Blooms

I had a wonderful end to the week yesterday with a couple really fun classes at Firefly Fibers. Days like yesterday remind me how much I will miss teaching. I am not kidding when I say I have the best students on Earth!

When I got home from work I took the pup out for a few rounds of fetch. I discovered that while I was away, the sun & warmth — not to mention the last few days of rain — allowed a few of our perennials to bloom. I am still waiting on our irises, plum tree, & quince tree, but I do have some blooms to share with you today.

20130504-190423.jpgA tulip that is almost open. My dear pup actually nipped the only open tulip as I was walking up to it — he’s lucky he’s cute!

20130504-190414.jpgThose hyacinths I posted a week or two ago are wide open, so open they are almost waning.

20130504-190406.jpgThe forsythia is blindingly yellow.

20130504-190354.jpgAnd my favourite, the Nanking cherry bushes. I love these dainty little blossoms. I kind of wish they would stay like this all summer.

More life is waking up every day. Today I heard chimney swifts over the house for the first time — a true sign that warm weather is here. Their chittering is an unmistakable sign of spring.  I hung my hummingbird feeder & put out the bird bath. There are bees buzzing around the blossoms and the grass is growing. The only question that is up in the air… when will I need to break out the lawnmower?

Happy Spring!

Tug of War

This last weekend was the first we’ve had that was truly spring-like. Warm & sunny all in the same day. Twice in a row. Needless to say it was incredible & we stayed very busy. On Saturday, the kids & I biked to the library for the first time this year & ate popsicles and played outside until they were exhausted. It was perfect!

Sunday is usually our family day, but this week my husband volunteered to cover part of a shift for a co-worker who had a make-up game to coach. We decided to each take a kid — my husband taking my daughter to work with him leaving me to hang with our son.  At my boy’s request, we started our day by taking our Moose to the dog park. It was very wet from all the rain we’ve had this spring, but wet shoes dry and labs sure do like the water! As soon as Moose saw open water he bounded into it with glee — it was so fun to watch the sheer joy of this pup on his first swim of the year.

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This isn’t the best photo, but you get the idea.

Less fun is the endearing way he is compelled to run back to us after each dive and shake off right next to us, but it is the lone curse of this dog — that I will be wet and filthy pretty much all summer long. He’s lucky he’s so cute & sweet!

20130429-135946.jpgReally, could you be upset with this face?

If the happy dog wasn’t enough, my son & I each managed to almost step on a snake at the park — one Common Garter snake & one Brown snake. My son is crazy for snakes, so these close encounters equaled major excitement for us.  Apparently the dog park had something for everyone this gorgeous Sunday morning!

After a stop for ice cream & a tour of the local pet store we arrived back home & my son opted to ride his scooter for a while. I wandered through my yard & gardens partly to make a mental to-do list for this spring, partly to see what perennials were popping up. I am always excited when my perennials begin sprouting for the year — many of them I have received as hand-me-downs & cuttings from friends that I have split & distributed throughout the yard over the years. In this way, it’s not just lovely plants waking up — like so many things in this life these plants remind me of special people & times in my life so I hold each of them very dear. I snapped some photos to share, of course.

20130428-183126.jpgHyacinth that my husband bought for me a couple anniversaries ago.

20130429-114729.jpgRhubarb that we planted when my daughter was a toddler.

20130429-114743.jpgThis lilac was one of the very first things we planted in our yard when we moved in. It has struggled — as do many things in our yard thanks to a giant black walnut tree on the property line (it isn’t ours — we love the shade, not so much the toxic roots & leaves).

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We have loads of gooseberry bushes which produce fruit prolifically. Mind the giant thorns though — my son kindly removed one from my leg before I noticed and promptly charged me $1 for the service. I happily paid as I surely would have been in a lot of pain shortly had he not caught it. Besides, he’s saving up for a pet tortoise… or snake… or a trip to Central America.

20130429-114827.jpgThese are daylilies and irises are from an dear friend who shared loads of plants with me when she remodeled her backyard.

20130429-114843.jpgAnd our honeysuckle vine that has overtaken an arbor that arches over our front walk. It blooms beautifully — sometimes twice — & the hummingbirds love it. It needs some pruning though, to be sure!

I was delighted to see lots tulips I transplanted coming up in their new locations as well as a sedum I split to multiple new spots last fall. I started a rather large-scale landscaping project with this plant last fall. It was originally just a lone potted sedum given to me as a house-warming gift and now it is about a dozen thriving plantings — hopefully more later this year. I can’t wait to finish this project, it’s going to look lovely, I just know it! I already took care of pruning back our plum and quince trees as well as our cherry bushes. I tidied up our daisy & tiger-lily bed (although they will probably need to be split, too). Mostly just the larger scale mulching project, switching over to summer-time bird feeders, and bringing out our over-the-deck-rail planters remain. I have some ideas for raspberry patch expansion & a mini-wildflower field, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself!

In the meantime when I’ve not been working in the gardens, I’ve been clicking away. I’ve finished some swatches for an upcoming class as well as my MerryKAL Chrimstas ball for April. I’ve also been cruising through the final leg of my Sixareen Cape. All this nice weather has made me think about a project I just barely started last month though… Bristol Ivy’s Kit Camisole in Quince & Co. Sparrow.

20130429-144429.jpgI love the timeless features of the design & so far I’ve been very impressed with Quince & Co’s linen. I haven’t used much linen in my day, but this one is quite lovely — soft and not prone to splitting.

 We are expecting more rain & cooler weather again the latter half of this week — it seems despite all the springing around us Mother Nature is still a bit torn between winter & summer — the tug-of-war we call spring. I am torn as well… quite torn, actually. In the time I’m not working in the garden should I finish up my cool weather knitting (I feel so close!) or spring into the warmer weather items so they are ready for summer? Or maybe just plug away at both? I think there will be a tug-of-war on my needles, too.