Monster echinacea

Monster echinacea

I don’t know if this image fully captures it but the echinacea is tall this year. It’s awesome.

tall echinacea

 

On the right there’s one of the not-exactly-red-hot pokers (the other plant isn’t even red at all; the flowers are yellow!), and at the bottom is some rudbeckia. This pic was taken last week? Some of the rudbeckia is just about to bloom now.

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A wild sunflower appears!

A wild sunflower appears!

sunflower seedling

Okay, it’s not exactly wild, but it is the first self-seeded baby sunflower I’ve spotted this year. Isn’t it cute? They start out so tiny but they get so big so fast.

Of course, it’s in a completely inopportune spot — in the middle of a lawn area (I say “lawn” ’cause that obviously ain’t grass), too far from anything to be staked to as it gets bigger, and on the south side of the tiny orange rosebush, which means if I let this grow here it’ll eventually block sun from the roses.

So, it’ll have to get moved. (It’s the first one of the year, and I hate pulling out plants anyway, so yes, it’s definitely getting moved, not done away with.) I’ve transplanted plenty of baby sunflowers before and they always do fine. I wonder what the flowers on this one will look like!

I found this little guy yesterday (I think?) but today I found some more surprises in the front yard. The sad, clearance-sale hostas I planted way too late last year made a comeback!

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Cats and plants and dogs, oh my

Cats and plants and dogs, oh my

Well, just one dog.

This is Lola:

Lola

She’s an almost-5-year-old black German Shepherd Dog (with lots of white dustings, and in this picture a stray white hair stuck to her nose), and she is very cute. You will be seeing more of her in future posts.

As promised, here are some pics of growing things — and also a few cats, because they like the nice weather, too.

First up is Logan, who at almost 15 is the oldest of the pets (or varmints, as I like to call them). He also is very into catnip, so this is his favorite place during his brief trips outside:

Logan

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The garden of yesteryear

The garden of yesteryear

flowers

And by yesteryear I mean last year.

This is a snippet of the flowerbed last June. The echinacea (coneflower) was blooming, and so were the poppies that had self-seeded from the year before. (I’m hoping they come back again this year!) The spiky-looking plant on the left is a red hot poker that was just starting to bloom, I think. You can see a bit of red on it. There are two of those in the bed, although I can’t tell in this picture if you can see both of them.

To the right of the red hot poker is some self-seeded rudbeckia that wasn’t blooming yet. The year before, I planted two of those, I think, and neither one made it through the winter but tons of little fuzzy plants started popping up from the seeds, which was cool.

There’s also some marigolds in there, and the upper left is a sunflower with its giant leaves. The other side of the fence has more sunflowers, and there’s a yellow miniature rose bush in the flowerbed but not in the picture. (And pay no attention to the fact that I am terrible at weeding.)

So this is about what things will look like this summer! The echinacea is already starting to come back, the rose bush has new growth, and I’m pretty sure the little fuzzy baby rudbeckias are popping up again. I’ll keep an eye out for the poppies, and I definitely want to get some spring-blooming perennials in there this year.

A few more leftover pictures from last year:

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The crocuses are blooming, the crocuses are blooming!

The crocuses are blooming, the crocuses are blooming!

crocuses

Okay, to be fair these particular crocuses are no longer blooming, since this picture was taken over a week ago. But four others have bloomed since then (in a cute little row), so the title is still accurate.

(Also, while in this photo they look blueish — or is that just my computer screen? — the flowers are actually a very pretty purple.)

The story of the crocuses:

They were originally planted over a decade ago, as part of a flowerbed that was eventually overtaken by lawn again. (Probably the following year, actually.) But the crocuses persevered, and a few would pop up again every year in bright spots of purple, before the leaves were unceremoniously mowed down the first time the grass needed cutting. I intended to transplant them but never got around to it, and once the leaves were gone it was impossible to find them anyway.

Two years ago, I dug up the area around the crocuses again for a new flowerbed. After looking up how to transplant the things (and learning that they don’t have bulbs, they have corms), I divided up the corms and replanted them along the edge of the new flowerbed, and hoped they would come back the next year. They did! Last year a bunch of little green leaves sprouted up along the brick edging — and more than a few here and there in the middle of the bed, too. I’m guessing those are the ones I missed when I was digging up the bed. But, unfortunately, none of them ended up blooming; they just grew long pretty leaves.

So then I was hoping that maybe they were just storing up for next year, or something, and they would bloom next time. When these little purple guys popped up earlier this month it was super-exciting. They’re so cute and happy! Of course, the rest of the bed is still rather desolate right now, although it won’t be in a few more months. I need to look into finding some other spring-blooming plants so the crocuses won’t be so lonely next year. Or at least something with nice spring foliage.

In other news, like the crocuses, this blog has returned once more (and I promise I didn’t even think about that metaphor until I was writing this post). Let’s see if I can keep to a schedule this time! There’ll be plenty to write about as I get the garden beds going for this year, at least, and as the weather warms up maybe I’ll actually get out and go somewhere worth a post. There’s no shortage of stuff to do in Louisville in spring, that’s for sure.

The first sunflower (and the first post)

The first sunflower (and the first post)

sunflower

This is the first post on this blog, so I figured I’d start out with a pretty picture of the first of the blog’s namesakes. I’ve planted sunflowers for the last two years or so, but this year they started popping up even before I’d put any seeds in the ground, just from the seeds that had fallen last year. The picture is the first flower to bloom on one of those self-seeders.

The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, a few days after the flower bloomed. All its petals are gone now (and the birds are quite happy about the seeds it’s developed), but plenty more flowers have taken its place. Six or seven of the self-seeded plants have started blooming; a few more aren’t big enough yet. Neither are the seeds I actually planted this year, but they’re getting there. They were from a packet of mixed types, so it’ll be fun to see what the flowers actually look like.

About the blog

My current, very casual aim for this brand-new blog is to share fun or interesting things in Louisville. Since my amateur gardening efforts take place in Louisville, and since planting things and watching them grow makes me happy, plant updates will probably be a regular thing for a while. I’ve got lots going on besides the sunflowers, and I’ll be posting pics of some of the rest soon.

Other posts will feature cool stuff beyond my backyard: shops & restaurants I visit, events I attend, whatever I happen to do that’s actually interesting enough to talk about. (There will also probably be lots of pictures of my dog. It’s okay, she’s really cute.) Tomorrow I’m going to a tea tasting at Louisville Tea Company, so I’ll post about that and cover the blog’s other namesake.

That concludes the first post!