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Saturday, April 04, 2009

A walk around the yard

The wild violets are in wild riot all across my lawn. This was the first pic I took with my new f1.8, 50mm lens — it worked pretty good in the dim of a drizzly evening:

Violets all over the yard

Cutting one out of the herd and getting really up close and personal (with a +4 close-up filter, back to the 28-135 zoom lens):

White violet, +4 close-up filter

For whatever reason, this dogwood is always the first to go full-bloom around the manor. Maybe being between the studio and detached garage puts it in a warm spot or something:

Dogwood over the studio

Directly to the right of where I was standing for the shot above (in front of the attached garage), Mrs. Fetched put a couple of tulips in a flower bed. She’s thrilled that they’re doing so well.


You can see the edge of the cold frame just to the left of the studio, back in the dogwood picture. I have spinach, lettuce, and onions in the three trays… of the three, the onions (on the right) are doing best so far, but you might have to click through to the Big Picture to see them. I've also got some lettuce in the ground, it seems to be slow to sprout. Maybe it’ll get going soon.

Planting trays

I don’t know if I mentioned that Mrs. Fetched and her mom really got medieval on the butterfly bushes last week. They actually yanked some out of the ground! They’ll come right back, though — they’ll take over if you let them. They’re starting to green up, so we’ll be getting plenty of buggy visitors soon…

Butterfly bushes, post-crewcut

Another plant that’s working on what Iowa Victory Gardener calls “weed status” is the oregano. It has developed a clever strategy of staying low and creeping through the winter, then shooting upward with the temperatures. I thought it had strangled the mint, but it’s still in the game… just surrounded.


The blossoming cherry is also doing nicely, although some of the heavy wind we’ve been having knocked a few off the tree. But it’s still in pretty good shape. As I was focusing, one of the substitute pollinators came up over the top to see what I was up to… once he realized I was taking pictures, he turned the other way.

Wasp on cherry blossom

So why am I showing you all this now? Well… looks like we’ll be getting a freeze Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, with lows of 28°F. So it might all be gone in a few days.


  1. We're supposed to have a cold snap at the same time, but not nearly as severe. Hopefully the weathermen are wrong on ALL accounts! Thanks for sharing the purdy flowers!

  2. Hi Beth!

    Still looks like a chance of snow on Tuesday morning, but I expect it won't stick. If it does, I'll post pictures.

    After I took the pictures, Mrs. Fetched grabbed up a handful of crepe myrtle cuttings and we set them out around the place. She kept saying, "We need to blow the leaves off these flowers that are coming up." I kept saying, "Wait until Wednesday."

  3. Hey FAR,
    Your violets look great ... it's going to be a while here yet for them, but they'll come along. What kind of oregano is that? If it's the "Italian" kind, no surprise it's taking over like that ... we used to have a patch of that here when we first moved in, but yanked it out and got rid of it, because it has no real flavor or culinary value (we prefer the Greek Oregano which is less invasive). Still, it looks nice among the violets. And don't worry, it will never muscle out a mint!! lol

    Man, you do have a butterfly bush problem ... I'd say if you want to really get rid of them, dig them up or *gasp* use some Round Up on them. As much as we hate chemicals, that's we've been forced into to get rid of the walnut and mulberry trees the tree rats and birds keep leaving us in our gardens.

    Oh yeah, we had snow all day long on Sunday, but no major accumulations and it should be gone pretty soon, even though the temps aren't going to be exactly balmy this week....

  4. Hi IVG!

    It's Greek oregano. I love to "scratch & sniff" it — running my hand over the leaves makes it smell nice. Same with the sage, which is also doing quite well after trimming dead stalks and many inches of rain. ;-)

    Too bad you couldn't find a place for walnut & mulberry trees; I wouldn't mind having a couple of each around the manor. There's a walnut down by the in-laws' pond though, that supplies plenty of goodies for humans & tree rats alike. Dunno if mulberry trees do well here or not, but they can also be prolific producers. One thing you might want to consider (that I've also considered vis-a-vis the butterfly bushes): dig 'em up, pot 'em, and sell or trade them. Home Despot gets $16 for a butterfly bush here — talk about a laugh and a half!

    Well, off to the house. Gotta get the seed trays in the cold frame for a day or two…

  5. Hey FAR,
    Good that it's Greek Oregano ... we wouldn't mind that taking over here, but it's obviously not as hardy here as it is down your way....

    As for the Walnuts... I'd be glad to give you one or two, but doubt you'd want them because they're Black Walnuts and are notorious for poisoning the soil to the point that nothing will grow around them. Our neighbor across the street has 5 of them, thus the source for the tree rats in our yard. Now, if they were English Walnuts, we'd find the space! Mulberries are a scourge here in Des Moines and are tough to get rid of and always coming back. Thanks a lot, birds!

    Hope you don't actually shop at Home Despot ... you did hear what their CEO said last year before the elections, right? Short version: "shoot any traitors who don't vote Rethuglican!" I didn't like them before and now will never darken their doorway again.

  6. Hey IVG, I can pass on the walnuts. I was told if you're patient, you can stomp a few walnuts into the ground & they'll come up.

    Home Despot… it's a quandry, living on Planet Georgia. There are very few progressive businesses to support, at least in Sector 706. Lowe's is in the next county, but 1) are they any better? 2) is it worth burning the extra fuel to get there? If we're already down that way, I'll go to Lowe's first.

  7. Wow, I miss Georgia this time of year!

  8. You wouldn't want to be here today — 30s and snowing!

    BTW, I've really been enjoying the lamb pics… your kids have a lot of fun dressing him up, don't they? ;-)


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