Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: March 2009

This is my first time participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I've known about it a long time and follow what others have blooming, but I'm such a terrible gardener that I don't typically have much blooming. But, this month is different!

I planted a Japanese Magnolia two years ago. The student club had a big plant sale and it was a great deal. It was one of the first plants that I planted in our new landscape. It had one or two blooms last year, but this year it just took off!

I know this makes Tom really mad. He is a great gardener (well, he is the Florida Master Gardener Coordinator!) and he has six or eight of these trees. But, the squirrels eat his buds off every year! He never gets any flowers and this makes him very, very mad at the squirrels.

I just LOVE these flowers! I think they're beautiful and I'm always sad to see them stop blooming.

Blueberries! And other garden related news

More than a year ago, a friend of mine gave me small blueberry plants for free! Free being the key word. One of the local ag teachers had been growing them and needed the space and my friend just happened to be his neighbor. So, I was lucky enough to get 10 rabbiteye (I think). I hope I got two different varieties of rabbiteye so that they produce berries, but I'm just not sure. Anyways, the poor blueberry plants sat in pots for the last year occasionally getting watered. Over the winter, they stayed in their pots and it got really cold. I thought for sure that I had killed them. But, lo and behold, they started leafing out! So, since I'm home with a sick kid today with nothing better to do, I FINALLY planted the little plants. Yeah!! I haven't taken any pictures yet, but will do so soon!

Earlier this year, I emailed the UF blueberry expert because Will's kindergarten class is planting blueberry plants as part of their Ag in the Classroom project. He suggested rabbiteye (we're north of Ocala) and the two varieties he recommended are Powderblue and Brightwell. I don't think these are either of my varieties, but I might try to get some of them in the near future. The blueberry expert says they do pretty well in this area. If you're interested in growing blueberries as part of your edible landscape, the Blueberry Gardener's Guide is an excellent resource.

In other gardening news, Sarah and I decided to try vegetable gardening together this year. She's going to come to my house and we're going to do it together. Kind of like a workout buddy. Hopefully, this keeps us both more disciplined. She came over last weekend and we cleaned up the raised beds and planted seeds of zucchini, sunflowers, and okra in the beds and zinnias, basil, heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, and marigolds in transplant trays. Everything seems to have emerged so far. I took pictures of all of this, but of course, they are on my work computer and I'm home with a sick kid.