Irrigation Controller, Version Umpty

Over the winter the irrigation controller broke, again, which was not too surprising since it had been kind of limping along for various reasons. Since it was winter, Noel took the time to do an extensive redesign along with the repair, and today he and I spent some time making sure all the circuits are still mapped out correctly.

Noel starting circuits

That means Noel with his laptop following me around the yard turning on circuits and me confirming that they are actually on.

We only had one kind of dramatic moment when we were checking the irrigation in the side yard and all the places where the Former Gardeners had whacked the lines started shooting water straight up in the air -- into our neighbors' open window, for example.

A running sprinkler head

Lots of this: little sprinkler heads. I still find the microsprinklers work better for our conditions and our water supply, but the drip tubing is easier for gardeners to work around.

(That's a whole lotta allium that sprinkler is nestled into. Hey, they grow easily and look pretty, so I'm not going to fuss about them.)

Tulipa turkestanica

The sprinkler testing gave me an excuse to check out the new blooms this week. Like these Tulipa turkestanica out front. Sure, they were up last week, but they were a lot shorter.

New daffodils in bud

And these new daffodils; they're a different variety from the tiny white flowered ones, as you can see, and they are all over the place. I usually prefer white varieties, but last year I admitted to myself that all the white was a little boring and we needed more colour for sparkle. So, yellow daffs.

Species tulips in the orchard

In the orchard, a bunch of these pretty red species tulips have come up. These are "Little Beauty," and they are, indeed.

Little Beauty tulips up close

Of course, I ignored any need for chilling and just planted them, so they are super short. But we had a very cold winter for here, so they're not impossibly short.

A tulip I planted five years ago

This winter I did some reading on tulips and what makes them come back or not. Basically, the main problem we have is the winter cold requirement, which our climate here cannot meet. But there are other things, like water, and food, that I can control more directly. This tulip is part of a batch of tulips I planted several years ago, and they come up more or less every spring in much smaller and less spectacular form. With water and food, these guys did a better show this year.

Ipheion under the buddleias

This is a newbie to the garden this spring, and I was hoping they would work out. It's Ipheion, this one part of a multi-coloured mix ranging from light blue to darker blue (this is the darker). There's a house on my walk to work that is a total dump of a rental, but somebody planted these in the front yard and they have spread all over the place and are just gorgeous in the spring. Then they are gone and out of your hair until the next year.

Little plastic guy

Oh, and I found this on the ground. I think I have four others that are the same little guy with a hanging loop on his head, all found out in the back yard somewhere. I have no idea where they are from but obviously somebody who lived here loved them.

Weeping mulberry in bud

And finally, I thought I killed the weeping mulberry last year, first overwatering then overdrying it. All the leaves came off and it looked very dead. I was gearing myself up to compost it when I saw these leaf buds. Yay, spring.

posted by ayse on 03/10/13