Friday, March 6, 2009

A Really Good Day

I've got Spring Fever. I and a few thousand of my closest Midwestern friends.

The high temperature for today was 67°F and if that isn't impressive enough, consider that the low just three days ago was 8
°F. Two days later, the temperature at 11:00 PM was 58°F. And next week, we very well could have a full-blown snowstorm. That's March for you.

When we have a warm day like today, after weeks of winter, you'll find any excuse to go outside and stay there. If you're a gardener, you don't need a better invitation to find something to do in the gardens. There's plenty needing done around here and I was glad to get started on it.

Over the course of the afternoon, here's what I did:

  • Cleaned the leaves out of the flower beds on the east and west sides of the house.
  • Pruned the dead "winter interest" from the Astilbe, Hellebores, Echinacea, Japanese Painted Fern, Plumbago, and Sedum.
  • Swept up the sunflower seed shells that were all over the patio from the two bird feeders hanging from the pergola.

The photo on the left was taken today, after I'd cleaned things up. The one on the right was taken in June 2007 (and was featured in the August 2008 issue of
Old House Journal magazine). I'm looking forward to seeing it look like that again in about three months. Patience!

More tasks completed were:

  • Fluffed up the mulch in the beds that had gotten compacted from the snows of winter.
  • Cleaned the dead plants out of the flower boxes on the front porch railing and the large planter on the front porch.
  • Hung the porch swing back up.
  • Repotted the Goldfish plant (Nematanthus gregarius) - much easier to do outside, because I'm very messy!

As I was working in and around the gardens, I noticed the many signs of spring that at first glance aren't obvious. The Sedums are well on their way. The Hellebores have several thick shoots of new growth, and the Arum italicum are poking their heads out of the ground.

Crocus kotschyanus

The fall-blooming crocus are coming up at the base of the Sweet Gum tree, and will have nice grass-like foliage until summer, when they will go dormant. In the fall, there won't be new foliage, but there will be fragile, pale lavender blooms. Strange plant, that.

It was a wonderful day spent outside working, but it didn't seem like work, really. Things needed to be done and it looked much better when I was finished, but all of that took a back seat to the joy of being able to be outside without a coat and breathe in the fresh, earthy scent of spring, while listening to the nuthatches and other birds singing praises.

Oh, I almost forgot! Look what I saw today on the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis):

When it's in full bloom, I'll post a photo of the entire shrub in all its glory.


TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Good Morning Kylee and thank you for this very inspiring post. Spring is in the air and even cleaning is a fun job when it is spring.
Have a really nice weekend Tyra

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Your seating area looks really beautiful.

Lot of work going on!

I look forward to the witch hazel pic


Helen/patientgardener said...

What a productive day I'm hoping to have an equally productive day today

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I too was outside most of the day. Spring Bliss is all I can say for the first day of being outside without a jacket, puttering in the garden. Aaaahhh.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kylee .. what an exceptional day you had girl ! You have such a beautiful place .. take lots of pictures girl !! LOL
We are still waiting for the forcasted rain .. wash the snow away please !!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I was outside cleaning up yesterday too. The sun wasn't out, but it was warm and glorious!

Unknown said...

Wow, you really got a lot done! I'm envious. We still have too much snow here to do any of that. I'm hoping the nice temps this weekend and expected rain will take our snow cover down though. Spring is on it's way!

Cathy S. said...

Love your Pergula and beautiful
Patio, you're so lucky!

Unknown said...

Very nice photos! getting outside after a long winter is always the most amazing fealing.

Greg W said...

Hi Kylee, you have been busy. We are all shivering with anticipppppation!

Anonymous said...

You certainly accomplished a great deal today. I know you are hoping the warm weather stays around.

Always Growing

Meems said...

Oh Kylee,
I know how you LOVED being outside and getting to work in your garden. You had quite the list of accomplishments. Enjoy that porch while you can... before the next snow storm. :-) BTW- it sure looks different than that photo you sent me with about a foot of snow covering every surface.

Right after I talked with you yesterday I got a phone call from a neighbor who was recovering from gall bladder surgery... off I went to the hospital. So much for lounging on the back porch and blogging.:-)
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Don't you just love spring cleanup?! I love your table under the pergola, no wonder they wanted it in a magazine!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kylee,
I enjoyed reading about all the things you accomplished. I think it's a bit early here for some of that, but I should get some of my annuals from last year out. I love that area that was featured in the magazine. Cool!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I should print out your post with all the things you've done in one day and look at it every time I head to the computer!
Your patio is very elegant. I'll check that article in the magazine.
Thanks for the post!

Wayne Stratz said...

Glad you had a productive day. I started doing some PT work on my right shoulder this week and decided it was best to let it continue to heal after the years of neglect. Instead we went to Longwood Gardens and with the Philly Flower Show the night before it was 24 hours of botanical big dates.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Beautiful photos, an excellent information about temperature of the day...

Chiot's Run said...

I'll have to go out and check my witch hazel.

Lona said...

Wasn't it grand Kylee? I was right out there with you cleaning and preparing beds, just enjoying the warm weather. Worked my fanny off but enjoyed being out so much.

Anonymous said...

You made up me not doing anything! Your patio really is pretty, can't wait to see it in all its' glory this summer. I hope you take a break today, you got alot done while the temps were mild. :)

Kylee Baumle said...

Tyra ~ Isn't that the truth? And I like to clean up much more when you can see dramatic results.

Rob ~ Thank you. My husband actually wants to get rid of the table and benches. He's nuts, I say. LOL.

patientgardener ~ I hope you got a lot done!

Lisa ~ It feels so gooood, doesn't it? Yay, us! :-)

Joy ~ Thank you! We are getting rain now, and flooding, and are under a tornado watch. Such is spring!

Robin ~ It just felt so good out there, didn't it?

Cinj ~ I hope your snow is gone now!

Cathy ~ Thank you. Yes, I am blessed to have a dad and husband who know how to build such things!

flowrgirl1 ~ Nothing like it! :-)

Greg W ~ I was so sore the next day (which was also warm) that I didn't get out and take advantage of yet another great weather day. Today is rainy and gloomy, but the houseplants need some attention anyway. ;-)

Jan ~ Yes, I hope this is the REAL start of spring. We'll see!

Meems ~ It was so good to talk to you again! Yes, I was loving every second of being outside accomplishing something. When I think of how many leaves we raked last fall, it's amazing that there are so many piled in the gardens now.
Good for you, though, that you visited your neighbor. Bloggins will wait - friendships won't!

Catherine ~ Thank you. Yes, I do love spring clean-up. You can see such a difference when you're finished!

Sue ~ Thanks! It's probably a bit early here, too. But I mulched things pretty heavily last fall, so taking all those leaves off didn't leave them bare.

Tatyana ~ I sometimes have to drag myself away from the computer, too, so I understand!

Wayne ~ Ahhhh...Longwood Gardens! Mom and I went there in 2006 and I'd love to go back. And the Philadelphia Flower Show is a dream.
I hope your shoulder heals quickly!

Garage Door Repair ~ Thanks!

Chiot's Run ~ I need to check mine again too, but it's pouring down rain right now, so it will have to wait.

Hocking Hills Gardener ~ Yay! It's a "good" tired, isn't it?

perennialgardener ~ Thanks! Oh yes, taking a break today. It's rainy and gloomy and I'm not doing much. I'm thinking a nap sounds good! LOL

Brenda Pruitt said...

I love your "springy" look! Luckily, our sedums last all year. I need to see if we can grow Witch Hazel here. Your yard is reviving!

Bay Area Tendrils said...

Hi Kylee,
spring has sprung, I believe!

Connie said...

I have enjoyed getting out, as well, and starting some garden clean up. That is, until I got hit with a nasty virus. The weather turned colder again too, so I don't feel so bad having to be house bound.

EAL said...

Everything looks great! I haven't has a day like this yet, but expect to soon. You know, I think I have those autumn crocuses, but I've been getting the foliage without the blooms, which isn't OK but not quite as satisfying.

Unknown said...

Spring has sprung for you, and richly deserved. Meanwhile, up here, we're just waiting for the next snowfall. But I know that one of these days spring will toddle along.
By the way, I don't think I told you how much I like the current springlike design of Our Little Acre! Fresh and lovely.

Kylee Baumle said...

Brenda ~ Some of the sedums look pretty good all winter long here, too, but they look even better when it's warmer.

Alice Joyce ~ I think so! :-)

Connie ~ Oh no! I hope you get to feeling better, pronto!

Eliz ~ I was underwhelmed when they finally did bloom. It took them a couple of years here before they bloomed. They're so fragile. I prefer the bolder crocuses.

Jodi ~ Thanks, Jodi! And we very well could get snow, too, and likely will. The thing about snows at this time though, is they don't last long. If this spring weather lasts, it will mean we're having an early spring. But we're due for one of those!

Jennifer AKA keewee said...

Yes spring is on it's way, and I am getting a little inpatient. Our weather is as changable as yours is.

Anonymous said...

Sending you lots more warm days Kylee!! I love your patio.

Wayne Stratz said...

shoulder is better and is trying its best to forget pain, but it remembers for now.

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