Moving Through Spring

This morning I went out to water the annuals and feed the birds and I was amazed at the changes in the garden from just a few days ago.

Sunday while Mike was spraying weeds, he asked me to come out and help him determine weed from herb in the herb garden. While we were looking at that, I discovered a vast carpet of Italian parsley coming up from last year. This surprised me since I've never had success at getting parsley to come back. This year, it's coming back with a vengeance. We needed to get some control over it, and so I left some next to the chive plants. The rest was sprayed. Sorry, Mr. Parsley.

This morning while I was out, I noticed the first little cherries on the cherry trees. 

I checked the plum tree, but didn't find any plums yet. There are still living flowers on the tree, and so I imagine it's too early. We've seen mason bees in abundance this year, and so I'm confident the plums will appear soon.

The first color on the rhododendrons is just starting to appear. We have several plants, but this one is the only one with color so far.

Also, the iris are beginning to head up. The white ones always appear and bloom first.

I checked the greenhouse. All of the lettuce is up now,

and most of the sunflowers. A few haven't yet germinated, and I'm starting to lose hope for them. Stupidly, I didn't label any of these, and so I have no idea which ones failed to sprout. That's okay. I have plenty. 

Also the dogwood tree is blooming. Ours has never done very well. Between the deer eating it and the usually too-harsh winters, we don't usually see much in the way of flowers. It needs to shape up or it's going to be dug up and replaced with something else.

Of course my furry friend accompanied me everywhere I went.

The squirrels have been bothering him. He has managed to chase most of the squirrels to the far end of the property. The more recalcitrant among them have been caught and eaten. Except this one:

Just to its left is a hole it pops into and down into a planting area just beyond my flower pots. It is the one remaining squirrel from a huge herd of them. They were so out of hand a couple of summers ago that we needed to trap them. Since then, Smitty has kept them under the control, save for this one.

Today while I was watering the pots, I found signs of his digging. He likes to plant sunflower seeds in my flower pots, and occasionally I'll find great groves of them where he's obviously dug a hole and spit out cheeks full of sunflower seeds he picks up from beneath the bird feeders.

It's hard to see in the image below, and so I've circled a tell-tale depression in the soil there.

Sure enough. When I dug around a little with my fingers, I came upon his crop.

Also, there's this little rock planter that was left behind by the previous owner. Basically, it's a piece of volcanic-appearing rock with a deep depression that has been filled in with crappy soil. Despite the crappiness of the soil, it had a little cactus growing there for several years after we moved in. The cactus died eventually, and I've not replaced it with anything. Until now. 

The squirrel decided it was another good place to plant a sunflower. You certainly can't fault him (or her) for his/her industriousness. It even has its own little weed.

And despite the squirrels' efforts to eradicate the tulips, they continue to come up in little dribs and drabs. The latest one to bloom is this dark purple one.

The bleeding heart is looking beautiful right now.

While I was watering it this morning, I noticed a few volunteer pansies at its feet.

Also, at the upper left is a strawberry plant. The strawberry plants were almost wiped out by November's ice storm. This is how they looked last year:

This year, they look like this:

A few plants have survived, and they will fill in, but they certainly didn't fare well with the ice. Just another reason Oregon will never be the strawberry capital of the world, even if we do love our precious Oregon berries.

Smitty follows me all over the yard. Even when I don't see him, if I walk from one side of the house to the other, he invariably goes galloping past me to meet me on the other end.

This azalea is in full bloom now. It gets more sun than any of the others.

It's neighbor, just a few feet away looks like this. It is in shade in the afternoon.

While I was picking up birdseed yesterday, I picked up another hummingbird feeder. The hummingbird wars have started in earnest. I picked up a second feeder and hung it around the corner from the first feeder so that no one bird can monopolize both feeders. That doesn't stop them from trying, however.

The wisteria is blooming away. It's one of my favorite plantings. Even when its flowers are gone, it will still have beautiful foliage that creates a nice frame around the front porch.

I've seen these around town with trunks as big as tree trunks. Maybe someday we'll wish we hadn't planted it so close to the house, but for now, I'm loving it.

Today is laundry day, but it's also a day at home. I did all my running around yesterday. I still need to do my treadmill time, but then I'll head into the sewing room to sew this afternoon. I'm going to get a start on my summer table runner.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Carole in Nebraska said...

Living in northern NJ/southern NY for (OMG!) 60 years, I was so used to an abundance of azaleas and rhododendrons. Apparently they don't do well in NE as I haven't seen a one. Thanks so much for the pictures - they bring back wonderful memories. We had a huge azalea the same color as yours behind my parents house and I always thought they bloomed especially for my birthday. Glad that Gracie is feeling so much better.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Absolutely love seeing your flowers and gardening chores are always more fun when you have a furry helper along.

Junebug613 said...

I wish I had your talent for gardening. I have no shade in my yard, with our only two trees being a palm tree in the front yard and an orange tree in the back. I'm having a hard time finding anything other than a few things that will tolerate the heat. They all have to be in pots, because just beneath the grass and weeds is sand. My kitties don't get to accompany me outside, but Diamond dog does.

Brown Family said...

It would be wonderful to be able to be outside in the garden!

Mrs.Pickles said...

lovely pics thanks for the tour

Dana Gaffney said...

I think it's nice that the squirrel is helping out with the planting, maybe he's trying to grow his own crops so he can leave yours alone.

Jacque said...

Here, we have wisteria wars! We finally will have to "take it out" (shudder) due to its being so invasive....a large retaining wall is cracked now. :( But they certainly are beautiful!

Diane Wild said...

Beautiful flowers. Still waiting for weather to warm up.

quiltzyx said...

So lovely! When you showed your lettuces, I could just picture this teeny, tiny little bowl full of salad!!! Ha!