Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Diary April 2011 - Early Spring

I am lucky my garden is big enough to use as a cutting garden in nearly all seasons. Sometimes, though, I have to get creative when needing table arrangements in a hurry.
Last weekend was Easter and I had invited my extended family over for Easter Sunday dinner.
I should should should have cut forsythia branches the weekend before or even 2 weeks before, kept them in water and in the dark and then I would have had great, spring-y looking vases for Easter. As usual, time got away from me.
On Good Friday (2 days before!!!) I raced to the back 40 and cut tons of forsythia branches. I brought them to the deck steps and hammered the heck out of the branch end tips. I then arranged them in different vases at different heights - some for the tables, one for the kitchen island. I poured scalding hot tap water into the vases and hoped for the best.
I changed the water 2x a day, each time pouring out the old and pouring in new hot water.
And guess what??? It worked!! Right on Easter Sunday, every branch was full of beautiful, yellow OPEN blossoms!!!

I seated my guests in both the dining room and the kitchen so I needed a number of vases for each table. I also used my  Easter ornaments on the tables as well.

I cut linden tree branches but did not put them in water. I wanted them to serve as the "hangers" for my tree ornaments.

The previous weekend I had won some tulips and pussywillows as a door prize. The tulips were in surprisingly good shape so I combined them with the willows and made a small table arrangement for the coffee table. They only lasted a day but it was the right day!!!

 So remember - when you need pretty plants for your table - check out your own backyard first!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Diary March 2011 - Very Early Spring

Spring has sprung!! Every year even though we think it will never arrive - every year - it does!!
Weather man said it hit a high of 12 degrees but in the sun it felt more like 20. It was GORGEOUS today!!!!
 I got outside as soon as I could after grocery shopping.
Pruners - check.
Rake - check.
Yard waste paper bags - check.
OK - get at it.
I pruned the 'Anthony Waterer' Spirea, the Purple leaf Sandcherry, the Preston lilacs, the burning bushes, the lower branches of the Linden tree and the Crabapple tree. Then in the back I trimmed the shrub roses, the fairy rose, my one and only David Austin rose 'Mary', the weigela, the cranberry bush and the wild roses.
Needed Johnny's help with the climbing hydrangea on the garage wall and he's going to have to dig out another errant self-seeding mulberry tree near the back fence.
So much done but SO MUCH more to do!!! (as always).
Tomorrow they promise rain.
Next bunch of weekends look very busy so maybe we start our "work as soon as we get home and eat dinner at 8 pm" days. You sure can get stuff done that way.
Anyway - I also shot some pictures of emerging flowers - take a look:

Emerging hyacinth.


Snowdrops in among the periwinkle

Pussywillows in the urns

Lovely tiny Iris reticulata

Iris and daylilies coming up under the linden tree

The first red peony bud poking its head out from under last year's dried up remnants.

Sure glad gardening season is about to begin again.
NO MORE SNOWSTORMS ALLOWED (especially since we took the snow tires off today!