Yeah baby, I know you're just lusting after my new dirt right now, aren't you? Funny what a smidgen of sunny weather will do to a gal.
I've had the outline for two new beds down all winter. But it's been too darn wet to do any digging. Finally after several days in a row of no rain, the soil in this bed was ready for sod removal (the other bed is in the back where the neighbors' yards drain through, so it won't be ready for a while). This seemed like a relatively small bed being just 4' x 24' but when it came to digging, I pooped out quicker than I expected. Fortunately my hubby was nice enough to help me finish the job. Then I splurged on some lovely soil in order to be sure the bed was well drained. I plan to move some plants from the back here and have purchased some others online. It'll be a sunny flower and ornamental grass bed. I have high hopes!
Anole sunning on rocks
Last weekend was mild and sunny which brought out all the animals, including me. This anole was in his element.
The goldfinches have been swarming the feeders. Although this photo makes them look mild mannered it's been a veritable free-for-all. And it's not just the goldfinches (of which we could have 20 to 40 at any one time). The woodpeckers (downy and red bellied), cardinals, white breasted nuthatch, and house finches are helping to create the melee. Those of you who have goldfinches at your feeders in the spring and summer may note that these little guys are not very yellow. Of course that's typical since they're not ready for breeding just yet but I do wish the bird websites would include some of these types of photos for those of us down south. Just when the males start turning their stunning yellow color, they fly north.
I'm forcing some more branches indoors. A couple weeks ago a very large branch from my neighbor's Bradford Pear broke off. So I took clippers in hand and clipped a few smaller branches. They're finally starting to bloom, probably two weeks before the trees outside start. I recently read that instead of hammering the ends of the branches to help them take up water, you should just cut a slit or two into the end. Good to know.
We've got some cold but sunny weather in the forecast so my blogging and reading of blogs may be curtailed. You know how it goes for gardeners!
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.
I do indeed know how it goes for gardeners ... I wish it could go that way for me today! I'm glad you're able to get out there and get a head start on spring!ReplyDelete
There will, indeed, be much lusting after that beautiful soil.ReplyDelete
No digging here today. Too wet, after our 'blizzard' of yesterday. Too bad, because the weather here is great, today. I hope this is on the way to you.
Love those gold finch photos.
I AM lusting after your dirt! And, your warm weather, too. Heaps of snow on the ground in my backyard... :(ReplyDelete
How exciting to start that big new bed from scratch! Can't wait to see it develop.ReplyDelete
Yep, first things first. When the sun is out, it's no time to be sitting in front of a computer blogging. I know my posts have been very brief recently. Here's to sunshine and short blog posts continuing!ReplyDelete
Jean, That last shot of the forced Bradford pear bloom is lovely...a beautiful Asian feel to it. The dirt does look rich and starting a new bed sounds wonderful. it's back to freezing here at 21 degrees this AM! I've been thinking that once spring arrives and projects begin there will be a lot less blogging going on!ReplyDelete
Aw, the anole is so sweet. And that cactus is HUGE! I was lusting after your soil, except I thought it was compost being so rich and dark. Ah, well. We have snow and that's better than freezing cold with no snow, imho.ReplyDelete
Nothing like good dirt to make a gardening girl's heart beat a little fast!ReplyDelete
How nice to see the sun again! I can understand your excitement, Jean--once the weather finally warms up here, I think we Midwesterners will all be out digging in the dirt instead of blogging, too.ReplyDelete
I started digging up a new bed last fall, but wore out before I got finished. I think I'd better start taking some vitamins and getting back to a regular exercise regime before spring starts:)
I'm like Kate - I would love to have both your dirt, or shall we say "soil", and your warm weather. Snow on the ground here as well. The finches are still brownish green here, but there are lots of them. I know that your new gardens will be lovely, and give us excuses to see lots more of your great photos!
So right, major dirt lust happening here! Although I still have about 2 yards of soil piled in the driveway (left-over from an ambitious project last summer that got away from me...), it's still frozen solid underneath a layer of slippery mud (it's been raining here for 2 days now). Ah, to have warm, sunny weather and crumbly, loamy soil - what could be better?!ReplyDelete
I am coveting your soil!ReplyDelete
I've noticed lots of goldfinches lately at the feeders, many more than previous months.
While the average person would admire the shot of the flowers, the true gardeners are drooling over that black soil. How I long to put on my garden gloves and plunge my hands & trowel into it.ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, I looked at that black soil as it was a chocolate...ReplyDelete
Just came across your blog, very nice! Can't wait to see your garden in Spring/Summer.
I AM lusting after your new dirt and like Jimmy Carter, I'm committing adultery in my heart. Please don't tell the crappy soil that's in my garden beds.ReplyDelete
Look forward to the progress at hand!ReplyDelete
I am lusting after your soil. SInce my husband put a cab on the back of our truck I can't just pop on down to pick up dirt and I really need some right now. Love the bradford pear photo. Very oriental with the red background. Nothing to force here.ReplyDelete
Jean it is too bad you do not get to see the goldfinches in their bright plumes! Thank you for caring for them all winter though!! Great shots of your dark humus! Looks like chocolate and I am sure to your garden plants it is a similar treat! Hammering hard stems is like cutting them for the hammering breaks up the stem and allows more surface to slurp up the water. I sometimes do both with lilacs. Peeling off a bit of the bark at the bottom will also help the branch to take up water. Your blossoms look lovely!ReplyDelete