I haven't written a decent blog post in several days and it's because of one gigantic, multi-faceted reason. There's just so much going on here! Spring has sprung and I feel pulled in so many different directions. There needs to be two of me.
On second thought, probably not. I doubt Romie could handle that on a daily basis. But because I'm horrible at multi-tasking, and get very easily distracted (it's that G.A.D.S. thing), I've got lots of things halfway done. I know - I'm a disgrace to the female race. But don't worry, they'll get completed eventually. So where do I start?
Remember the Paris polyphylla? They've spent the winter in the basement greenhouse and I noticed they had broken dormancy a couple of weeks ago. Today I worked the ground up by the house, which was in perfect condition and not too wet. It's somewhat protected from rain by the overhang on the house and is in mostly shade, with just a bit of morning sun filtering through the pergola. I planted it there, which should be a good spot for it.
I've got other shade plants there - Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven'), European Wild Ginger (Asarum europaeum), Hosta 'Cameo', Tatting Fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae'), and lots of Lily-of-the-Valley, which has multiplied from the passalongs from my Aunt Kay several years ago. The soil is super rich and loamy, due to the cats using it for a litter box much of the time. Everything I've ever planted there has done very well, as long as the cats don't dig it up. Until the plants get large enough to take up the entire area so that the cats don't find this area so appealing, I've placed "barriers" around them.
I had gotten three Wintergreen (Gautheria procumbrens) plants this winter at Meijer and they too lived in the basement greenhouse. They were showing signs of new growth and I'd had them outside for these warm days, then planted them yesterday at the base of the Washington Hawthorn tree. We're reworking that area this spring and this will be a nice groundcover for the shaded area.
I've relocated a few things, too. The Sedum 'Voodoo' was moved from the front of the house where it was too tall for its spot, to Max's Garden, near another sedum. In its place, I transplanted the two Lewisias, which look like they've made it through the winter, but will be better sited in the new spot.
I planted the four Giant White Trilliums that I'd recently purchased at Meijer. While this grows in many of our local woods, I've yet to come across any. We have Toadshade Trillium (Trillium sessile) in abundance and it's just now coming up. The white ones had just a bit of green growth on them and I put them at the base of the Ginkgo tree in the shade garden by the honeysuckle trellis.
It looks like I've lost yet another 'Diana, Princess of Wales' hybrid tea rose. This is my second one and as much as I love its large and beautiful blooms with their intoxicating scent, it apparently doesn't like me. So on the chance that there is still a bit of life in it, I banished it to the orphan garden. We'll see what happens there.
That opened up a spot for something else, and I'm considering planting my new Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire' there, because it's on the east side of the house, gets only morning sun (recommended on the plant tag), and is protected from wind. I've read it suffers from wind burn if it gets too much.
In addition to having lots of things to do outside, there's plenty to keep me hopping inside, too. I've got several Amaryllis in bloom in the house, with even more to come. (I got most of them planted up late this year.) Many of the houseplants have stepped it up with their rate of growth, no doubt due to the longer daylight, so they need to be fertilized and selectively pruned. Some have grown so much over the winter that they have needed repotting.
I started several seeds indoors a couple of weeks ago and have seedlings of nearly all of them now. Those are in Jenna's old bedroom, which has both southern and western exposures, which provides plenty of light and solar heat - good for germination! We got the cold frame down out of the attic, so those will go out there soon.
The last few days I've really overdone it and my running has suffered for it, while the gardens have benefited. I've decided that I need to do my running first, then the gardening because I've not had much energy left for running.
There are other goings-on around here, and those will be revealed in future blog posts, but I wanted to give you an update on Barney, the brown tabby that decided to make our house his home. He adopted us several months ago and was accepted straight away by the rest of our kitties. Extremely affectionate, with adorable green eyes, it was a pretty easy decision to make him "official" by getting him an appointment with the veterinarian.
I took him in yesterday, on my way to work, with instructions to test him for Feline Leukemia, and if it was negative, to go ahead with the neutering and immunizations. The surgery was scheduled for this morning and we were to pick him up later today. But fate held other plans for Barney's life.
The phone rang at 9:00 this morning and it was the vet. Barney tested positive for Feline Leukemia and I was asked if I wanted them to euthanize him. We didn't want him to suffer the ravages of this disease, so sadly his young life came to an end today. Barney hadn't been with us long enough for us to become that attached to him, but once we'd made the decision to include him in the circle of our family, this was very disappointing. We know he would have made a great addition to our cat family.
I'll close this post by urging everyone to have their kitties immunized and if you decide to keep a stray that's wandered your way, do get it tested for FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus). Barney appeared to be healthy, so you just never know.