Chronicaling the lunacy of taming three acres in Tidewater Virginia, one square foot at a time!

"Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Garden Work Day!

The day dawned with a foggy orangey sky, with this guy furiously tapping all over the trees in the yard.
No rain or snow and temps near 50...made for a good day to wash the salt and yuck off the truck. Lot's of people had the same idea as the car wash did a brisk business.
I was already feeling really "springy" after picking up these primrose at Produce Junction in South Jersey, yesterday. They are sunshine and springtime in the center of the table.

My original plan was to spend the day with some quilting and garden planning in front of the fireplace....but the dogs running around with my son in the yard, made me venture outside and see what was going on in the garden. I actually found some carrots, not mushy still hanging on out there...I let them be for now.
My little furry companion was very interested in my poking around.
Kind of a cook fungus thing had attached itself to the side of the garden box.
Lot's and LOTS of holes from aforementioned furry companion...who is not happy to let the voles be.
Will need a couple yards of dirt to fill all her handiwork!
It's a good thing she's cute!
Inspired...I bagged 4 waste bags full of fall and winter "stuff." Began to scope out the garden rotation. Happy to see the perennials that I didn't get to in the fall all have evidence of "life."

The forecast for Wednesday is downright balmy! Must repeat my mantra..."It's too early to start seeds!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snowdrops Brighten a Foggy Day!

It was a drippy, foggy, gloomy morning...but made for a few cool pictures..

Visibility was poor, in some spots near zero, so much so that I drove past my turn in Wanchese on the way to a quilting day with friends, though I have been there many times.
I saw a little clump of spring green when I made a dash in to the convenience store....

I had a happy day of sewing and laughing with friends before packing up my machine. As I started out towards eyes zeroed in on....
...a joyful little clump of snowdrops blooming in Wanchese!!!!

And when I thought is was a fluke...I saw ANOTHER clump on Bay Drive in spirits lifted, Spring can't be too far away!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TGG Finds Signs of Spring

On a dreary, overcast, damp day...I found some signs of Spring.

This Robin and it's friends were not photo friendly, but I got lucky and snapped this one trying to hide out in the tree. After I passed, he jumped back to the ground and was pecking in the grass.

Lawn chair cushions in Walmart....look springy to me!
Last but certainly not least...SEEDS!!! Looking for Cut n Come Again Zinnias...none here, but GoddessSupport picked up the beginnings of a nice herb garden.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Greetings

Winter greetings are about all I got! It's really cold!
A good bonfire fed by miscellaneous fallen brush collected around the yard.
My fig is showing signs of life.
Underneath pine straw and such, the strawberries are waiting for the warm up.
Lemon balm doesn't care it's winter....a quick rub and my hands were summer lemony!
Pods of okra left to age, look kind of cool I think.
For now I will just keep warm by the fire.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dare County Master Gardeners Upcoming Events

Drought Tolerant Plants
Once established, many plants do not require a lot of water to survive and need little maintenance. Come learn about these plants. Admission is free!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 · 11:00am - 12:00pm

Challenge of Gardening on the Outer Banks

Learn how to garden on the Outer Banks!

Wednesday January 26th, 2011  11:00 AM- 12:00 pm

Event Location

Kill Devil Hills Library

400 Mustian Street

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Contact: Susan Ruiz-Evans at (252) 473-4290

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wild Turkeys

Driving down 158 in Currituck I noticed this large flock of wild turkeys. They were actually quite hysterical, running furtively all over the field. Seems funny that Ben Franklin thought this would be a good national symbol!
The idea that Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey as the national bird of the United States comes from a letter he wrote to his daughter Sarah Bache on January 26, 1784, criticizing the choice of the Bald Eagle as the national bird and suggesting that a turkey would have made a better alternative.

“ For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” (Benjamin Franklin to Sarah Bache, January 26, 1784.Library of Congress, Manuscript Division.)

In an early example of Congressional gridlock, it apparently took Congress six years to choose the eagle as the emblem of the newly formed country. It is not apparent that he ever officially advocated the use of the turkey as a national emblem.

The garden is kind of cold and quite.. still I found the Sedum sort of pretty.
The rose is hanging on despite frost damage...
A few rose hips on that bush....

That's it...for a cold southern Sunday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Zero Gardening!

Much too cold and frozen for any sort of garden activity, so we took a ride to the Mackay Wildlife Refuge which sort of straddles the Virginia and North Carolina border.

Mackay Island is found in the northern portion of Currituck Sound and the southern portion of Back Bay on a peninsula/island which juts into the Sound. The habitat ranges from freshwater and brackish marsh to upland and lowland eastern pine hardwood forest.

Concentrations of snow and Canada geese, ducks, osprey and other raptors, wading birds, and shorebirds. An active wood duck breeding population are present, along with one active bald eagle nest and many osprey nests.

Endangered and threatened species include: peregrine falcons and American bald eagles (active nesting pair).

From this location there was a cacaphony of snow geese honking in the distance.

We found a flock of Ibis...mixed bag of mature and immature.

I think they are sort of amusing looking....
Still as a stone, the Blue Heron.
Why stand on one foot?
Why stand on one foot in a tree????
New nest? Maybe a sign of spring or my wishful thinking?
The pines are majestic.
The Kingfisher was a hoot...
He dove several times into the pond. We could see small bugs and such moving in the unfrozen areas...Cold bug snack? YUM!
Thin ice throughout the refuge...

Bought a gardening magazine on the way back...will dream gardeny dreams while I park in front of the TV for football.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chesapeake Backyard Gardeners

TheBackyard Gardeners of Chesapeake have their monthly "Garden Talk" series from 7 pm-8:30 pm on the following dates:
Tuesday January 18

"Vegetable Gardening 101"

Gill Gillespie, Norfolk Master Gardeners

February 15

"Day Tripping: Gardens of Interest"

The Backyard Gardeners

March 15

"Effective Landscaping with

Trees and Shrubs"

Doug Spencer, Lowe's and Virginia Beach Master Gardeners

The talks are held at the Chesapeake Central Library -298 Cedar Road.
Find thier Winter Newsletter here: TBG Winter 2011