Friday, February 16, 2018

Fickle February

February has been a fickle month weather-wise. The first half was considerably colder than normal. The ground has been frozen so that not much is growing. These past couple of days have been the opposite, warmer than normal. It will all even out I imagine.  
While it has been warmer the buds of my little patch of Snowdrops finally opened.  I have had to be patient. They have sat here with buds for a long time. It just make me appreciate them more.
While there isn't much to do outside I have been walking around looking. Sometimes that is a good thing. I noticed that the oval garden has lost it's shape somewhat. So I got to thinking about what I should do about this. Also you can see the leaves of the Hellebores just behind this big rock. This has been a tough winter on Hellebores. They usually stay mostly green but not this year. 
Last summer I made a short brick wall as you can see behind Annie. I like the way it has corralled some plants and made the path more defined. So I says to myself what can I put around the Oval Garden to define it better. Rocks I says to myself. I don't have many more bricks but I have oodles of rocks here and there in the garden that I could gather and place around the Oval Garden.
So I got busy, as you can see.
The rocks are all foundlings. Nothing seems to match so I placed the largest ones on the corners (?) of the oval. I set them up with a few flat, then taller etc.
There was a little start and stop. Then no...just following the edge of the bed was not going to do.
So I pulled them out a little. It suits me that there will be a bit more planting area. Plus I got the browned tattered Hellebore leaves cut off. Not only does this look better but there is a little bit of green coming out.
I have a few more adjustments to make and few more rocks to gather.  I think I am going to like it. I have always wanted a rock wall. Who knows where this project will end.
While I was gathering the rocks I found this bit of British Soldier Lichen (Cladonia cristatela) growing on one of the larger rocks. A nice find. This is a lichen that is not often found around here. 
It soon became obvious that I am not the only one that likes the ribbon of rocks that is now around the Oval Garden. 
The Grey Squirrels think I laid a rock sidewalk for their pleasure. They obviously don't want to get their little feet muddy.
See the fencing laying on the ground behind the rocks?  The Squirrels are the reason why I have it laying there, so they don't dig up my tulip bulbs.  So far it has worked. They have certainly investigated this area and have done a little digging but the wire fencing discourages them. 
When the tulip leaves begin to come up I will have to put that fence and more around this area so the rabbits don't eat them.
 Such are the chores of this gardener during this fickle February.
Have you been able to get out and do much this winter?


  1. Are you trying to drive me crazy girl ?
    There you are actually working in your garden .. playing with rocks (which is one of my favorite past times by the way) .. I am totally jealous but laughing because I know those squirrels are having fun with what you are doing ! haha
    We are still stuck in snow here .. and it was actually snowing this afternoon .. BIG sigh !
    Have fun and enjoy your rocks : )

    1. Hi Joy, the warmer weather stopped today. The wind is blowing in a cold front, which is probably what is bringing you snow. It is only bringing us cold. I can just look out and see the gaps where I need to put some more rocks. It has to warm up again for me to actually do anything out there other than walk around a few times before coming in to warm up. Be safe and warm up there in the land of the snow.

  2. I think you'll be able to get out there again next week, the forecast looks very pro-gardening!
    Excellent job, I like it and might have to copy once I get a few more rocks.

  3. Same here Lisa. February has been all over the place.
    We have had lower temperatures than usual.
    Frost have been harsh.

    I love the rocks. I have some near my little bridge. They are covered in moss.
    You worked hard and it shows. Well done my friend.
    Hope your hellebores are all okay. They are tough.

    Love my card and mini book, also the envelope. Now part of my gardening journal. I love your artwork. Thank you.

  4. Delightful to see snowdrops and love your rock circle ~ it works! Love your doggie supervising!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  5. I love the rocks Lisa. A lot of hard work but it looks good and you have, without doubt, defined the bed.
    I have never had brown hellebore leaves. That really does show how cold it has been your end. We have been down to minus 6C here so far this Winter. The lowest I have recorded is minus 12C but that was around ten years ago. The garden is in a frost pocket, so Winter can cause problems.
    February has been horrible. It is a month I generally do not mind but this year it has been so cold and wet, with the odd sunny day thrown in.

    Beautiful image of Annie.

  6. Hi Cheryl, I am glad you like my ribbon of rocks.
    It has been several years since I have had brown hellebore leaves. This winter has been quite severe. I think our drought last summer has something to do with it too. February has been awful here too. It make me want to take off for the tropics until spring actually arrives. That won't happen. It is nice to see clumps of daffodil foliage popping up as well as crocus and just yesterday some tulip greens out front where they are more protected. Give sweet Nella a pat for me.

    1. Hellebores do not like drought. They are tough though. I would be very surprised if you lost them Lisa.

  7. Dear Lisa,
    good to see that weather has improved and you can finally do some work in the garden. Here in Vienna the weather has been mild so far, but at the moment the weather is cold and ugly. We´re having snow at the moment and spring seems far away. I am hoping it won´t stay long like that.
    Your work with the rocks turned out very nicely! I too have an area in my garden where I have some rocks. I especially like your rock that´s covered with moss. I will try your tip with the buttermilk!
    Happy gardening and best wishes,

  8. Ha! No, I haven't been able to do much because of the snow. We didn't have much at all in January and now we have a few inches. But with rain on the way and continued warmer weather, it will disappear fast. I've noticed my Hellebore foliage was kind of gray this winter, too, where usually it would be either covered with snow or green. Weird January and February for us. Your Snowdrops have me smiling. :)

  9. Looks great! I love rock walls. Feb has been really warm here - too warm, for sure. But the upside is that I've been able to rescue more plants from my other garden since the ground isn't frozen.

    1. I am so glad you can rescue more plants from your previous garden. I would have hated to leave them all behind and I know you did too. They will be so happy to be with you.

  10. Hi Lisa,

    Just to let you know I can receive all your email but I cannot send to you. They are always returned.
    I got DB'S message and tried that avenue, again had it returned to me. I really do not know what else to do.:(

  11. I love the rock wall. You know I would, of course! It nicely defines the space and I am betting you will like the contrast of the plant textures against the stone. Am jealous of those lovely little snowdrops.

    1. Then I hate to tell you I found one little crocus blooming this morning.

  12. I love your Snowdrops Lisa and it made me smile when I read that you're out there building a rock wall in your garden. I remember one January it was so mild that I dug out an entire garden bed extension in a few days. We gardeners all think alike!

  13. The rocks beautifully define the space! Good for you for being so motivated!

  14. Most of the snow here has melted. Our Snowdrops are up but not ready to bloom.

  15. That looks great. I love rock borders. They make a nice natural line. I just found you through Impatient Gardner so now following 😊

    1. Thank you Lady Locust. Welcome to Greenbow. Since you live in the mountains you have no trouble finding rocks for any project I would imagine. I envy your supply. Here in the flat lands of Indiana I have little to no supply of rocks that aren't purchased. I have to find them thrown to the roadside by mining operations or farmers happening on rocks which doesn't happen often in this sandy part of the state.


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