Wednesday, February 21, 2007

And So It Begins, Again

Sunday, it was winter.

Monday, it was less winter.

The temperature jumped 30 degrees, there were geese flying north in the sky. More than 1 or 2 obviously sick and delirious ones. Flocklets. Several flocklets. (Or is it 'gaggles'? Gaggles of geese? Gagglets?)

Driving home after work, I saw actual brown ground rather than brown snow along the side of the road. Pulling into the drive, there was a pool of melted snow in the driveway from the 4' piles along the side. I sat there with my mouth open, hand mid-reach for the garage door remote.

Damn! I'll even do Winston Churchill one better. It is the beginning of the end.

So what did I do?

I ordered these:

4 highly disease and cold resistant apple trees that should need absolutely no spraying.

2 cold resistant sweet cherry trees. (Finally! Sweet cherries! All I've been able to find so far for USDA Zone 4 is pie cherries.)

2 Wisconsin weeping willows. (We need willows. We neeeeed to hear the wind blowing through the willows.)

3 Jostaberries. (Never heard of them, but what's a garden without surprises? And they have fall color! And even if they aren't tasty--though they sound like they are--I'm sure the birds are going to love them. I just hope they can do alkaline soil, unlike those weenie blueberries. (Sob! I've finally reached the conclusion that one can't grow blueberries in soil with a pH of 13.99. Ok. I exaggerate. pH of 13.89. Or thereabouts. It's the mile of limestone under the inch of topsoil. No fighting it.))

A variety of cold loving early, mid and late season strawberries (I've got a nice patch going but need more! And More! AND MORE! I'm competing with the small-handed ones and the dog in this.)


I think that's it, so far. Plus, those cold hardy blackberries that I re-ordered after the ones from last year went tits-up after being abandoned without telling me by whoever brought them in from the delivery guy last year, are coming.

Then, in another month or so (Too early! NO! Too early, Diana! slap, slap) I'll start driving by nurseries that aren't on my way home.

It's supposed to rain this weekend and be in the 50s? Can this be true? (and perhaps get the first of the thunderstorms), so I'm anticipating some real snow melt. (Gee, now I get to worry about flooding in the basement. Never, never happy.)

All this means is that in a few days, I will be wandering about the land with my schnozz an inch from the soil, in a raincoat, not a parka, peeping under mats of decomposed leaves and such looking for the noses of bulbs. It's too early, by a few weeks, but I won't be able to stop myself.

So, stomping I will go, with dog and girl. (The boy will have no part in it for there are no aliens to shoot in this slow bent-over shuffling along the paths.) Then I will come inside, glowering and glowing, for it is soon to be my time of year, just not quite yet. The time of muck and manure. We should be able to plant trees and bushes in about 6-8 weeks and garden things in about 12 weeks, so I need to start seeds (eep!) in about a month. Or less.

So much to do, so much to do.

I pity you all as I will take it all out on you, telling you of it in absolutely excruciating detail.



Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Well, you guys are getting spring before us, but it is milder...a bit above 0..still below freezing at night though. How delightful to be ordering these great plants and bushes. I hope you get apples...what variety are they?
I can't wait for my first flowering bush, the forsythia, to bloom!

So get out your Gumboots and start Mucking around!

(We have to have a few weekends of Masters Ski races yet, so I actually hope our snow stays...otherwise, I have to contend with a a very unhappy husband!)

10:40 AM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Lovely muck, and seedlings, and compost, and....
You know you love to garden whan you own more rubber footwear than dress shoes.
I started my tomatoes and hanging planter flower seeds last week in those little expanding peat things. Which the dog thinks are yummy snacks.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Bah and Humbug. We're having a little melt up here too, but I don't trust it. Spring is still too far away and I'm not coming out of my hibernation just yet.

Where's my pillow? Blankets? Alrighty.... back to sleep then. :)

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your grandmothers would just love the ears off you with all your hortoculture. We have tulips, crocuses, dafidills up and blooming, and the trees are budding their little hearts out. The humming bird has claimed the lilacs when not supping at the feeder. It is cold here in Portland, but not horrid. Just get that basil and strawberries for you old Da can have green spaghetti and shortcake. Life is so good in the Midwest.

The Ole RF-er

4:54 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

This year I will be gardening vicariouly through you. Alas, I cannot seem to figure out a way to garden in a postage stamp sized yard teetering on the edge of a gorge.

7:15 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

If I buy a house, will you help me plant the backyard with wonderful goodies? I envy all your fruit trees and wonderful flowers and sweet veggies. I can't wait to hear about your adventures this year.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I actually prefer gardening through you and not having to actually do it myself. I don't mind the planting of pretty flowers but the upkeep is what kills me.
Happing soil sniffing....

7:36 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Yeah, you're a freak. But I love the details of the garden wars so I must be a freak as well. This way I don't have to get dirty or deal with bugs and I have pretty flowers and yummy vegetables vicariously. It all works.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

The best part is that I have exacted a promise from you that you will help me revitalize the terror in my front yard. I will make copious amounts of fresh iced tea and lemonade and give each of your children a small spade, and we'll all set to work.

And, of course, even better than spending your OWN money on trees and shrubs is spending someone ELSE'S money when they want advice.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- I certainly hope this is the crack that signals the beginning of the end of winter. I planted a forsythia last year and can't wait to see those bright yellow blooms. Sara, Molly and I are going out in about 15 minutes, although it will still be snow boots. Some areas have melted to grass, but 90% is still snow covered.

Voyager- Lovely, indeed. Now, you'd be surprised but I've only one pair of mucking around boots, the rest is done in old tennies as the mud season doesn't last long, here. As Molly-dog is fond of noshing on the burned remains of the fire pit, I'm sure she'd adore peat-pellet snacks.

Karen- Soon, sweetie, soon...shhhh. The last 2 years, you've had your spring sooner than ours. I bet you beat me to the first blooms.

Dad- No problemo. The pesto store is waning, so it's a big basil year this year. Life is very good in the Midwest.

Listie- Oh! Vertical gardening! Yes! lots of climbing things on trellises and some big pots! Yes! It could be completely gorgeous. No excuses, now. Shady or sunny?

Beth- Absolutely! I envy me as well. Now if they don't all die. I've a dismal 50% attrition rate among trees, but live and learn.

Lauren- Ah, this is why I adore perennials. Minimal work, maximum pleasure. Pack things in tight and you don't even have to weed. Mulch is our friend.

Dana- I am, indeed a freak, but a happy one. I will try to keep tomato references to a minimum, though, as to not offend your sensitivities.

Ariella- I. Can't. Wait. Tomorrow, we will strategize over tea and cards. You took the words out of my mouth. I get the fun of planning, buying and planting for me on my dollar and you on yours. I'm in heaven!

11:33 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Willows. Yes!!!!

I think weeping willows are so, so lovely.

It's so exciting when the Midwestern winter begins to lose its grip.


12:17 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

In the next few months, your blog will become the only one I can get my husband to read. You nursery/gardening addicts are such a fun crew (I have a bit of the addiction myself...)

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think, if you lived in soggy Oregon you could be putting out the spinach and lettuce any time now! Actually, it will probably be a few more days as the sun is only starting to warm up the ground between rain showers; but atleast we don't have to melt the snow off then warm up the ground! I, too, am looking forward to green spagetti and strawberry whatever. Made a big batch of the seafood soup last week and throught of you each meal of it we ate, along with a fresh bagette, of course. Sure great to have kids who like to cook and share recipes. Miss you all.

Love, C.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- And, dammit, these better grow, they're 'Wisconsin Willows'. I was out scouting where to place them, today. Not too close to the well. Not too close to the septic tank. Somewhere the topsoil is more than an inch thick above the solid rock....hmmm.

Jocelyn- Really? He's a freak, too? Have you (or he) checked out Jamie's blog (10 Signs Like This on my blogroll)? She's the gardening queen. She's even got a hoophouse and is organizing a farmer's market. She's from our parts but now living in GA.

Cathy- Sadly, I gave up lettuce and spinach as mine got too buggy everytime I tried. There are just some things I suck at growing. I need to make that seafood stew again. It's been ages.

4:46 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Shade and sandy soil and part is a utility right-of-way, so not planiting there. Oh, and did I mention that the soil is probably contaminated with lead from the paint the previous owner stripped off the house? (But I did find a spot to put a couple of lilacs. No house is complete without lilacs. Even if I am allergic to them.)

9:15 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I had my windows open at work yesterday...
...but we're in for lake effect snow all weekend. Wind straight out of the east, blowing over that lake, picking up moisture and then dumping it all on us.

To answer your earlier question, Devil's Lake. So we'll be driving there and back on an interstate near you... early July-ish. Also, we may be in Mad-town some weekend in the next month - dunno if I can convince C. to bail early on our (still tentative) plans...are you around and how's Charles' course load? Oh heck, I'll e-mail you. Later - prolly tomorrow. I brought work home and I should be working right now. So, of course, I'm reading blogs instead...

9:26 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- OK, so, lots of compost to help that sandy soil hold water. I'd not worry too much about the lead as there's not much you can do about it, is there, unless you get a bulldozer to dig it up (and then you'd have to figure out what to do with it) and put in new earth. (I try not to worry about things I'm not going to have any control over.) And put in lots of shade loving things like pulmonaria and bleeding heart. Even if its just a bit, a bitty garden is better than nothing. Lilacs are a given, aren't they?

Teri- Us, too. The forcast for warm and rainy has turned to cooler and snowy. We'll get what you don't. I'll await to hear of your plans and see where I can ambush you...Charles is staggering, but still standing, with a grim, but determined face.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Patti said...

My garden is still under 4 feet of snow. Put I'm planning!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Patti- I figure that's why we get such long winters, the growing seasons are so short that we'd better get it right the first time! Looking forward to see what your garden does this year.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Send some of that limestone down here! Our soil is acidic and has to be limed all the danged time or it poisons the garden. On the up side, though, our blueberries and azaleas are happy. :-)

12:47 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Wahhh!! It just snowed here!! My hives will not be amused, should they decide to rear their ugly welty, well, welts, I suppose.

Yup. That's all I got. I kill cacti, so I really can't say anything about gardening, dammit*

*Plus I kinda need a nap :P

8:10 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- I'd gladly swap you 1/2 your soil for 1/2 of mine. I figure that'd balance everything out nicely. I'm still pining for my never-to-be blueberry bushes.

Babs- (psst: I kill cacti, too.) Go have a lovely nap. I took one each day this weekend.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Lioness said...

If you just pity me, then do it bcs I don't have a garden. That, and the fact that everything green I touch dies splendidly.

Can't wait for the pics!

GEESE - a flock, gaggle or skein (in flight)
And, just so you laugh, my faves:
GNUS - an implausibility or herd
MAGPIES - a tiding, gulp, charm or
APES - a shrewdness
BUFFALOS - obstinacy (or herd)
CURS - a cowardice
RAVENS - an unkindness or storytelling
CROWS - a cawcus, hoard, murder (gathering); a cawroboree (in flight)
SWANS - a lamentation
LARKS - an ascension, exaltation
OWLS - a parliament

Sorry, will quit now!

8:20 AM  

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