Sunday, April 25, 2010

A little tour around the garden

The weather here has been reasonably good lately, and with a sudden influx of rain over the past two days, the garden has really begun to show signs of life! I thought today I'd do a little blog about the things I've noticed in the garden over the past couple of days.  

My quince shrub is blooming!  I hope I might get an actual quince fruit on it this year, but we'll have to wait and see.
Some of the irises are coming into bloom. I am particularly fond of irises, and at the moment, I have several different colours of the smaller sized ones that are in bloom. Here's one of my favourites!
The fruit trees have also begun to bloom. I lost a few fruit trees over this past winter, but many have survived and are leafing out well. Here are some cherry tree blossoms...
...and also some apple blossoms that haven't opened yet.
I am a big fan of clematis, and I have several in my garden.  I am slowly acquiring more, so that I can cover one of the side walls of the house with a large trellis and have clematis all along the wall.  So far, several of them are looking rather good.  This one is on a trellis that is about 6 feet tall, so you can see it's really growing with great vigour this year.  At the bottom and to the right of the clematis is an echinacea plant.
Here's another clematis that is growing strongly.  This one is called "Avant-garde" and it has lovely magenta-pink flowers that are smaller than some other clematis.  I need to straighten that stake!
Some smaller clematis are beginning to twine their way up this little wrought iron fence piece.  The clump on the right is a peony, and you can also see an iris in bloom and an Asiatic lily emerging.
There are other perennials that have over-wintered well, including heuchera, Japanese anemone, iris, astilbe and allium bulbs in the picture below.  Everything's coming up green!  You can also see in some of these pictures how the grass is invading my beds.  I'm hoping to get brick edging inset around these flower beds in the next few weeks to stop the grass and also to make it easier to mow.
In the vegetable garden, the garlic is growing strongly.  It was planted last fall - if I remember correctly, a total of 8 different varieties.  As you can see, the weeds are dreadful.  Raised beds are also in the plans to try to keep the weeding more manageable.
This raised bed is very easy to weed and is home to my shallots.  Two varieties of shallots were planted last fall and both are doing very well.  The heavy clay soil is very difficult to weed because the hoe can barely cut into it.  Raised beds will be much easier because the soil can be amended and is easier to work.

This weekend's rain softened the soil and therefore made it much easier for Kelly and I to move about 25 arrow wood viburnum shrubs.  These shrubs were purchased from the state nursery by the previous owner of the house, and he had over 100 of them, along with some high bush cranberry, American hazelnut, and a few others.  We decided to use the arrow wood shrubs to create a sort of "screen" from the road, which will be quite effective as they grow.  Right now they range from about 2 to 4 feet in height, so they will need time to fill out.  Here they are in their row along the crest of the slope abutting the road.  Kelly did the planting...

...and I did the digging up!  Here are the holes from whence they were moved!  But as you can also see, there are more to go.  Hopefully we can move some over the early evenings this week before the soil dries out and becomes concrete again.  
Finally, my mouth waters when I look at this huge rhubarb plant coming along.  I can't wait for the rhubarb and ginger jam that will emerge from the kitchen later this year!
Happy gardening all!


Split Rock Ranch said...

I'm so envious of your gardens! Mine aren't doing squat yet - but then we just had 8 inches of heavy wet snow, so its probably a good thing that nothing was up yet to get destroyed! Thanks for sharing all your greenery - it gives me hope that we may actually see spring here yet!

Flartus said...

How weird; our irises are blooming at the same time! Spring is always my favorite time of year; it's so darned exciting seeing things come back to life, and seeing what's new, or finally ready to take off.

That looks like a hell of a lot of digging. How's your back???

Hey, at least you can tell the "real" plants from the weeds. I finally got a chance to attack most of the rest of our weeds today, but the carrots are still too tiny, and scattered, to pick through. Putting a serious border around the garden makes it easier to focus your energy, and your eye, on the Good Stuff.

My Life Under the Bus said...

LOVELOVELOVE apple blossoms !!! I really miss all the flowers at our old house - this house is a barren old maid of a thing and the deer eat EVERYTHING !!!!

polly's path said...

Everything looks great! I wish I could grow rhubarb-I love it, especially in a pie! I don't think it grows this far south.
Or does it?? Off to research..

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

One very negative thing about moving from our former home was 20 years of plantings we left behind. Mike and I spent much time an money on our yard but oh well, we certainly appreciate now that we have much more acreage for our critters.

Chai Chai said...

Wow, someday we hope to have fruit trees. What kind of apple trees do you have?

Claire said...

Life Under the Bus - since I planted allium bulbs everywhere, the deer leave things alone. I am amazed. I bought a lot of different colours and cultivars of alliums, and no more deer in the garden. Even the hostas! But there are alliums right in front of them. :-)

Chai Chai - lots of apple trees! Includes: Arkansas Black Spur, Haralson, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Liberty, Cortland and a few more I can't think of right now! I want to acquire more heirloom apples from Fedco in the coming years - they have a great selection.

Chai Chai said...

Univ of Minn has developed several varieties of apple trees that are cold hardy.

This page shows all the fruit trees that they have developed, use of these strains should reduce cold winter losses.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Claire, thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment on my beloved hen Gladys. I am adding your blog to my side bar, looking forward to reading more of your posts.