Monday, March 2, 2009

Of Gloves and Shovels

On the last day of February
I put on my gloves
Grabbed my shovel

--and got down to some serious planting.




OKAY...Do you really want to see what I work with?



But I digress.

I planted 2 Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily--or as some call it, 'Dog Tooth Violet'), and 4 Hepatica acutiloba, in a shady understory in the side yard.






Just a few days before, I had seen them lying in a bin at my local Big Box store. I know that these rhizomes are not of the finest quality, and that there is a good chance that they'll never see the light of day! Still, I felt a certain satisfaction as I dug just a few inches of soil and placed them in.


Oh, and while I was at it, I added to my cart several flats of Hyacinthus orientalis (pink and purple), Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinths), Scilla, Daffodils (including miniatures) and Tulips-all in various stages of early development. When I'm in Lowe's or Home Depot, I'm not picky about fancy varieties and plant cultivars; I'll take them any way that I can get them!


So that is why I went right to work as soon as I got home, planting four or five groupings of hyacinths. Then, realizing it was getting late, I quickly placed some of the flats on my (covered) front porch, and hid the rest beneath some protective bushes, because...


On the first day of March
I put on my gloves
Grabbed my shovel
--and got down to some serious shoveling. (sigh).



We were given the gift we'd wished for all winter-just in the nick of time-as spring is just literally days away! The inch or two after Christmas was just a tease-as we, like many others from Alabama to Maine-were caught in one of Mother Nature's practical jokes.




I'm sure the plants will be fine.

While the snow did begin on the 1st, it wasn't really until today (March 2nd) that the shoveling got underway. I fudged a little on the date... so that I could include this post for this month's Garden Blogger's Muse Day, which Carolyn gail hosts on the FIRST of each month at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. Visit Carolyn's blog to participate in and read more GBMD posts!

--Today I am thankful for gloves and shovels!

60 comments:

  1. LOLOLOL
    Oh my, what a surprise!! Wouldn't you know it, just as you decide to start planting....:))))

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  2. I love the transition of gloves and shovels. Too bad you can't be using the ones in the second picture. Your garden will look beautiful once you're able to get your bulbs in. I'm not picky about certain plants either and have bought my fair share at Home Depot. Most of them end up being just fine.

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  3. Looks like Michigan weather at its finest, dear Jan :) Please know I laughed at your 2nd pair of dirty gloves ... my favorite (aren't they awesome)!

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  4. Jan,

    Sorry to see you spending money on the trout lilies, we have maybe a 1000 of them going wild on our 4 acres. I walked down there yesterday in the rain and saw maybe 100 leaves sneaking out of the oak leaves. The cute glove trick was too much.

    My feed has been done since Friday please stop by sometime, I always enjoy your comments.

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  5. Ah, the snow has to ruin everything!
    I am so over this snow!

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  6. (Oops, I thought my comment had posted but looks as if it disappeared.) I look upon trout lilies as the most magical of woodlanders, along with trillums.
    I wish I could grow them, but alas, not in this garden, Thanks, Jan!

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  7. Jan,
    I can't wait to see pictures of those trout lilies in bloom, they are going to be gorgeous! I got out my shovel today as well, the pushing-snow-around-this-is-old-where-in-the-name-of-Pete-is-spring sort of shovel.

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  8. Jan,
    What a chuckle I got here. Love it! Just be glad, my friend, that you don't have the 11 inches we got with this storm. Thank goodness for my husband and his snow blower. By the time I got outside I only had to shovel out the cold frame and the path to the bird feeder closest to the house. I love the photos of the blooming bulbs in the snow. Great post.

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  9. Clever post, Jan.I hope everything fairs well. I really like that Trout Lily. I'm going to research and see if it would work in my planned woodland garden. Stay warm!

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  10. Just tells you how unpredictable our weather can be in VA, lol. Last Friday it was 70 degrees, sunny & warm. Today it is 28 degrees, cold, windy & snowy! Spring will come soon I hope....

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  11. I just washed all the garden gloves. Sometimes I have to wear a mismatch as the right hand wears faster than the left. Too funny. Glad you got to dig in soil before all the white. Snowed under here as well but it won't be long now.

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  12. great post, Jan! I love the gloves and shovel theme so much.

    Cameron

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  13. Very creative post, Jan! I'm sorry for your weather! Good thing plants are resilient! I'm worried that we may get hit too. With all the warm, sun shiny days we've been having it's easy for me to get fooled! I can't wait to see your garden in full bloom- I'm sure it is a beautiful sight!

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  14. Jan, Love the gloves and shovels through your posting. Very creative. I scrolled down through the rest of your blog and found your explanation of why you named the blog as you did. What a remarkable story. You are certainly one strong woman. What a story. Not sure if you just added this or if I finally stumbled upon it, but thanks for sharing. You truly have reason to rejoice with each day.
    Janet

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  15. A very creative post! I hope you're back into the GARDENING garb soon and that the winter garb can get stored away for many a month. :)

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  16. Alright, you got me with the fancy gloves and trowel. But then you redeemed yourself with a more normal looking set of tools for the trade. I can't be keeping friends around that have such tidy habits.

    Sorry about the snow. I sent it to ya. I tried to get a good bit of moisture out of it first.

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  17. This one gave me a chuckle, Jan. I thought - wow, her gloves, so clean! Her shovel, so shiny! Mine don't look anything like that... and then, the real deal. I like that your gloves don't match! Hey, as long as you have one L and one R, I think you're doing pretty good! :) Crazy about the snow, I'm sure you're right, the plants will be fine.

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  18. LOL!!!! Yep.. My hands looks like that when I have been digging.. I dont like whering glows unfurtunaly.
    Linda

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  19. Good luck with the Trout Lilys. I planted some a year or two ago and, well nothing.

    May yours grow strong and naturalise.

    Rob

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  20. What a great, fun post, Jan! I love it, except for the shoveling part. As funny as this sounds to hear me say it, I'd rather we had snow right now; we've had freezing rain, rain, and ice fog as the temperature dipped again, and the road is a sheet of black ice. Not impressed. How many months til spring??? ;-)

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  21. Oh my, I always say that March is a tease--nothing illustrates that better than this, Jan! Talk about mood swings:) I've heard the news reports about all the snow out east; hopefully, though, yours will melt quickly so those hyacinths can get into the ground, too.

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  22. My favorite gardening gloves are very similar and just as grungy. They are the best for gripping things and work well for filling the bird feeders too.

    Good luck with your bargain plants. I used to belong to a forum who's motto was 'you get what you pay for'. Well, I never resist a good bargain and I've had great good luck. I'm always as happy with bargain results as if I bought them potted in a sterling silver cup.
    Marnie

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  23. Hello my friends-thanks for coming by and commenting:) Our 7" of snow is still there, as the temps are well below freezing and will not let up for another day, perhaps 2. This is NO BIG DEAL for me, really--I'm a northerner, married to a northerner--so I grew up with 'real winters'. BUT, it is a bit odd that the whole east coast got blasted so late in the season;/

    I decided to only answer questions here and not reply to individual comments...hope you all understand! Did I miss any questions? If so, let me know!

    Oh yes, I see ONE question. Jody asked how many months until spring!! Is that a question or a joke? It's the latter, I know--but can you believe there are REALLY only 17 days until 'spring'? I know--that's what the calender says. It won't be spring for some of you for a while yet--but just keep reading all the lovely blogs w/photos of blooms and it'll keep you cheery;)

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  24. Love the trout lilies and especially love the hepatica. They have the cutest flowers AND buds! We missed the snow that hit farther east, and I wish we didn't. It's so cold (highs in teens), a nice insulating blanket of snow would be welcome!

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  25. My friends and family in Alabama were delighted with the rare snow event. It was fun to hear their excitement. I, on the other hand, was relieved that here in Indiana there wasn't a speck of snow to be found.

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  26. I like that you 'rescue' poor neglected, seemingly unwanted, bulbs from big box store. They should be giving them away!

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  27. That's how it goes!

    But maybe the snow will keep the bulbs / rhyzomes warm?

    Lucy

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  28. Hi Jan!
    Those bulbs will be delightful this year. I have to get a new pair of gloves. I think my old pair is shot. That is a good way to start spring!
    What a contrast with the flowers bulbs and the snow!
    I hope you get some nice spring weather soon!
    Best regards,
    :)
    Philip

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  29. Jan, I love the gloves and shovels--great motif. I'm all about bargain plants--a friend once told me that the plants sold at high end nurseries will be shocked (in a bad way) by the average gardener's soil conditions--but the neglected box store plants will be eternally grateful! Yeah, occasionally the bulbs don't come up (or the squirrels get 'em)--but the little root bound plants usually prosper.

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  30. Your plants look so pretty in the snow, not that I want it here thank you, but really they look lovely. I hope it goes soon for you get on with your gardening.
    Maureen :)

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  31. That's just completely unfair. Hope the snow melts soon. I little blast of snow never seems to harm the bulbs. Amazed at what you found at your local big box store - even though they weren't at their best - that's quite a selection.

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  32. Sorry about the snow! Trout lilies grow in abundance on the mountain side here in spring. We call them Dog tooth Violets...and it won't be long now before they appear.

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  33. Oh - I guess you could laugh or you could cry about it, right? Take heart that Spring really is just a few weeks away and besides, most bulbs like the cold!

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  34. Ha Jan! Just when we thought NO MORE SNOW!..especially with you in VA! Your bulbs should all be fine..I'm not familiar with the Hepatica..what's the common name? I have to get to Lowe's now to check out the tulips. Thanks!
    Lynn

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  35. Hi Lynn, I believe 'Hepatica' is the common name of Hepatica acutiloba.

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  36. I just look things up online if I have questions, about 'almost' anything!

    From Wikipedia:

    Hepatica is a genus of herbaceous perennial plants belonging to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. A native of central and northern Europe, Asia and northeastern North America, Hepatica is sometimes called liverleaf or "liverwort". It should not be confused with liverworts, which may also be called "Hepaticae". A few botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone, as Anemone hepatica.

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  37. I'm glad I didn't start any garden clean-up yet, although the few warm days we had were quite tempting.
    Let's hope that this is really the end of winter!

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  38. I hope your Hepatica comes up. It's such a gorgeous wildflower.

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  39. Jan, while I'm here reading this post, your comment just popped into my inbox. Funny :) Thanks for the visit.
    Yes, we're lucky to have plenty of land surrounding us and a barn for the kitties.
    Interesting about the bluebirds. We just bought a de-icer and rigged up a waterer on the porch last Saturday. Haven't seen any birds visit it yet.
    I Chuckled about your gloves and trowel :)
    The snowstorm that hit your left us with just a dusting. I guess it was your turn for a change :)
    I have good luck with box store bulbs and plants too. Enjoy getting your gloves dirty! :)

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  40. So sorry for the snow! My gardening gloves are also in a perpetual state of filth, and the kids leave my trowels out in the rain and snow and they're totally rusty. Sounds like you had a great shopping spree at the big box! I'm often surprised that HD and Lowe's do have some of the newer cultivars for sale. Seems like I read an article bemoaning that fact. Of course it's bad news for the local nursery, but it's nice for our pocketbooks to be able to buy great new plants for half the price. The 'Blushing Bride' hydrangea I purchased at the nursery for $32 (5 gallon size) hasn't bloomed in its two summers, but last summer I bought a $14 (1 gallon) version of BB at HD that was covered with blooms. Funny how that happens.

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  41. Crispy new garden gloves - how I love them and how soon they become dirty and boring!
    What a pity the snow has arrived just as you have bought a load of bulbs. Here's hoping it disappears soon.

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  42. Jan, The snow was a shocker...we were shocked it missed us! I am looking at your bargain plants...you had a good catch...the trout Lily is one of my favorite wildflowers. You're a good shopper! Btw, did everything survive the snow?

    gail

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  43. I wish garden centers would provide pre-chilled bulbs this time of year for those of us who neglected to plant bulbs in the fall. I am regretting that choice, and want more spring flowers to arrive. I may have to slip back to the garden show this week and buy some more! I've never heard of anyone else offering them.

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  44. What a witty GBMD post Jan and so well illustrated. Such a contrast between the first of those months. I wonder what the first of April will have in store for you. I hope that your new plantings will flourish for you :)

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  45. Gail, the snow didn't hurt anything, as far as I could tell. But as it melted and froze up again the next night, I should have brought in the tulips that were already sticking their flowers out...I didn't and they are not going to make it. I cut them all out of the flats and placed them in vases, in water. They still haven't opened up, and probably won't. It's ok. I'll plant more (if they still have any left)!.

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  46. That is just like the spring here too. Sun and flowers one day, lots of snow the other. But eventually, the snowy days are loosing the battle....

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  47. ROFL...I'm glad to see your 'real' gloves. I was going to feel underdressed!

    Great, great post! Kim

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  48. I love hepaticas. When i was little we lived way back in the woods with a small stream in the backyard. I used to go down the hill and pick handfulls of hepatica blooms and bring them home for cute little boquets.

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  49. I never realized it could be so drastic - the climate. I mean the previous day you had a clear soil and the next, a snowy blanket! That must've come to you as a surprise. I really hope all your rhizomes and bulbs make it through! Few of my crocuses already seem to have give up :(. [SIGH]. Good luck, Jan!

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  50. I am sure by now you are back in the garden since this weekend is supposed to be so nice.
    I can't resist those big box flower bins, either. Sometimes I have hit the jackpot, and gotten some things that have done very well. Good luck with yours.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  51. Wow, Jan. You got more snow than we did! (We haven't had any for awhile now - knock on wood!)

    I want some hepatica! I've never been able to find it anywhere.

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  52. Jan, this is my first visit - WONDERFUL pics! Too bad about the snow, but I find that we worry about it much more than the plants do. Not sure where you are but we got high winds and 2" of rain yesterday. Boy, I'm just glad it WASN'T snow!

    Thanks for visiting my blog, it was good of you to stop by. :-D

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  53. Jan, I loved the gloves! Great post. What veggies do you plan to grow if you go that route?

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  54. This is fine storytelling. Very fine. I'm smiling. Thank you.

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  55. lol. My gloves look a lot like your "real" ones too Jan. How fun you actually were able to get out and plant a little. I've done none of that so far. I hope the troutlilies will make it ~ at least you gave them a chance, right? I'm sure by now the snow has melted and spring is back?? Happy gardening with your new bulbs!

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  56. Thank you so much for visiting my Belgian gardenblog (yes, my language is Dutch...). I just wonder how you found me, as my blog isn't approved by blotanical yet.
    I like the way you include the botanical names of the plants in your blogs... It's not always simple to figure out which plant is meant, when you're not a native speaker, but botanical names are the universal languages of gardeners.
    Your comment on my blog encourages me to try to translate a few more of my pages, starting with the 'about'-page...
    Thanks for passing by...

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  57. Hi Jan, those are fine wildflowers to grow. The trout lillies make great naturalizers. I've bought those packs of wildflowers in the past at Lowes too. More recently though I've written the store to complain as I realized that at those prices the plants are mostly likely dug from the wild and not plants raised for sale. It's a constant struggle to protect wild areas so I no longer buy those collected packs of wild flowers in protest.

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  58. I love those GRIP Garden gloves - I use those too. HAPPY WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!

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  59. The same happens here - two days ago I starated to "do" the garden - take away the old stuff - and yeaterday all was white here!
    You wrote it very well with a poem on the top and one on the buttom.
    Thank you!

    /MB

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

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