16 April, 2010

Well I have spring fever so bad that I can't think about anything except working in the yard!

We put in Mazus, both white and purple between our stepping stones. It seems to have taken well...I hope it survives. I have tried moss and thyme and not had much luck with either. Our front yard is shaded by two 100 yr old oaks so the sunlight is filtered after about 10:00am in the morning. I also put in 10 new rose bushes and my husband dug in a small slate stairway next to the driveway. We mulched the rose garden and the quinea hens promptly scratched up all the pine straw! We pulled all the ferns and Brugmansia out of their dormancy in the basement and brought them out into the sun. The elephant ears were heavily mulched in the fall with straw and soil. They have to be gently uncovered and checked for frost damage. If there is damage you can smell it. It smells oddly like paint and the damaged area of the tuber will be very soft. Take a spoon and scoop away any soft areas scratching down to solid tuber. I have found that they recover quickly when the soft part is removed otherwise the tuber may continue to rot. Fortunately, even after such a hard winter ours were in really good shape. My elephant ears were given to me 42 years ago by my Great Uncle Neal when I was 8. I loved his so much he sent some home with me and I have carried them with me ever where I have lived always leaving some behind for the next family when we moved.
As you can see from the pics we have had a massive oak pollen fall. It is rolling like tumble weeds around the yard.
My allergies have never been quite this bad but they can't keep me out of the yard!

The front porch is now the favorite room in the house at least until the heat of deep summer when its best for early morning coffee and ice cream in the evening after dinner. My big project this week has really been our food garden and I will do my next post on our garden editions. I have just completed a 9 week course on bee keeping and added my first hive to the garden last week so hopefully we will now be able to produce our own honey.

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