Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Cold Day Inside

Today it snowed.  Not much stayed anywhere here, but on our way to an appointment we saw quite a bit on some fields and cars.  I have done a lot of weeding in a largely bleak backyard, but the daffodils have kept me company.

Something I forgot I planted is this blood root.  It spends most of it's time closed.  I must have been up and out earlier than I thought or there is another secret to it pattern of shyness.

Beside weeding, I have been working to rebuild my water feature.  It looks great but it is still losing water somewhere along the stream.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Snow

I'm not dreaming of a white Easter, but I'm living one anyway!  Yesterday many beds got cleaned up and I shot a panorama from the angle shown on the map. Learning Photoshop is a big goal for this year.  I'm on top of stitching together a series of photos to produce a larger shot such as the one below.  This techniques is not only useful for the panorama. A series of HD photos can be combined to form a larger picture in many ways.  If, instead of one photo of a bed, I combine many close-ups they can be blown up to read labels for better positioning plants on maps. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Another Great Day in the Garden

A beautiful sunny day in the garden, though a bit chillier than yesterday.

After the in garden work I decided to update some maps. To my delight I found that Google Maps has new satellite images that show all the expansion I have made in the back yard.  Two new beds in the front have not shown up yet.

I have started to apply the new beds to the back.  Much greater definition has allowed me to correct bed shapes.  Next rainy day, more work on labeling.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The First Iris

Reticulata presents itself first and is so small that passers-by assume it is a crocus.

Speaking of crocus, perhaps you know that the most precious spice, saffron, is the pistil of of this flower.  It is not the common crocus however, but crocus sativa.  These are fall bloomers.  I did grow some one year, but they did not return the following season.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The First 2 Days of The 2015 Season

View South over bed A-1
The snow is mostly gone but some spots in shade are still frozen solid.  The sun cooperated enough to make it bearable enough to get started working for the 2015 season yesterday.  I had to start cleaning up some areas that I didn't get to in the fall.  This map needs some updating but it shows the beds in my backyard.  Bed F is in the front and not visible here.  Beds A-0, D-0, D-1S&N, Bed D-2, and D-3 have been added in the back.

Starting with Bed F, I cleared leaves and discovered the iris reticulata have buds.  These earliest of all species in my area are a bulb not a rhizome.

Bed F cleaning
Iris Reticulata buds - Height 3"
Retulata with Gloves for comparison
On the 2nd day I finished with bed F and moved to bed A-3 which last year was connected to B-3.  The leaves had been cleaned so I just needed to tidy up some clumps of iris.  The massive ring of an unknown Siberian will be divided after the bloom season.

Beds A-3 and B-2 conjoined.

Unknown Siberian in A-3 in need of dividing
Every year some of the new rhizomes don't make it.  This one was particularly heart-breaking. It was in the GRIS club order from Keith Keppel.  'Hello Beautiful' was a brand new introduction from Barry Blyth. It is registered in 2013 because Blyth is an Australian grower.  Their season is 6 months different from ours.  With a list price of $75 I was looking forward to what could possibly be worth that.  I'll never known.  The rough winter caused frost heave sent it out of the ground and during a thaw rot set in.  It's a goner.  Many others are in fine shape.  Stuff happens.