Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gardening with a One Arm'd Gardener

Four weeks post-op, physical therapy three times a week, arm pendulums and stretches at home, extremely ugly hot black brace on whenever I am away from the comforts of my daily surroundings (which means most all the time), but still I NEED TO GARDEN! Yesterday was the first day I attempted to actually dig a hole and plant something. Four big passions in my life, children and husband don’t count, are reading, writing, gardening and riding my bike. Reading has saved many a day this last four weeks, writing – while difficult by hand (I am left handed/ as was the shoulder that was repaired) has been ok on the computer. I knew there wouldn’t be any bike riding in my summer plans, but I didn’t know how long it would be for me to get a trowel back in my hand. Turns out – four weeks! Today I planted some more pink creeping baby’s breath around the purple iceberg roses, the one I put in last year has taken off like gangbusters, planted up some Art Deco zinnia seeds in honor of my dear friend Linny who passed away in March, filled a couple containers with soil in prep for some herbs later this week, pruned back a Russian sage – no pruners involved, just break the brittle growth from last year, and cleaned out some pots to get them ready for color soon.  

My garden, like yours I’m hope, is just starting to take on the lovely Late Spring Burst. The early flowering shrubs have finished up weeks ago, and the crabapples are now filled with shiny leafs, but the true joy of most gardeners is just now taking center stage from its position in the wings – the perennial beds are waking up and are all set for center stage.  Pink Salvias, Agastache, Valerian, Mallow, and Guara – all covered with immense buds just waiting for a little bit more warm weather, and then curtains up – the show begins.  I will sit on the deck the next few weeks and watch as the story unfolds in the beds and plan out what to put where when I get full use of my shovel shoulders back. You can’t keep a gardener down, for long.

My Mama dove from last year returned to the same hanging basket on the front porch (at least I like to think she is the same one), it will be another four weeks before I can fill this one with flowers.
 This is the year I just know it - the wisteria that we planted around the pergola will finally take over the top
 Took the wall-o-water off the little 4" starter tomato plant I put in on April 1st, just in time for the 60mph winds yesterday. But it looks ok this morning, and there are 2 tomatoes waiting for me.
  Salvia is amazing, evergreen all winter, the buds are about 1 1/2" across, can't wait to see them bloom.This variety is bright pink.
 Mike choose Art Deco Zinnia seeds to pass out at Linny's Celebration of Life. I know they will be just as beautiful as she was, and I will save and re-plant the seeds from the flowers every year in her memory.
 Vinca major - Big Leaf Periwinkle, showing this in case you are thinking of a ground cover for an eastern exposure, full sun until about 1pm. Now it is about 2' high, re-roots itself like crazy and has little purple flowers all summer. This path up to the front door is about 20' long and it took three years from one little start to cover all of it. Worth the wait.
  yep, aphids on the pink lemonade honeysuckle,(lonicera heckrotti 'Pink Lemonade') nothing that a quick blast of water won't cure
Planted this from one little 3.5 pot last year, it has taken off so beautifully and is absolutely covered in pink flowers all summer and late into fall
the new creeping pink baby's breath that I just planted, with 1 arm!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

USFWS Wood Ducks on Carson River

A while back the US Fish & Wildlife Service installed wood duck boxes down on the Carson River at the nursery. They have been monitoring the boxes for quite a few weeks, and yesterday the first of the ducklings appeared. Wood Ducks have been known to be in the valley, but the folks at Fish and Wildlife are trying to track their numbers and see exactly what areas they frequent the most. The majority of the boxes were made by the Boy Scouts as part of their projects, and the boxes are now installed all around our valley. We are lucky to have three on the river, but this year only one had babies. This last Sunday morning when I got to work I walked out back to turn the sprinklers on the new lawn area in Nana's Garden, and got a small startle when I looked down and saw someone standing on a ladder in the river. I am not exactly sure how, but after watching the nesting boxes for the last week the biologists had pretty much pin pointed exactly to the hour when the ducklings would hatch. The first ones to hatch were taken out and tagged through their webbed feet, and then placed back in the box. I yelled back up to the nursery for Ashley to hurry down, and she got to hold one of the babies while the others were being tagged. They will leave the nest in a day or so, hoping out through the hole in the front of the box to begin their journey. Ahhhhh  nature! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stop and smell the roses, it will make you smile.

The first HUGE shipment of roses every year brings out the smiles and giggles in all of us. Me - with my wounded wing this year didn't get quite the excitement out of it that I usually do because they restricted me from climbing up on the top rung of the carts to unload them, (one of my usual jobs for the last 11 years - being the tallest of the gardening crew). But I enjoyed it just the same through osmosis. The scents, the huge blossoms, the tall canes standing at attention on every plant. Huge Thank you to our grower Weeks Roses, We are VERY HAPPY!!! as you can see. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So glad your home!

Jaime's husband Kevin, a Navy Seal, stopped by the rose garden today. He is home for a "too short" visit. As we wandered out to the rose garden for a "photo op" (they don't argue with me too often when I request these, I am a Mom and Nana after all......) I watched as he walked away from me, and I closed my eyes for just a moment to say a silent wish to keep him safe when he returns overseas. I thank my son-in-law Travis every chance I get for his service in the USN. I thank Kevin, and every other young man and woman that is away from family, friends and home. I hope you do too, they deserve it, and so much more. 
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Monday, May 9, 2011

And the WINNER is.....

The winner of the Spring 2011 CAPS tree that we donated is Wally Preiss! Congratulations, and a HUGE thank you to all that bought tickets for this worthy cause.

Stop by their website to find your next forever friend, and watch for our summer choice to be out front soon. We always pick a beautiful shade tree for the summertime donation.

Ashley, Kat and Kandice assisting with the winning ticket.
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