Garden Tasks on a Weekday?!?

I am annoyed with our lawn company... I asked them to clean up the lawn, but not to remove the leaf mulch from the garden beds. Of course I got home yesterday and they vacuumed up all the shredded leaves and mulch from two of the beds-- under the Ash tree and the one under the kitchen window. Luckily the workers must have realized their mistake as they did not clear off the main bed. They are going to give us some adjustment on our bill. Perhaps the one useful thing that resulted was I that I could see all of the Bouncing Bet that was growing under the mulch. I went out tonight and ripped up two giant fists full of the weeds and spread out a few wood chips and as much shredded leaves as the wind would let me get down. I'll try to get out Saturday afternoon, when there is supposed to be a break in the rain, and put another inch or so down.

On a happier note, there are a few more flowers making their debut. Today was the first day for magnolia flowers. Only about a third of the buds have opened.

I've not seen any Glory-of-the-Snow Chionodoxa yet. But some of the new Scilla Blue are finally coming up. I'm not sure what the larger leaves are. I did not plant any tulips in this bed. But the squirrels have been known to leave little gifts in random places.

All four of the Red Bells Pasque Flowers survived! I've not seen the flowers totally open yet, but they are a bit more red then this picture shows.

One disappointment, our Fiesta Forsythia only has flowers on a couple of branches for the second year. We planted it two seasons ago on the West side of the house. I had wondered a couple of weeks ago if the higher branches were looking really brown. They all have tiny leaf buds now, but there are only flowers on a couple of low branches. Are Forsythia like Magnolia and Azalea, forming flowers in the Fall that may not survive the Winter? Maybe the spot we have it in is not sheltered enough. Or maybe the spot is not sunny enough. (Try to ignore the Hydrangea branches on the right.)


  1. I love the red pasque flowers. I had them in a previous garden and much prefer them to the blue.

    What variety of magnolia do you have? Is it a reliable bloomer for you?

    I grew up in Illinois with a lovely magnolia next to a redbud. I purchased a redbud from the arboretum, but I don't think it's going to make it. The drive home in the back of the truck bed blew off almost all of its leaves and it didn't really recover from that. But we have to keep trying to bring a little of the southern zones up north, don't we?

  2. I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic area. We had a *real* magnolia– a grandiflora, in the yard when I was young. Huge shiny leaves with giant white flowers. I was disappointed to find that the tree I remember could not be grown here. The shrub/tree we got is a Star Magnolia. This is its third full Summer. Here's a picture of it after its first Winter: If I remember, I was quite worried about an April cold snap that year kill some of the flower buds and from that 2007 picture, that may have been the case. This year there seems to be a lot of buds, but today, still only about a third open.

  3. Forsythia flowers form on prior year's growth, not new growth. So if you prune too late you won't get many blooms the following year. I'd guess a harsh winter would have a similar affect.

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