Saturday, April 18, 2015

working in the yard

 Another beautiful, sunny spring day in our neck-of-the-woods. We've been spoiled by this wonderful weather all week. Brian had the day off work today (he usually works weekends), so we went to Home Depot and picked up some pansies and a couple of herb plants. The place was packed! Rain is moving in tomorrow and the rest of the week looks cool and cloudy, so I think everyone wanted to get a start on yard work today. We saw a lot of customers buying big hanging baskets of ferns. Wonder what was up with that...why the popularity of those all of a sudden? It almost became a joke while we were walking around the store because everyone we passed was carrying at least two of those baskets of ferns. 

This is the first planter I put out on my porch every spring and pansies are always what I start with too, as they can withstand the cool weather. They always look kind of pitiful when I first plant them, but they'll perk up and fill out in a couple of weeks.

 Cilantro and dill are two herbs that can also handle cool weather, so I started with those in a planter instead of my herb garden. I figure if we still have a danger of frost at night (which is very possible until mid-May), I can move the planter into the garage.

 We were outside for several hours this afternoon, planting and dragging outdoor furniture out of the garage, pulling weeds, cutting back perennials, raking, and sweeping.

Just the other day, the hostas simply looked like purple asparagus coming out of the ground. Now those purple shoots have burst open and the leaves are slowly unfurling like little twirling ballerinas.

If you are looking for an easy, spreading groundcover that likes the shade, try pachysandra. This is about six years worth of growth but we started with only a handful of plants. We actually had no idea it would spread this much and it's now overtaking our stepping stone path that leads to the patio. And it's not fun to dig up ~ it has strong roots! So just a warning to be sure and plant it somewhere where you don't mind it really spreading. This plant is so hardy that it stays green all winter. We also never water it unless we have drought conditions.

Another plant that grows at least an inch a day in the spring ~ sedum.

 I could not believe the chives in my herb garden when I saw this plant today! It was just a tiny plant I stuck in the ground last year. This thing is already a monster. That's lemon balm in the background - a perennial in the mint family that loves to take over a garden, so I have to keep that under control, too.

 Clementine was watching me out the living room window. I don't know what she was looking at when I took this photo. Perhaps a bug. We've already seen bees (a good thing), box elder bugs, one of those small white butterflies (another good thing), and the most dreaded flying insect...mosquitoes. We were sitting on the patio yesterday evening and we were already swatting at a couple of those wretched things.

So, where's my hard-working man? Aha! Caught him red-handed. Guess his work in the yard is done for the day.

 Mine, too. 

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend! How's the weather where you live? Are you doing any yard work this weekend or are you up to something else?


  1. So funny how our days and time spent in this weather are so much alike. I noticed the fern fetish, too. They really are pretty and breezy outdoors and I can bring them in and out...I have them at the lakehouse and keep them over the winter. They do drop a lot of dead leaves in the winter so you have to be willing to clean up. But very traditional and Cape Cod-ish! Why HD went hog wild on them this year, I'm not sure.

    I will have to try the cilantro and dill, love both and didn't know they were so hardy. And my chives were the first to come up, too.

    Yep, crappy week coming up. Time to sit back, read and be lazy! :)

    Jane x

  2. I planted pachysandra when I was renting out here. There was a pine tree in front of our cottage and nothing would grow there. But the pachysandra took off...after lots of nurturing. I wonder if it's still there?
    I haven't even put my overwintered pots of impatiens outside yet. I guess I still a bit wary of the temperature fluctuations around here.


  3. It's all looking great, Melanie. I really love your planter of pansies, they're so pretty. I like pachysandra but you do have to keep up with it. I remember our next-door neighbor when I was a kid had some on the side of her house and she used to pay me to pull it out of areas where she didn't want it to spread. That was a tidy source of income! :) I hope you're having a good weekend.

  4. Your yard is looking good. I always plant a pot of pansies first thing too!

  5. it has been beautiful weather...and if I wasn't out on a weekend trip with the ladies that is certainly where I would be! You hubs looks really cute out there lounging on the wicker furniture! Why aren't you out there too?

  6. I am so glad that your sunny days have arrived and you can be outdoors.

    I saw something on Instagram that cracked me up - "Please forgive me for anything I said when it was Winter!" Not experiencing winter, I don't think I appreciate spring as much.

  7. It must be a "chive year" because mine is also huge this year. I love your patio area with the white wicker.

  8. It's always nice to get a good start on the yard work. I always say I'd work in the yard all day before I'd do housework. Like you, I don't understand why people like ferns so much. I guess it's traditional to hang them on the covered porch of your old home, right? I don't get it. Plain green ferns that need constant watering? No thanks.

  9. I'm so happy for you that Spring has finally arrived where you live! You just reminded me that I need to plant some chives ;)



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