Friday, October 28, 2011

Planting Fall Bulbs

It's time to think spring?  Really?  Well that's the only way I can get myself outside now to plant spring bulbs. I must imagine fresh new warm balmy days with waves of beautiful color along my driveway.

Planting bulbs in the Fall is one of my least favorite things to do in the garden. I don't like to be outside in the cold wind and rain.  This week I knew the weather would be changing fast and I had limited time to get the job done. On Monday I was outside in practically gale winds digging my 6 inch holes and dropping in tulip and daffodil bulbs, and then a little bone meal.

Monet's Garden - tulip mix
I've always ordered my bulbs from Breck's because they arrive at my door at just the right time.  This year however my time was limited and the weather was not cooperating.  I just had to muster up and not be a wimp.  My nose was running and my fingers were so cold they could barely bend.  But I persevered!
I planted the lovely pinks and purples for early spring blooming followed by the large giant daffodils for a mid spring bloom.  The dafs are supposed to be deer resistant -- I hope they live up to the description.

Giant Daffodils

I hope you were able to find a few minutes and comfortable temperatures to get your Fall bulbs planted. You'll thank yourself next April and May!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two New Daylilies, Mary's Baby and Gentle Greetings

Marys' Baby

I finally moved all of the daylilies I wanted this year from  my daughter's garden to their new location in my front yard. (sorry, no picture. We accidentally left our camera outside in the rain for two days -- boo hoo) There's still plenty of room for more digging and planting next year.  This year alone I planted 79 different cultivars.  Whew!  A big thanks goes out to my husband who was there to help catalog each one that came out of the ground.  It was a huge and detailed job, making sure tags did not get mixed up and stayed with their rightful cultivar.
 Also I will always but thankful to my daughter and son-in-law for housing these daylilies in their yard and caring for them for three years until I sold my house. There are not too many people, in this day and age, who can say their family is so supportive and caring.
Once the garden was planted and I saw there is room for growth, I decided to treat myself with a new daylily to "christen" the garden. Luckily for me, the weather was fantastic through most of October.  My favorite daylily growers, New Every Morning Daylily, just south of the Grand Rapids area in Byron Center, Michigan, have a web site at So even though I have moved an hour away, I was able to go online and chose a new "baby." Her name is Mary's Baby.  I sent an email out to the Veurinks first to make sure they were still digging and shipping because it was well past the annual date listed that they put a halt to all daylily activity.  With  temps still in the 70s, they said they would gladly ship something my way.
I couldn't believe how quickly me new prize came, but the big surprise was the "bonus" plant which New Every Morning gives as a thank you.  The value of that plant is based on a percentage of what you spend. My bonus daylily was Gentle Greetings, and I must say they were very generous with the number of fans I received. It will most definitely bloom next summer.
Gentle Greetings

It will be a long winter this year, because I have something really exciting to look forward to for the first time in several years -- the blooming of my new garden.  It was truly worth waiting for. I never dreamed that I would be starting a new garden all over again at my age, but it such a thrill! I'll keep you posted as soon as the leaves start to pop through the soil and new scapes appear. Maybe I'll have a new camera by then :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Time Has Arrived for Black Dirt

The time has finally arrived!  My black dirt has been delivered. It looks good, smells good, and is friable, just as it should be.
If you don't know what friable means, it's nothing more than this:  Pick up a handful of dirt. Close your fingers and squeeze.  If the dirt compacts and stays together, like the start of a snowball, that's a good sign -- then gently crumble it and watch it fall.  Does it go back into a loose dirt form?  Another good sign, exactly what you want for your garden soil.
And that is what my excavator brought me.  I'm thrilled.
This weekend with the help of friends we will spread it over the area chosen for my garden.  If there is any left it will be moved to the back yard where my husband has made me a few forms so I can do some Square Foot vegetable gardening next spring.  I can't wait to try that out -- I've been wanting to do it for years. I'll be documenting that also, step by step.
So all in all this is going to be a great weekend and the weather is fabulous! Tree colors are still bright and it will be a joy to be outside.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


"Crispy air and azure skies,

High above, a white cloud flies,

Bright as newly fallen snow.

Oh the joy to those who know October!

Colors bright on bush and tree.

Over the weedy swamp, we see

A veil of purple and brown and gold.

Thy beauty words have never told. October!

Scolding sparrows on the lawn,

Rabbits frisking home at dawn,

Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,

All in harmony acclaim, October!

Brown earth freshly turned by plow,

Apples shine on bended bough,

Bins o'erflowed with oats and wheat,

And satisfaction reigns complete. October!

Radiant joy is everywhere.

Spirits in tune to the spicy air,

Thrill in the glory of each day.

Life's worth living when we say, October!"

- Joseph Pullman Porter