Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thyme in the garden, no more

Yesterday was a gardening day in my little corner of the world. I have been procrastinating facing the fact that this winter caused major die back in my thyme in the garden. Not "time" in the garden, but "thyme" in the garden. When a fellow gardener came by the nursery the other day and told me that she had lost her wooly thyme that was between her stepping stones this past winter I commiserated that - yes, I too thought that mine was lost this year. I just didn't really want to face the fact. I have been building on this patio thyme for about 10 years now. There were over 5 varieties, with my favorite being the elfin - Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin', a very low grower with small little purple flowers and the wooly - Thymus praecox subsp. arcticus 'Lanuginosus'  which I loved for it's soft fuzzy grey carpet appearance and the little pink flowers all summer. Both thrive in alkaline soil and full sun so it was always a perfect fit for my side garden.

We have had -20 temps, we have had years of heavy snow, we have had winters of no snow...and still the thyme stayed semi-evergreen all winter. I don't know why this year was so different, other than it was so extremely dry and I wasn't here for the month of January to do any watering. That is the only reason I can think of why I would have had this much loss. It took the better part of the afternoon to dig it out, and it wasn't until I went back to find the picture from last year that I got sad, really really sad, for the way it looked before. The only area that was still as it was in the past was over by the roses and covered with mulch and leaves until very recently. So....guess I will have to find more time for thyme in the garden soon...............on a happier note, there were lots of other blooms to enjoy and the garden is starting to take on its mid-Spring loveliness. I will dwell on that, and start the plans for which kinds of thyme I will be re-planting soon. See you in the garden. 

small little area that was covered with mulch is still fine

how it looked in June 2011

staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, popped its leaves open yesterday 
the valarian, Valeriana officinalis, that Jaime gave me a start of is just beautiful and full 
 lilacs, ahhhhhhh, another time I wish for blog..a..scent
 Loniceria 'Dropmore Scarlet' honeysuckle, stayed everygreen all winter, blooming already
 tomato very happy and warm in it's little walled apartment

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Took this shot a few minutes ago. Must admit, I never really liked rhubarb much growing up. Just wasn't something we had very often. But since moving to Fallon I have tried it a number of times, mostly in jams that are made by friends here in town. I started this plant from a small 3" Bonnie offering last year and while it didn't do a whole lot, the leaves were pretty. It never flowered though so this kinda took me by surprise the other morning when a small ball was on the tip and then this flower EXPLODED out of it the next day. I had a fellow gardener in the nursery the other day asking if she should remove the flower and we did some research and found out that need to remove the flower to send energy into the stalks...the part you use to make those delicious yummy jams and pies. Well...I am growing mine more for the leaves as Rose and I have a project to do with them, and so I am going to leave the flowers on for awhile. They are just too pretty to cut short their time in my garden.

Hope you get a chance to get out there and get your nails dirty today, I will ~ Susan
Some good general info:
rhubarb recipes: have to admit, the rhubarb upside down cake looks pretty tempting....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Evening

Earth day evening we spent in the rose garden of an old friend, and new friend. When Lisa S. and her family moved into their new home here in Fallon it came with an established landscape that included over a hundred roses and small gardens tucked in throughout. For the last two gardening seasons she has tried to absorb the gardening style that was created by the previous owner, but it never felt "right" to her. As someone who has created her own garden from scratch on a bare acre of land, I understand. The choices that you make in your garden are very personal ones, and while a new home may come with much beauty in many peoples eyes, it is through your eyes that the garden is visited daily. Lisa is a perennial lover and wanted the vibrant colors that accompany them. She is not a rose lover. That is where we step in, we are. So on Earth Day this year Jaime put together a little group of us to gather at Lisa's home to assist her in removing some of the roses that were in areas she wanted to recreate into her own. The gardens had previously belonged to a good friend of the majority of us that were there, so we had walked on these paths many times and knew the significance of some of the plantings. It was with these memories that we realized the importance of digging these roses out and preserving them so that they could be planted in our own yards. Enter Sooz, our Rose Queen and expert on all things rose related. After a short little demo, we all got to digging. A few broken shovels later and the pots we had brought were full and the original tags on the roses had been recovered to lend an aid to identifying the types of roses so we would know where to replant them in our own gardens. As the evening wore on the skies opened with first tears of rain and thunder and a massive shower of pink crab apple petals falling to the earth ~  and then the ahhh moment when we looked up and not one, but two rainbows graced the sky. It was a beautiful evening, and as we watch the roses rebloom and thrive in our own yards in the years ahead, one we will all remember. Now, we will wait anxiously to visit Lisa's garden once more when the areas she designs and plants will be her own.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A day in my rose garden

Yesterday was a much needed day off and with the sunshining' and no wind it was also the perfect chance to get some roses pruned up. My son-in-law Travis arrived the night before, for a one day, all too quick visit and he helped me put some new ones in the ground, dig out some grass and mulch everything with the sweet sweet smell of chocolate, cocoa mulch. I think that these are the memories that stand the test of time. Getting your hands ~ and feet dirty, working the soil together and talking.....just talking. I miss this man tremendously, he is raising up two wonderful sons with my even more amazing beautiful daughter ... and we never seem to have enough time together. So today as he heads off for the Grand Canyon for a motorcycle adventure with his high school best friend, I will come home tonight, sit on the front porch, admire the hard work we finished yesterday and enjoy.....the memories.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pretty in Pink

A small view of the weeping cherry  "Prunus subhirtella var. pendula" tree on the deck bursting with color on this drizzling rainy morning....ahh how I love the gentle sound of rain....oh so unusual for us here in Northern Nevada.

Now I have to be ever so patient for the crabapples to start their show of finery. ~ Susan

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Tulip

Be like a flower and turn your face ~ and hands~ to the sun -Kahlil Gibran

Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning, always.........learning

Last night one of my favorite people on the planet, Sarah Henderson, came over for an all too short visit before she heads back to Colorado today. I miss her infectious smile, as I know everyone in our small town does, and I am sure the reason we have had so much warmth and sunshine this weekend is because she was here. She found me out in the side yard covered in soil and sweat where I was gardening my heart out getting the new wine barrels set up and the first of them planted with tomatoes in their comfy wall of waters. We got to talking about my writing and this led to her career as a photographer (Sarah Micayla Photography) and bamm......I ran in the house, dirt and all, to get my new camera that my daughter, Sara Henderson ~ also a wonderful writer and photographer (I know....confusing for some, but not for us) had given to me last summer. I am not a "read the book and learn" kinda person. I am a "show me and then I can do it" kinda person. At least where anything technical is involved. And the Fstop, change this setting, now do this to make it blur the background....and on and on has just not sunk in very well. I use the auto settings for everything and then get frustrated when the picture doesn't capture the story like I would like. So we stretched out on the soil line of the moon garden and proceeded to take a lesson.
my peonies are pushing their way up to the sun.....
I asked her "Do you want to see my mini-greenhouses?" Somehow I think she thought they were going to be just slightly larger..... 

and of course Chopper was helping us  
 my own personal weather "past"caster, if the red tulips out front are still standing straight up in the morning it didn't freeze the night before and I know I didn't lose anything down at the nursery.....

See, I told you she is a Ray of Sunshine! Thank you Sarah, I PROMISE I will practice everyday :}


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