Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A New Job!

The weather forecast last night predicted a light freeze. I covered as much as I could with blankets, sheets, boxes, and plastic containers. There was frost on the ground this morning and as far as I can tell nothing in the flower gardens were damaged.

I've been very blessed to have been able to stay at home while my children were growing up. Now that they are 20 and almost 16, I decided to get a part-time job and I started it today.

I wasn't actually expecting to start a job this soon; I have so much to plant now that we have hopefully had our last frost. I'm hoping I won't be quite so tired when I get home tomorrow and can at least get the impatiens in the front flower bed.

The tulips look so pretty right now, but rain is in the forecast and that probably will finish them off.

This is my first year for lilacs and they do indeed smell wonderful!

The phlox is beautiful this year and loaded with blooms.

I'm usually able to stay up late and enjoy computer time, but tonight I'm exhausted and I have another early, full day of work tomorrow. So, off to bed I go.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Flowering Crabapples

The flowering crabapple trees are magnificent right now. Last year, the freeze destroyed our lovely blooms, but the trees are more than making up for that this year. I don't recall ever seeing so many blooms on the trees before. I think for some reason blooms are more prolific this year.

This is a small tree in my yard.

This one is a street tree around the block from me.

The Eastern redbuds trees are in full bloom also. I just want to stop and drink in this beauty as I walk through the neighborhood and drive around. It is truly one of the most beautiful springs I've encountered here in Indiana.

So Many Weeds, So Little Thyme

I've had some volunteer projects that have eaten up a lot of my spare time and kept me busy this week instead of outside where I longed to be. I was finally able to spend this beautiful day working on some outdoor projects.

With my hubby and son's help this evening we finally got all of the dirt I had ordered into the backyard border bed.

The stone patio wall had settled some and wasn't level in a couple of areas. I took it apart and rebuilt the two ends. Three of the arborvitae that was planted by the patio for privacy were moved to another part of the yard. I liked the privacy, but I was concerned they would get to large, besides they obstructed my view of the hummingbird flowerbed. I'm a bit overwhelmed with everything there is to do in the yard. The dandelions seem especially bad this year and I have weeds everywhere.

I saw this when I was out yesterday, and thought it was quite fitting.

The nesting box is still getting attention from the bluebirds, sparrows and recently a tree swallow. I sure wish one of them would move in.

I have so many things to plant, but we have a possible light freeze in the forecast, so I'm trying to wait. I hear thunder now, I wish I had remembered to cut the remaining daffodils to bring them inside. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


These are the purple tulips I planted in the fall, at least they were supposed to be purple. I know I'm not the only one this happened to, Sherry, from Sherry's Zoo and Gardens had red tulips instead of pink coming up in her garden. At least these are in the backyard garden and it really doesn't matter there.

I took this picture just a couple of hours after the first one. I couldn't believe how quickly they opened.

Thankfully, this cluster of tulips all turned out to be purple.

I'm having a few new visitors here at Robin's Nesting Place; the Common Grackle is enjoying the peanuts and the birdbath.

The brown-headed cowbird also stopped by for a visit and a bath.

I was sitting out on the patio, in the swing, watching Libby attack the chair leg. She loves this game and I love watching her play it.

The weather has been gorgeous the last few days, but I've not been out working because I've had other projects going on. Now that I've pretty much finished those, we have rain in the forecast for several days. Bummer! I've got quite a few of my seedlings outside hardening off. Now I just need to get outside and get them planted.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Robin's Nesting Place...NOT!

This morning while eating breakfast, I noticed a robin with a mouth full of dried grass. I wondered where the nest was being built and hoped it was in one of my trees. I open the front door later and was disappointed to see that the location they had chosen was the wreath on my front door.

This location will never do!This is NOT a good robin's nesting place. I have too many packages delivered and too many people coming to the front door to have a bird nesting here. Sadly, I removed the wreath and hung it over one of the coach lights next to the third garage door that is rarely opened. I doubt they will still use it, but I just hated to destroy their handiwork.

Today was a bit chilly after our warm day yesterday, but we are definitely in the full swing of spring. It is so amazing to me how quickly this happens. Some of my tulips are opening.

The chionodoxa is now blooming. I planted 12 bulbs and so far only a few have bloomed.

The clematis, that was planted at the light post in the fall, has buds. The gorgeous clematis at the mailbox is full of buds. Usually I cut it back to the ground but never got around to it this year, it is covered in new growth. I can't wait to see it bloom this year.

The Bradford pear certainly has its critics and rightly so. It does have faults, but I can't imagine spring without these lovely delicate blooms. They are in full bloom now and these little beauties fade quickly.

Carol, From May Dreams, recently did a wonderful post on the Bradford pear. You would think these precious little blooms would smell sweet, but they don't. Carol thought they smelled like grilled mystery meat. I had never tried to figure out what they smelled like before, so, tonight while taking my walk, I started inhaling when passing by a Bradford pear, there are quite a few of them in our neighborhood. I couldn't really distinguish a scent so I had to stick my nose up close to the blooms and sniff. They actually smelled fishy to me, like a dirty aquarium. Not really a stench, but fishy. My daughter agreed that it smelled that way to her too. Carol, could your mystery meat, by any chance, be fish?

My little duckies are still visiting. One mom, who was visiting the playground, told me that her three year old wants to always face my house now so she can watch the birds and ducks while she swings.

Speaking of the playground, we got the mulch for the playground delivered on Friday. I spent several hours removing the remainder of the weeds from the area, before the rest of the volunteers arrived. As I pulled weeds, I would often run across earthworms, I had an extra bucket on hand to drop the earthworms in so that I could deposit them into my own garden. After pulling one deep rooted dandelion, I discovered four earthworms and one was huge. There was a three year old little boy there with his mom, and he had been quite chatty with me. I asked him if he like worms, he drew back, shook his head and told me no, he didn't like worms, he was a car fanatic. He is very interested in cars too, because when we first met this new family a few weeks ago, the very first thing he said to my daughter was, "What kind of car do you drive?" Kids can be so funny.

I hope the robins don't eat all of my new worms!

Friday, April 18, 2008

All Shook Up

About 5:30 this morning I was startled awake by what turned out to be an earthquake. I was prepared for that when I lived in the Memphis, TN area for ten years, because there was often talk about the "Big One", and we had several small earthquakes and tremors when we lived there. I wasn't expecting an earthquake in Indiana though and was quite frightened not knowing what was happening.

It is a gorgeous day today, as was yesterday. I spent most of the day outside yesterday and plan to be out a lot today too. The warmer temperatures have certainly made a huge difference here in the last few days. The creeping phlox is starting to bloom, the grasses are starting to grow, leaves are on some of the trees...

the birds are mating, and gathering their nesting materials...

the buds on the trees are opening, the tulips are about to bloom, ahh...IT'S SPRING. Yes, I'm yelling that! Finally, it really feels like spring! I love it!

Thank you for all of your well wishes. I'm feeling much better. Whatever that was thankfully didn't last long.

Wow! Just now we had another one! The house shook again and caused Lilly to bark. This is scary!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First Spring Project and Birds

Yesterday morning started out rather cool, but warmed up very nicely, turning out to be a glorious spring day. My top soil was delivered, but after a few times of filling up the wheel barrow, and dragging it to the very back of the yard, I decided I just wasn't up to that chore. Instead, I decided to work on the side of the house with the gas and electric meters. I had nothing on this side of the house other than a very small, front corner bed with a Japanese Maple. Needless to say this area is an eyesore. I had plenty of landscaping bricks left over from my projects last year, so I used those to line this bed. Usually, I will scrape away every blade of grass before doing a raised bed. This time I decided to layer the grass with some of the hay from the hay bale left over from my autumn decorations. I put a thick layer of that down, but I saw a few seedlings sprouting from the hay and became concerned. I remembered that I had raked a pile of leaves in our common area and no one had picked them up yet. I gathered two large Rubbermaid containers of wet leaves and put them on top of the hay. I only put a few wheel barrow loads of the dirt in this bed before deciding I just didn't have the strength. I then tackled the less labor intensive job of setting the pavers below grass level. I see from the picture that I have a few that need to be leveled and straightened. This is my first spring project and it felt great to be out working in the yard again. I was so sore and achy today and just didn't feel well, I thought maybe I had overdone it since I hadn't been exercising properly through the winter. It isn't that though, I started running a fever this evening and feel terrible. That may be why I felt poorly earlier in the week. I have been so blessed and not even had a cold this winter, I think my body has just been fighting something for a few days now. I do hope it's not the flu.

Since I felt so lousy today I just did a lot of bird watching from the kitchen table.

In the spring, when I brush Lilly, I always save the dog hair for the birds. After her brushing this morning I saw sparrows getting her hair for nesting material. Every time I would spot them, I would get my camera and wait...and wait... and wait. I never did get a picture of it. Thankfully, or rather regretfully, there is a LOT more where that came from. Hopefully I can catch them at a later time.

It is very rare to see both the male and female eating here at the same time. I don't think I've ever seen them both together on the patio before, so this was special a treat for me today.

Remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, (at least you can when I use Picasa, which I usually do).

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April Garden Blogger Bloom Day

My first Garden Blogger Bloom Day was April last year. I didn't have many blooms at all, but my creeping phlox was blooming then and it doesn't even have any buds as of yet for this year.

I have a lot of daffodils in bloom right now in both the front and back yards. Today was pretty windy so it was difficult to get pictures of them.

Here is another picture of the scilla, that has started spreading under the Japanese maple. I really don't remember planting this but I'm very glad it's here.

The tulips will soon be blooming. I've never fertilized them, so I imagine a few of the bulbs will be duds.

The maple and pear trees are in bloom, and the birds here at Robin's Nesting Place are like flying flowers as they are sporting their colorful mating plumage.

I still have a few crocuses in bloom as well as a few fading irises.

I have a few things blooming indoors too. The African violet opened up just in time for April's Bloom day post.

The impatiens are blooming and whether there is more frost to come or not they have to go outside soon. We start warming back up tomorrow and I may just put them out on the front porch and start the hardening off process.

The gerbera daisies have bloomed throughout the winter. This month the red and yellow gerberas are blooming. I can't believe they lived through the winter. I'm very ready for them to go outside too. I'm ready to trade this indoor gardening for the more satisfying outdoor gardening.
I have ordered 3 cu yds of compost rich topsoil and it will be arriving in the morning. I'm feeling a little better today and hoping by tomorrow the headache and eye discomfort will be completely gone. I'm not sure that I will feel up to heavy labor but I plan to spend my day outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. I look forward to stopping by Carol's May Dreams Garden Blog and seeing what everyone else has in bloom for April.