Saturday, April 18, 2015

Signs of spring (II)

1. the baby cardinals have hatched. It must have been in the past day or so, today is the first day I didn't see the mother sitting almost full-time on the nest. The parents seem to be relying heavily on some kind of small green inchworm-type caterpillar to feed the young.

I hope this nest succeeds; it was kind of heartbreaking last year to realize something ate the babies.

2. I now have six tomato plants: four San Marzanos and two Jet Stars. I have room for six more plants but am going to wait a bit to see if I can find Arkansas Traveler (a pink tomato and my favorite variety). There wasn't a lot of choice at the garden center yet, but at least these plants look good and healthy.

I also bought a few Leptinella squalida - a ground cover in the Asteraceae. I had never heard of it before (it's from New Zealand but MoBot seems not to object to it, so I presume that means it's not invasive). It's an interesting little plant; the foliage is fernlike and the variety I got is very dark, almost blackish. (I knew it was Asteraceae from the buds - it's going to have daisy-like flowers). This is going in the north side of the house - I want to eventually fill all that area in with low-growing perennials so I don't have to do so much crazy weeding all the time.

I guess it's All The Ground Covers time right now - the first time I've seen much monkeygrass for sale was now. If I had more time and energy and a load of topsoil for the back of the yard I'd seriously consider putting in a ground-cover shade-garden back there, but I'm not ready. (And anyway, specimen plants are a considerable investment....)

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