Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Friday, June 15, 2007

All Caught Up

Well, this edition will cover by pictures most of what's been happening here at Heartland Gardens during April and May. And yes, Lynne did forget one major item that happened about a month ago, but the pictures will tell that story, as well ;)

As Lynne said, late winter and very early spring were unusually warm, and that helped bring on some early season color, mainly from the bulbs, and some trees and shrubs that bloom then, regardless of what the weather is doing.


Some early blooming Azaleas at one of the entrances to the woodland gardens


Mom's front yard bulb collection that was planted last fall. She ordered somewhere near 250 assorted bulbs last summer, and they showed up all at once, so most of them went into the recent front yard berm she can see from her sitting room.

We went up to Kevin's for an early Easter family dinner, and under Jenn's watchful eye, Celeste was naturally the center of attention, and rightfully so. Fortunately, our afternoon visit was just hours before the great "Easter Weekend Freeze" set in for 6 days. While it was on the chilly side outdoors for John, Celeste and her cousins kept things warm and hopping for everyone inside inside ;)


That night, and for the next 5, temperatures dropped down into the middle 20's at night, and barely rose through the 30's during the day. We tried to protect what shrubs we could, to no avail, and the hard freeze killed off most the azaleas that were either in bloom, or had set buds. Almost anything that had leafed out, even the trees, were burned by the bitter temps as this pic of our Tulip Poplar shows. It was really strange when out and about, driving through the older neighborhoods that had much older yards, and trying to figure what the color of the azaleas might have been, based on the shade of brown the freeze-burnt flowers were. We thought we'd lost a good part of everything we've worked so hard on the last 2 years, as well as what Lynne and Glenn had started with, but plants, on the whole are very resilient when it comes to weather conditions. Some things were oblivious to the freeze, while some others, like the Hydrangeas, lost all their new growth and buds. We'll talk more about that in the next blog, though.

Meanwhile, what wasn't affected by the freeze that wiped out the Southeast farmers' peach, nut, strawberry, early corn, tomato and pepper crops, just to name a few, continued to add more color to the yard, as temperatures ever so slowly recovered to more April-like readings.

So now, we're in to May. Tomatos and Peppers finally got planted out, a month later than planned, in a new vegetable bed.

The othe gardens continued to surprise and please us, as different things came in to bloom despite the previous month's adverse temperatures.

Here's a couple pictures of some of the plants Lynne had winter-sewn, that made it through the freeze.

Now, on to the one item Lynne left out in her most recent post. Over the winter, we had gotten some estimates to remove 11 pine trees that had been diseased many years ago. Now, due to their size and height, they were becoming a potential threat to the house, should the right kind of wrong storm come along. Obviously, a ninety foot tall pine tree, 20 feet from the house, with a much weakened trunk, is not a good thing to have in the yard. After contracting the work out, the tree removal company arrived at 9 in the morning on May 16th and began work. Of course, every tree we had taken down was either IN a garden bed, or adjoining one, so we obviously were worried about any damage that might occur in the process.

Here's the front of the house, before the work began.


The work in progress...

Here's the new view of the front of the house. On the plus side, we got about 16 cu yds of mulch out of the deal for free from the grinding of the limbs. :)

No damage to the tomato/veggie plot that had been planted out 2 weeks prior to the tree removals.

Lynne mentioned more garden beds... there's 2 30' long beds along either side of the new fence, and a stepped down new bed along the end of the house.

Of course, another photo post isn't complete without the cats taking part, so here they are :)

Speed bumps...

Homeland Security at HeartlandGardens...


Of course, we also have border patrol on duty :)


We'll be catching up again soon with some June things, and our usual rants and ramblings, but for now, a few more glimpses from around Heartland Gardens, where life continues to be WONDERFUL.