Worst. Spring. Ever

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Too hot, too soon, for too long. Someone out the genie back in the bottle. Please.

It’s been an awful spring – hot (temperatures have been far above average, often 20 degrees or more above the norm) and quite dry. Everything is blooming all at once and while, yes, it’s nice to have an explosion of flowers, the overly warm temps mean they bloom hard and fast and they’re gone again in a matter of days. Even the cut flowers in the house fade away quickly. My theory is that these early spring flowers are built to handle cold temps, but hot and humid makes them melt away. The result is that the April bloomers are finished and the May bloomers are well under way. What will May bring? Snow? Sunflowers and dahlias? I shudder to think.

As I Was Saying….

Wait! What? That was four months ago?! I am convinced that there is a temporal-time-shift-flex-capacitor thingy somewhere in my house and nothing you say will convince me otherwise. It’s the only explanation for how time keeps getting away from me….

So, the blog had become a bit of a problem. It was too much work and unnecessarily complicated and it got to be too easy to find excuses to not update. Part of this was, I think, my process which was basically – think of something pithy to write about, write it, take appropriate pictures, download pictures to computer, upload pictures to Flickr, add pictures from Flickr to WordPress (who don’t always get along), edit, publish. Too much! I was sure there was an easier, less convoluted way to write a blog post.

After some investigating, I’ve decided to give the blog another go. The main purpose of the blog was as a garden journal for my own enjoyment/reference and it’s been rather successful as that – when I keep it up. So, simplify.  For now I’m sticking with WordPress – if this doesn’t work I may try a tumblr account although I’m not sure that would be much different. I’m going to experiment with using WordPress’s mobile app which I have on both my iPad and iPhone and cut out Flickr altogether. Not sure how well they work, but it’s worth a try. Also, not so much the pithy essays (I know, I know – the “pithy” has always been questionable!) and more Photo Essays (which sounds so much classier than Random Snapshots)

Besides, I promised you stories about the gardens of Paris! How you’ve managed to carry on without my pithy thoughts on this topic is beyond me – I promise to end your suffering soon!

Prairie Buffer Update

As promised, here is an update on my own  little piece of wildness – the recently installed Prairie Stream Buffer along Duck Creek. I blogged about it back in July when it was brimming with flowers, bugs and birds. Here’s what it’s up to in November:

that's a lot of brown

OK, admittedly, that’s not exactly “pretty” at least in conventional terms, but it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing – spreading seeds, establishing deep roots, providing shelter for bugs and wildlife. Now it’s time to rest up – there’ll be time enough in the spring for showing off.

Done and Done

I’m declaring the garden season for 2011 finished. Done. Finito. Complete.

Leaves are raked, gutters cleaned, the last bulbs tucked away.

Whew. What a relief.

fritillaria waiting to be planted

Although the big job of planting the cutting garden tulips was done, I still had some tiny so-called “minor” bulbs to plant. Ipheions (also called starflower) for along the side of the house under the red-twig dogwood and fritillaria for the new hellebore bed. These little bulbs are dangerously seductive – so tiny! so cute! so cheap! However, they still require being actually poked into the ground before they’ll become flowers, something that’s hard to remember when you’re reading through those colorful catalogs in the comfort of your favorite chair. Fortunately, they’re pretty easy to plant; 75 tiny bulbs tucked away in less than an hour, the hardest part figuring out which end is up (look for the root plate or simply plant them on their side – they’ll figure it out from there)

Now, I’ve got some serious sofa surfing to go catch up on.

A Four-Letter Word that Starts with “S”

early snow on geranium leaves

Yep, that’s snow, as in frozen-water-falling-from-the-sky. Here, in my backyard. In November.

Mother Nature can be so rude.

It just can’t be winter yet – I still have bulbs to plant and more leaves to rake than you can shake a stick at. Of course, there’s still time – this little snowstorm only lasted a couple hours and the snow melted quickly, but this is surely a sign that time is running out. Fortunately, I’ve finished with putting the flower beds to, well, bed. Perennials cut back, annuals pulled up, pots tucked away into the garage, rain barrels emptied. It’s almost time to hunker down for the long haul.

Now if only those pesky leaves would go ahead and fall already…