4/7/14

Three Mountain Day


It was such a gorgeous day today...the warmest yet this spring, and it isn't over yet! It was impossible for me to leave home on a day like this. There is so much winter kill to take care of, and I just wanted to be out in it. All errands will have to wait until tomorrow when I have no choice but to go into town. For tonight, it'll be take and bake pizza.

I started by moving the tomatoes out to the greenhouse where they will live for the rest of their lives.


I managed to get one surviving basil seedling there in the lower right corner, and back behind everything else there is one lone surviving dill plant. I'll be planting more of each once I get my potting soil. Also, I want to get my lettuce started this week. I was a little worried about the tomatoes being so leggy and tall, but I have some great velcro ties to keep them standing up straight. I staked them to their little bamboo skewers for now. They'll be good for a few days when I'm planning to repot them and give them a sturdier stake. Their little stems are still so fragile that I don't want to risk damaging them with any sort of twist ties. The velcro works very well for this.

Once I had them all settled in, I went to work filling the bird feeders. On the way home from dropping Marei off downtown, I stopped in at the Backyard Bird Shop and replenished my supplies of everything so that my feathered friends won't go hungry. And speaking of my feathered friends, guess who's back!


The image above was actually taken in 2012. I haven't actually seen the pheasant this year, but I heard him this morning. Mike laid eyes on him a couple of days ago, and he was looking mah-velous. We were a little worried about him because in the waning days of fall last year, he was limping. We were worried he wouldn't survive the winter. But there he is right on schedule, and we are so glad he's back. Such a sneaky and comical bird. He's very wary, and it's very hard to get a good picture of him. I have plans to set up the birdcam on the low down so I can get some pictures of him. And as a bonus, I'll get some of the ground feeding birds while I'm at it.

As I walked around the house filling the birdfeeders, I had a chance to take in the flowering plum trees that are in full bloom now. They have been blooming in the valley for a couple of weeks, but ours are always about a month behind.


The one in the image above is the most impressive. Would it surprise you to know that it got broken off by snow a couple of winters ago? And if that wasn't enough, Mike backed over the poor thing with the tractor. It seems to have survived those insults, and it is now the best looking of the trees lining our driveway. They have long been my favorite among the flowering trees.


And I had a surprising number of tulips making an appearance. These get the morning sun, and so they are in full bloom while the rest are still in buds. The squirrels left a few behind in each of the whiskey barrels, and so I'm hopeful those will begin to fill in over time. I won't have the variety I had when the squirrels made a banquet of their bulbs, but at least I have a few left over.


As for the ones planted in the ground, the deer are the culprits, eating them right to the ground. For whatever reason, they don't eat the white ones. I have a few tulips left around the yard, but they are all white now, and the deer leave them alone.

I noticed that one of our clematis is getting ready to bloom. There is another around the corner from this one that is barely leafing out. That one is in the shade most of the day while this one gets the benefit of full sun in the morning.


Today's job in the garden was to clean up some of the dead stalks left from last year's dahlias. I have a few planted in the ground, but most are planted in the whiskey barrels. Also, I clipped the dead flower heads off the hydrangeas. I had to apologize to Mrs. Bug for removing her home. 


While the pictures I post have many of you thinking that Mike and I are gardeners extraordinaire (my word for the month), the truth is that anything planted in our yard has to do 3/4 of the work. If it can't stand a good amount of neglect, it won't survive. And that's why I continue to be surprised by the Bleeding Heart in the image below. We bought the plant at the farmers market a couple of years ago and planted it "wherever". Despite its receiving almost no care whatsoever, it comes back each year bigger than the previous year. It's developing buds now and I expect it will be blooming in a couple of weeks.


Its neighbor below is already blooming. This one will eventually develop bright red leaves. It is always so beautiful. I can never remember what it is. Maybe one of you knows?


And that's about all that's going on in the garden for today. I spent most of the day outside, much to Mr. Smitty's delight. No Zumba for me. I really just wanted to stay home and enjoy the sunshine. Besides, after all that getting up and down and kneeling, I figured it was best to give my knees and my back a rest. A good excuse, no? And while my knee problems of last fall had me despairing of ever being able to kneel and garden again, it is feeling pretty darned good. I'm planning to write a note to my physical therapist and thank him for all his hard work with me...not to mention is putting up with my cranky whining over yet another round of physical therapy. It actually (and surprisingly) did some good this time.

I need to hit the showers and get ready for the master of the house to return. It's such a beautiful day that we're going to crack open a bottle of wine and sit outside tonight. How is your Monday going?

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Looks you enjoyed a lovely day. Pheasants are pretty, but they make the weirdest noises. The deer come every morning to the side hill now that the snow is gone; and they were there tonight at dusk - a herd of about a dozen.

Quilting Babcia said...

The one you don't remember the name is a Pieris. We have one just like it at the northwest end of the house. It's huge and we have to whack it back every year. At least the deer don't like it!

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Glad you had a nice visit with your friend and it is a beautiful and rare day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sounds like a wonderful day and evening.

WoolenSails said...

Looks like a beautiful day and such a beautiful view of the mountains. I am sure the kitties are loving it too.

Debbie

Brown Family said...

You had a beautiful three mountain day! We started out overcast. Then we has sun in the afternoon. Thunderstorms rolled in about sundown! That is Texas weather for you!

Lee said...

It WAS a beautiful day today wasn't it? Here at my parents' house, there are a couple of those plants and I didn't know what they were either; around the block there's one in pink! I believe this is it: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/pija1.htm Mr. Pheasant is very pret.., er, handsome. I hope you get some more shots of him. I think I'll be doing some weeding here in the flower beds tomorrow to help my dad. He had to tell me which ones were weeds because some of the weeds look like flowering plants.

quiltzyx said...

Wow! It was a beautiful day in Oregon, indeed! I was in the basement bunker (answering the Claremont Colleges switchboard) today - and it was 90f when I came up the ramp to come home! Sheesh - I think it was a 45 degree change from overnight.
I like your way of gardening too. My roses are all blooming now, as well as the irises. I just laugh when folks ask how much do I water/feed them. I DON'T! They pretty much only get what Ma Nature gives 'em - thus the name "Tortured Flower Garden". ;)
Glad to read that your knee is behaving well too. You've worked hard getting it back in line!

Lyndsey said...

What a perfect day you had. I hope the weather remained good for you and Mike to enjoy the wine outdoors. Our garden has to take care of itself as well. There just isn't time in a day to go to work, do the chores, a little sewing time and gardening. I love your Mr Pheasant and I hope you get some good photos of him this year.

Jeanie said...

I can almost smell that fresh, spring air! Indiana isn't quite there yet, but we will be soon. So glad the pheasant is back. I often wonder how birds and others even survive the harsh winters. Enjoy the rebirth of the land!

treadlemusic said...

Our Monday was a bit rainy but that's ok cuz it was warm!!!! Your flowers are a joy to see and the mountain photo is gor-gee-ous!!!!! So glad to 'hear' that your knee is better and, I'm sure, will benefit from the warmer temps that are finally coming. It's hard to spend time in the house these days but I've cleaned out the gardens and the rhubarb is just beginning so.....Spring is coming!!!!!!!

Dana Gaffney said...

I'd be tempted to find Mr. Bird a Mrs. Bird, is it weird that there's only one?

Nancy in IN said...

Your flowers/plants are ahead of us. I do have daffodils, but tulips are just starting up. Love the colors.
Enjoy the weather.
middle of Indiana

Robin Wrenn in Portland Oregon said...

It's an Andromeda.

Dar said...

Enjoyed puttering around the grounds with you today. I need to do the same, but my inside jobs are crying out louder than the yard. Glad your knees are doing much better.

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your garden, it's beautiful.