Sunday, May 26, 2019


I have never let my rhubarb go to seed, as I was under the suspicion that one should not let one's rhubarb go to seed. This year with the rain and all, I just didn't pay attention to it. So this is what rhubarb looks like when it is allowed to fulfill its genetic destiny:

That is one thing that is going on in the backyard. In the front of the house, the Lemony Lace Elderberry is going to town. Over the winter, it looked dead, dead, dead, with only a few sad looking branches. Once spring (and spring rains) hit, it took off, now overwhelming the mugo pine.

I was recently diagnosed with severe arthritis in one hip, which explains the pain there. I'm talking a prescription strength NSAID now, and wow, do I feel better! I didn't realize how much all over discomfort I was living with until it was gone. Yesterday I went to town with the trimmer, and today my biceps hurt. But it's a good kind of hurt, from labor, not from age. The yardening seems less daunting now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

No rain!

Today was supposed to be dry. I planned to mow. There are a few outdoor chores I can attend to, like planting the coleus in the flower box on the front porch and weeding between showers. Otherwise, it is yet ANOTHER indoor day.

Here is a pic of my stick-of-a-crabapple tree, Prairie Fire. I'm amazed at its output. (And I see another between-showers chore - cleaning up around the base of the tree.)

The following pic is an "oops". I want to guide the 'Betty Corning' clematis to grow on the redbud trees instead of sprawling across the junipers, but I forgot to move the tuteur on this one before the vine took hold of it. If I like the effect of the clematis blossoms on the redbud, I'll try to do a better job next year... or even move the clematis a bit closer to the redbuds.

Another experiment I am attempting is growing Lonicera 'Clay Hills' in containers on the deck, so they can eventually cover the pergola. Finding appropriate containers has not been very successful, so I planted them in old-but-very-sturdy-and-no-longer-used recycling bins. I plan to surround the bins with bales of straw over winter. If the vines survive, I'll invest in more attractive containers.

It looks like my new neighbor behind me has taken it upon himself to mow "no man's land" between his privet and my privacy fence. Whoo hoo! I wonder if I can talk him into pruning and shaping the privet, too.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Not so weather-proof

I'm one of those odd people who think sunshine is overrated. Gray skies are my skies. Consequently, I thought I could easily live somewhere like Portland OR or Vancouver. But this spring we had days and DAYS of rain - ugh! I prefer my gray skies to keep the rain to themselves.

I haven't been taking many photos lately because, frankly, how many pics of daffodils does one need to see? But I wanted to showcase my little Prairie Fire crabapple tree. What started out looking like a stick is full of blossoms. Unfortunately, today is gray but very windy. Maybe I'll get a decent pic before the flowers fall.

Still no sign of life from the Rose of Sharon, although there is a maple tree volunteer growing there now. I am 99% sure it is a silver maple, so it will not be allowed to continue. Silver maples are native to Indiana, but I despise them.

It looks like none of the so-called hardy hibiscus 'Luna Red' made it through the winter. Ditto the crocosmia 'Lucifer' that I planted in pots but neglected to move into the garage. That darn polar vortex!

Despite the FAILs, my yard produces a nice progression of spring blooms: crocus (until the rabbits find them), daffodils, service berry, hyacinth, red bud trees, flowering crabs, grape hyacinth, purple sandcherry (smells so sweet!), bleeding heart, creeping phlox, chokeberry, etc. Columbine and hawthorn tree blossoms are next. Can't wait!