Monday, February 27, 2017

Late Winter Gardening

I'm not going to question the reasons for our unusually mild winter weather.  Instead, I'm enjoying the opportunity it has provided for earlier than normal spring gardening.

The daffodils have been blooming for a few weeks now with hyacinths following right behind. 
While down at their level this afternoon, I was rewarded with a whiff of their sweet scent.  Indoors it can be a bit heavy, but coupled with the fresh outdoor air, it was the smell of springtime.  In my book that is a most lovely smell.

At this time of year I like to see those little pops of color here and there.  Today I saw a pop through the brown, barren trees and went to explore.  The saucer magnolia tree that I bought several years ago as a tiny little plant is finally beginning to take off and has rewarded me with pretty pink blooms.  The leaves will follow much like the redbuds do.

Stepping away from the saucer magnolia I was careful not to trample the petite "Tete-a-Tete" daffodils growing below.  Their diminutive size makes them hard to notice from afar.

The next plan of action was to prune and fertilize the rose bushes.
While crawling on the ground looking for dead shoots to snip off, our lack of moisture became apparent in the dry, cracked soil surrounding them.   Along with our mild temperatures has come a lack of rain.  Although it has been cloudy all day, there's no rain in the forecast.
Oh how I wish that it would rain.  It would be just what's needed to get that fertilizer down into the root system.
On the positive side rain is a possibility for later in the week.
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Removing the dead leaves from the pansy patch put the focus on the beautiful flowers and just generally freshened things up.

To keep them happy a little food was in order.
I love the Plant-tone fertilizer.
Easy to apply and organic.
My gardening cupboard currently houses Rose-tone, Plant-tone, Holly-tone and one other "tone" which I use on the veggies.  Maybe it's Veggie-tone.  Not sure and too comfy to get up and check.  But, you get the idea I'm sure.
A couple weeks ago I went around the yard sprinkling the Holly-tone around acid loving plants like my hydrangeas, hollies and blueberry bushes.

Since the pansy patch is near the hose I gave them a nice drink of water, then used that broom to tidy up the edge of the sidewalk.
One last thing before I call it a day ...

A little bouquet for the table and...

A big basket of kale.
Last fall's kale is still going strong.
Some for tonight's soup and the rest will be used for a new idea I saw on YouTube.  If it works out I'll let you know.

Off to tend that soup now.