This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Mar 5, 2009

Sunny Days are Here Again

This winter has been a surprise after surprise...makes me a little nervous! Not that I don’t love the sunny days with slight breezes, I do! I just hope when spring gets here it means it!

I finally had a chance to walk around yesterday and get a few shots of some promising spring growth.


The ‘Beauty of Moscow’ Lilac has some really nice buds all over it! If I remember right, last year was the first year that I had some nice flowers on it- maybe this year will be even better! Lilacs are one of my favorites- I love their scent! Growing up, they were everywhere in our neighborhood. Someday, I’d like to have a lot more- a bigger yard would be helpful!



Hopefully you can see the little hens ‘n chicks that have decided my mossy, stone wall might be a great place to hang out. I think it will look really great when they get bigger. Like Aerie-el at Gardener’s Roost, I really like moss! She has some great shots of it, so head on over and take a peek. I hope my little hens ‘n chicks take off and spread in and among this wall! It was hard to get this shot because they are small and I wanted to get the moss wall in.


I love the rust colored moss mixed in with the bright green- really beautiful. The stone wall it is on has Lithodora growing in the bed above it- unfortunately, they have been damaged in a few winters and need to be thinned out, and some replaced. This is my bed in the very front of my house- the bed really needs some all my beds! You’d never know a freak of a gardener lives here if you drove by ;).



The Camellia in the front of my house is blooming, but all the blooms are low down and close to the house! This Camellia is really in the wrong spot. It was here when we move in. Who ever decided a shrub that grows to this size should go into a small foundation bed was nuts- it has to be severely pruned back every year or it will attach as you walk out my front door. For the most part, everything in our yard was either in the wrong spot or overgrown- little by little we’ve managed to take some things out. It didn’t help that I really didn't know what I was doing either (still don't really, I'm learning)- but I never would have put a shrub this sized next to the entrance to the house!

cameliasnow2op Here it is in Dec. ‘08. You can see the stairs to the front door to the left. It is a lot bigger now, if you can imagine. So much to do! The whole front really needs to be redesigned- but we can only do so much every year. Maybe when we sell this house, I’ll have to put something simple together so the house will have some curb appear. Until then I’ve only got so much time and it all seems to go to the food we’re growing- and a few flowers :)

Speaking of that, the broccoli, beets and lettuce, are all doing great. These will be planted mid-month, hopefully. I’ve started some Spinach in the new tunnel (or chenille) and some Swiss Chard in the cold frame. Some of the carrot in the cold frame has germinated too! I noticed it yesterday and I went out a few hours later and found holes in my little rows! Darn birds- The last time I decided to try carrots they were getting close to germinating and the squirrels scattered them! Now it’s the birds. The birds also decided to dig for worms in my newly planted spinach rows! Oh, they make me mad sometimes!


The ‘Bulls Blood’ Beets are such a beautiful color- I’ve only grow beets once before and never in groups, so It will be interesting to see how they do. I’m growing some for the tops- but I plan on getting some beets out of this group too. I’ve also grown broccoli only once before- so I’m eager to see how they will do too. I’m trying a new lettuce called ‘Breen’. So far they look the best out of the 4 varieties I started. Some of the lettuce is flopping over, and I’m not too sure why. I didn’t start them in soil blocks, like I usually do, maybe that has something to do with it. In any case, I’ll have some of each of these plants above to give to family, and friends. I’ve started to pack everyone’s flats up- carefully labeling everything, so I hope your beds are ready!

More to come, as I start planning what will replace these crops and start them. I should have already been doing that- this succession thing is hard to get the hang of, I think. You really have to plan each crop and know how long it takes to mature- which can be hard in the cooler months! It’s all part of the learning process, I guess.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I am looking forward to spring! My new blog look is done and it will be such a nice change to look at the spring colors! The count down is getting closer and closer to changing it- so stay tuned.

As I’m finishing up this post this morning, looking out my front window, I see cloudy skies and sprinkles. Maybe I should have changed the title?

As usual...

Happy Gardening!



  • Daphne

    I so love moss. My favorite part is when the mushrooms grow up in the middle. Once when I was hiking I saw the most beautiful fairy garden. Bright green moss with bright orange mushrooms scattered through it and fog swirling around. I just wish I could make the moss grow where I want it too.

  • Hocking Hills Gardener

    Your seedlings are looking great! I want to see pictures of your lilacs when they bloom, I love them too. Nothing smells any better in the spring.The camellia is beautiful.Moss just adds an aged look to walls and stone. I think it is wonderful and I can see your little Hens & Chicks.

  • Tom - 7th Street Cottage

    I did the same thing this afternoon. It's been a winter I'm ready to see put down. Perennials are starting to show lots of new growth. Next week should be amazing. When the redbuds open, it's all downhill from there.

  • Anonymous

    Here in the PNW we might as well enjoy the moss. It's ubiquitous so why fight it? I love your mossy walls, the gradations of color and the Hens-and-Chicks sprinkled in for effect. Beautiful seedlings...oh such hope. :)

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    I've been getting excited seeing everyone else's plants emerging. I hope your lilac is full of blooms! They sure take awhile, but the scent alone is worth the time waiting for more flowers. Your moss does look really neat and I hope you'll show how the hens and chicks do there!
    It got very cold here tonight, I hope we don't get that snow :(

  • Tyra in Vaxholm

    Hi Tessa, wonderful post today! Great that spring finally is here, ok 14 days left. I wish you a sunny and happy weekend in the garden.

    Take care.


  • A Girl & Her Garden

    I love moss too! So much so that it was part of our wedding decor -- moss, pinecones, and white hydrangeas. Hens & Chicks are some of my favorite too! There is just something fun about watching them grow and pulling them apart to start a new area of growth!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Daphne- I've had those bright green mushrooms growing in pots before, they are just beautiful! I sure hope you get more thawing going on- Happy almost spring!

    Hocking Hills- Oh, I plan on it! I can't wait to see the blooms we get this year!

    Tom- Your to do list cracks me up! Looks like you have quite a bit of new growth to celebrate! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Grace- Yep, I totally agree- why fight the it? It is everywhere. Good thing it's pretty to look at ;)

    Catherine- Me too! I love snow, but I am so ready for spring. Forecast says sun next week starting about Tuesday. I may set out the broc., beets, and lettuce on monday! Live or die :)

    Tyra- Thanks! Yes, the countdown begins! I so look forward to spring!

    A Girl and Hre Garden- I bet that was a beautiful wedding! I like to force moss to grow by spraying milk where I want it. I haven't done that in years, so maybe I need to make a couple spring pots with some on it!

  • Aerie-el

    Tessa, thanks for the moss-y link love :)! I have Lithodora growing and beginning to flow over my wall too!
    Wow, you sure have the magnificent operation going for growing starts--you've got some beautiful babies there, just waiting for the right weather to arrive. Not too long now...

  • Jan

    I can't wait to see pictures of the lilac. I would love to grow one, but, alas, too hot here in the Gulf Coast.

    Always Growing

  • Megan

    I had the same camelia issue. I just finally removed mine a couple weeks ago, after it helped ot pull the gutter off the house this winter. When you drive the streets of Portland, it's nearly impossible to find a house that doesn't have a camelia or rhododendron foundation planting, whether they're appropriate for the spot or not.

  • Frances

    Hi Tessa, that is a great post! Some moss, some flowers, some veggies, you've got it all! That camellia is so pretty. Can you move it? Get a giant rootball dug and wrapped in burlap after root pruning it. That's the way they do it on TV, anyway. Your seedlings look snug as a bug under the row cover. Squirrels, etc. get my stuff too. I use chicken wire, sticks, row cover, you name it to keep them out or they will ruin it all until it gets bigger. War!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Aerie-el- Your welcome! Spring is on the way, I can't wait. Thanks for stopping by.

    Jan- I hope the Lilac does well this year. I'll be sure to post them.

    Megan- Yes, Portland is, um, interesting that way! I probably will just cut it down this year. I'm so busy with crops that I don't know how much I'll have time for- The front yard will have to wait yet another year. My back will is happy to hear that!

    Frances- They make it look so easy on TV- have you noticed ;). The seedlings will go to the garden this or die! The tree rats drive me nuts! I did manage to get some carrots going this year without the squirrels scattering them everywhere! War is right!

  • lynn'sgarden

    Tessa, I would kill for that beautiful camillia! I planted my first one last fall and keeping fingers crossed that it survives. Prune it back hard after flowering and maybe it will transplant ok OR send it to me..! ;)

  • denise

    Your site becomes more beautiful and fun each day. Just like a garden, always growing. And you plants in the greenhouse look perfect!

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