The orchard is blooming. Dogwoods are blooming. Hostas are coming up.

The orchard is what I see from the kitchen windowOrchard April 2015

and what a lovely sight it is now.  Every one of the flowering Crabapples I put in is blooming.  I did three different varieties, thinking that they would grow at different rates (which they have) and that I might lose some (and I haven’t).  They’re still small of course, but it is looking like a defined space.  It looks as if most of the grass growing in that area is – as I hoped – the No-Mow, which will remain short and a little rough.  So later this spring I’m going to put in a scattering of low-growing summer-flowering plants – possibly some red Daylilies, to further define the space.  And this fall I think it will be time for bulbs.

Dogwoods April 2015

The Dogwoods – all but one – came through the winter beautifully.  I was a little nervous, because I had been advised to wait until spring.  But I didn’t; and it worked out.  What I did do was water.  Every time there was a winter thaw I dragged out 350′ of hose and watered every tree and shrub deeply.  I think that did help.

And the Hostas, six big, beautiful Sum & Substance, are all up.  I planted them bare root, which I have never done before.  They are much less expensive that way – and it worked.  I highly recommend this as a way to save some money.  And the way they are coming up looks as if they are the same size they would be if I had planted gallon-size containers.

The Battle vs. the War

The weeds are winning the battle – but I think not the war.

IMG_7591a

You’ll notice there is a huge difference between the areas where we successfully sowed grass seed – both last fall and this spring – compared to the areas nearest the house which is still mostly bare ground.

The weeds are doing very well in those close-in battlegrounds.  But where there is good, strong grass growth the weeds are fewer.  They’re definitely not gone – and probably never will be, but weakened.  I’ve been mowing , with the mower set as high as it will go:  4”.  The weeds get their heads cut off which weakens them, but the grass I’ve sowed is barely touched.   And not having the taller weeds shading them out means the grasses I want can grow better,  keeping the weeds even fewer.

This is all a huge learning curve for me.  It is so gratifying to see things working the way they are supposed to.

 

Sprouts

Look closely…

sprouts of grass

see the tiny little green sprouts in among the protective straw cover?  That’s the lawn. It looks like most of the seeds germinated before the cold hit.  Hopefully they’re busy putting roots down now that we’re having a nice warm spell, so next year some of my dreams will come true.