Late April- Early May

We have gotten a lot of rain recently, and the plants love it. The ephemerals are in their glory. This time of year is fairyland – its just magical. Of course, the critters do their best to harass me. Baby rabbits are munching and the voles really wrecked havoc over the winter so I am transplanting a lot of things to fill in the barren spots. At the end of each day I am tired and sore but happy.

Primroses and Dutchman’s breeches
Dwarf bearded iris
Columbine
Japanese painted fern unfurling
Primula deschmanii
Epimedium ‘Kaguyaime’
Fritillaria and primrose
Virginia bluebells
Epimedium ‘Spine tingler’
Hens and chicks
Orostachys
Silene auculis (pink) and Orostachys (green)
Hillside with hosta, barren strawberry, phlox, epimedium
Soapstone sink trough surrounded by hosta, trillium, epimedium, narcissus, anemones, heuchera

This little guy has lots to nibble on

There is much more but this post is long enough. I hope you enjoy it.

April

Spring has sprung. We have returned from the sunny south and the garden is waking up.

Forsythia blooming
Lupine in the meadow
Primroses, Pulmonaria, Pink Corydalis
Pink corydalis and Hepatica
Pink form Bloodroot
Daffodils are especially abundant this year

The above photos are the nice things that are happening. Unfortunately, I discovered that my 3 orange deciduous rhododendrons are covered in scale. Absolutely covered. I decided I needed to remove them. I started with the chainsaw and broke the chain. Then I moved on to the sawzall. That worked pretty well. I decided to leave one plant to see if it will make a come back and “hoick out” the other two.

Before…
During…
After..

Downside: a sore back and two beautiful shrubs gone. Upside: lots of space to move crowded plants into. The grass is getting green. The epimedium are almost ready to pop and …….we might have snow on Friday. The gardener sighs.

March

Spring is here. According to the calendar, and according to weather reports it sure looks like spring weather is here as well. There are reports of spring peepers. Will it last? Who knows. We usually get a tease or two of warm weather and then just when plants are up and sometimes even blooming, we get a snow in April or a big freeze and that messes everything up. We will have to see.

I’m writing this from afar so I can’t go out and actually look at the garden and send photos of shoots or buds. Are the daffodils up yet? Is the forsythia budding? Are the crocuses up and being eaten by rabbits? Did the voles return and eat everything over the winter? Did the deer break through the barriers and nibble the azalea buds? Have the bears come out of hibernation and torn down the bird feeders hoping for a few old seeds left behind? Those questions and more will have to wait a couple more weeks to be answered. There is work being done in the house while we are gone, and its not quite ready for us to come back yet. There will be much to see when we return, both inside and out.

In the meantime, we will enjoy a bit more of the ocean and warmth. This spring feels more hopeful than last year’s did. I look forward to seeing my gardening friends again in person and getting on with life.

Sunrise

Happy Spring!

February

The garden is resting under a huge pile of snow. That’s actually good at the moment because it will insulate the plants from all the bitter cold. The voles are probably enjoying the cover as well and munching away happily. Grrrr.

In the meantime, I have escaped from all the snow and cold and am enjoying some warmth and sunshine in Florida. I thought I would share some photos from our area and hope they warm you up as well.

More later……

Happy New Year

Its a frosty morning in these parts, but our snow is sadly gone. It was washed away by the rains last week, however I am sure there will be more to come.

I received new bluebird houses and a feeder for Christmas, and we put them up a couple days ago. We had two really old houses already, and they were cleaned those up as well. It didn’t take long for a flock of bluebirds to come by and inspect the new digs as well as the remodeling of the old ones.

Perhaps the bluebirds of happiness will be harbingers of a wonderful 2021.

Cheers!

December

The garden is resting, of course. However, there is always activity in the yard. This crew came through the other day and nibbled on the clematis growing up a tree trunk. Time to put burlap around it.

The gray squirrels have perfected ingenious methods of getting to the birdseed.

Even though the gardens are resting, my garden club stays active decorating planters around town. This one is at the Police Station.

A week ago we had about 4-5 inches of snow. It was heavy and wet.

We lost a big limb off the willow

View of the full moon from the porch

Luckily, I got the outdoor lights up before it snowed

Sunrise on a snowy garden

Merry Christmas

Mid-November

We have had a wild couple of weather weeks. First the snow, then warm days in the 70’s and now reality has returned. Twenty-five degrees this morning. I took advantage of the warm days and got most of the garden clean-up done. Dahlias are now dug, dried and put away. The elephant ears and brugmansia are hibernating in the basement.

Pear tree
Mums
A leucistic finch – very cool

We always mow the meadow once a year

Meadow after being mowed
Five deer strolled by the other day

We had some tree work done

A frosty dragonfly
The garden ready for winter

So everything is resting. No more blooms until spring but as usual there will still be beauty during the winter months.

Before the snow…..

Happy Halloween. It snowed yesterday. Not just a few flakes , but real snow – about 3-4 inches worth. There are still leaves on many of the trees so its a surreal world out in the garden this morning. Luckily I spent a lot of time last week working outside, cutting back perennials, tidying up the veggie garden etc. There is still work to do. It is 19 degrees this morning, but the snow will melt and we will be back into the 50’s and 60’s in a few days. Meanwhile….

A week ago it looked like this
We had a frost though and protected the Brugmansia
I think it was worth it!
The blue morning glory finally bloomed
Dandelion
Still some color
I dug the dahlias – perennial mums and an Amsonia in the background
Maple leaves
a visitor
Bluebird in the birdbath
Another bluebird

And then……..

Cardinals on the feeders

Tonight we set back the clocks, tomorrow is November. There is still much to do before winter sets in for good.

Mid-October

We got an inch of blessed rain the other day. We need more but it was wonderful to have a rainy day. The garden soldiers on through the drought with asters, mums, and other fall color. We have had visitors of course.

I refurbished some of my hypertufa troughs – silver saxifrages needed dividing

Toad lily
Hawk on the bird feeder scared away the little birds

The fall foliage this year is glorious despite the drought. But it doesn’t seem to be lasting long. We get a quick blaze of color and then the leaves dry out and drop. For those who don’t live in New England – here’s a taste.

Across the street
A favorite hiking spot nearby
Kayaking on a local river yesterday
And finally – one last morning glory leaf – a heart

September

Well there goes summer. We had some light frost a few days ago and now have a few days of warmth – what we called Indian Summer when we were kids. Hummingbirds have gone, but we have seen bluebirds. Cardinals, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, titmice and “ahem” chipmunks are visiting the feeders. We put them out last week, but bring them in at night since the black bears are around and fattening up for winter. The drought continues, so I have had to resort to hand watering in order to keep many plants alive.

The meadow is in full autumn glory with goldenrod and many different asters. Butterflies and bees are stocking up for the season ahead as well.

Goldenrod and asters
Asters, sedum ‘Matrona’
Verbena bonariensis
Zinnias
Allium
a bunch of stuff
two different phlox
Dad’s pink dahlias
Physotegia and Bugbane
Autumn blooming clematis
Waxy bells, heuchera, anemones
maple tree starting to change
last daylily – “Two Part Harmony”
Autumn blooming crocus in bud
another crocus
another crocus called “Waterlily”

And finally, it is apple season – so I baked a pie…..