Monday, April 7, 2008

Warm Wonderful Weather!

What a glorious few days we have had! Temperatures were in the mid-60's, the sun was out, and the breezes were warm! I worked outside two days with no jacket! I got the rest of the flower beds cleaned and the ones I cleaned earlier, finished. I fluffed mulch, I cut back Engish Ivy, and I got our not-working-now-but-hubby-promises-to-fix-it water feature cleared of leaves. Of course it is supposed to start raining tomorrow and be cooler, but I can take that after having experienced at least the beginnings of Spring!

Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden and I went to the 2nd open house and seminars at our garden center this past Saturday. We had a session on 'Hot New Perennials" most of which were new sports of existing varieties. All, though, improved in some characteristic, a new color, more disease resistant, or longer bloom time. I did enjoy seeing these and took some notes on ones I might want to try. A couple really grabbed my attention. The first being columbines that now come in red-one called spit fire, and in yellow-called Denver gold. I am definitely going to plant one each of these. There are new colors, also, in Echinacea which now come in a pale green, yellow and orange. I may buy one plant this year,and save the seeds to have more next year! We also heard about new types of phlox. David White, Tenor, and Starfire are shorter and less affected by powdery mildew. Ever since seeing the tall one's growing in a cousin's garden at a family reunion last year, I have planned on incorporating them into my some of my beds. I think the shorter ones will work better where I am planning on planting them.

As you can see, I did get some pansies. They are one flower that always says spring to me. Something I can plant when I can't plant anything else. When we walked in that morning the shelves were full. And by the time we left, there were hardly any left. So we were not the only ones captivated by their beauty.

When I went to plant them, after cleaning out my pot and adding new soil(this is supposed to be law according to the container police), I found the plants were extremely root bound.

When plants are like that, I either rough them up some or do like below and make a criss-cross cut in the bottom of the plug. It may set them back a little, but in the long run they do better as the roots will grow out into the new soil.

Speaking of soil...I did, finally, get my seeds planted April 4th. Today, when, I went to spritz them, I had plants! Statice, Zinnias, Tomatoes, and Dwarf Sunflowers called Teddy Bears. Those are the ones Cheryl from My Wildlife Sanctuary sent me.

Instead of putting them under grow lights, I put both flats on the top shelf of my garden window.I don't know why I haven't thought to do this before...Duh! So we will see how this works.
I hope spring has come to you, and if not yet keep the will soon!


Beth said...

beautiful! Congratulations on getting your beds clean, now you can enjoy the damp days to let your muscles recover. I'm going to enjoy watching your garden grow on line.

Rose said...

Your seedlings are doing so much better than mine--what did I do wrong? (I think I probably drowned them.) Oh well, I didn't plant very many, so I'll try again.

I've been working outside all day, too. Wasn't it beautiful? My body aches, but I'll sleep well tonight! Besides, we can always rest on rainy days.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow you are going to have lots of plants to put out later. Such fun.

beckie said...

Beth, I so enjoy these first days of spring. The warm sun and fresh air feel so good after the long winter. It will take a few days again to recover!

Rose, I figured if you weren't teaching you'd be out. Do you have light on your seedlings and are they warm? I know what you mean about aching. I've been a couch potato way to long!

Lisa, they haven't made it to the transplanting stage yet! I could still screw up. But, yes, it is fun after don't being able to do anything for so long.

Cheryl said...

Lovely pansies...look like little faces, always cheery.
Your seedling are doing so well. Well done you. Glad the dwarf sunflowers are up, they are such a fun flower to have in the garden. The bees and butterflies love them.
Glad the sun has shone on you Beckie and that you are out in the lovely warm air.

beckie said...

Cheryl, It has been a wonderful few days. Tis weekend we are expecting frost, but maybe it won't be too bad. Most everything that is up can take a little frost. Oh my, did the weather ever do a number on your plants! I hope some of them can ca back. Wishing you warmer weather!

Amy said...

I love pansies too. I started some plants from seed last year, and it looks like a few have either re-seeded or are coming back for spring.

I would love to have an orange echinacea. I don't have enough orange in my garden :)

Alyssa said...

Your weekend sounds just like mine! Isn't it great to get things cleaned up and ready for the big show.

Pansies are the neatest looking flowers - they all look different. I've got to pick some up in a week or so and maybe some little violas. I like putting those two together.

You seedlings look great. I can't wait to see them in your garden.

beckie said...

Amy, lucky you having pansies reseed. I know I can't wait to get an orange one and a green one, and then save the seeds. The pink ones' seeds have come up very well for me in the past.

Alyssa, I saw your clean up on your site. Job well done. And your flowers are looking so pretty.

No Rain said...

Pansies are definitely an early spring flower here--they last about 6 weeks before the heat comes. I decided several years ago not to plant any more of them--so I love seeing other's pansies, especially new varieties.