Friday, April 16, 2010

Gettin' Started

Pay no attention to the weeds in these photos. That's what I'm gettin' started on!
Sun-starved Grape Hyacinth and naturalizing Daffodils.

A 2nd day of warm weather works it's magic on the snowdrifts ~ more fall-planted bulbs make a ragged appearance. I am always amazed at how much 'growing' happens beneath those deep drifts of snow.

After the melt, it's kind of like me on a beach in February (sorry, didn't mean to scare you with that vision.) At first, new growth is sun-starved and pale, then over-exposed, and finally shows off a healthy glow.

Fact or Fiction? Aspen Trees can be started from their cotton-like spring seeds.

While most find this debatable, for me, early spring is the prettiest time in the garden. When my muddy brown landscape is filled with colorful possibilities.

I tippy toe around the flower beds, tugging at weeds and searching for familiar faces -- like these tiny little Lupines, who'll be 2 feet tall in no time.

Or, the early pinks of spring-blooming Euphorbia Bonfire ~ a non-bulb perennial who often beats my slacker Tulips to the party.

True or False?  Pine cones change shape. When the air is dry, the cones open up, returning to a closed shape as moisture increases.

Not everyone is delighted by the change of season. I shoveled what remains of the snow into a little pile to cheer up my winter-loving Bad Dog.

It didn't work but I know what will. As more snow melted away I discovered another familiar face! BD's favorite toy, who accidentally wintered under the apple tree:
Merle! Long time, no see!

Hot Tip:
Euphorbias are fabulous flowers for a mountain garden. They thrive on neglect, appreciate heat and drought, chase away deer and elk. Bonus: They're gorgeous early bloomers. I grow Euphorbia Ascot, Bonfire Rainbow, and Blackbird. (USDA zone 5.)

28 comments:

Marsha said...

Beautiful shots of early spring but I just had to laugh at BD's love of relaxing on the snow - too funny! We found a few toys under our snowmelt as well.

Kate said...

Yeah, poor Bad Dawg... He really hates hot weather. :(

Melospiza said...

1. I look at the first photograph and I think, awww, yeah. Here they come. I love this time of year (I also hate it, a little--in my yard, anyway) and these photos capture it perfectly.

Every morning now I run out to the plum tree I planted two summers ago to see if we're going to ahve some flowers (I can't tell for suure, but I think the answer is yes. Squee!)

2. Bad Dog clearly blames you for the melting snow.

Kate said...

Oooh, yay! I'll bet you will get flowers and the plum is so pretty in springtime.

Re: Bad Dog. LOL. 'Tis true. I read him that book, Call of the Wild, when he was a puppy and he's been dreaming of moving to Alaska ever since. :D

Noelle said...

Isn't it amazing how quickly your newly emerging plants will grow? I loved your analogy of going to the beach in February ;-)

Kate said...

Hi, Noelle!
As long as we keep my beach analogy sans photos, we might be okay. :))

Hope you're feeling better!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I am glad the snow is almost gone now and that things are starting to grow. Now that does not look like a bad dog to me. He looks so innocent.Merle looks a little squished though. LOL!

Spice said...

Such a gorgeous dog! I have to do some spring weeding in my garden too. I had alot of plants die this winter because it got so cold here - not used to the cold. So I need to go and get some new ones.

Kate said...

Hi, Lona;
Yep, Merle had a rough winter. And, now things are getting worse! He's headed for the washing machine. :D

Kate said...

Hi, Spice;
Bad Dog thanks you kindly for that sweet compliment. Sorry you lost some flowers. The best way to get over your grief is to visit your favorite nursery and go hog wild!! :)

Amy said...

Bad Dog cracks me up! And I'm happy to report I rec'd THREE Euphorbias for my birthday - Euphorbia 'Copton Ash', Euphorbia robbiae, and Euphorbia amygdaloides 'purpurea.' They're planted so I'm excited to see how they'll do.

Kate said...

Hi, Amy!
OOOH... They sound lovely. I may have to do some Euphorbia shopping. Am looking forward to seeing their blooms on your blog!

Rose said...

Lol, Kate, when the snow melted here last month, we almost filled up a toybox with all of Sophie's toys that were scattered all over the yard:) Now I have to go out and pick them up each week before the lawnmower eats them. Somehow it was easier to train my kids to pick up their own toys.

Looks like your garden is on its way! I love those early days, too, when you can find some new sprouts almost every morning. We've had such warm weather the last two weeks, though, that everything seemed to shoot up overnight.

Wendy said...

oh Bad Dog is so funny!

The euphorbia is great - love that color. The one I planted in the fall is coming up - ever so gradually.

Yay for Merle - what a great surprise. A snow melt can bring some positive things!

I love all the color in these photos - the yellows, reds, greens, beautiful!

Cynthia Oakes said...

Your UT garden looks wonderful. Can't wait to see what's happening in my own UT garden. Sadly, that won't be until Memorial Day. Euphorbia? Never heard of it but am doing research even as I type. Bad Dog deserves a bone!

Kate said...

Hi, Rose;
I'm starting to see an explosion in green around these gardens, too. Now that the ground is warming, all the flowers are going nuts. I have to do the same thing with BD's toys on the lawn days. He'd happily bury the goodies. But, put 'em in a box? No way! :)

Kate said...

Hi, Wendy;
Glad to hear that you, too, are growing Euphorbia. It's such a pretty plant. Kind of the unsung hero of my spring gardens...

Kate said...

Cynthia -- Memorial weekend is the perfect time to get back to your garden! Safe planting is in full swing. Here's another goody to consider: Baby's Breath (Gypsophilia) seems to love it out here. Adds a nice touch to our flower gardens. Especially around the Coreopsis or water-wise roses.

sweet bay said...

Ooo, Merle looks a little worse for wear. If BD prefers a bed of snow, he'd really hate it here in NC -- unless he had his own swimming pool with ice cubes in it!

jan said...

Poor BD - lucky you! (Lovely photo of him, though!)

Kiki said...

Wow..lots of cool and interesting shots..wonderful!!Always lovely to visit! What a sweet pup!!
Kiki~

Carol said...

Happy Spring to you Kate! You have had a long wait. I just love the little lupine shapes and colors... I always think it is so amazing how the delicate shoots get through the crusty earth... I guess the sogginess helps. What a sweet little toy.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Your "bad dog" looks so irritated by the lack of snow. I'm glad spring is coming to the mountains too my friend, and I can attest to the Euphorbias. They are wonder plants with saucers for blooms.~~Dee

Kate said...

Hi, Sweet Bay;
Bad Dog wouldn't last 10 minutes in your climate. I, on the other hand, would be grateful if you adopted me!

Kate said...

Hi, Jan and Kiki;
Thanks for the sweet compliments for Bad Dog. He'd thank you himself but he's too busy pouting...

Kate said...

Hi, Carol;
I, too, am amazed by the tenacity of little seedlings. Particularly in my hard as rock clay soil. I'm just glad they're successful. :))

Kate said...

Nice to meet another Euphorbia fan, Dee. They deserve more attention, don't you think? So pretty, and a nice complement to bulbs, in the spring garden.

Iron Needles said...

I actually have tulips, a daffodil, and some hyacinths blooming. We have had a great April, once it got started.

But...breath is bated. Still very early, and am wondering if it will last long enough for lilacs...