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Author Topic: Any Home and Garden news yet?  (Read 6557 times)

hopflower

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Any Home and Garden news yet?
« on: February 12, 2011, 10:46:10 AM »
I am surprised with the opening of this topic that there has not been more comments on home and garden projects. Of course, gardens and such are always on my mind being a nursery worker; and it is still winter after all. But this is a perfect time to curl up with a cup of tea and those wonderful garden catalogues. Any plans for a fabulous garden this year? What are you all going to plant?

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 11:25:52 AM »
I am very much afraid that this coming spring will see me digging out broken shrubs and replacing them. The snow has been so deep and so heavy ...  I am positive that there will be a great deal of damage to contend with when the snow melts. My perennials will all pop back, but what I see barely emending  from the snow now that it has settled some with the rain last week and former a hard crust, is showing me a hearbreaking scene of splayed and broken branches.

I am anxiously awaiting the thaw so I can examine the plants that look the most damaged, most of which appear to be the first ones I installed in my gardens in the spring of 07. So far, these look the hardest hit, but many are still completely submerged:

My Syringa 'Miss Kim'
At least one Leucothoe 'Girard's Rainbow' (looks completely flattened)
One of my Ilex glabra 'Inkberry'
Several kalmia angustifolia (those slow-growing tiny babies don't stand a chance, and I have 8 of them)
One of my Andromeda 'Dorothy Wycoff'
Possibly all of the tender woody shoots of my many hydrangeas

I usually put up tent frames over the plants directly beneath the eaves and wrap others in burlap, but 1) I didn't wrap this year because there are no more deer and 2) I got lulled into a false sense of security about the weather. From what I hear, it has not snowed this bad since the 60s. I remember more snow when I first moved into this house 7 years ago, but I thought that was an aberration, because since then, winters had been relatively mild (or at least not much snow).

So this spring will be major cleanup and repair and/or replanting, so I will have to save my money so I can buy larger, more mature shrubs (so I don't have to wait another 4 years for them to grow).

I also have a lot of transplanting to do, and I am planning a retreat in the corner of my yard. Here's what I would have been focusing on if I were not facing such a major cleanup:

Install gravel and bluestone flooring under the oaks and maples in the southwest corner of the yard.
Put trellises behind it for privacy and plant clematis and climbing roses (haven't decided what yet/have to figure out the light, which changed when the developers cut down the trees)
Plant a shrub border, something dense and evergreen, so the space feels like a secret hideaway
Put a couple reading chairs back there, now that there will be fewer mosquitoes. Probably Adirondack in teak so I can leave them out year round (covered in winter)

Otherwise, I will be transplanting some of my more exuberant perennials: geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' and 'Bevan's Variety'; alchemilla mollis; pachysandra (love that stuff!) and tending to my relatively new English cottage garden, including sowing some new seeds.

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 11:27:24 AM »
That was rather a gloomy post, and I suspect hopflower had different intentions. To cheer myself up, here are images of the garden that I grew from seeds last year:

Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon'


Anagallis monellii 'Gentian Blue' (Pimpernel)


Browallia americana 'Blue Lady'


Centaurea cyanus 'Jubilee Gem' (Cornflower)


Chrysanthemum parthenium (Feverfew)


Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen'


Consolida ambigua 'Giant Imperial' (Larkspur)


Cosmos bipinnatus 'Seashells'


Cosmos bipinnatus 'Vega'


Cynoglossum amabile 'Mystery Rose' (Chinese forget-me-not)


Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)


Digitalis purpurea 'Alba' (Foxglove)


Eryngium alpinum 'Blue Lace' (Sea Holly)


Gilia capitata (Queen Anne's Thimbles)


Hesperis matronalis (Dame's Rocket)


Impatiens balsamina (Balsam)


Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' (Morning Glory)


Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)


Nigella damascena 'Persian Jewels' (Love in a Mist)


Papaver laciniatum 'Lilac Pompom'


Papaver orientale 'Princess Victoria Louise'


Papaver rhoeas 'Corn'


Papaver rhoeas 'Dawn Chorus'


Papaver rhoeas 'Shirley'


Papaver somniferum 'Imperial Pink'


Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape'


Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica (Clary Sage)


« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 11:50:03 AM by Zuzu's Petals »

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 11:29:36 AM »
Here they are again, all grouped together! I can't resist looking at all the pretty colors!

Of course, they won't all bloom at the same time. Figuring that out, and which colors to plant with which, took far more time than preparing the garden bed and tending to the seeds!














Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 11:49:25 AM »
That was my seed garden. The images that follow are from my cottage garden, where I used mostly perennials/some annuals.

When paging through my beloved Cottage Living magazine (now defunct), I kept daydreaming about my little Cape, with its grey shingles and white trim, sitting on our street with other Capes ... and how nice it would be to have a tall, loose, wild, English cottage garden look to set it apart from the requisite euonymous, purple azalea, and forsythia (yuck--OK not really but so common as to make me almost blind to the sight).

The 100 square foot cottage garden I installed follows the lines of the shrub border on the side, expanding into the middle of the backyard. I left a 3-foot strip of grass between the gardens so I can move around between them to weed and water. Right now I have to mow that strip, but eventually I'll consider gravel edged with cobblestones.

When I installed the garden, the space got sun from 10-12 and tree-filtered sun from 12-2, but after the developers took away our lovely woods, it now gets full sun from 10-5 so I can indulge my papaver obsession!

Not knowing this at planting time, I chose perennials that could handle part sun, and they did great last year. Oddly enough I took no full pictures of the garden. In fact, I did almost no gardening last summer, and now I remember why. I was going to the dermatologist each month for laser treatments, and I was supposed to avoid ANY sun 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after my treatment. So that explains where my summer went.  :rollseyes:  I weeded at night or at 6AM.

Plants:
Click to enlarge images.

Achillea 'Corination Gold' (Yarrow)


Alchemilla Mollis (because you can just never have enough Lady's Mantle!)


Anemone tomoentosa 'Robustissima' (Windflower)


Aquilegia 'Yellow Queen' (Columbine)


Campanula persicifolia 'Alba' intermingled with 'New Giant' below (Bellflower)


Campanula persicifolia 'New Giant' intermingled with 'Alba' above


Crysanthemum superbum Brightside (Daisy)


Crysanthemum superbum Highland White (Daisy)


Clematis Josephine (to climb [hide] the hideous fence between the 2 clematis terniflora 'Sweet Autumn' currently residing there along with the clematis 'Mayleen' planted last season)


Coreopsis Tripteris (Tickseed/Butter Daisy)  -- HATED these! I dug them out this past fall.


Delphinium 'Dusky Maidens'


Dianthus barbatus 'Novena Clown' (Sweet William)


Digitalis grandiflora 'Carillon' (Foxglove)


Geranium cranesbill 'Johnson's Blue' (I don't love these. I'll replace with 'Roxanne,' which bloom until a hard frost)


Helleborus 'Carousel' (Lenten Rose)


Heuchera 'Patricia Louise' (Coral Bells)


Heuchera 'Raspberry Ice'


Hollyhock 'Black Beauty Alcea'  -- I ADORE these deliciously dark blooms!


Lavendula Munstead (Lavender)


Monarda 'Aquarius' (Bee Balm) -- Not a big fan, and the experiment didn't go well. I can't keep the leaf mold down.


Papaver 'Double Tangerine Gem' (Poppy)


Phlox paniculata 'David'


Phlox paniculata 'Franz Schubert'


Viola cornea 'Lutea Spendens' (violet)


I also have lots of Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' in another spot in my yard (such a friendly plant!), and so many others I can't remember (have to go get my gardening notebook).

As I mentioned above, this newer addition is parallel to an existing garden that contains 4 Rhododendron 'Cunningham's White', 1 Rhododendron 'Royal Purple, 2 Viburnum dentatum 'Autumn Jazz', 2 Pieris japonica 'Dorothy Wycoff', 1 Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (dead* and replaced), 3 Clethera alnifolia 'Ruby Spice', and tons of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' as groundcover. After this picture I dug up the Forest Pansy, which is not hearty to this area and put in a white crabapple, which blooms at the same time as my Cornus Florida 'Alba.' The shrubs have filled in and grown tall enough to not only hide the neighbor's chainlink fence but hide the fact that his house needs painting.  :wink:

Thanks for starting this cheerful topic, hopflower! I have changed my mind about what I want to do this afternoon.

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 11:53:27 AM »
All together.

   
     
     
     
     
     

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011, 12:09:26 PM »
Getting sick of me yet?

Here are some more random images of my yard that I saved to Photobucket. I have a bazillion more stored in iPhoto.  :Devil:



How my cottage garden started:




My favorite poppies of all time! Alpine poppies:

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 12:12:42 PM »


Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 12:28:50 PM »
I could really use some help with my front yard. The aspect is mostly northeast, and it gets very little sun except for the far left side that gets late afternoon sun.

Posting full-yard pictures is almost as traumatizing as posting pictures of my face. We inherited really cute house on a yard that the former owners (who lived here since the 40s) did nothing to. I suspect he plopped a couple tiny yews in front to help sell the house, but we dug those up and put them out back for the deer to eat.

We have two large oaks in front, plus a dogwood that I planted our first spring here and is now over 15 feet high! I paid a garden designer to come up with a plan for me, but I executed the whole thing myself (sourcing plants, plotting the garden, digging, and planting).

I have never been in love with the plants she chose for me, as well as how closely she had me plant them, and since many will have been destroyed this winter, I am wide open to ideas.

The front of the house is light shade, and although the hydrangeas grow and bloom, they are not as happy as they could be.

I am planning a wide walkway from the bottom of the steps (which need to be panited) to the driveway, in a welcoming curve, but I haven't put one in because I can't decide between bluestone, slate, and brick. Maybe even crushed pea gravel. Which hardscape material is more cottagey? I fear the bluestone could be too formal unless I can install the slabs in an irregular pattern.

Here are some images before and after the gardens I installed. I dug them up in fall 07 and did all the planting in spring 08:

 

Look how neat and tiny everything is! The hydrangea has since taken over and flops all over the place. I am afraid I will have to stake it this year, which annoys me because I want my shrub borders to be very low maintenance, and I told my garden planner this.

This garden contains a hydrangea (Annabelle or Snow White-- I can't remember), 3 leucothoe, 4 sheep laurel, 2 kirengeshoma palmata, 1 ilex glabra, 8 waldstenia (taking over nicely as groundcover), and around 8 asilbe 'Hennie Graafland,' which are struggling. In fact, none of it is thriving. The holly is leggy. It's all leggy, and the astilbe have barely grown in 2 years.

Despite my heavily amending the soil, this is not a friendly garden. The soil feels compact and hard, which might be a reason plants are struggling--they are root bound. I am not sure what to do here to make it more plant friendly. Add liquid gypsum where it feels compacted? Gently dig up the soil around the plants and add more compost?

The other side of the front door is doing slightly better, but it is overgrown because (so says my dad), this gardener likes to cram things in from the start to make it look full. Unfortunately, the three All Summer Beauty hydrangas have completely eclipsed the 4 other sheep laurel and two have died. I have another ilex over there, a enkianthus 'Red Vein' (yuck), filipendula rubra 'Venusta', and foamflower as ground cover (the latin name escapes me). For some reasons I didn't upload those images to Photobucket.

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 12:48:09 PM »
Found some. Here are some shots of the other side of the front door, when the garden was first installed. That was 3 years ago so there has been a lot of growth.

I am thinking about transplanting all of it and putting something more low maintenance and heartier (the water spigot is on that wall, and so is the water meter, so town employees walk through it).

Ideas?

   

Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 12:49:53 PM »
Here are some pictures of my parents' house and garden, that I helped paint (house) and install (garden). They DO live on the beach!

I took these pictures 5 years ago, when the gardens were still relatively new. Since then things have grown in, and it is incredibly lush. In fact, much of what I have growing in my yard is from shoots from their gardens. When I visit in the spring and summer, it's very gratifying to watch cars slow down and the cameras flash. It's just that pretty.





Unfortunately, I took these pictures in early spring, before anything was blooming, so there's not much color at all. I'll have to get some new ones in July. They have anemones and peonies and all kinds of wonderful amazing perennials.

makeupmaven

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 10:17:59 PM »
I want to see who can top Zuzu, our consummate gardener. I'm out. :P

Your pictures are awesome. I have the opposite of a green thumb; fortunately DH likes to garden or I'd have to add gardener to my wish list of chef and maid.
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Poppyfields

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 10:45:15 PM »
I'm out.  I live in a townhouse with no garden space, just a few potted plants in my courtyard.

Back in MN, I had 5 raised garden beds where I grew veggies using the square foot garden method.  I miss my crab apple trees in the spring where they burst out in pinks.

So beautiful, ZuZu.  I'm in awe of the variety and voluptuousness of your blooms. 
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Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2011, 08:15:58 AM »
Thank you! I am rather shocked that I picked it up so easily, not that I haven't made a lot of mistakes along the way.

After most of my adult life in rentals, I suddenly got gardening a few years ago, maybe because my yard was so plain and boring, zero curb appeal. It also helped that I got over my fears and insecurities (I used to kill every houseplant I owned with kindness) by helping my parents plan and install their gardens certainly helped. Planning (looking through gardening books) was the most fun!

I started with very low maintenance things (broadleaf evergreen shrubs) and a few perennial shoots from my parents' gardens. I had several failures (not planting things in the correct spot), but nothing has actually died, and I have moved every original shrub at least three times by now! I think that's what I find most liberating. Unless it's a tree that has put down significant roots, if I don't like where I put something I can just move it.

After realizing I wasn't going to kill the gifted perennials, I started out on my own two summers ago and went nuts with all kinds of different perennials. Last summer I noticed people slowing down when they drove by my house, so I must be doing something right.

I really enjoy it. I weed a patch or put down fresh mulch or compost and it's instant gratification. Or I think about buying flowers and then remember I can go outside and cut fresh flowers. And this summer I will be able to smell them, since I had no sense of smell in years past. :)

ILuvLucy

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2011, 08:18:38 AM »
Your gardens are beautiful, Zuzu.  Now I know who to come to for gardening advice!  We have an abundance of deer in our area, who eat just about everything.  Even the plants that say "deer proof".  :lol:  But we try!  They won't touch daffodils.
 
However, at our house at the shore, we have quite a few plantings, and can grow just about anything.  (no deer threat there!)   Everything needs a really good clean-up now though.   
I will keep watching your posts, Zuzu, for the inspiration and push that I need.  :grin:

Here's one photo from the shore - a hibiscus in bloom.
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Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2011, 09:54:34 AM »
Gorgeous, Lucy! When I have an oceanside house on my own, I will grow beautiful things. I'd use rugosa as a boundary/fence because it's so prickly and requires no maintenance. I'd also grow pampas grass because I love the way it waves in the wind.

milla

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2011, 10:50:30 AM »
I am embarrassed. My garden is such a mess at the moment. I haven't done any work. It is going back to the ancestral forest. Now that I haven't got a cat, the squirrels are having a ball. And the other day, when we were having dinner, a fox came up right to the patio doors and looked at us-totally brazen. I am afraid I don't have a lot of sympathy for urban foxes.
But.... I do have a couple of big-ish clumps of snowdrops and they are beautiful. Must send you a picture.

hopflower

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2011, 11:17:30 AM »
Quote
And the other day, when we were having dinner, a fox came up right to the patio doors and looked at us-totally brazen. I am afraid I don't have a lot of sympathy for urban foxes.
But.... I do have a couple of big-ish clumps of snowdrops and they are beautiful. Must send you a picture.

Oh I know they can be mischievous, milla. But I love them. At my relatives house (Midlands) they would trot round all over at dusk! A neighbour had a small back shed and they would have their young there each year! So cute.

I love snowdrops. They do not do well in California as it is not cold enough, but once in awhile you will see one is someone's shady garden. Same with convallaria and tulips for that matter.

hopflower

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2011, 11:26:40 AM »
Zuzu: If you have heavy soil, liquid anything is the last thing you need. Actually, we have heavy soil in my county for the most part, and sandy soil in the west county. Heavy soil (clay) is desirable for two things: it is very nutrient rich, and can be amended easily. But liquid is not appropriate; you need compost or soil amendment whether it is made by you or a garden products company. I am sure that they are many products in your area which would fit the bill, but the desired result is a fine tilth with a good drainage potential and yet still hold moisture. Admittedly in some areas this is a chore, but it can be obtained. If you garden a lot I am sure you must have a compost pile, if not; it is a good plan to start one.

Hydrangea needs morning sun and afternoon shade. Annabelle is famous for flopping over; perhaps you need an oakleaf or French hydrangea for a compact and neat hedge in front there.


Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2011, 11:49:20 AM »
Thanks for the tips, hopflower. And yes, I have two compost piles going, one in chicken wire and the other in a tumbler. I can't wait to use the stuff from the tumble this spring--it looks gorgeous!

Our soil is pretty loamy (and rocky--my house sits on granite ledge), but in that particular garden patch I've come across silt and lava rocks, at least that's what I think it's called--extremely light and porous solid masses. When it rains hard I can see water running off the surface, so I am thinking I need to get in there with a garden weasel and break up the surface and add some more compost. The plants have grown in so much that I don't bother mulching any more--except around the Atilbes (avoiding the crowns), which seem to be stunted! Plants around her do very well with compost made from lobster shells, so a lot of our compost is shipped in from Maine.

I am in Zone 5B, bordering on 6A, but I tend to buy plants hearty to zone 4, just because our winters can be so bizarre.

Maybe I'll move Annabelle to the back and transplant my lacecap 'Blue Wave' hydrangeas to the front. That area does get morning sun and afternoon shade, so they are where they should be, I guess. They would get much better morning sun if I took down those oaks, though, because the sun is filtered.

I read up a bit this morning in Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs and a couple other books. It looks like Inkberry hollies do get leggy, so maybe I will replace with the winterberry-type hollies that have the prickly leaves and red berries. I assume I need at least one male bush if I want berries, yes? My inberry has never, not once, produced the black berries it is supposed to produce. It was funny to read his entry on Enkianthus; like me, he's not a big fan. :lol:

hopflower

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2011, 12:49:20 PM »
Yes, you do need a male plant and a female plant to get berries. They also tend so shed leaves a lot as they get older. Your lacecap hydrangea would be a better choice where the Annabelle is, it seems. Also, the oaks will tend to rob water as their roots go far. Out here they have adapted to where they do not need as much (Mediterranean climate) but can be problematic just the same for shade and sun issues. Also, you cannot plant too close to them due to ruining the oak itself!

SusieQ

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2011, 03:58:02 PM »
You always have such a beautiful garden, ZZ!  It's been raining here all week and I haven't done much in the back. But, I will once winter is over.   The Tulips are coming up and my two little blueberry bushes are sprouting little pink/white flowers.  I can't wait to work in the garden.  :cardio:

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Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2011, 04:05:02 PM »
The Tulips are coming up and my two little blueberry bushes are sprouting little pink/white flowers.  

How nice! And lucky. We are still under deep snow, but we had a couple days in the 50s, so it's settling down lower. If only that was the last snow of the season, but we have 6 weeks to get through still.

Tupelo

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2011, 04:45:39 PM »
We're having a little taste of Spring, a little tease, in our neck of the woods here. Today it's 70 degrees. Yesterday was in the mid-60's. So, the snow's gone and the crocuses are starting to peek out. Of course, this will be short-lived. But we are loving it! It's not Spring yet, but as e.e. cummings said, "the world is mudlicious" and although we have no "little old balloon man whistling far and wee," we have green beginnings, fragrant earth, and I'm feeling like a kid again. :)
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SusieQ

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2011, 11:16:35 AM »
The Tulips are coming up and my two little blueberry bushes are sprouting little pink/white flowers.  

How nice! And lucky. We are still under deep snow, but we had a couple days in the 50s, so it's settling down lower. If only that was the last snow of the season, but we have 6 weeks to get through still.
Ouch! Six Weeks!  It's bitter cold outside right now. I'll just keep looking at your lovely garden pictures and not feel so gloomy.
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Kelly

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2011, 11:44:07 AM »
We are having bizarre weather. Should reach 60 today.

At least the snow is mostly off the roof.

But, yes, we could easily have many more feet of snow and blizzards aplenty straight through the end of March into April.

makeupmaven

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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2011, 12:38:00 PM »
Here, too. It was 70 yesterday and should be the same today. Then back to the 40s for the weekend. It is really such a tease; I won't be surprised if we get dumped on one more time.
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