Perennials, I Roll My Eyes

I think the Isaac Franklin thing is in good shape. As is the thing for the Scene.

I have planted a climbing rose and some foxgloves and planted all my seeds. I chased the dog around and now I am exhausted. Which is good because I haven’t been sleeping well this week.

So, I think this means I’m justified spending the evening listening to podcasts and working on my afghan. I was booking along on it and then I got distracted by all this writing stuff.

I’m giving the stripey afghan to S. on Sunday and I am both excited and a little bummed. I don’t know what exactly it is about that afghan, but it’s a favorite. I think both because it was super easy and looks super great. I will miss you, stripey afghan! But you go to a place with a porch and some still cool evenings ahead.

You know, I just realized that, if I had had coffee with a friend this morning, I would have spent my day doing all my favorite things.

The Difference Between Winter and Spring

I visited with people. I got answers to perplexing issues. I read The Red Tree again, which is still so damn good, and yet still as perplexing to me as ever as to why. It’s the kind of book I feel like I could read four or five times and every time find it a mystery.

Seeds have been purchased. I planted a jessamine by the bottle tree. I planted a new rosemary where the old rosemary had been. I’m only putting one lavender in. I needed a bunch of stuff from Bates but they’re really late in getting things in. Usually, by this time, they have a ton of roses and now they have almost nothing. But I have a list of things I need, since I am abandoning the back bed, because I just can’t keep that much weeded.

I’ve finished, too, the stripey afghan. I’m just tucking ends, so I hope to finish it up this week. The next afghan on my docket will either be awesome or terrible, but C & M are getting it no matter what!

And I fed the willow and the magnolia. In general, magnolias don’t need feeding, but after the damage from the ice storm, I thought I’d better do something to give it a little push. And it’s time for someone to trim up the willow. I guess that someone is me.

I feel like I had such a nice, full weekend. It felt almost like a vacation.

I Guess I’m Gardening This Year

It was nice to not garden last year, but I feel weird about just letting parts of my yard become weed-infested crap holes. So, my plan is to simplify. Except for the peonies, the big bed is going back to lawn. I’m going to run a jessamine up the bottle tree and, yet again, plant some hollyhocks along the shed and hope they come up. I don’t know why it’s been difficult to get them to come back there, but it has been.

I’m moving the hydrangea from the front yard, I think. When they were put in, there was a giant tree in the front yard to give them some afternoon shade, but that tree’s gone. So, I’m going to move them to the north-east side of the house, where a hydrangea is already flourishing. I may put a climbing rose in that spot and let it drape across the railing.

Then I need to plant the front bed. I need to till it first, but I’m hoping to replace all the crap that died last winter. We’ll see.

First Iris

A lot of places already have irises in bloom, but I’m still in my own little subclimate where this is the first one. Saw it this morning.

first iris

Life with Sonnyboy

One of the things that tickles me is that, if he stands or sits next to you while you’re standing in the kitchen gossiping or just watching the birds, his head is right at hand level. So, he’s always coming over for head scratches, which makes me feel a little like Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, except that he always faces backwards. If I ever sent him off to attack my enemies, they’d get a good headstart in the time it took him to figure out what direction I wanted him to go.

In related news, insomuch that he loves to pee on my rosemary, I don’t have the heart to dig it up, even though it looks very dead. And then WPLN tweeted a warning not to dig them up until mid-May, at least, because they could look very dead and still spring back.

So, fingers crossed. Because it’s huge and I’d hate to start over.

The Red Sun

I had to drive in early today to drop my car off to get the oil changed. And the sun was this beautiful orange-red ball right at the horizon, against these turquoise clouds. And, even though some dude cut through the intersection and I almost got hit braking to miss him, it was hard to be too mad, since the morning is so beautiful.

There are buds on the big oak in the back yard. Though it still doesn’t quite feel like it can possibly be, spring is coming.

The idiot daffodils came up last fall. Their idea of “enough” winter to sprout is literally twenty minutes below 40 and then a warm-up. “Oh, must be spring.” And now they’re all brown and burnt from the cold. But I notice that the second spot of daffodils has also sprouted. And I trust that second spot.

Down One Lilac

I got home from work today and my smaller lilac was gone. My first thought was that the Red-Headed Kid had somehow mowed over it, but there aren’t any torn up stems sticking out of the ground. There’s just a bare spot of dirt–also suspicious because you know the Butcher never trims–and an absence of my lilac bush.

I’m feeling confused and a little grossed out. The confusion coming from the fact that a.) lilacs are pretty cheap and not worth stealing; b.) both lilacs had lots of little side shoots, which are easy to dig up and grow into their own big bushes very well, and that’d have to be easier to carry off than a whole bush; and c.) just how fucking weird and random?

The grossed out feeling is that a.) they went to some length to fill back in the hole. I don’t know why that creeps me out, but it does. Like maybe they thought what they were doing was bad, but not that bad, because they didn’t leave a hole? It is bad, lilac thieves. Don’t pretend it’s not. b.) the small lilac isn’t very obvious. You have to be in my back yard or the back yard of my neighbors to the south to even see it. So, for someone to even know it was there, they had to be creeping around back here.

I don’t like that feeling.

But mostly, it’s just weird. I hope that lilac thrives in your yard, assholes. And then, someday, I hope it leads to your death. However a lilac might kill someone.

Did I Tell You About the Mockingbird?

The one in the front yard? He has different chirps for the different animals in my house. I can literally tell who’s on the porch with him by what noise he’s making to yell at them. I’ve taken up talking to him when I got out on the porch to let the poor cats in the house. He likes to show off his awesomeness by standing on a cactus and looking at me. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but you try it. Cactus perching is an art. He has it down like it’s no big deal. He doesn’t yet answer me, but I keep talking.

I mean, after all, if he’s come up with names to holler at my pets, I don’t know why we can’t have some kind of rudimentary conversations.

Otherwise, thinking about my yard is just depressing. There’s a massive amount of weeding that needs to be done, but it’s too wet to do it. And nothing’s blooming. The daffodils are done and I had one–I repeat, ONE lilac blossom–and that’s it. The irises look like they intend to do something, maybe, but not today.

And none of my hollyhocks have come up. Not a single one. I planted them at Easter with my mom. So, I don’t know if the frost got them or what, but I need to replant.

And all of the bushes need trimmed, but, again, it’s too wet.

But I’m hoping that May means things start to perk up.

The rose is growing new branches that will then wind up the chicken wire that I guess I need to get into place before long. I cannot believe this shit is working!!!

The rose is growing new branches that will then wind up the chicken wire that I guess I need to get into place before long. I cannot believe this shit is working!!!

The Jessamine

I know next to nothing about this plant, so I’ve been watching it out in the fountain, just wondering what’s going to happen. My hope is that it’s going to fill the whole bottom part of the fountain with a flowing mess of foliage and, this time of year, yellow flowers. If it wants to climb up into the bird bath, more power to it. I need to take a picture of it, with its situation in the fountain more clear. It may turn out that, eventually, I have to put some kind of trellis in the fountain, for it to climb, which is going to be hilarious to me and pleasing.

I’m just kind of constantly surprised by how beautiful it is.

TJ’s girlfriend was gushing over our yard. I was like, “Come back in a month, when more than the daffodils are in bloom!”

I also am waiting to see some hollyhocks sprouting. I love how they look against the white of the shed and I’m ready for them to be back where they belong.

Gardening is fun when it works.

Yes, it's blurry. But it's leaves! Leaves on the moved rose.

Yes, it’s blurry. But it’s leaves! Leaves on the moved rose.

Can you see that leaves are happening?!

Can you see that leaves are happening?!

Almost all of the moved shoots are starting to get in on the "Maybe we'll have leaves" action. This puts this rose slightly behind other roses in the yard, which have small, baby leaves, but it makes me feel hopeful that the rose will live.

Almost all of the moved shoots are starting to get in on the “Maybe we’ll have leaves” action. This puts this rose slightly behind other roses in the yard, which have small, baby leaves, but it makes me feel hopeful that the rose will live.

In Which I Wanted to Die But Was Too Embarrassed to Tell the Butcher

My goals for gardening this weekend were to get the sunny end of the big bed ready to yet again be planted with yet again something that may or may not grow.  And to cut the privet out of the big bed. So, turn over and then rake about a 12 foot square patch of dirt and then use my clippers.

Turning over the dirt about killed me. I was out there huffing and puffing and my back was screaming in pain. Every second row I had to rest and wait to feel like I wasn’t going to die. And I was so sorely tempted to go ask the Butcher to just come and do this, because I knew what was taking me twenty minutes would take him five.

But I was so mortified that I wanted to fink out and ask him that I persevered. But I tell you, a lifestyle of sitting on your ass in an office for nine hours a day and then coming home and sitting around the house is not conducive to having your body work how you want it to work. On the other hand, I feel like things aren’t so bad in that I could stop, recuperate, and continue and that I got the whole thing done, got the garden privet-free, and then went on to cut down some other small trees that were where I didn’t want them.

I had thought about pushing it and doing some stuff that I have on my plate for next week, but I don’t want to get into the situation of doing so much that it kind of ruins it for me. Right now I’m having fun doing so much that I am sore and happy and sleep like a log.

So, anyway, these wildflower seeds I have advise you plant half of them two weeks before the last frost date, which I have always assumed was April 15th around these parts. So, half get planted next week. Also, next weekend, I hope to get the hollyhock spot ready for hollyhocks, unearth the garden path, which is under a bunch of leaves, and reset it so that it’s useful, and prepare the fountain for–I’m not sure what. Still!

The Sunny End of the Big Bed

I’m not an expert gardener or anything, but I have pretty good luck sticking live things in the ground and then getting live things to come up. So, I can’t decide what I’m doing wrong at the sunny end of the big bed. But nothing I put there–even with all the amended soil–grows.

This year I’m going to try a mix of wildflowers, sewn directly, as the directions recommend–half on April 1, half on April 15th.

But first I need to dig it and turn it, which I guess means this weekend. And I need to fish the stepping stones for that bed out of the undergrowth and reset them. I try to do it yearly, but I forgot to last year.  And there’s a tiny bit of privet that needs to be cut out.

So, this weekend is the big bed, except for planting. Then next weekend, I hope to do the hollyhocks by the shed. Then the weekend after that is the fountain (though both the fountain project and the hollyhocks are small enough that I might do them both at the same time). I still haven’t decided what to stick in the fountain.

But I’m feeling less overwhelmed than most years, so that’s good.