Dilip's 2006 Garden Journal

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Alas, today a significant number of the delicate petals of the cherry blossoms fell to the ground, making an interesting mosaic on the mulch around the tree, the grass, and even on the nearby rose bed. We're having surprising cool weather, in the 40s with nighttime down near freezing, and today and yesterday it's been raining on and off.

For the last day or so, the hyacinths have lost most of their fragrance. But they're still beautiful!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I pruned and fertilized (with Eden Rich)/limed the roses along the driveway. The cherry tree is starting to leaf out, but is still looking beautiful with many blooms!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The cherry tree has started to let petals go in the wind, and I can tell that it's a bit past peak. The front yard is still looking lovely!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A few days ago I thought that the cherry blossoms would be at peak only for a day or so, but the tree seems to still be at peak and maybe even have yet more blooms! I estimate that it has not a thousand, but several thousand blooms. I feel so fortunate!

The hyacinths have grown in a day with all of them wide open. They're so fragrant! The bedroom is heady with their sweetness, and they can be smelled throughout the first floor.

I lightly pruned the rather large (maybe 7' tall by 10' wide?) but sparse evergreen in the backyard that I believe is a privet (one of the few bushes I didn't plant on my property but that I inherited), as well as just a few leggy shoots of the red tip photinia and Nellie Stevens hollies in the back side yard. The flowering almonds are about at peak of bloom!

I took an inventory of my roses in preparation for pruning and deciding which new ones I may want to plant. It's time to prune since forsythia is blooming; I'll post the summary of the roses when I do prune (soon).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It was a little warmer, in the mid 50s, today, and not windy. The cherry seems just as glorious as yesterday. When I woke up this morning, I found the potted hyacinths had suddenly bloomed!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We have a cold front coming through today with, alas, strong winds, and have gone from temperatures in the low 80s to mid 60s and expected tonight to drop into the 30s! Unfortunately, we are having 12-19 mile per hour winds, which I hope doesn't coax off the ephemeral cherry blossoms. The cherry tree continues to look great and is probably now at peak.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The star of my garden continues to be my weeping cherry with its pale pink blossoms. Hundreds and, by evening, over a thousand blossoms, opened today - I even noticed a difference when I was gone for an hour or two in the afternoon! Most years I only get a few blooms, but this year is like 2003, when I also had many, many blossoms. If 2003 is a guide, this lovely show is fleeting, and within 2 or 3 days, leaves will start emerging and petals will start falling off.

I made two more batches of my fertilizer and used most of it up in fertilizing the rest of my bushes and apple trees and the two Acer Davidii (Stripebark or Snakebark) maples that I had planted March 18, 1995. I also foliar fertilized most of these trees and my shrubs with a kelp and microbial mixture.

I still have new white camellias blooming from my tall camellia japonica on the R side (L as you face it) of the house, as well as a few red camellia japonicas from the bush on the R side. You can see one of the red ones here. The azaleas are starting to swell with blooms, especially the white ones!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Today about a dozen blossoms opened on the weeping cherry! We had fabulous weather in the high 70s and slightly overcast - the best day of the year so far (even Sunday night/Monday morning it was in the 60s), and actually felt a bit hot!

I made up two more loads (each about a quarter or less of my wheelbarrow in volume) of my fertilizer mixture with bat guano as an added ingredient and lime only as a top dressing for those plants that aren't acid loving (i.e., not on the hollies or azaleas or camelias) and fertilized the left side yard plants starting at the mailbox and the winter blooming honeysuckle (past peak bloom) and down to include the two crepe myrtles, Nellie Stevens hollies, photinia, and stalk apple trees.

I pruned the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight') - it was about 7' tall and about 8' wide, and I pruned it to just a few inches from the ground. I also pruned the two apple trees, the Starkrimson Red Delicious and the Granny Smith. I pruned moderately to a central leader. In the following pictures, you can see a "before and after" of the Red Delicious, and a "after" of the Granny Smith.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We've been having lovely weather yesterday and today, in the 70s (°s F), and I just came in from beginning my springtime fertilization. I make a custom mix of homemade compost, store bought compost from yard waste, rock phosphate, lava sand, greensand, alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, and earthworm castings. I also added in some lime. I applied this concoction to my weeping cherry tree, all the flowering shrubs along the street (forsythias, flowering almonds, quinces), and my butterfly bush. I also added some commercial organic fertilizer (Eden Rich from Gardens Alive!, an organic fertilizer that is all plant and mineral based) to the cherry tree.

The cherry tree just in the last day or so has started to swell with pink buds on their way! That's exciting; I hope I have a good show this year. More flowering almond buds are opening, and the forsythias are blooming. I have a lovely red camellia in the side yard. For several days now, my Sunshine Blue blueberry (a Southern Highbush variety that I planted March 7, 2000) is also blooming with its lovely light pink bell-shaped blossoms. Spring is a glorious time!>

Monday, March 06, 2006

My quinces are about at peak bloom; they are just starting to leaf out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Back in early December, I potted some hyacinths and kept them in the dark in my garage, occasionally watering it, to force them. It's been about 3 months, so here they are, emerged and yellow [they greened within a few days of being exposed to the sun], ready to be taken inside to my bedroom to bloom.