Mish-Mash Monday seems to be turning into a bit of a habit...or a classic! ;-) To change it up a bit, I've added subheadings to direct you!
We've had frost advisories the past four nights and I dutifully covered my winter-sown seedlings each night, though frost never happened. Except last night! Eep! (Note: I am not receiving free trays in exchange for showing product names in my blog, but I'm very open to the idea!)
The seedlings all look OK, but we'll see (knock wood). The seedlings are hardened off (being winter-sown and all), but they're still babies and can't handle the frost uncovered. My garden is way, way too big to cover, but I forgot to pull Piney and Mini-Me Piney under the eaves, but they too look OK (knock wood).
The castor beans, sown in a milk jug, look to be doing fine!
Yesterday I tied two five-gallon buckets to my bike and rode 3 miles to visit my friend Carole and return said buckets to her. The ride is huff-puff uphill on the way there. I had to get off and walk my bike, Trekkie, twice on inclines too steep for me to keep pedaling (in the past I could manage these inclines, but wheeze-struggle-for-air now I can't. I decided not to feel bad about this because I was at least getting some exercise). On the way home, it was wheeeeeeeeeee! mostly downhill and if I hadn't needed to stop at various intersections, it would have been almost like flying home!
I stopped on the Huron Parkway bridge and snapped this photo of the Huron River--can you make out the canoers at the far right?
And just a bit south, at the Huron Hills Golf Course, I passed a little rain garden. Trekkie is next to a non-functioning drinking fountain and the ball washer is just to the left of that. When I was on a work golf league 20 (20? Good gravy! It really has been 20!) years ago, my favorite golf-course features were the ball washers. In fact when my friend initially told me what they were, I thought he was pulling my leg. Who'da thunk it?!
The garden itself didn't have much blooming yet, except some golden Alexander (Zizea aurea) at the back, for which I couldn't get a good close-up.
While looking around the Blogger Dashboard, I saw the selection "Monetize." I was quite excited thinking it would apply some kind of graphic filter that would pixelate my photos, but no. They were weren't talking about applying Monet-like effects, but about earning money from blogging. DOH!
As you may have noticed, I'm a bit of a tea snob. You just can't help it if your ex-mother-in-law and ex-step-mother-in-law are English and you met them at the impressionable age of 19! I've always splurged on Typhoo decaf because I just don't like other decaf brands, but for some reason I was buying PG Tips as the regular tea, perhaps as it's a bit cheaper. The other day I bought Typhoo regular instead and MAN do I like it orders magnitude more than PG Tips. It really puts the nice in "nice cup of tea." (No, I am not getting free tea in exchange for positive reviews in my blog, but I'm very open to the idea!) Note for English friends: Tea in the U.S. is a lot weaker than in England; even those sold under the same brand names. Milk just weakens it more. I used to go to Canada to get stronger tea (still not quite as strong as English, but close), but in recent years the same tea sold in England is available at some local stores in the international aisle, ooh er.
For the first time ever, I think I've seen hummingbirds in my garden. I thoroughly cleaned and filled a hummingbird feeder and occasionally see small blurs of red and dark green flit by it, which, even though I haven't gotten a good close-up look, let along managed to take a photo, I'll assume are indeed hummers. Yay!
Plant Swap & Garden Tour
The plant swap went well on Saturday, despite the chilly and drab weather. You can see some of the attendees here (the lucky ones were behind me and escaped the camera!) I got a bunch of new stuff to plant including a yellow trout lily! Only a subset of folks braved the weather long enough to tour my garden, but that went fine as well. Weeds abounded, but I used Sweet Bay's suggestion of telling them to pretend to wear special glasses that blocked out the weeds!
Thanks to all your encouraging comments while I was panicking trying to get my garden ready. It is true we tend to fuss too much. But I assure you that I really had (and have!) a lot to do — I was using the tour (which I planned way back in February) as a motivator to get me to do all I wanted to do, only it didn't turn out that way. So I wasn't trying to make it perfect so much as get around to some of the many things that have been on my list for a very long time. Well, gardeners understand, right?!
In the Garden
Not too much is blooming right now in my garden. A few exceptions include:
...this lovely phlox (not a PPPP, but a regular garden phlox),
...my new chokeberry shrub,
...this glorious cushion spurge (it's over 2 feet wide and nearly 2 feet tall!),
...these really adorable silver bells (Ornithogalum nutans), which I had trouble photographing, but you can see a better photo here,
...this small variegated red-twig dogwood,
...these daffodils (which I thought I saw on Jan's blog and thought I'd commented that they looked like dogs hanging their heads out of a car window with their ears flapping in the breeze, only now I can't find it on her site) which I just discovered hiding under some evergreen shrubbery,
...this cute yellow columbine (the groundhog ate the purple one), and
...two tulips (out of 100+) the groundhog did not eat.
Lots of things have nice buds, including:
...my dear purple smoke bush, and
...my peonies, which are earlier this year than normal, presumably due to the rainy spring.
I've been planting a lot, which means transplanting a lot. For example, a forsythia was too close to my large dogwood out front, so after pruning it down to a manageable size, I dug it out (no problem) and moved it to one of my two "wilder" beds (big problem). I had to get out the chainsaw to cut down some buckthorn and then I had to dig out buckthorn roots to make the hole. I also moved a Miss Kim lilac to have room to plant the phlox, which was no problem, except there was a non-buckthorn tree root right where the lilac needed to go. This root is small compared to the roots I usually have to deal with, and maybe a quarter of the size of the one that sent me flying off the spade the other day.
Also of interest are several mushrooms (fungi?) growing horizontally off the stump of a cut-down cottonwood. This one's for you, WiseAcre Gardens!
And that's it for today. Whew! Happy Mish-Mash Monday.