Friday, May 3, 2013

Yard: Signs of Life

So what exactly is happening in the yard?

The lawn is dotted with dandelions. Evan loves dandelion greens, but we can't eat these leaves straight from the ground or we'd get lead poisoning (more on that later). Last weekend, he collected some seeds and planted them in a container to grow dandelions for eating.

We killed off other whole sections of ground cover last summer by ripping out weeds and having pots and a table in the middle of the yard. Now we're trying to fix that by planting grass seed - perennial rye and pasture mix that Evan's parents gave us.

A few perennial wildflowers are reemerging - coneflower, bee balm and something that is black eyed susan or daisy respectively. Around them I scattered marigold, blue cornflower and cosmo seeds. I collected perennial seed packets too because seeds are cheap and I wanted lots of flowers, but only recently realized that perennials don't usually bloom the first year. So I'm kicking myself for not buying more established perennials when they were on sale last fall.

Radishes on the left, arugula on the right. Hope they keep growing.

I planted three mums in the fall, but only one came back, which my mom said is normal. The tall plant seems related to sweet woodruff and hopefully it will produce little white flowers like a wild baby's breath. Those are stinging nettles poking out of the fence. I kinda hoped they wouldn't come back because they really do sting and are a gardening hazard. And again, I can't make nettle tea because of the leaden soil.

Dusty miller thriving after the winter and hostas returning.

The garlic I planted in the fall is going strong, as is kale.

Potted herbs that survived the winter: Catmint, marjoram and parsley. The rosemary and regular mint did not make it. I kept meaning to bring them all inside overwinter but was too lazy to clean off the dirty pots. I'm tempted to put the catmint in the ground. I hear it will spread invasively, but what's so bad about that?

What's peeking up in your yard? Tomorrow I'll show you the bulbs!


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