Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tough Love, Tenderness, and the Shakes

It's 61 degrees, cloudy, muggy, and I've got the shakes. Almost every picture I took this morning as I walked through the yard with my first cup of coffee came out blurry. Maybe it's the excitement of spring. I'm betting it's the caffeine.

Last evening I closed the hoophouse not sure what kind of weather we would have this morning. As I opened it this morning, I looked over all the plants that spent the winter inside with me. Some began their lives as cuttings. Others were started from seed. They're still tender plants not fully adjusted to sunlight. I've got a white shade cloth draped over the hoops to protect them from the sun.

Other plants in the yard get no special treatment. Some are looking really rough these days. A couple weeks ago they were covered by snow. Now the blazing sun and 70 degree temperatures have them all confused. Just wait until the final freeze comes along in a couple of weeks. Spring isn't here to stay just yet. I don't care what the weatherman says.

In the hoophouse, there are tomatoes.

More tomatoes, datura, and pineapple sage.

Castor Bean Plant, Yvonne's Salvia, petunias raised from seed, and other rooted cuttings.

In the garden, the Golden Jubilee is changing color. A white daffodil is about to open. A hyacinth(?) is blooming.

The peonies from Virginia are rising up out of the dirt.

The azaleas had a hard winter. They bloomed last fall. I doubt they'll bloom this spring.

The hunter on the prowl. Precious thing she is, Daomai (dow-may: Chinese for 'bad luck'), usually stays on the concrete. Something drew her attention in the yard this morning.




That tiny plant in the yard behind her is a Magnolia Grandiflora. Last spring I found a branch that had rooted from one of the larger trees outback. I stuck it in the hole that an old clothesline post came out of. It put out only a couple of leaves last year. I hope to see some real growth on it this year.

I was planning to use some of my photos for Wordless Wednesday. They were too blurry to tell a decent story. I'm going to have another cup of coffee and get to work.

edit: I forgot to mention the "Golden Shower" climbing rose I picked up yesterday at the Dollar General store here in town. I went in looking for cheap annual seeds to fill in bare spots in the garden this summer. I spent $6 and came home with 6 packs of seeds and a rose bush.

7:24pm - 75 degrees and raining. The radar shows just a sprinkle really, but I'll take it. I opened the hoophouse to let the plants enjoy it.


Kris said...

Yep, that's a hyacinth for sure. Your stuff in the hoop house looks really green and lush! This time of year I envy you your zone 7....!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Don't get too envious Kris. It's supposed to be 82 today, but 36 overnight. I'm guessing it will drop lower once the clouds roll out. I suspect we'll have a light frost in the morning. So all those plants will need to come inside tonight.

Just remember, summers here can easily top 100 by the middle to end of June.

Dirt Princess said...

I have bought several seeds from the dollar stores over the years, and I have great success with them. Goodluck

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Your plants look really great! My azalea looks pretty bad too, mine should be blooming soon, but I don't see any buds.
It'll be fun to look back at the magnolia one day to see how it started out.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you've got it goin' on, dude! Your tomato plants look fantastic! I'm just getting into ornamentals, and will be looking forward to seeing your progress with everything. Oh! BTW...I'm doing a really long post about a minor refrigerator repair next week, so don't miss it!


Dan said...

Wow, lots of plants and I am with EG, those are some excellent looking tom's.

I am growing a brugmansia sanguinea from seed this year, similar to your datura. I was hoping for two plants to grow for seed saving but only one managed to live.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Will do EG. Hmmm, I wonder what sort of "repair" this will be.

Dan, I've never grown brugs from seed. They root so easily from cuttings. Maybe I'll have a chance to collect seeds from mine this year, provided they bloom. They're all less than a foot tall right now.