PM
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terryincs(z5 IL)

Well, it is officially Spring, so bring it on! Spent the past 2 days in 70+ degrees cleaning the perennial beds and raking. My tulips are about 8" tall and a few crocuses that were left are blooming. One migrated from the front to the back yard... not sure how that happened. Re-edged the flower beds and it looks like I will have to MOW in about 3 weeks! Need to get a new electric lawn mower. If anyone sees any sales, please let me know. I am finally "retiring" my 8 year old used electric after the front wheels broke off and the blade gave up and has been sharpened as much as it can be. Don't want to tear the grass.

I see some of the crabapples are blooming already around town. We have a LOT of crabs in Colorado Springs. I have 2 in my yard. They are gorgeous when the weather allows the blooms to stay. We may be looking at a storm next week.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Terry Incs,

I know exactly how your crocus bulb went from the front to the back!!

No, it is not some bird, which might be the obvious answer.

It was one of my dogs!! Yes, I'm sure one of them slipped out the fence, wandered to your garden, dug up a bulb, played with it for a while then carried it off until it was bored with it and left it where ever.

Yes, that must be what happened!

I find little bulbs here and there, tiny roots splayed and drying out.

I caught one of them in the act but she ran off with the very expensive tulip bulb and I have no idea where it is now.

Luckily, most of the tulip bulbs were under snow or behind the tiny garden wire fence.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 2:11PM
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terryincs(z5 IL)

That is so funny. My dog ignores most anything, in fact he won't walk on the grass unless absolutely necessary or to do his business. He walks the paths all around the yard, even when going after a squirrel. He leaves all my plants alone except where he wants to dig a hollow to lie in under the lilac bush.

I'm thinking it might have been a squirrel but still scratchin my head.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:58PM
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Dan Staley

Very nice to see the microclimates being taken advantage of, skybird.

Our daffies on southerly exposures are all blooming, westerly just starting, northerly on mounds another week or so, very fast offsets this year. I have a Clematis j. trained on a southerly masonry column with about 8" of new growth, and most of the shrubs have bud break and some tiny leaves, just in time for the cold nights upcoming. I put some grass trimmings over a few perennials just to be on the safe side, but next week the cool season veggies are a-goin' in as I'm goin' away for parts of almost two weeks and I'll miss them popping.

I'm not sure I share Terry's joy at the prospect of mowing ;o) but we're looking at the growth as well...grrrr.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:57AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

LOL, Dan! My backyard is so small that the whole thing is its own little "micro" climate! But that main bed across the back fence is far enough away from the 2-story house that it's in sun all winter, so it does stay pretty warm! But I would gladly trade my "warm" backyard for MORE SPACE! There are plenty of ways to "build" your own microclimates when you need them!

Most of my perennials are on their own! I figure if they've got the guts to come up already, they'll just have to deal with what they've gotten themselves into! But a couple days ago it did push back the bark to look and discovered that even my balloon flower is coming up already! That one, like the hosta if they get above the mulch, I think would freeze, so I went back out to look today, and when I saw little bits of green at the surface of the mulch, I pushed a little bit more on top to cover them up better.

Some of my neighbor's trees are starting to leaf out, and in a couple weeks, if we get a snow storm, there's gonna be some major breakage! Not that there's anything you can do to keep the trees from leafing out!

Have a good trip, wherever you're going,

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:31AM
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Dan Staley

Normally, skybird, they are on their own, but the abnormally warm weather means I want a little room for their 'error' this year. I'm headed to Dallas to speak at a conference, then to Eastern WA to help finish a buddy's greenhouse and garden design, and the better half wants to get away for a weekend, so back and forth for almost three weeks with a few days home to putter outside.

The leafing-out trees is an interesting point, as the better half plants thousands of trees around here each year. There are almost zero native trees in the Great Plains away from water courses - so every tree we see struggles to acclimate itself to the Front Range. This requires us to choose carefully as it is virtually guaranteed the weather around here will throw our urban canopy a curveball.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:24AM
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laura_42(4b-5a Colorado)

Lovely daffs, Skybird! I really need to plant some of those this fall.

Dan -- how do you keep your grass trimmings from blowing away? Would bird netting work? I'm using leaves at the moment, because the grass clippings from the reel mower are so fine that I leave them on the lawn.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Dan Staley


I have woody shrub prunings, and I lay them across the grass, poking the cut end into the soil. The Salvia pitcherii and Perovskia atriplicifolia work really well for this purpose, as does Helianthus max. We'll see, but high teens-lo 20s shouldn't be fatal to most perennials, the Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue' in the really warm sheltered spot might be an issue...


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:50PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Dan, didn't you say somewhere that you're using ORNAMENTAL grass trimmings to cover things, rather than lawn grass clippings?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:07PM
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Dan Staley

I did.

A pile of clippings should work also, held down as described above but likely not as as well.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Here's one of our sad Heuchera with an equally sad hyacinth:

But then if you just turn around on the left you'll have a bunch of darling tulips getting ready to announce themselves:

and on the right are irises, which look like onions right now but they'll be coming around:

Where the boxwoods now are I'd had daphnes, but they were never happy so the helpful man at the nursery and I decided to just go with the boxwoods. The green mounds in back are hollyhocks -- love them! One didn't make it, but the rest look pretty happy which makes me look pretty happy as well! At the base of the (aspen) tree dead ahead are the sad heuchera.

A teeny fraction of our daffodils -- aren't they just the happiest flower?

I've a few hundred of them strewn across the front of the yard, bordering the sidewalk. Planting them I think I used many, many swear words -- it was so frustrating in this soil! But now that I look at that them I think "Totally worth it!" Hopefully I can remember that when it's planting time in the fall .... The fluffy brown in between them are the ice plants, two junipers (hated junipers when I lived in CA but now I'm grateful for their evergreen nature) and a hole where a third juniper was but a wind blew away. The leggy twiggy brown on the right is a rose.

I think grape hyacinths are so darn cute!

But I think I made a mistake in where I planted them -- should've been right next to the walkway, where the disappointing heuchera and hyacinths are! (although in all fairness to the hyacinths, they did beautifully last year and I suspect if not for our crazy weather they might've been "better" this year) There are columbines in there as well -- what a pretty flower.

Because the tulips I'd planted our first autumn here (first photo) did so well and were so beautiful, I thought I'd plant more. I'm glad I did, and seeing them get ready makes me want to plant even more!

And today, as I went out in that biting wind to take these pictures (Li'l Bit's [my two year-old] napping and El Guapo [my four year-old] is seriously involved with his Lego project) I couldn't believe it -- there was a lone red tulip! El Guapo's been complaining yet here one is!

I've always loved peonies. Always. I planted three in our front yard but I believe two of them (in a different section) didn't make it. I'm sad. But, when I was out front on Saturday (four days ago) there was the teeniest green nubbin poking its way through the mulch and today it is three inches high! How insane is that? So I'll cross my fingers but not hold my breath about the other two .... There was a horrible wind last summer which ripped the other two peonies and my across-the-street neighbor's large peony got wiped out as well.

I didn't take any pictures of the backyard, but the blue mists I planted are all showing their sweet microscopic green leaves. There's one h-u-g-e blue mist in the backyard which we inherited, and it clearly was never cut back. I know you're supposed to cut them back in the spring but it's so big it makes it a bit difficult to tell what's coming to life and what's twiggy and / or dead. So I think I'll wait until it's "back" and then cut out the twiggy / dead parts. After I see what it's doing I'll undoubtedly come back to ask how to get it back in fighting form.

Isn't it so fun to see the green poking its way through to show us spring is on its way? I love it!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 6:08PM
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All three of my peonies are poking up, and a lot of my bulbs look almost ready to bloom. The freeze killed my almost-ready-to-bloom bleeding heart and lilac buds.

I hadn't gotten around to starting any seeds yet. Very late this year. Kind of a good thing I hadn't, though, since I have to be out of town for a week. Unfortunately, my mom passed away last Saturday, and I have to go back to Illinois for the funeral. :-(

I hope when I come back, I'll have some bright blooms to cheer me a little. I'll miss my cats. Sunday morning, I woke up to the sound of very loud purring. I had been sleeping on my back, and my big, grey Maine Coon had curled up on my shoulder, pressed up against my head, and was purring for all he was worth. He's never done that before. He tends, in fact, to be a bit persnickity. People think that cats are uncaring, but I think they know when their people aren't feeling well, and I think they want to do something about it. I remember when my 19 year old cat was dying. His buddy cat lay down next to him, put his paws around him, and purred and groomed him.

To get back on topic, I pruned my peach tree about a month ago. Mainly I cut some of the branches that were pointing straight downward. They'd develop peaches. Then the peaches would sit on the ground and spoil before I could get to them. And I bought some more lily-of-the-valley pips today. I know a lot of people think they're invasive, but I can't seem to get them to grow.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 4:04AM
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I really am a thread killer!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:02PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Nah, everyone's moved over to the April thread :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 2:09PM
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