How Does My Garden Grow, Part 1

OK, so it is only 59 degrees today. It's rained for the last 3 days...and is forecast to rain for three more (the whole weekend, mind you). No matter. Spring has arrived in MO! How can I be so sure? Well, the pollen count is over the top...and the iris are starting to bloom all over the yard. This morning, I took pictures of the early bloomers: three colors of purple, a bronzy one (you can see one of these in the background of the pic to the right), two kinds of yellows, and a soft white. The newest variety to grace us with its beauty...this fabulous deep purple one, shown in the photo to the right. As the purple iris is the state flower of Tennessee, we're naturally partial to it. [The state flower of Missouri is apparently the White Hawthorne Blossom...which grows on the Hawthorne Tree...which would mean that, technically, it really isn't a flower, is it?]

And, this afternoon, I snapped this pic (left) of our lilac bush in full bloom in the back yard. I have to say that this is the prettiest show it has ever put on! A couple of weekends ago, we re-worked the rose bed where the lilac was planted, moving most of the rose bushes that survived the harsh winter and re-routing the path through the (former) bed, leading to the bridge. Now, we can walk right next to the lilac, sniffing its wonderful fragrance without having to step off the path! My cousin gave us this beautiful Dwarf Korean Lilac three years ago when visiting from AZ, and we are most grateful every Spring!

Great news: our goldfish survived the long, hard, cold winter in the pond! All three of them. Mr. T was attempting to scoop some leaves out of the pond with the net after it thawed ...when he "caught" one of 'em on the first scoop! And, we've seen all of them in the past few days. I had read about how goldfish and Koi will slow down after the water temp drops below 50, and can survive if given a deep enough pond. So, when we dug the pond, we made sure to go below the frost line, with an additional deeper level (for the pump), to give them a place to hide below the ice layer. Apparently, it worked! "Jaws" is even bigger (and more fiesty) than he was when last seen last Fall. Both Goldy Spawn and Tiger (he's black-striped instead of solid gold) are heftier, too. These are fish that we had inside in a 25-gallon tank for 4 years...and last Fall, after re-digging and re-working the pond and adding the bridge, we decided to see if the Guys could make the transition from indoors to out. Everybody in the pond! Hooray...they have!!

Makes me even more eager to get that ^&*!% hole in the pond liner patched so we can do the other maintenance necessary to fill it to the max and make it a happy home for the Guys. We got a new 'external' filter to help keep the water in better condition, and if the weather will cooperate we'll get it installed...soon.

We also need to get this First Prize rose bush (photo, right) in the ground, in the new rose bed. Aren't the blooms gorgeous? We bought it, along with a Queen Elizabeth and a Chrysler Imperial (my "birth-year" rose), to replace the ones we lost to the Winter.

And, last but not least, the Vegetable Garden Report. Before the rains arrived, I got several tomatoes, a few peppers, and some cucumbers planted. Mr. T had double-tilled the garden soil, but it's been too wet to work much this week. I only got 4 tomatoes planted in the garden. Instead, I concentrated on the containers on the deck, paying particular attention to getting Gus' Patio Tomato planted. A tomato plant for a dog, you ask? Yup. Gus absolutely loves to pick patio (small) tomatoes off the plant and play with them! And he knows the difference between the green ones and the ripe, red ones, too! We call it his Toy Tree. Woo-hoo!


It's been a wet spring for sure. It seems a bit colder than normal too. But when the sun shines it sure is beautiful!

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