Thursday, April 10, 2008

B-B-B-Busy and B-B-B-Barney

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.

In a few weeks, this will be filled with greenery
and color,
free of the "extras."

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.

Xeranthemum seedlings at 15 days

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.

Barney ... yesterday

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.


Anonymous said...

Poor little guy. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

garden girl said...

So sorry about Barney.

Years ago we had a beautiful (indoor only) white and grey longhaired kitten named Rascal who had leukemia. We didn't know until we took him to have him neutered at 5 months. The stress of the surgery brought on virulent symptoms and sadly he had to be euthanized. Fortunately our other cats didn't develop the disease.

I'm sorry to hear about Barney. Poor little guy.

Unknown said...

Oh, Kylee, I missed this post when reading last night. As it was, I promptly burst into tears. I'm so sorry...poor little Barney! Even if he hadn't been with you that long, it's still really hard. Dexter was only here just over a week and while he's going to be fine, I'm still upset. Or maybe I'm just hormonal. ;-) Weird, though that this happened to you on the same day as I took Dexter to the shelter. We're in tandem again.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

My goodness girl. Just reading what all you have done in the garden makes me tired. Whew.

I am sorry that Barney was sick. It is too bad. He must have appreciated the care you gave him since he decided to stick around. You certainly blessed his last months of life as he blessed you with his attentions.

Shady Gardener said...

Do you now need to test your other kitties?

It was fun to read about your gardening forays. I'm still in the "anticipation" mode! ;-)

I noticed yellow tips on some of the daffodil buds today... but, it's overcast and chilly. Hopefully they'll make it over the next few days without too severe a cold snap!

verobirdie said...

So sorry for Barney. I'm sure you did the right thing for him and your cat family, but it is a sad news. At least, his last weeks have been happy ones.

Unknown said...

Ah... so sorry to hear about Barney. But am glad that you saved him from the ravages of FL.

Your spring is looking really good, though, Kylie. Did you notice that your European ginger was extraordinarily ratty-looking this spring, or was it just mine?

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I was just thinking about Barney today and wondering how he was doing. I am so sorry to hear that the little guy tested positive and his life had to come to and end. I know that even though he was new to your home that it still must have been hard for you all.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about Barney - That just breaks my heart. What a handsome little guy he was.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Such sad news about Barney. How I wish things had turned out differently. By putting him to sleep you've done the right thing, both for Barney and all the young cats in your neighbourhood. I'm glad you tested him on feline leukemia, I did that too with Kadootje and Surprise and they were tested on Feline Aids as well as around 10 % of moggies have it in my country.

Take care my dear!

blogger templates | Make Money Online