Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Sights At Home...

With all the hustle and bustle of getting to a closing on the farm, it's easy to forget I still have a home here, and it's a lovely one. This spring has been slow, wet, and cooler than normal, but life goes on.

This blog entry is brought to you by Max, who is nine years old, and still very much interested in getting outdoors whenever the weather permits. He wants you to do that too, so maybe you'll also live a good, long healthy life. 

The forsythia bushes are something I look forward to seeing in bloom every year. Nothing masses sunny yellow color better, at a time of year where it is mostly bare branches above and old, dead leaves on the gradually greening lawn. 

Forsythias have the neatest little blossoms. Some leaves were finally starting to pop on the lower branches of these big, arching shrubs. They are popular with the catbirds who like to build nests way inside, and Eastern Towhees and white throat sparrows, who will scratch beneath the cover of the branches for bugs and seeds on the ground. In winter, the dark eyed juncos are often seen exploring that maze of skinny little branches.

I've had this clump of Darwin tulips for over 20 years. They're planted in the worst place possible, on the edge of a bank full of rocks and roots, but come back reliably every year. These were in one of those bargain boxes mixed with bulbs, and most of the original tulips were red, with only a few yellow ones. Gradually they all went yellow.

These white tulips are the last of a group of multicolored perennial tulips from a bed that used to be right out back. They survived my flooded backyard and being dug up by construction guys and 'replanted'. There were only 3, but they are spreading again. I will be ordering more of them for the farm, they are hardy suckers. The toucan windmill is my mother's, she loves lawn kitsch and anything with movement. 

The lone surviving hyacinth, at the end of the asparagus bed, over by the rhubarb. Hyacinths tend to be short lived bulbs, but this one is nearing 10 years old. It was one of those marked down plants you find after the holidays. All the top notch bulbs I've ever grown have died out, but this little pink one is a survivor. 

A big clump of mixed daffodils up by the woods. Daffodils are the easiest spring bulb to grow. The squirrels dig them up and replant them, and they still do well. They spread nicely too. 

These 'Minnow' daffodil clumps started out by the house, and got moved several times. They are very happy in the weeds over there, blooming their hearts out every spring. 

This double daffodil was in a clump of the white ones that I moved, and now graces the grave of my old cat Snoopy. 

More 'Minnow' daffs and a nice clump of pale butter yellow with bright orange centers. These are on the eastern side boundary. The grape hyacinths at the base of far left clump were in the same box of bulbs as the Darwin tulips. 

Some local domestic fauna. Ranger is the chocolate lab, and he's going on 10 years old. Autumn is a golden retriever, and she's about 2. They are out for the day, and waiting for their walk and dinner before they come indoors for the evening. Those rocks in the yard used to be buried, generations of dogs padding back and forth have raised them above the soil line. 

My three holly bushes made it through the winter, even with tons of snow piled on top of them. Very early in March, I saw 8 robins fly down out of the trees around them, and go inside the bushes to pick off berries and scratch for bugs and worms. I will plant more holly at the new house, I love the look of it, and it grows well for me. 

Both my plum trees were in bloom. The bigger one is 'Shiro' and it was supposed to be dwarf! It bears small, honey-sweet yellow plums. The smaller one to the left is another Japanese plum with a red-blushed purple skin, but has not produced much. They are stunning in the spring though. The crooked tree you see behind them is a peach. 

I call this little grafted red Japanese maple "The Commitment Tree" because it represents a commitment that was kept under difficult circumstances. It does get some dieback, but has done very well here. Just leafing out in this pic.

Sometimes Mother Nature does the planting. A clump of wild purple violets by the house, just being cheerful and pretty in their usual understated way. 
Max says thank you for taking a tour of his yard. He hopes you liked seeing all the spring flowers, but now he has to go. There are chipmunks to hunt.

Hope you are having a happy day, enjoying the turn of weather—and if not, maybe a few of these pictures turned your heart, and made it happy for a bit.


No comments: