Monday, March 26, 2012

Not liking THIS either.

Between the time I looked outside at the daffs, went into the kitchen to refill my morning coffee, then stroll past the same window, the view had changed.  Dramatically!  *#*(@$#!!

The warm weather slipped away over the weekend.  It rained Friday night and the clouds have persisted since then.  The temps dropped steadily and this morning it was barely above 32F (after highs in the 80s) and a stiff North wind (17-23 mph) is beating on everything.  I can see my breath before the wind whips it away.  Inside, the furnace is rumbling away after it's 2-week siesta.

Darn that tree!  Yes, yes, I KNOW it's dying.  But it was kinda okay when the only limbs that broke off were dead ones.  This is a lot of LIVE that landed this time.  I repeat, *$#*$!!

I'll have to have help cleaning this up. I burned too long and too bright over the past 2 weeks of wonderful weather and I'm exhausted.  Getting old is a b!tch, no?

But I did get a lot done.  Hobbit over at Bag End might even be impressed if I listed all my that has gotten ticked off my list within that time. ;-D

Not everything will have a post, but I did update 5 of the 6 sidebar blogs with some news.

Click these links for pics and details:

What's cooking in the kitchen?   CLICK HERE
What's new in the veg bed?  CLICK HERE
What did I do in the foyer?  CLICK HERE
Out with the old, in with the new in the garden.  CLICK HERE

And, finally, how am I dealing with frost & freeze warnings?
(It's going down to 20 Monday night.)  CLICK HERE

== Yep - Lots of frost and ice Tuesday morning. I wonder how everything in the gardens (and in the hoopster) fared... ==

I have a lot more projects I could blog about, but I'm about clicked out right now.  And I have to get back to all the things I've ignored for 2 weeks, like laundry, and grocery shopping, paying bills, visit some favorite, but recently neglected, blogs, clean house and (yikes - lookit the date) file taxes!.  Oh joy....!  NOT.  :-P

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm not liking this at all

Here is a link to my Mar 17, 2011 post where a single crocus strove to bloom in frozen soil (and TOTALLY typical at this time of year).

Now compare that to this post of pics taken today.

And, as they say on TV - "But wait! There's more!"

Not ONE of these plants should be at this stage on this date.  Check the calendar.  It's STILL WINTER!!  Though it wasn't MUCH of a winter by ANY standards at all.  And now it seems since the ground never froze, we're leapfrogging right into SUMMER.  And MID-summer at that.  Heck, we didn't have weather like this last JUNE!  We are not amused.....

We've not been below freezing since Mar 11 and temps have risen every day.  It's been in the 70s the past couple of days. It's going to be in the 80s for the next couple of days.  Oh man.  When the hammer falls (seasonal temps return) I think there will be a lot lost this year.  There's only so much floating row cover to go around.

I just hope temps at this time doesn't forecast for 100s this summer.  Or snow in July.  I wouldn't be surprised at either.  :-/

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring.
Y'know, suddenly I'm not so looking forward to that now.  

(Left to right, top to bottom:
pieris, pulmanaria, hostas
crabapple, hydrangea, redbud
willow w/catkins, star magnolia, doublefile viburnum
clematis, catmint, spirea
phlox, daisy, flowering plum
daylily, butterfly bush, masses of daffs)

(pachysandra, lupine, myrtle
mock orange, columbine, astilbe
Johnson's blue geranium, yarrow, mums)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cutting it close

... to the ground, that is.

I hadn't planned on doing any cleanup when I went out yesterday, but one thing led to another.   I trimmed all the suckers out of the magnolia tree that is already starting to bloom!  Then I picked up a few of the zillions of little branches strewn all over the lawns.

All the sedum plants have been cut back (all of them well sprouted, same as some hostas!). I also cut back all the dead branches on the asters, tall boneset, the Johnson's blue geranium and the many Walker's Low catmint.  Same with the phlox.  And EVERYTHING is sprouting.  Should I worry about winter's return?  What good would that do? *sigh*   I'm just going with the flow.  Nothing tender, however, will be put out.  And nothing heavy enough not to haul into the sunroom when temps tank.

I also raked back all the leaf mulch on the veg bed so the soil can warm up and dry out.  I'd like to get it tilled this week.

Meanwhile I'm finding that it's harder to navigate the gardens this spring as my ankle has degraded to the point I'm bone-on-bone in that foot.  *sheesh*  In my wildest imagination as to how my later years would be, at no time did I ever think I'd go lame.  Crap.  Still I put off any surgery that would only fuse all the bones together so the ankle/foot would never bend again.  It's my RIGHT foot after all.  Try driving with what could only be described as a rock at the end of your leg.

As for the greens I put out a week ago they've gone bonkers!
Click the pic for an update.

Friday, March 16, 2012

On the move

A hemlock, that is.

Last fall I bought 6 hemlocks and just planted them along the driveway.  But the privacy fence extension will run right up to the viburnum (leftmost in top pic), so the hemlock there needed to be moved.

I always thought I stopped too short on the line of hemlocks I installed last spring between my house and the neighbor to the south.  So here it went.

Notice how pale the hemlock (that I bought in Fall) compares to the dark green of those I bought last Spring.  I hope this pale one (and the other 5 along the driveway) green up.

The fine weather continues and I'm ticking projects off the list.  The soil in the veg bed continues to be too wet to till, but the warm temps prompted me to action on another front.

Click HERE for a post on the beginning of a wet and wild garden project.

Now click HERE for the final splash down.   :-D

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh snap!

While Monday was a total wash out on several counts (a day-long rain soaking us with 1/2" of un-needed wet; squiring around my Mother who is no longer able to drive), I hit the ground running Tuesday.

First off my friend Craig (the genius carpenter) came by and while we stuffed ourselves with hot coffee and fresh scones, (click HERE for details) we discussed my 'wish list projects' for this year.  With my failing ankle, I can no longer dig so I'm going to need help on the tree & shrub project.  We also discussed things like the 2nd section of the cedar privacy fence, help with French doors, refinishing the heavy front door, rebuild the rotting compost & asparagus bins (using a composite plastic/wood decking) and the like.

He wanted to come today (Wednesday) to transplant some trees, but the ground is sucking wet and while I want to jump on this project before the crabapples in question bud out, it wouldn't do them any good if they were set in squelching mud.  Oh well, maybe next week!

Meanwhile I did spent a little quality time back in the shed getting the Snapper in shape for the season.  I inflated the tires, hauled out the battery where it was hooked up in the basement to a float charger for the past few months and installed it.  I also brought back gas and oil and topped them off.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I rolled it out, got on, and it STARTED RIGHT UP!  This is the first time ever with this thing.  No neighbor intervention needed! 

Other chores:  It being such a warm day that I  had to pop the tops off the WS containers on the deck so they didn't bake.

I also spent a some time in the VEG BED (click HERE for story) and did some general puttering around.

Today is supposed to be even nicer than yesterday and I'm off to check out electric pressure washers.  Because last year we got almost 5' of rain, the deck floor sports a green sheen of algae that needs to be washed off.  Same with the front walks and stoop.  This should be fun....!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pseudo Spring!

I know, I know.  I promised to 'hold my horses' during this spate of ridiculously mild (and unseasonal) weather forecasted for the next 2 weeks.

But I'm weak.  And behind.  After all, today is the first day of DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME in the US.  I'd already lost an hour of this gorgeous day.

So instead of doing laundry and other sundry indoor chores, I

Set up a hoopster (click pic for details).
Brought plants up from the basement.
Inflated all the tires on the garden equipment.
Refilled the firewood rack in the garage.
Brought out a hose, installed new washers and turned on the outside tap.
Dug through the shed and brought a chair up to the deck.
Baked 3 loaves of bread.
*pant*  SOMEbody really needs some ibuprofen...  And maybe a nap! 

Okay. One day down.  13 more days of nice weather to go.  Hmmm, I think I'm gonna need a bigger jar of Advil.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lest you think...

....that we're still under snow, rest assured that as deep as it was Sunday morning most melted by Monday afternoon.  To paraphrase what Dorothy said in Oz, "Weather comes and goes so quickly here!"  LOL

Thursday we got 3/4" of rain so it's pretty squishy around here.  All the creeks, ponds and gullies are full.  Right now temps are lower with only getting high 30s - 40s this weekend with freezes at night.

But after that -- check out THIS forecast:

Forecast revised as of Sunday, March 11:

Just look at all these very warm days coming with nights all above freezing.  Half of me is thinking OBOY.  But the other half of me knows that this much warmth (especially nights) will most likely kick of a lot of potentially damaging winds (and some accompanying storms).  You can see that averages for this time of year should only be in the 40 with below freezing at night.

I'm sore tempted to plant potatoes, perhaps even some of the kale plants, but I'm feeling it's just not wise to succumb to this seductive spate of weather.  Besides, the veg bed is so wet I doubt tilling the sections would be feasible.

Otherwise, I have lots to do in the plant lab (click HERE for latest post) and other projects to keep me from rushing outside prematurely.  But it IS nice that I'll be able to pop the lids off of the sunroom skylights and flood the room with yellow sunshine.  What a great perch to sit and rock and watch the daffodils and crocuses push up.

(PS I updated this post with the revised forecast from Sunday.  Look at those 70s !!  More importantly, look at the 24 plunge the last Saturday night.  The following Sunday is going to be cold with freezing rain. HA!  See, I'm not gonna fall for this trap.  Well, maybe not much. *heh* )

Monday, March 5, 2012

Walloped again!

As I posted last night, the lake effect snow was really piling up when I went to bed and wondered what would greet me in the morning.

Well, here's what I saw first thing out the bedroom window when I woke up.

We've been HAMMERED - again.

There's at least 7, maybe 8 inches of snow and even now the radar shows more snow bands dipping down from Lake Erie (which ever froze over this winter).  Temps are in the 20s with teens tonight.

Then, magically, its supposed to get into the 50s on Tuesday and 60 on Wednesday.

The weather certainly isn't boring.

Since I don't have to go anywhere anytime soon, I'm just enjoying the over-the-top PRETTY out there.

And you sure can't beat the view from the kitchen window when there's a break in the clouds!

Later Monday afternoon.  Now, talk about crazy.  By early afternoon ALL the driveways, roads and walks were totally snow free - even though temps never got above freezing.  All the warmth from earlier in the week still lingered within all the blacktop and concrete.  Ya gotta love a snow that cleans up after itself!

I cleaned house all day Friday, spent Saturday shopping in Hartville for fresh vegs and cheese with my buddy Dave, and then played in the kitchen and down in the basement on Sunday.

Here's some updates.  Click each pic for more info.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Piling Up

I brought in the bird feeder around 5:30 and there was no snow on the driveway.  I just glanced outside (9:15) and WOW - lake effect snow is piling up!  Looks like about 3-4 inches right now and still coming down.  Reminds me of last weekend's wallop when 6" of unexpected snow greeted us Saturday morning. 

There's several thick snow bands running over Canton right now, and there are warnings of white-out conditions on the highway.  I wonder what the place is going to look like in the morning.  Oh, I'm sooo glad I'm not commuting anymore.

Whatever we end up with, it will stick around until Tuesday when it's going into the upper 40s.

What a crazy crazy winter.

(P.S. FINALLY got a half-way decent night shot of the snowfall in the 2nd picture.  I turned off the flash and switched to the 'fireworks' format.)