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Reposted from kishik by kishik

It's been a rough and tumble May.  Temperatures up and down, no rain, but the garden persisting throughout.

We even had snow in May!

More garden musing shared below....

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Sat May 16, 2015 at 08:07 AM PDT

SMGB: The Iris Spring Forth

by skohayes

Reposted from skohayes by skohayes Editor's Note: Sorry about the screw up everyone... -- skohayes
May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it's time for work to begin.  
-  Peter Loewer  
"Time for work to begin". And boy, is he right! Mowing, planting, weeding, starting vegetables, potting annuals, trimming spring blooming bushes, starting a new compost pile, new beds, walking the yard looking to see what survived the winter, and what didn't, the list just goes on forever!
Of course there is also the new blooms on the roses, the iris in full glory, the smell of the honeysuckle and the fledgling birds in the trees begging mom and dad for just one more feeding before they go off on their own.
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Mr. Light and I always celebrate our anniversary by taking a little trip. Lately we've been exploring towns in Colorado that we usually drive through or visit for a day, but never stay overnight.  This year we picked Grand Junction as our destination for a three day stay. It's only a few hours away from us so we were able to spend quite a bit of time exploring the many attractions this city has to offer.

One of the many adventures we chose was a hike in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (named after Scott McInnis, a popular politician here - Republican, of course!), a part of the larger Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness  We decided to hike the Pollack Bench trail, a loop trail in the red rock canyons west of Grand Junction.

The trail follows the "bench", which is the terrain along the top of the canyons.  Several places on the trail were the narrow ledge between two deep sandstone canyons, probably no more than 50 feet at some places. Although Charlie the dog got to run around off-leash legally, we kept him tethered at these points.  It would be an easy thing for a young dog to get so excited about a rabbit or lizard that he could fall off the cliff. He had a great time, and fortunately didn't fall off any cliffs.

Pollack Bench trail sign

The Pollack Bench trail also leads to a loop called Rattlesnake Canyon, which apparently has the second largest concentration of natural arches in the nation and possibly the world.  We just hiked the Bench trail,and even though the map we had said it was a 2.2 mile hike, it was 7.7 miles or so.  We didn't mind. It was a partly cloudy day, and not too hot. The scenery made it all worth it, and we had no time limit since it was Sunday and we didn't have a long drive ahead to get home. It was a perfect time of year to catch some of the cactus in bloom. This beautiful deep red cactus is the Claret Cup. My favorite color.

Red desert cactus

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Good morning, gardeners, and welcome to the Saturday Morning Garden Blog!

"A wizard must have passed this way, since - was it only yesterday?
That all was bare, and now behold, a hundred cups of living gold!"
                                                                     ~ Emma C. Dowd

It all happens so fast this time of year.  Shades of gray become patterns of color, most of the early spring blooms are gone, and the energetic landscape is quite literally beginning to bear fruit.  Here in my little corner of the Pacific Northwest, the pollinators have been very busy.

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Good morning everyone and welcome to SMGB, the Death Valley in Bloom Edition. It's Ed in Montana here, having returned from our second Winter season of campground hosting in Death Valley National Park, and wow was it a spectacular season!

Ten years ago last month, I escaped Montana’s dismal weather and drove to Death Valley for the first time to witness the Big Bloom of 2005. Wildflowers were everywhere. The entire southern third of the park (and Death Valley is an immense park; the largest park in the lower 48 states) was one continuous carpet bloom of Desert Gold. Seeing this amazing natural event started my love affair with Mojave Desert wildflowers, and I have been back every Spring since.

Big Blooms do not happen often, maybe once every ten years, and 2005 may have been the biggest bloom of them all. The wildflower bloom of 2015 was not as big as 2005, but it was the biggest display of wildflowers in the ten years since the Big Bloom of 2005.

Join me at our little travel trailer in the desert below the orange squiggle for more on desert wildflowers.

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Molting into his summer feathers, a male American goldfinch sings his heart out
as the warmer temperatures finally arrive.
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dancing ladies photo IMG_0588.jpgGood morning, gardeners! I'm a huge fan of flowers, from the mysterious and intricate flowers of the orchid variety, that can look like dancing ladies in long, full dresses,

 photo DSCF1071_zps94e39b28.jpgor aliens hatching from their pods.

Let's look below the tangled hose for two of my favorite summer flowers to grow.

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Good morning and welcome to Saturday Morning Garden Blogging!

Prickly Pear Cactus Buds

It sure took you long enough!

After a warm period in January and February we were hit with an unusually late but not totally unprecedented cold streak that lasted several days into March. As a result Spring was delayed a few weeks here in Central Texas but the emergence of the new growing season is finally beginning to pick up steam. Temperatures have been running above average again which apparently is the new normal but at least we've had rain on a somewhat regular basis. In between the springtime showers the days have been bright and mostly sunny which is perfect for generating new energy and bringing life and vitality to the garden.

Bluebonnets are blooming in full force and other wildflowers are starting to make their appearance known in the meadows and along the roadsides. The wonderfully sweet-smelling golden balls of the huisache trees are on stunning display thanks to above average rainfall the past few months whereas the redbuds are already dropping their bright pink buds and leafing out in glorious green. Blackfoot daisies, square bud and pink evening primrose, Georgia blue speedwell, Carolina jessamine, Mexican honeysuckle, and trailing lantana are all showing their vibrant colors and sharing their intoxicating fragrances as well.

And although we're well into the season everything still seems a just bit off so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the coming weeks. A little extra patience is definitely in order this year but those of you still dealing with cold and snow already know that!

Blackfoot Daisy • Melampodium leucanthum

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Good morning, gardeners, and welcome to the Saturday Morning Garden Blog!

"In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
                                                           ~ Margaret Atwood

Everyone who grows grass knows that mowing a wet lawn can be an exercise in futility.  Wheels slip, clumps form, blades are choked, and the mower defiantly shuts down.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, the forecast for the last week of March was rain, rain, and ever more rain.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the mower a rest and turn my attention to other Spring chores in the garden.

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In looking through old photos, I realized I'm pretty consistent in taking photos at the start of Spring.  So follow me through the years to see what's in bloom in my garden the third week of March.

March 20, 2008

the little daffs with hys coming up...
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It's official.  Spring came a month early here in the Colorado River Valley on the Western Slope. As I gathered photos for this posting, I was looking through previous year's photos in May.  In previous years, the crocus and iris reticulata bloomed at the end of March according to the dates on my photos. Consistently. That is, until this year! They  started popping up in mid-February and, although they have put on quite a show and are still coming on strong, they're definitely a month early.
I love the crocus, and they are naturalizing quite nicely.  Usually, we look like Boston does - snow piled high everywhere. It's been such a warm winter that I haven't had any snow lingering in the shady corners of the yard that doesn't melt until late March/early April, although some areas around town do still have some ice in the shady spots. It's disappearing fast, though! I hope this is a fluke winter and not a new normal for us. Granted, the weather got busy and dumped a bunch of snow on the higher elevations, so the ski gods were looking favorably on Aspen and Sunlight Ski Area. However, around here, at 5,700', some dustings, a little rain (love rain!), and that's it. GEDC4833

The crocus/iris reticulata show has been going on for a while, and I've realized that I planted many, many bulbs in years past. Next comes the daffodils, and there are lots of those around the gardens as well. I'm posting some photos from last year, only a few have started to bloom. Maybe next week I'll see more blossoms.
spring daffodils March 2012 012

Now, about that giveaway promise in the title, you'll have to follow me under the golden crocus blossom....

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Good morning, gardeners!
I have always wanted to write a diary about the tools we all use in our gardens, and how essential a good set of tools is to a gardener. Now I'm including all kinds of things you may not think of as "tools", but are absolute essentials- like hoses! Who could get through a dry summer without some good hoses?
How about something as simple as a good spray nozzle for the end of that hose? I don't know about you guys, but I go through two or three every summer. I've tried the more expensive ones and they fall apart as quickly as the cheap ones!
Now, please join me below the tangled hose for my essential tools.

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