The earth has finally awakened here in the great state of Iowa. We had a very long, extremely snowy winter. December – March were all exceptionally snowy months, and in February alone we received 4 times the normal amount of snowfall. But spring has finally arrived!
It looks like this year I will actually have blooming lilacs. This will be first blooming year, even though this is the 3rd spring we’ve been in the house. The bushes are mature – somewhere between 10 & 12″ tall. The first year, they were even taller than they are now and hadn’t been pruned in years. Therefore, there were very few blooms and they were very scraggly. Hubby pruned them quite liberally which has filled them out quite nicely, but a very late killing frost last spring prevented them (and all the other flowering trees and shrubs) from blooming. Right now the blossoms are there and will open in the next few days. I’m going to cut some and bring them in! I love lilacs. Lilacs and hydrangeas are two of my favorite flowers.
Here is one of three pink hydrangeas that we are adding to the backyard this year. We’ll be planting 7 hydrangea bushes just in front of the lilacs. 4 white and 3 pink – alternating colors. My hope is that the hydrangeas will fill in under the lilacs and fill out the back bed. Lilacs are just a bit sparse underneath for my tastes….especially come mid summer when they’re not blooming.
Hops are coming up!
The hops are starting to come up. I planted them 10 days ago – which is quite late, but it’s been unseasonably cold here – and they’re starting to come up. I planted them in this very sad bed along the back of our garage. Our garage has issues. As in it really needs replaced/rebuilt. When they updated the outside of our home with repairs and new siding, they opted to only side the front of the garage. The other three sides have old, particle board siding which is literally falling off. The cement is cracked and pools water inside the garage and the cement in the drive is probably 30 years old. Unfortunately, since the house also needs updating, the garag is on the waiting list. The best I can do right now is to grow hops up the side and camoflauge the disaster. This is a shot taken across the back of the garage – after I spent 2 1/2 hours hoeing and tilling the bed to get it into shape for hop planting. There’s still a few stray weeds and some debris, but I’m proceeding with the weed paper and mulch. A girl can only take so much. Eventually, I’d like to get rid of the railroad ties, but again, that’s going to have to wait. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
The grass you see along the base of the garage is pretty much impossible to get out. It’s right up along the cement foundation so tools are useless for getting it out….so I foresee a hands and knees grass pulling session in my future. Sigh. That’s going to be tons of fun. I love kneeling on rough, tar smelling rail ties.
Here is a Tettnanger hop coming up. It’s very green in color compared with the Fuggles. The Fuggles are comping up nearly white. We’ll see what their final colors turn out to be.
These are the Fuggles. The green stems are errant Lily of the Valley. Fuggles are the spindly white sprouts.
New Birks for Spring!
Last, but not least, I have new Birkenstocks for spring. They’re thong style and I ended up liking them – they’re perfectly comfy until you stub your toe. (IF you do, the plastic toe piece impacts the sensitive skin between your toes. Ouch!) I love the pattern on them….and they match my hair. Hair matching is now an important part of outfit coordination!