May 1, 2011

Slow To Grow

The growing season here in Zone 4 has gotten off to a slow start, but that doesn't mean I've lost hope. There are a few lovelies making pretty in the yard in spite of the weather.

These are a beautiful white crocus known as 'Jeanne d'Arc'. They are supposed to have a pencil-thin purple line running up from the base, but even with a magnifying glass I don't see it. I planted the bulbs (or are they corns?) last fall and I'm thrilled to see them bloom for the first time.

Glory-of-the-Snow is an early bloomer that appears not long after the Snowdrops. The blue flowers are star-shaped with glistening white centers. The plants are only about 6-8 inches tall and require very little attention. Deer and rodents do not find them to be tasty.


I've lost track of the name of these daffodils. Mount Hood, maybe? Or Ice Follies? Very pretty, no matter the name.

These yellow daffs I recognize, Dutch Master. They were planted in 2005. All of my spring bulbs would benefit from some fertilizing. Should they be fertilized after flowering or in the fall? I am careful about not cutting away the foliage until it's turned yellow.

One of the smallest daffodils grown is the Tete-A-Tete, the flower stems are only about 3 inches tall. Planted nearby but not in the photo is another hardy spring flower that's not yet blooming, Muscari armeniacum. They are a small grape hyacinth with a height of 6-8 inches. Would be really pretty if they bloomed together, but they don't and so I enjoy them one at a time.

The critters must have been hungry because they feasted on some of the Asiatic lilies, Cote d' Azur, that had just started to show new growth. Last summer these plants stood tall in the garden and had pretty pink flowers. I've not seen any rabbits this spring, but we do have a pair of Mallards hanging around, so maybe they are the culprits.

I know a lot about eating rhubarb, but not much about growing it. Our neighbor gave us a couple of transplants last year. It survived the winter, so that's a good thing.

This Mourning Dove was sitting on our deck railing wishing it would stop raining. Cool fact that I found at http://www.birds.cornell.edu. "Mourning Doves feed their nestlings crop milk or "pigeon milk" which is secreted by the crop lining. This is an extremely nutritious food with more protein and fat than is found in either cow or human milk. Crop milk, which is regurgitated by both adults, is the exclusive food of hatchlings for three days, after which it is gradually replaced by a diet of seeds."



22 comments:

  1. You're a little ahead of us here although the glory-of-the-snow is blooming.

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  2. What a treat for me that things are coming in in your lovingly tended yard. I love them all.
    Our only urban pests are ferral cats and one big fat possum that is legendary because of his size.

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  3. Yea, spring has found you, Donna! Happy May :)

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  4. yeah for Wisconsin... where the wind is howling, it snows in April, and spring is slow... but it may be lengthy as well and that would be a great blessing! Larry

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  5. I am jealous! Still no blooms here. :( I would wait another year before harvesting rhubarb if you want healthy well established plants. I'm going to put some manure and more mulch on mine when the weather stops being so darn crummy.

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  6. This is so much fun to see color. Good for you!

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  7. I didn't know that about mourning doves! We have a few here. They walk around under our hemlocks.

    I love the daffodils - all that cheerie yellow! I feed my bulbs in spring (usually with bone meal).

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  8. Donna -- the early spring is wonderful! We don't get those wonderful flowers here. (Bill says its a good trade: no winter, no spring flowers!) I like it here too, but I do miss daffodills and crocuses.

    Thanks for sharing yours.

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  9. I meant to add that I thought I'd responded to this before the comment above, but maybe it got lost.

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  10. Oh, good, your area has joined the spring party. Welcome! I don't think I remember any of the names of my daffodils. You sure have some pretty ones!

    I'm sitting here yelling at CNN because they had been saying that the president was going to make an announcement, but now, they've been making the announcement themselves.

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  11. You must be happy to see these spring beauties! Spring may be late to arrive but you'll be laughing at us down in the steaming south come summer.

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  12. Donna, it's so good to see that spring has finally arrived for you! I can't keep track of the names of my daffodils either, but I really like your 'Mount Hood'/'Ice Follies.' I planted some ruffled ones that look prettier in the catalog than they do in real life; I think I should stick to the bi-color like these for something different.

    I'm so sorry about your Asiatic lilies; I wonder if they might come back. I'm lucky that between Sophie and the cats, I usually don't have much problem with critters in my garden--but they can do their own damage, of course:) As for the rhubarb, I used to have some at our old house--once it's established, there's not much you have to do other than pick it!

    Sweet Mourning Dove... I hope the rain stops long enough for you to enjoy your garden!

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  13. You at least know some of your daffodil varieties...I don't know any of mine;-) Glad to see that spring has arrived for you, finally! It is so far behind ours! But, that's part of why blogging is fun because we can get a really good feel of what it's like for others in various locations around the country/world. Your crocuses are gorgeous! I love the white. I 'used' to have some purple but this year none came up so guess I should add some this fall. Glory of the Snow looks beautiful too...I definitely need to add that one. Your lilies look like some of my tulips this spring! It was either deer or squirrels who did the munching here. They eat them right down to the ground and don't even leave a tip! Such free-loaders! Hope the weather is spring-like for you from here on out, Donna. For us, spring will soon be leaving and it will be too hot too soon!

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  14. We have had a slow start to spring as well, Donna. I just saw a mourning dove yesterday in my garden. I did not know about that "milk" factoid.
    May the sun bless you with it's warmth soon!
    All your flowers are beautiful!
    I just scarfed down a batch of rhubarb crisp last weekend. Of course, someone else grew that rhubarb. Mine has just barely popped up.

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  15. I'm the opposite of you: I know about growing rhubarb, but not eating it. Love it for it's big funky leaves, not many plants in zone 3/4 to give that tropical or dinosaur look. The moose hate it, too, so that's a plus.

    I am so jealous of your bulbs. Not one at my new place, and spring is the worse for it.

    Christine in Alaska, no daffs

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  16. I love all of your lovely bulb blooms. Crocus and daffodils are so beautiful. We have a place here called Daffodil Hill. Thousands of daffodils have been planted and I guess it looks amazing when blooming. I have not seen it. Someday. I didn't know that ducks would eat those kind of plants. I hope they don't eat any more.

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  17. Love all your Spring flowers, Donna. Sad to see the Asiatic lilies and I hope new leaves will come out soon. I love the photo of the dove. Looks like he posed for your camera.

    Thank you for the visit and nice comment.

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  18. I'm SO glad that the spring flowers are finally arriving there for your garden. Doesn't it warm your heart?

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  19. Be careful about not eating the rhubarb leaves. I hear they are toxic.

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  20. wow!!! i really love the yellow ones! once i had them on my window .. but the bulbs didn't grow again .. :( ..

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  21. the bulbs always offer us hope that Spring will come, don't they! I think this week we should all see some temps closer to what we'd expect in spring/almostsummer!!!

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  22. My goodness Donna, your Spring is so slow. I hope warm days come your way soon.

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