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Tag Archives: spring flowers

Daytrippin’ Again and Again

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It is the season. To get in the car and head out looking for new places, and enjoying the weather.

The red buds are in bloom. So are the Kwanzan cherry trees. I have to head out to Brighton Dam to check on the progress at the azalea gardens. Maybe tomorrow we will do that.

We did get out to a few favorite places, and a new one.

We hit the Hawaiian Shaved Ice place on Liberty Road. Just northeast of where Wards Chapel meets Liberty Road. Had one absolutely awesome egg custard shave ice.

We went looking for Carhartt shorts. To National Harbor, no less. There is a Carhartt store there (go figure, a very traditional work oriented clothing company in a tourist destination). This was our first visit to the evolving tourist spot. We had an excellent lunch at Rosa Mexicano, and then slogged our way home through downtown DC. It made us remember just why we retired, and don’t regret that commute every night. By the way, the fish tacos at the restaurant. Amazing.

Spring is our favorite time to hit the back roads, enjoy the scenery and venture into previously unexplored sections of the tristate area.

Any suggestions for places to go?

Tractor Supply Chicks and Brighton Azalea Garden Update

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The new most searched topics for this blog. How much are those chicks? Are the azaleas blooming?

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First, the azaleas. Yesterday I was told out at the gardens that they are at the 35-40% mark for blooms. Tomorrow should be a good day to go, or next week, as more varieties respond to this warmer weather.

Oh, and take money. $6 per person to tour the gardens. Under 16, and 65 and over, don’t pay. This is new. I don’t know how rigorously they will enforce it during the week, but on weekends, they will be collecting money. I understand it. The gardens needed lots of work. Older plants died, and they have replanted extensively the last few years. The gardens are still lovely. Worth taking the time to visit.

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As for those baby chicks, not many left at the Mt. Airy store today, and they are on sale for a buck a bird. Yep, $1 each. Minimum of six chicks, unless there are just a few left. A couple of the tubs had sold signs on all the chicks in them. I suppose that when they get a few weeks older, they are eating more and the profit margin is shrinking.

While we were there today, I did pick up shallots for my garden. And, a bag of snap peas to plant. Tomorrow I will head up to my garden to continue planting. Not quite ready for the tomatoes for two more weeks, and the zukes and cukes won’t go in until the end of May. Too much of a risk. They don’t like any cold nights.

Spring is definitely hitting us hard now. If only the pollen would go away.

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The Four Seasons

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All in the same day. Or close to it. Within 48 hours, we get rain, snow, sleet, thunder, rainbows, sunshine, and a freeze warning for tonight again.

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Even the “pot” people at the Conservancy have reverted to scarves and hats, and ditched their baseball caps. Or they blew away in those gusts of wind we have been enduring.

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My lovely flowering cherry from a week ago has now lost all its blossoms.

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I cut many of the tulips earlier in the week and brought them in to bloom. The remainder, my later blooming varieties, are safely covered with row cover that I purchased at our community garden supply sale this morning.

It’s hard to believe it is springtime. Next week we will be going to Greenfest at the Community College. I hope to buy some sungold tomato plants from Love Dove Farm. In two weeks, it will be Earth Day celebrated at the Conservancy. More on that later. Also, Sharp’s Farm will be opening their greenhouses on the 21st of April. Time to get the rest of my plants for the garden.

I tried to get my plot ready for the onions to be planted, but the high winds drove me out of there. Trying to move dirt around while wind in whipping up the dust and pollen didn’t make for a pleasant gardening day.

Crossing our fingers that they are correct, and that the end of this coming week will indeed bring us higher temperatures and sunshine.

Making Progress

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Today’s the first day of spring.

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My daffodils are blooming. Even that weird snow storm yesterday didn’t take them out. They are a bright spot in my cluttered kitchen aka renovation central. The only room on the first floor not being painted, it has become the storage site for all the dining room, foyer, powder room, closet and hallway stuff. Like dozens of pictures, fixtures, switches, knobs, hinges, etc.

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My family room isn’t much better. Chairs, table leaves, buffet contents, new light fixtures and mirror. The chaos moved from control to out of control.

I still have room to cook, and room to start the garden seeds.

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They are happily getting sunshine in the kitchen. I started arugula, dill, bibb lettuce and rainbow chard. If I get time to continue the spring cleaning of my garden plot, the onions will be planted later this week.

This egg crate method works very well for seed starting.

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I use a fruit box from Costco, covered in a layer of plastic and newspapers. Prevents leaking while watering.

All of these will eventually go into my community garden plot, sometime in the middle of April. Under row cover for the greens. The dill. It will be interspersed into my asparagus patch up there. I am really excited to have a two foot by twenty foot line of asparagus in my new plot.

And, in just a few weeks, I am off to Sharp’s Farm to get my summer vegetable seedlings. Spring needs to get in gear around here, and help us gardeners get plants in the ground.

Planting anything interesting this spring?

Glimpses of Springtime

Wasn’t today wonderful? Makes you almost forget it is still winter. On days like today, I begin to plan my garden. My new garden. I moved spaces up at my community garden site. I decided I wanted to be closer to the supplies, now that these arthritic knees don’t like walking long distances on uneven surfaces. I can’t wait to get into planting. These sixty degree days lull you into thinking spring is here. But, is it?

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This was a year ago. Bartlett, pruning on a bitter cold day with quite a bit of snow left on the ground.

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This was my old garden plot two years ago. Looks pretty dreary.

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A big difference from an August picture. In this picture, you can see my new plot in the far right. Flowers. Asparagus. I picked it up because of the irises, gladioli and asparagus. I have been planning what I plant, and getting ready to buy seeds.

This year I am the assistant Food Bank manager. Loving those Tuesday mornings, early before it gets hot, harvesting, weeding, watering and just enjoying the whole atmosphere in a garden.

Today, the weather made me anxious for spring. If you are inclined, there may be garden plots in your future.

Brighton Dam Azaleas 2015 — Behind Schedule

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Yes, the azalea gardens out at Brighton Dam are far behind schedule this spring. Not to say they aren’t lovely but they won’t have peaked even at Mother’s Day, the traditional visit weekend.

They look like this.

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And not like this from a few years back.

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This picture from 2012 was in April. A much warmer winter and early spring.

Those white azaleas. Looked like this yesterday.

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They need a few more warm days to open.

Still, not a bad place to have a picnic lunch. The south side of the property has a picnic area, with a playground and tables and grills.

You can’t picnic in the azalea gardens, but you can enjoy these bright spring days just west of the center of Howard County. Right over the county line.

My suggestion. If you can, hit the gardens early next week. Avoid the crowds and take a picnic lunch.

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Spring Things

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Just the beginning of an activity packed week, in and around our home. All things spring.

Starting with Greenfest. Tomorrow at the Howard Community College. Living with wildlife. I’m not sure how our CSA fits in with the theme, but we will be there.

Then, on my plate, a trip to Sharp’s Farm on Tuesday to get my vegetable seedlings to put in the garden. This year I am also looking for some annuals for the yard. To fill in where we lost some plants.

As for flowers, this post by UKDesperateHousewifeUSA caught my eye the other day. In it, Claire talks of the lack of flowers in her Columbia neighborhood. I thought, hmmm, she needs to look elsewhere in the county. There are loads of flower gardens out here.

She misses cut flowers. I should bring her some. This is today’s haul from my yard.

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The early blooming tulips. The yellow daffodils. The white ones are almost finished. I don’t pick the hyacinths, though. They stay in the yard. After the month of tulips, we will have day lilies and star lilies. Then, gladioli. Black eyed Susans. Sunflowers. Mums. All summer and fall, my flower beds produce.

Today, I was happy to see the cherry is blooming.

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Not at peak yet, but soon.

Getting back to the week ahead. Wednesday is Earth Day. It is Twenty Minute Clean Up Day in the county. I will be cleaning up the road side and our property lines.

Next Saturday the Conservancy celebrates their Earth Day. With a bird walk. Service projects. And a plant sale by the Master Gardeners.

Well, that only leaves me with a couple of days to get work done around here. I did take the time today to test a new recipe to use up the last of the peaches in the freezer.

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You can call it peachy pecan bread. Or pecany peach bread. Simple to make. I will be taking some for those of us working our table tomorrow at Greenfest. Made with CSA peaches that I blanched and froze last summer. A sign of things to come. Peach season is right after strawberry season. Can’t wait.