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April 2012


Well here I am complaining about the weather again!
We’ve had a very strange month…it was very sunny at the beginning of the month with arctic high pressure centres making it look lovely but along with the sunshine was a very piercing cold wind.
As I commented in my March blog, we had a very early dose of warmth and it fooled everything and everyone into thinking that spring was here. Not so! The cold dry wind of the sunny early April days has dried the forest floor and the spring wildflowers are very slow to emerge. In these last weeks of the month the precipitation arrived in the form of sleet, snow and a very cold rain, and the intrepid little buds are poking their noses out. It is closer to normal than what we had in March and the flowers are slowly appearing and the buds that swelled and broke during the heatwave tremble and shiver under a cap of snow or a glace of freezing rain. But spring is here…because the tilt of the earth says so…and the sap has risen and new life is once again turning the gray world green. How wonderful.
I was spoiled and confused by the early warmth just like the vegetation. I have had to remind myself that it’s not a bad as I feel it to be. If I wanted to, I could plant the meadow and fill up the greenhouse with flats, but I’ve decided that I’ll stick to the “normal” time schedule and not start too many things until such time as I don’t have to worry about losing it to a frost…or spend a fortune heating the greenhouse.
On the second of April I planted a flat of perennial seeds (a gift). Of all the seeds only the Lemon Yellow Hollyhocks have germinated. This was an experiment because I have only a small ceramic heater to keep things warm should winter return. Glad I was cautious because it’s one thing to look after only one flat of seedlings …not the whole greenhouse full! The last two days the heater has been running full time.

Everything is shivering. Even the early season crocus and tulips…I was able to slip out between showers and take some shots of the iris which I’ve had under fleece.

The tiny violas are amazing in their resistance to cold. This little plant (probably a seedling from last summer) is blooming under the fleece. The Iris looks a little like it’s been confined but once I can trust the night temps I’ll remove the fleece and it will blossom quite early this year given the head start.

After the first stages of plot digging the used of polyfilm and fleece sped the early spring thaw and warmed the soil. The amendments will be added when I’ve managed to raise the soil temp to 60 degrees or better…Might take a long time otherwise.
If nothing else the polyfilm stops the piercing wind from chilling the potted perennials which are just emerging from dormancy.
Spade work along the stream has unearthed many large rocks which have been put to work as the foundation for two waterfalls. I have plans to enlarge the area immediately behind the waterfalls into small catch basins. The soil is mostly sand and drains very quickly. There is no mucky clay to nourish the water plants so have had to look for bagged waterplant soil. It’s expensive and heavy… I’m buying load after load of “topsoil” to amend all the flower beds and it’s beginning to look like the most economical way to have the plants in the soil they like is to keep everything in pots for the first few seasons… It’s a long term plan…well with this garden just about everything is!!!
Starting to re-think the five year plan!

More blog posts by lorilyn57

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An interesting blog Lori , I imagine like us you will be pleased to feel the warm sunshine on your face again , your Iris's are looking healthy ! are the yellow Hollyhock seeds the ones I sent you that reminded you of your mothers garden ? mine are beginning to show as well !
We have been on a hose pipe ban due to not having had hardly any rain for months an exception this week it has been pouring down ,the garden is greatly relieved and has been soaking it up ,the plants are already looking better and growing each day ....

26 Apr, 2012


Yes Amy...the HH are the lemon yellow ones you sent me! I'm just thrilled. I always wonder when sending seeds abroad if they are subjected to x-rays or other detrimental factors.... like the freezing cold cargo compartments of jetplanes. But I'm happy to say that the Hollyhocks are germinating...wooo hooo! Thank you so much!!!

26 Apr, 2012


You certainly have your work cut out for you there! But, like here - despite two weeks of solid rain - everything is coming along now.
That is going to be a very interesting garden, Lori, with the stream and the rockery and the waterfall etc. I look forward to seeing it, come the warmer weather, when I'm sure it will begin to reward you handsomely for all your care and hard work.

26 Apr, 2012


Such a dedicated gardener, all will be well worth the effort ( & anxt ;-)
Looking forward to seeing the yellow hollyhocks in flower Lori.

26 Apr, 2012


Thanks Oji and Bampy...I'm hoping reallllly hard that I can feel I have some progress...otherwise it's going to be hard to justify the time expenditure! Oh welll...what else do I have to do?

26 Apr, 2012


What a lot of work you've let yourself in for! I think you will possibly need to double that five-year plan! Hope it warms up soon - for you and for us all!!

27 Apr, 2012


Hallo there Lori, so you are back in the arctic again. I can see you there chafing at the bit, all fired up by that nice warm spell, got your garden juices flowing and WHAM. But think of gardening in the tropics and always having predictable weather.... i suppose that wherever you garden, you - or nature - can set yourself challenges and it always feels great to come out winning.
I am with Nariz, double the 5year plan, but after the first 5, look back at the pictures and you will see such a huge , encouraging difference. No i cannt see you stopping gardening girl! Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, others with a garden trowel!
here's to spring proper!!

27 Apr, 2012


What an amazing project you have there in the woodlands. Your white house looks cosy against the shelter of the trees. I hope you can carry through your plans. So stay healthy and no accidents. We did a big clearance garden project many years ago. Had 12 years of fun from it, then moved on to where we are now. Everything in this, much smaller, garden is our own making. It is very satisfying and fulfilling.

27 Apr, 2012


Rational observation would say that I have got it backwards! at a time when we should be "down sizing" hubby and I have gone from a small manageable garden to more acreage than we have energy to tackle (at this time in our lives.) LOL ...guess I have that garden trowel firmly implanted. Looking for the "courage to know the difference" between what's possible and what's an optimistic dream. Will give it my best shot....that's all I can do, and hope hope hope. The cold wind continues to blow this morning but the sun peaks through occasionally.

27 Apr, 2012


If there is something you want to do as you mature, tis best to get on with it Lori. We all know that gardens are semi permanent. They may not long survive our efforts. Your garden is is a sort of natural woodland enhanced by your efforts. The best place to see that sort of garden near us in UK, is Beth Chatto's woodland garden near Colchester. Mrs Chatto gardens by putting plants where they like to be. Even under trees and in the shade. She has clematis going right up into large mature trees. She has a 'dry garden' in what was a car park.

28 Apr, 2012


Beth Chatto's is definitely on my 'must see' gardens in england, i sympathise with her restrictions and feel her ideas strike many chords, here's to much wishfull thinking and hoping and hoping.. Hat off to the lady.
I think her garden is totally the opp of yours Lori, btw i send you a pm.

28 Apr, 2012


I have heard of Beth Chatto, but not seen her garden. Would like to, as it does sound like what I hope to accomplish with this place. (I dream.) Thanks for the suggestion, Dorjac. Will give Ms.Chatto a google!
So if I seach "gardens in England", I will find her, Resi?
Will use her name to narrow the scope of the search.
BTW...while I'm complaining about the COLD...saw a post of a friend on Facebook, who lives in was 100F. there in previous days! Ouch! What is happening with our weather?

28 Apr, 2012

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