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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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Good morning, and are you ready for another ten?  Welcome to Saturday Morning Blogging

Tenth Anniversary Edition!

I have headed Saturday Morning Garden Blogging for a full ten years.  During that time my kids have gone from elementary school, through high school, and now are now on to jobs and college (but not yet out of the house).

The Mister has retired, and I have moved on to self-employment.

And my garden has grown.  I have ten years of photos and observations of Denver's climate.  Through you, I've been introduced to new plants to try growing both inside and out.

And best of all, I've made friends, both on-line and in meat space.

After the fold there are several of my favorite photographs from over the years; I did manage to take a few memorable ones.

And now, Saturday Morning Garden Blogging is now under new management: I turn it over to you to carry on for the next ten years.

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It was the Lunar New Year on Thursday - and so that means Red is the featured colour for the diary this week.  Red is the colour that reflects happiness and fortune.  And oh - it does contrast beautifully with all the surrounding white of late...

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Good morning and welcome to Saturday Morning Garden Blogging!

Livin' Easy Rose

It's Valentine's Day and not only is it the day of boxed chocolates, candy hearts, and cupid's arrow but it's also the day marked on the gardening calendar as a reminder that it's time to prune the garden's most beautiful flower, the rose. Could the date be any more fortuitous? Well at least for those of us living in Central Texas anyway!

Join me below the orange fleur-de-not-a-rose for more about civilization's most beloved and time-honored flower:

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