April 30, 2009

Much Mulch

This cocoa hardwood mulch was delivered yesterday.....all 18 yds of it. With cheerful enthusiasm we happily started to spread it on the beds. After about two hours we were headed to divorce court, but recovered in time to make good progress, have a nice dinner, take two Advil and fall into bed. Mulch makes me kind of sad. Although it's handsome-looking and shows off the plants/bushes in a way that plain old dirt can't do, I prefer being able to dig in the dirt without having to mess with the mulch and then there's the worrying that we (my husband) covered a plant that won't be able to find its way up through the mulch. Today will be another day of work.

The Fern Leaf Peony has big fat buds like this one. It's a plant with an interesting history which I'll share when it's blooming.

The Delta Blue Hyacinths are blooming. Although they've multiplied since being planted in 2005, the flowers are getting smaller. Maybe that's to be expected. I don't know very much about Hyacinths.

The pretty little Anemones. They always seem to be waving me over to take their picture.

April 29, 2009

Wisconsin Spring Wildflowers

Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) show up before the trees have leaves and are sometimes referred to as umbrella plants because they resemble a closed umbrella when first pushing through the leaves, like the one in the photo below. The plant will eventually open into an open umbrella and be about 2' tall. We have them growing in the areas of our yard that have been left natural. More about them in a couple weeks.

On a walk through our neighborhood, I saw colonies of blooming Trout Lily (Erythonium americanum). The name comes from from the spotted pattern on the leaves which looks a lot like the pattern on a Trout, the fish. Other common names are Dogtooth Violet and Yellow Snowdrop. The petals only open wide and curve back like the one in the second photo when the day is warm and bright. I know, it's hard to believe that we had a day like that.

At first I thought these were Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) but now I think they're False Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum) because Wild Geranium flowers are generally lavendar. I should have looked at the leaves more carefully. Indians made tea from the roots for medicinal purposes. The plants are dormant during the summer.

According to one of my wildflower identification books, this looks to be Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata). The flowers are white and the leaves are linear, without teeth and smooth. I need to take my book along when walking in the woods or take better photos for identification purposes.

I do so love the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). They are one of the first wild flowers to bloom in the spring and are seen growing in wooded swamps, wetlands, near creeks and other places where they get a lot of moisture. The flowers are a very bright yellow and are easily seen when driving down a country road. These plants were growing close to a creek in a lowland area.

Although certainly not a wildflower, this Forsythia growing in my neighbor's yard deserved to have its picture taken. We don't have as many pretty blooming Forsythia as they do south of here so when I see one like this, I stop and enjoy the beauty.

My Anemones are blooming now but because of the wind I wasn't able to get a good photo, except for this one bloom who was willing to cooperate and stand still.

Can you stand one more Daffodil photo? I took this picture because of how the moss looks in front of the Tete-a-Tete. The colors are a little washed out because of the sun. We'll be doing mulch soon and the moss won't be seen for a while.

April 27, 2009

A Country Road

These photos were taken on an early morning drive down a country road on the way to my mom and dad's house.

April 25, 2009

Yellow Fever

Tete-a-Tete Daffodils
Means "head to head" in French
Often Two or More Blooms per Stem

Chriss Rainey, accredited judge and an awards chairman with the American Daffodil Society (http://www.daffodilusa.org/) shared "10 Great Places To Bask In Daffodils' Golden Glow" with Kathy Baruffi of USA Today.

Nantucket Island Daffodil Festival - Nantucket, MA
Fellows Riverside Gardens Show - Youngstown, OH
Meriden Daffodil Festival - Meriden, CT
Antrim Daffodil Day - Antrim, NH
Harrogate Spring Flower Show - North Yorkshire, England
Blithewold Mansion Daffodil Days - Bristol, RI
The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
City of Belfast Spring Fair - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Chicago Botanic Garden - Chicago, IL
Daffodil Society of Minnesota Spring Show - Minneapolis

Nothing says spring like daffodils and we do love our daffodils in the northern part of the country. I bet Carolyn at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago has seen all of the half million daffodils blooming at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I leave this afternoon for Belfast to see all their daffodils and enjoy The Spring Flower Show activities. I kid you, of course.....going to our grandson's flag football game.

These daffodils have become the favorites in my yard.

April 23, 2009

A Happy Day!




April 22, 2009

Wild Turkeys & Other Stuff

Early yesterday morning I was driving down a country road in the rain/s _ _ _ on my way to Neenah to take my mother to her hair appointment, shopping and out for coffee. I looked over and saw about a dozen wild turkeys in a field including this tom. Pulled over onto the shoulder of the road hoping not to get rear-ended, fumbled for my camera and took the picture through the windshield in between wiper swipes. Yes, I know I make a lot of excuses for my poor photography. Tom was surrounded by his harem and showing off his wingspan.

The Brunnera macrophylla is coming along nicely. As it grows, the leaves get very large and keep the heart shape, which I love. We've had three days of rain and cold, but starting today it's going to warm up and everything should grow like crazy.
Totally unrelated to gardening or nature, my son flew to CA for his job, bought this car while there and drove it 3,000 miles back to WI with stops in Las Vegas and Sheridan, WY. Something about that bright yellow color made me want to take a picture of it. This time of year, I'm so starved for color.

Here's some more color. Phillip playing with Theo in the early morning. We're very into fashion in this house. He's wearing Green Bay Packer pajama bottoms, skull socks, Yu-Gi-Oh robe and red Fruit of the Loom shirt.

April 20, 2009

It's Not What You Think

This photo was taken earlier today and I need to clarify one thing. This is not "S". It is much needed moisture. I refuse to say the "S" word on April 20. Please take note that the grass is green.


A few days ago, I was driving down a country road not far from home and saw pussy-willow trees covered with the gray fuzzy catkins. They grow wild in the ditches where they get the moisture they like. They can be planted in your yard and that's a good thing, if you remember that they like to take over and can grow to be 20 feet tall. When I went back with my camera a few days later, the catkins had started to lose their fuzzy look and were turning green. Still made for an interesting photo.

The American Pussy-Willow is always a welcoming sight in this part of the country. It means an explosion of growth is about to take place. We sometimes cut the branches in the gray fuzzy catkin stage and bring them inside for arrangements (no water, please).

According to an old Polish legend, many springtimes ago a mother cat was crying at the bank of the river in which her kittens were drowning. The willows at the river's edge longed to help her, so they swept their long graceful branches into the waters to rescue the tiny kittens who had fallen into the river while chasing butterflies. The kittens gripped on tightly to their branches and were safely brought to shore. Each springtime since, goes the legend, the willow branches sprout tiny fur-like buds at their tips where the tiny kittens once clung.

I found this Polish legend at www.diabellalovescats.com.

April 19, 2009


This plaque hangs in the home of our son and daughter-in-love. A good message to remember in both good times and difficult times.
NOTE: The plaque is not hanging crooked. The photographer (me) doesn't know how to take a straight picture.

April 18, 2009

Another Year Older

This picture was taken in 1956, the year I turned eight. My birthday was in April, but my parents were busy moving us into our first house so my birthday party was moved to the summer, giving me a chance to make friends in the neighborhood.

I love that my sister and I were wearing dresses and all the girls were barefoot. Seeing the front porch brings back memories of the times we sat out there surveying any movement going on up and down the street.

Left to right: Jeanette, Johnny, Snookie, Jerry, Me, Jackie and Bonnie.

Fifty-three years later, my parents still live in that house and I still feel like their kid when I go there.

April 17, 2009

Some Growin' Goin' On!

The twins have arrived. Aren't they gorgeous?

The Robins were having a good time this morning playing in the sprinkler water and eating worms. This isn't a very good photo. I took it through the kitchen window.
This is Snow on the Mountain, Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum', that came from my mother's yard years ago. I wasn't able to control its invasive habit in my flower bed, so I dug it out and threw it into the wooded area next to our house and there it's thriving. The foliage was originally variegated but over the years turned green. Not sure why.

The Phlox paniculata 'Red Riding Hood' are showing some green. The flowers are always a hot pink even though the plant tag indicates red.

This is some kind of sedum that's been with me for 19 years, long before I started keeping plant tags. It grew outside in a container for 15 years before I finally put it in the ground. It's not getting enough sun where it is now, so it'll have to be moved to a sunnier spot. It will yield yellow flowers with more sun.

The Hyacinth buds get a little fatter every day. They grow close to the walkway where we'll be able to enjoy their fragrance and pretty blue/purple flowers.

These Yarrow Achillea 'Paprika' will grow to be 18-24 inches tall. They require so little care and they never disappoint me with their beauty.
This Lungwort planted in 2007 is coming along nicely. The other two were planted last year and they're not as far along as this one.
Well, that's it for today. The Robins are happy that spring is here, and so am I!

April 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 15, 2009

It's a miracle that I have an actual live flower to share on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. There is only this one crocus with a flower, but if you look carefully you'll see Goldie's little sister in the background and it won't be long before the entire yellow/purple family is blooming. There really is a spring!

Do "almost" blooms count? These daffodils are getting real close to making me smile.

These Chionodoxa Glory-of-the-Snow seemed to magically appear. I swear that one minute they weren't there and then a minute later they were. They'll be about six inches high with light blue flowers.
I found Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day by reading Carol's blog, May Dreams Gardens. The best part of GBBD is seeing/reading what's happening in gardens all over the country....all over the world.

NOTE: Somehow I managed to delete my last post, pictures and all. That's what happens when I click faster than I think!