Thursday, March 22, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Today the weather was better than the last few days and I was able to do some work in the garden. The sun was shining and the temperature had risen to about 10 to 11 degrees Celsius. I started of with pruning the Penstemons and of course Kadootje kept a careful eye on the proceedings.
This is what my Penstemons look like in summer. Very pretty, don't you think? And they flower for a very, very long time. Last year they started flowering in July and were still in flower at the end of November. The flowers are also good for cutting and last about a week in the vase.

This was what they looked like this afternoon, very messy and flopping all over the place and in serious need of a haircut.

and after!

Of course my supervisor Maine Coon Vita was there to check if everything was done by the book.
After the pruning I went into my kitchen garden to check on my seedlings and to do some planting.
My seedlings are coming along nicely. The broad beans and sweet peas are doing fine. The rocket, lettuce and radishes had decided to pop up their little leafy heads and say hello. It was nice to see them again. In about a few weeks time I'll be harvesting the first vegetables from my kitchen garden.
Two weeks ago I had planted some cloves of garlic and I was curious to see how they were doing. One week after planting they looked like this.
And now, two weeks later, the garlic looks like this. They have grown quite a bit, even though the last few days have been cold and we had some night frosts as well.

Of course, Dolly was there to keep me company. She loves the outdoors so and is always curious to see what it is I'm up to. Here she's checking to see if I had weeded the flowerbed properly.
Three weeks ago I started chitting my potatoes in the conservatory. And after 2 weeks of chitting they looked like this. Almost there but not quite. Today they were ready to be planted in the new bed my garden assistant had dug for me.
So I got all my tools ready, donned my pink wellies and started planting the spuds.
And here is the finished result. Now we have to wait and see if and when the potatoes will send up any leaves and then we will take it to the second stage. More of that on a later date.

After all that hard work, I decided to treat myself to something nice. I like decorating and as Easter isn't all that far away I made this. Personally I think it's rather amusing that my spanking new watering can is the exact same shade of lilac as the violets and the pot they're in. I bought them a week apart, so yay me!
The most humiliating thing to me about a garden is the lesson it teaches of the inferiority of man.
Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in the Garden, 1871


Birgit said...

Dolly and Vita, what for beautiful Main Coons. They are so lovely. And your easter decoration ist lovely, too. I think, you have the "Händchen" for these are things. One can a lot learning from every post from you. The spring will come back at the following weekend. We can wait and than enjoy. Have a nice evening, Yolanda.

Bert said...

A lot of jobs had te be done in your garden. You're lucky to have those proffesional supervisors.
Can't wait to see how things will grow the comming days!!

Roland said...

Are you trying to fend of Graf Orlok or what?

Or are you making sure that we will not visit you ;-)

Kate said...

Yolanda, your Penstemons are beautiful in bloom and look much better now that they are trimmed.

I'm glad it is warmer there. I loved seeing Kadootje, Vita and Dolly - all lovely-looking cats!

I have a watering can in almost the same shade of mauve, but it doesn't have as nice an oval shape as yours!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello all,

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Dear Birgit, I hope that next weekend will be good and we can both enjoy our gardens and the sunshine. I'm looking forward to see what you are going to do in your lovely garden!

Bert, I would be completely lost without my professional supervisors!

Roland: both! :-) A clove of garlic a day, keeps the vampires at bay!

Kate, I hope you'll have some nice and warmer weather soon too. Will you put a pic of your mauve watering can on your blog, because I would love to see it? I have quite a collection of watering cans.

Vita and het daughter Dolly are cute, aren't they? Maine Coons are very special cats. Kadootje is, as you know, a very special catperson in my life.

A wildlife gardener said...

I just love the way the cats have of supervising...they keep everything in order, including you! Wonderful photographs!

Hillside Garden said...

Hi Yolanda, deine Bilder erfreuen immer wieder mein Herz. Mein Knoblauch überwintert im Beet, seit neuestem hat er sich zwischen den Rosen ausgesamt! Ich lasse ihn einfach stehen.
Ich hab noch nie eine lila Gießkanne gesehen, aber es passt gut.


Thalia said...

Dear Yolanda,

Looks like you are having a great time working in the garden. I loved the cats - I simply love the way cats go around everywhere pompously, trying to find out what you are upto, and making sure nothing goes on without their knowledge. They look adorable.

I was reminded of the days when I used to grow vegetables in my garden, a few years ago. Unfortunately, gardening, for me is on hold now (sigh), so I am watching your garden flourish and enjoying it.

Thanks for all the pictures!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thank you all for commenting on my blog.

Wildlife gardener, you're right of course, I'm being bossed around by my cats. And what a wonderful thing it is!

Sigrun, I was a bit late in planting garlic but I hope it will be allright. So you have garlic amongst your roses now? I've read somewhere that garlic keeps certain pests away from roses. Let's see if your roses are more healthy this year than they were before.

Thalia, you and I share a great love of cats, small and big ones. Perhaps there will come a day when you are able to garden again. Until that day, I'm happy to share my garden with you.

monique said...

Hoi Yolanda Elizabet,

Wat een ontzettend mooi plaatje zeg, die paarse gieter met die viooltjes in precies dezelfde kleur erbij.
Ik heb ook pas knoflook gepland.Ik wist dat ik er eigenlijk te laat mee was maar ik dacht ik probeer het gewoon.
Langzaam aan gaat alles weer wat groener worden in mijn tuin. Ik heb ook pas wat viooltjes gepland en mijn witte magnolia is aan het bloeien. Ik zal van het weekend eens door mijn tuin lopen om wat foto's te maken. Ik heb al wel een foto van mijn helleborus en viooltjes op mijn blog geplaatst.


Libbys Blog said...

I do love your puss cats! They are beautiful, they do like to come and help, although they prefer supervising!!!! You have been busy in your garden, I really must get a move on!!!

Annie in Austin said...

That's a lovely Penstemon, Yolanda Elizabet. And thanks for expanding my vocabulary with the term 'chitting' potatoes. That was a new one!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Green thumb said...

Love the size and look of your potatoes and the Garlic too is coming along nicely. I also planted garlic yesterday. With temperature here running in the range of 32-35 degree celsius let's see how it turns out.
Love your easter decoration too.

OldRoses said...

I have a "Helper Coon" too! He's an indoor cat, though, so he only helps with stuff like laundry, making the bed and anything coming out of my printer.

Gotta Garden said...

I love growing garlic! Mine was planted last fall and I even found one variety in my basement that I had forgotten from the year before! It's coming up (Burgundy)! That's got to be a record (for me) of keeping...usually, I think nine months is something.

Potatoes! I have only grown them once, some blue ones in a pot. Funny, I guess I didn't harvest them all as the next year a few came up in the pot!

I see I have missed quite a bit! I, too, had never heard of chitting...but now I have a new word!

I only have one penstemon...I will have to go see about pruning it! I don't think mine blooms nearly as long as yours.

Your garden is looking is so inspiring!

Manjari said...

You have a very pretty blog. Since I like flowers, I continued to gaze at some of the flowers you have captured.