Refuge

Friday, 2 March, 2012 Garden Quick Takes

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7 Quick Takes Friday – Finally! Garden time

1.  Living on West Coast I never experienced the disconnect between the discipline of Lent and the change of seasons. (March in CA is historically wet. Endless rain, and the hills get so saturated that they start weeping mud. Pretty penitential.) I will admit that it does seem a little odd to enter into penance surrounded by spring bulbs. However, it also time to start serious work in the garden, which is hard labor, not always pleasant, and sometimes involves manure – but all that is aimed at blooms and fruit later on, so there’s a trite comparison to Lent for you.  How is your Lent going?

2.  I am so proud of myself for executing the world’s crudest (yet apparently effective) fix to the formatting on my garden brainstorming page! And so excited to be able to start garden blogging.  Although – the weather here has been so strange, so unseasonably mild, that it’s hard not to regard it with suspicion and the superstitious fear that the minute I put out vulnerable little seedlings, all the winter we’ve missed will come crashing down on us.

3. First, here’s what’s blooming already:

Purple crocuses (I always want to say "croci") in the front yard

White crocus bud

The camellias are still at it.

Snowdrops (?) and unidentified bulb foliage

I don’t really know what the white flowers are, but I presume that they are snowdrops.  They just look that way. And I don’t know what the other bulb foliage (behind them) will produce. (It looks to me like wild amaryllis or agapanthus, but both those flowers are seemingly unknown on the East Coast. It cracks me up to see agapanthus, that standard of bland suburban city-scaping in the Bay Area, used as an exotic addition to floral arrangements here.) We will see.

4.  And now: here is the backyard in all its “‘before’ pictures” glory:

Fallen tree obscuring the right hand corner of the yard

Lefthand corner of the yard (and fallen tree)

Against the fence. There are crocuses (not in bloom) back here too.

Opposite side (behind garage)

Enemies in chief: bamboo & ivy. That downed tree is going to be a problem, too.  It’s my intention to avoid, as far as possible, digging up the crocuses (I always want to say “croci”) and snowdrops, and instead plan beds around them.  I’m going to try and encourage the roses (totally invisible because of the tree, I just realized), too. What to do with the center space, I’m not yet sure.

5. I need to spend this weekend checking which parts of the yard get sun when, but I have a  fantasy of using the garage roof here for more flowers in pots.

You get to the very back via a pathway behind the garage

Not pictured are the stairs up to this level of the yard and the little area just in front of the garage and this path. (But that’s where the camellia tree is.)

6.  This little bed is all of the backyard that is already confirmed to be in the sun. (Although the very back patch looks fairly sunny, the leaves are still off the trees, so that will change soon.) All the dead foliage is crabgrass. (Aside: is it really crabgrass if it is on the East Coast?  Crabgrass in CA is impossible to get rid of. I’ve cut my hands trying to pull it out. This looks like the same plant, but it’s so much easier to remove, I have to wonder.)  I am debating whether to mulch between the existing plants as I have plans to put as many sun-loving flowers here (zinnias, mostly, I think) as will fit.

Shown here with the back porch and an abandoned garbage can

Daffodils and oregano under there somewhere

Rosemary ❤

7. Speaking of weeds, I found this story whilst googling to identify some of the plants pictured above.  Very interesting, but I’m not sure I’m ready to follow in this fellow’s footsteps.

(Aaack! I forgot!) More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

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2 thoughts on “Friday, 2 March, 2012 Garden Quick Takes

  1. Very nice yard photos. I take it you moved from the West Coast to the East? My crocuses are looking very similar to yours and yes, those are snowdrops.

    This time of year always makes me think of the Secret Garden. Clusters of crocus, purple and gold. Blankets of pansies, up from the snow. Lilies and iris, safe from the chill. Safe in my garden, snowdrops so still. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdkzH_3etZM

  2. Thanks, Jamie! Yes, I moved out here from California (three years ago, but I’m slow to adapt.)

    I loved reading The Secret Garden as a child – I didn’t know there was a musical!

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