Garden Report: January 28

I know, I know, two garden reports and in the middle of winter, too. I spent the last week at my company's headquarters in Boston, and I got to enjoy a bitingly cold -8F windchill (an episode in which Ayse foolishly takes a walk to get out of the office for a bit). So grant me a brief indulgence on the garden thing.

Before I left I cleaned out the Gents', which involved digging a poop hole for the kitty litter (for those not familiar with our compost-everything madness, we use pine litter and pit compost it in the yard). Of course, we hit the weird mystery pipe near the east fence line, the one we hit when we buried a cat 10 years ago. I guess ten years and a foundation disaster is enough time to forget that there is a pipe about three feet down under the Cecile Brunner rose. And this part of it has a shutoff valve:

The mysterious pipe in our back yard

Anyway, we dug the hole a little wider and deeper and buried it in kitty litter topped with dog poop (to keep the dogs from digging at it), so nobody's looking at that again any time soon, I bet.

While I was away the gardeners came again and finished up a huge pile of pruning. I'd asked them to do pruning because I want to rent a chipper next weekend and it's always best to maximize the time you have.

Pruned buddleias

So they pruned the crap out of the buddleias, which frankly needed it badly. I just could not bring myself to prune them so heavily because by the time I got round to it, they were full of birds. And I am kind of a sucker for birds.

Pruned orchard

In fact, the whole orchard is pruned and looking amazing. (The rather untidy tree to the back there is the walnut in our neighbor's back yard.) Time to spray the nectarines and hope it works this year. I'm giving them one more year to get back in shape and stop being blighted wastelands.

Front garden

Likewise, the front is looking very well-groomed.

Which is good, because it looks like everybody and everything got confused by the oddly warm weather followed by freezing weather followed by just cold weather, and a whole bunch of stuff is in bloom ahead of schedule.

Cercis occidentalis blooming

This is Cercis occidentalis. It normally blooms in April or May. I would like to note that that is about four months from now.

Magnolia blooming

Likewise, the Magnolia is in bloom. It feels early, but I went through archives and found it in bloom in February multiple times, so I'm just going to say that this is when it blooms now.

Contorted quince in bloom

At least the contorted quince is supposed to bloom all winter. That's one reason I chose it. I keep thinking I should cut some branches and bring them in for vase flowers, but with three cats, cut flowers are an invitation to disaster. I can enjoy them well enough outside and nobody knocks water everywhere or barfs up pink petals on the comforter.

Poppies blooming

In the front of the house, the poppies are blooming slowly -- I hope they keep putting on a show for a while, because I love poppies. They didn't get as much of a head start as the ones last year did, but they do seem to have lots of buds.

Daffodils in bud

And the bulbs are coming up. These are daffodils that I planted along the path the mailman likes to take from our house to our neighbors'. That zombie gnome is a neighborly contribution to the swath garden.

Allium leafing out

And there are some alliums leafing out lower down. I'm looking forward to seeing how the bulb planting worked out this year. But I also need to get out there and spend some quality time with that oxalis, since it's kind of a waste to have the gardeners hand-pick it all out of the beds in the front.

posted by ayse on 01/28/13