Hello everyone – back again.

The last two weeks I’ve been having a lot of fun with my best friend of 35+ years, Judith, visiting from Scotland.  

We seem to spend a lot of our time talking, reading, knitting and enjoying nature from the back porch – really good quality time.

I also had all the kids come home to see their Auntie Judith. Always lovely to have the kids around.

I’ve still had time to do things in and around the garden, so thought I’d catch up with what’s been going on…

Temperature Blankets

From May to December last year, Judith and I have been knitting temperature blankets for each other. The color of each row corresponds to the temperature that day ie 90’s is red, 80’s is orange etc.

Here’s a photo of our ‘blanket reveal’.

The blanket I knitted was for Spring Branch temperatures, Judith’s was Glasgow temperatures.

Can you tell the difference?

See if you can pinpoint a Scottish summer!

Weather!

Ice structure on Frostweed

I think we can all agree that February & March have been a little crazy weather wise.

It’s certainly made me a little crazy.

I even saw a little of the ice structures you can see on Frostweed  after a hard freeze. The photo is from a December – amazingly beautiful when you see it up close.

I have NEVER considered planting my spring veggie garden before Spring Break.

By then, you can be almost certain that overnight frosts are over and done with.

This year, I started planting mid February!!!

Those 3 really cold nights hit just as my seedlings started sprouting….

I knew that my late Father in Law loved me when I froze some tomatoes that he’d grown for me & he just gave me some more.

I think I’ve been fairly lucky in that nothing has been completely killed by frost but have replanted some bean and squash. Most of what I have I grow from seed which is pretty easy to re-plant.

My tomatoes and hot peppers are usually bought as small plants – only need a couple of each.

Luckily… I hadn’t got mine yet when the frosty weather struck.

Anemones showing color variations

A lot of the wild flowers shooting up around my garden don’t seem to have suffered from frost damage. I have a lot of anemones flowering right now and a ton of mealy sage getting ready to bloom.

Nature can be pretty resilient.

So much depends on how sheltered your garden is when it comes to frost damage. I have a small Mexican Plum that was in full bloom & doesn’t seem to have noticed the cold!  My Pomegranate and Golden Leadball trees were both starting to leaf out. Those new leaves were frost killed but the trees are now sending out new leaves which I’m happy about.

Birds

It’s a joy watching birds on my feeders. I see them fluttering on the surrounding trees as they take wait to take turns at the feeders.  Most of what I’m seeing cardinals, chickadees, titmouses  (or is the titmice!), wrens, and sparrows.

Scrub Jays taking nesting material

Over the last week we’ve had a pair of scrub jays coming in to take the coconut liner from an empty hanging basket. The basket is empty of plants right now so I guess is easy pickings for the birds. They are coming down regularly together and are really making a mess of the liner. These Jays are giving me so much pleasure watching them that I really don’t mind their destructive behavior.

The other bit of avian excitement was the arrival of a very blond black vulture. A whole kettle of black vultures came in after a dead deer in the neighboring property and one of them was definitely NOT BLACK!

The photos aren’t brilliant and I’ve had to crop them a little, but I think you can clearly see the this black vulture in not black! It’s not an albino either. It’s head is still black but the plumage is a light brown in color. Let me know if any of you have ever see an odd vulture like this before.

Blooming beauties

Evening Primrose is a “common lawn invader” according to my wildflower book. I think they”re beautiful when you see masses of them blooming at night. They are so yellow they almost seem to glow in the dark. I have never see so many in my garden so I’m going to say that it’s a bumper crop of Evening Primrose this year. Oh joy!

Evening Primrose during the day


And at dusk / night


‘Invading” the lawn

My Agarita continues to bloom well – bushes in the shade a little slower flowering than those in full sun. I love yellow flowers – so very cheerful.

Wedding Sunflower Seeds

And talking of  yellow flowers, I’m growing some more sunflowers from Lauren’s wedding favors in 2017. Of course I put them in the ground before the frost but they’re all coming up and don’t seem to have been affected.

Keyhole Garden turned Herb Garden – Gone!

I had an old keyhole garden made from native rocks I picked up from the land. It eventually morphed into a simple herb garden but over the years has got more and more shaded. It was time for it to go.

The first thing I did was empty it of my herbs. Everything got divided and potted up. I think the most of the herbs will be put in around my new bee pond.  I did this about 2-3 weeks ago and everything is looking good and healthy.

I think it’s a temptation to just move plants into their new location but I find that it’s much better to pot everything up in good compost for a few weeks. This allows the disrupted roots to regrow nicely and will give you a much better result long term.

The rocks will all be moved and reused around the garden – probably  most will go into a french drain wrapping around the end of the house.

Construction Projects – coops & hives

The weather and partying slowed down our construction projects a little. Both will be complete in the very near future.

The new chicken coop just needs it’s second end, a floor for the nest boxes and the new tunnel/ramp into the enclosure. Then an easy paint job and the girls will be ready to move in. Look out for my blog on this whole project in the very near future.

Our second construction project is our beehive. That should be complete by the weekend and we just need to make sure we have everything ready for our actual been next month! We are so excited about their arrival.

Spring is sprung! Have fun.

Caroline xo


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