Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Signs of Spring

It's blustery and nippy and wet, but we have Daffodils!
Amazingly, those papery brown bulbs planted last fall
  did manage to push their way out of that sticky clay. 

And there were other signs of plant satisfaction this weekend.
The Magnolia trees, undaunted by that late frost, have sent up large purple buds.

The Lady Banks rose is putting on an impressive show its first year on the back terrace.

The Jasmine vine around the corner was frost burnt.
But the leaves that browned out are being replaced by a flush of new growth.

The Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) plants survived under a blanket of fall leaves, and are sending out runners.

The Guara lindheimeri are bushy with new growth.

I love the rich red of  the new leaves.

The biggest disappointment in our plantings is the boxwood.
We have two types (Japanese and Winter Gem) in various locations. 
All of them failed miserably to deal with the cold and wind.
The bush below was 24" high before I cut it back to ground level to find green wood.

Nematodes might be contributing to the problem, 
but they can't be seen with the naked eye.
Either way, I suspect the ultimate answer is to rip the boxwood out and use a different type of evergreen.

The additional pallets of stone arrived, so our in-house Master of Paths and Patios
 was able to complete this beautiful stone circle.  
This is where our fire-pit will be located.
The courtyard drainage runs underneath the dry creek bed and the new patio,
 before continuing all the way to the lot line.

We centered this stone circle with the dogtrot 
(a screened porch which runs between the main house and the guest house).
A path connecting the patio to the porch entrance is the next step in the project.

While stone was being laid out front, I was planting tomatoes and herbs out back.

I remembered the marigolds this year.
Marigold roots release a chemical that kills the type of nematodes known to attack tomatoes.
(Maybe I should plant some around the boxwood!)
They are also thought to deter some nasty garden pests like tomato hornworm.

It rained and it rained, all Saturday night and all day Sunday, but the lake is still down eight feet.
I guess it needs to rain for a month!

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