Let your photo(s) tell your story.
The only positive thing about this cool rainy spring is that I haven’t had to water anything…not even once. Mother Nature has done it for me. In fact it’s rained so much this past month that most of the farmers haven’t even been able to get their crops planted, the latest season ever as many recall. It’s sad to drive through the countryside and see all those bare soggy fields. The crop insurance has been extended a few days, but things are looking desperate, and the forecast is more of the same. Let’s send out a few prayers for our farmers – because if they don’t plant, we don’t eat.
I’ve been preoccupied with the kitchen reno, but here’s a recap of the best of the spring flowers, even if I’ve been too busy and it’s been too rainy to enjoy them.
The hyacinths at the corner always make going to the mailbox a treat.
These little purple violets scattered in the grass are always so pretty, especially if you ignore the weeds!
The nicest thing about this picture, also taken near the mailbox, is the shade, which means the trees are finally leafing out. I love the play of the shadows on the lawn.
The squirrels dug up most of my tulips,
so I really appreciate it when someone else makes an effort. It’s always a treat to drive down this street and see this yard, and this one.
Last year I transplanted a few blue forget-me-nots from my neighbour – they were so pretty I hope they are invasive.
My only purchase earlier in the spring was a pink and yellow dahlia and a couple of bright pink begonias, my first for both types of plants. I didn’t know what to do with them, and read that the dahlia had to be dug up in the fall so I just stuck them in bigger pots. The dahlia has flourished, with many buds again, but the begonias got too water-logged.
The lilacs finally bloomed, mine pale and anemic, so I enjoyed the neighbors dark purple ones which hang over my fence. The bloom-again lilac was a few weeks later, but I was disappointed in it’s smell. We’ll see if it lives up to it’s name.
The lily of the valley was plentiful too, another invasive gift from a fellow gardener.
My 50 cent bargain iris from last years horticultural sale bloomed for the first time, all of them coming up purple, except for one ugly burgundy one I gave away as it didn’t fit the color scheme. The second year for this fuchsia clematis. My new one, planted last fall, is not out yet but as it is a Jackmanii, it may be later.
Sometimes I’m not sure if things will bloom the first year, but the half-price peonies planted last fall burst forth a pretty pink.
When I finally got to the nursery again, these were my selections. I’ve never had a dipladenia plant before (smaller than a Mandevilla), but it looks very tropical. And one can never have enough lavender.
I may pick up some half-price geranium pots if I can find any, but even the nursery plants are struggling this year. Many look so pathetic no one would want to take them home, which is just as well, as man does not live by flowers alone. I planted lettuce in early May and all the rain has made me the Lettuce Queen of the neighborhood. Let us be grateful for homegrown salads!
Which is more depressing, forty days of rain or using the new WordPress Block/Gutenberg editor?
Unlike Enchanted April (link to last blog), this past April has been anything but enchanting. Day after day of rain and gloomy skies – on Tuesday we even had a bit of sleet, and some places received several inches of snow. These cold wet late springs are beginning to be the norm here, and it seems you need to book a vacation to an Italian castle if you want to enjoy nice weather and blooming flowers in April anymore. Despite the debate over climate change, it does make you stop and think – are we ruining the earth? It’s enough to make you depressed, like poor old Charlie Brown of the Peanuts cartoon fame – remember how Lucy was always calling him a blockhead.
Which brinks me to my second topic, the new WordPress block editor or Gutenberg Editor, as it is named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented a printing press with movable type more than 500 years ago. If you are not familiar with it yet, each paragraph, photo, video etc, is contained in it’s own separate block, and there is an option to try out this new Editor on the right hand menu in Draft. Since we are all (sooner or later), to be made mandatory Blockheads by WordPress, you may now have another reason to be depressed other than the weather, unless of course you’re the kind of person who enjoys coding and fiddling with layouts. If you’re just here for the joy of blogging, then it seems like the new editor has taken all the fun out of it. I’m not sure how they managed to take something so simple (writing and inserting pretty pictures) and make it so complicated. Of course, I may change my mind once I get used to it, but it seems to be taking twice as long to do anything, if you can even figure it out in the first place. On my first try I could not even paste in the draft I had written in Office Word. I had heard that it would automatically convert it to blocks so I wouldn’t have to copy and paste each paragraph individually. Was I not in the right block? I finally gave up and tried to exit back to the Classic Editor but could not find the button. I googled and read the tutorial and tried to contact a Happiness Engineer to no avail, and after wasting an hour finally located it at the bottom of some sub-menu. Intuitive it is not. Perhaps hiding the button was deliberate, thereby forcing me to stay here until I figured it out, but the hour grew late and I was starting to panic. It was like being in one of those reality “escape room” games where you have to figure out the clues or you’d be stuck there forever.
When I first joined WordPress almost two years ago, there were 32 million followers on here, now there are 52 million. I’m not sure what is behind their reason for the change to the block format (could it be the new European copyright laws coming?), but I would bet the majority of those on here are either amateur bloggers or smaller business sites, who don’t want, have the time or even care about how they can endlessly change and create new layouts by moving blocks around. It’s a puzzle to me, but then I am only a very small tadpole in a great big pond. I checked a recent survey though, 1800 of 2700 users who had tried it were not happy, so I don’t think I’m alone. It would be nice if WordPress would leave us the option to continue with the current Classic editor, if that is a possibility? (Asking nicely here, but not really expecting a positive response, as they didn’t listen about the dark blue likes and links which don’t contrast well to black ink.)
Ah well, the second attempt was better, but I watched a youtube tutorial first to get the basics. I’m sure there are many more icons and features I will need to know at some point, like just exactly how did I do the links? The captions were fun though. I’ll try it out to see if it will solve the problem of my very thin font with the Sela theme…(it did not, although I was allowed to make it larger). I’ll even try a background color, maybe yellow….pretty fancy eh? (Except it’s not really yellow, it’s called luminous vivid amber.) But good grief Charlie Brown, it’s just not worth all the grief. I think I would prefer to remain Glutenberg-free! Now where is that exit button again?
To cheer up I went for a walk in the woods. Here’s a link to last years blog, Among the Daffodils, because daffodils always remind me of sunshine, and we need some right now.
PS. Have you tried the new Gutenberg/Block Editor yet?
Spring is late again this year. Having survived a particularly brutal winter, which started early and never let up, we’re all tired of the snow and the cold, and anxious for the first signs of spring. So, here’s my take on the Six on Saturday Garden post….
March 20 – The first official day of spring – saw my first robin, who was uncooperative for a photo-shoot, hopping away every time I got near. Unfortunately the zoom lens on my camera is broken so this is as close as I got.
March 22 – The tulip and daffodil tips are peeking through on the south side of the house and some of the rose bush stems are starting to turn green.
March 23 – Went out for a walk for the first time in weeks, the wind was cold but the sun was bright, and the neighbor’s snowdrops were out in full force.
March 25 – The Angry Bird – I opened the front door to check the temperature this morning and saw the morning doves have returned. One was sitting on the front step, looking quite perturbed now that it has to find a new place to nest. They are life long lovers and creatures of habit, but as they didn’t build a nest last year I thought it was safe to install new light fixtures. I’m feeling guilty but my new lights are so much nicer than the old.
March 26 – So nice to see a blue sky again, especially against a budding maple tree.
March 27 – saw my first crocus while returning a book to the library. Their flower beds are always gorgeous because they have professional gardeners maintain them.
March 28 – first spring-like day, 15 C, and first milkshake from the Dairy Queen – chocolate of course. Drove home with the windows down.
March 29 – The ice is gone from the river and the sunlight is sparkling on the water again.
March 30 – our first all day spring rain flooded the back forty, but brought a tinge of green to the grass.
March 31 – brought a return to winter and a couple of inches of snow – the robin was not amused. The snow hung around for a more few days – is this some kind of April Fools joke?
A pot of hyacinths can provide a small dose of beauty,
while we wait for this.
What wonderful sights await us in a few more weeks. Happy Spring!
April showers bring May flowers, so the saying goes. Finally we are having some signs of spring here after what must be the longest winter ever. Midway through April and nothing but single digit temperatures, flurries and freezing rain. The flowers were up and trying to be brave but why bloom when you can hide. But today it rained, a soft spring rain, destined to bring the first new fuzz out on the trees, a shade of green that is impossible to describe.
Here’s some proof that warm weather is on it’s way.
Forsythia and Siberian Squill,
I like the mixture of colors in this clump of tulips, so cheerful to see while walking on a rainy spring day.
This is the best time of year for lazy gardeners, as mother nature is doing all the work.
All the fruits of last years fall plantings are bursting forth, and we can just sit back and enjoy the show.
The final sign, the love birds are back and nesting. They arrived during the last ice storm and had that nest assembled practically overnight, hence the messy job. It was so cold they must have felt the need for some extra layers. They need to do some spring cleaning and so do I, but first a cup of tea on the deck to listen to the birds and gaze at nature’s masterpiece.
Postscript: for more pretty flower pics see last weeks post Among the Daffodils.
Daffodils are one of the earliest messengers of spring and after such a long late brutal winter, the warm weather has finally arrived. I think we are in need of a little dose of sunshine, and perhaps some poetry.
William Wordsmith may be famous for the poem, I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud, but I think I much prefer his sister Dorothy’s 1802 journal entry about the walk in the English Lake District which inspired the poem.
“When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway – We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea.”
This acre of wild daffodils in a wooded lot is enough to motivate me to start my daily walks again. Every spring I thank the lovely soul who originally planted these heirloom gems, as they have reseeded themselves over the years in a way that my modern bulbs never seem to do. Mine might start out in orderly clumps, but the squirrels have great fun transplanting them and they eventually end up lonely as a cloud.
They are especially lovely paired with the delicate blue of Siberian Squill, a bulb that can be invasive over time, but who would mind?
Daffodils are the most cheerful of flowers, so bright and sunny, waving in the breeze as if they are announcing that spring is here. No wonder they belong to the Narcissus family, they demand look at me, and we do! Welcome spring!
Postscript: for more pretty pics see May Flowers blog.