Tangled Branches: Cultivated
happenings in and around my zone 6b gardens in northern Virginia and in central Virginia
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day
Last month, I said this month would be different. Thanks to the recent warm spell, I was right. The cold weather of February and early March slowed everything down quite a lot, but we're bloomin' now.
- Crocus 'Ruby Giant', 'Cream Beauty', and another one.
- Narcissus obvallaris, 'Tete-a-tete', 'Ice Follies', 'Midget' and my mystery.
- Scilla sibirica (no picture, they're kind of sparse yet).
- Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop). Still hanging in there.
- Muscari armeniacum.
- Hellebore 'Royal Heritage Strain'. I'm in between 'Pine Knot Strain' blooms. The early ones either froze or are finished. Some others are still coming along, but not much to look at yet.
- Viola, unknown species/variety.
- Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite). I hesitate to include this - technically it's still blooming, but the flowers withered as soon as the weather got warm.
- Rosemary. These are looking very sad after the cold snap, but I think the plants will come around. Not so sure about the rest of the flowers on these plants - I was surprised to see any at all.
- Some cruciferous weed which I haven't bothered to identify. It's not only blooming, it's going to seed already. No, I'm not going to post a picture.
Labels: in bloom
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Change in Web Hosting
The last straw has just been stacked by Yahoo Web Hosting. They've been rejecting valid emails to my addresses there for several months, and inquiries to customer service have not resolved the issue. I have some free time this afternoon to back up my site and transfer my domain name, but tangledbranches.com will be unavailable for a while during the transition. Hope to be back soon...
Labels: web hosting
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Don't look now, but I'm tinkering with the layout of the blog. I want to add a third column on the right so I have room for a blogroll, and some other things.
This might be a good time to explain why I don't have a blogroll. When I started the blog almost 4 years ago, there were hardly any other garden blogs. I think I didn't even know about those few that were around then. Time passed and eventually I came to know that there were many many many garden blogs. In order to have a blogroll, I would have to judge which blogs to include and which to exclude. Too much pressure. And besides I'd have to change the blog template or have a very long column of text on the left. And I had to create my own template, because I wanted it to be unique. So I just didn't do it. But now, with so many kind souls having linked to my blog, I think at least I ought to reciprocate.
And I'd kind of like to add some links to various other favorite sites, or maybe put a LibraryThing widget there, or...? So....the blog may look a little odd before I'm finished playing with it.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
These are positively the last pictures of snow I'm going to post until next winter. Even if it snows another two feet, which it won't, I will not take a picture.
While I was out photographing the narcissus in the snow, a red-bellied woodpecker started drumming on the neighbors' chimney cap. The robins were back today, and so was the pine warbler. The goldfinches are starting to wear their summer feathers. And it's finally going to warm up outside!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Spring or Winter?
Every time I declare spring, it snows. I was just thinking of declaring spring after last weekend in the country, so snow is in the forecast.
Last weekend in Central Virginia, the weather was warm enough to open the windows and air out the house. The sound of spring peepers (or something) drifted in on the breeze (more like a gale, actually). I wandered around the woods looking for wildflowers or fiddleheads, but it was still too early. The maple trees are starting to bud out. The birds were singing noticeably more than the previous weekend. Our well-fed suburban birds have been singing for weeks, but I think the rural birds were still just trying to stay alive. Now the bugs are starting to come out and they can think of other activities. I didn't see any deer, but did find their tracks in the mud, however those were nowhere near the recently planted woodies. So far, so good.
Back to those spring peepers for a moment. According to what I've read on the internet, spring peepers are nocturnal. So then, what was I hearing during the daylight? They started about 10:30 in the morning and went until late afternoon. The sound was coming from the brushy side of the stream. I tried to look for the critters, but could see nothing. I found a site with sounds of a dozen frogs and toads, but none of these sound like what I remember. So the identity of the croaking creatures remains to be discovered.
In Northern Virginia, a few more crocus flowers popped open yesterday. I do mean popped open. Sunday I swear there was nothing there - hardly even any leaves; Monday - flowers. And some of the very early narcissus are open. Pictures soon.
A rare bird stopped by this afternoon - a pine warbler. I guess they really aren't all that rare, but this is only the second time I've seen one in the backyard. Not rare at all, but very welcome, a large flock of robins was rummaging through the leaves in the woods late in the afternoon.
Did I mention there's a snow advisory for tomorrow?