Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Weekend in Glorious Colour

 I'm so in love with my tulips this year!!

These popped out in the last couple of days. I don't recall planting orange tulips, but since the deer no longer terrorize the property, everything seems to be taking on a life of their own & reaching out in the bursts of sunshine we have between rain showers.

Tip for spring bouquets - don't mix your daffodils with your tulips. They do not like each other & your bouquet will last only a matter of days. Tulips have been known to continue to grow once they have been cut & placed in water. Grab a simple bouquet this weekend & see if you notice this!

Peep Show

~ me & my duck ~
Word is spreading around town that we have a baby duck & there are more & more knocks on the door from neighbours who want to see the little darling...

This is going to be one spoiled duck! I sure hope the other eggs start to hatch soon so that it has proper companionship! We are scheduled to be babysitting chicks when they hatch in a few days until the 2nd heat lamp arrives in town, so that should help with the little Peeper - who does peep like crazy when it sees us & when we leave...

In just a short 24 hour period, the little darling has grown quite a bit. Life is amazing when you view it from this level...

Friday, April 18, 2014

When Life Begins to Crack Out

We candled the eggs on the 16th & found one of the eggs had a crack! The little duck was ready to come out & it was much-much sooner than we expected. By about 10 days!

The following morning there was not much change, but we whistled to the little thing & were rewarded with peeping from inside the egg & enthusiastic poking at the crack.

Now the waiting game was to commence for who knows how long it takes a duckling to emerge from its shell??

I came home early from work in order to set up the brooder. Our neighbour was gracious enough to loan me the only heat lamp in town - mine doesn't arrive til late next week due to the Easter weekend. We are going to keep the little things down in a clear tote in the laundry room. They are loud little peepers & I don't think housing them in the bathtub upstairs would have been a good idea - we wouldn't get much sleep with all the noise!
 After a few hours I checked on the progress & the little thing had managed to get a wing out!

Lots of peeping & struggles to extract itself from the shell so I knew hatch out would be later in the evening.

I didn't want to disturb it too much as there was definite response to my voice & whistles. There just wasn't much room in that incubator for the poor thing! (*note for future: put only 6 duck eggs in to allow for movement of hatching ducklings!*)

Finally I couldn't hold off any longer & I went back down again about an hour later & found our hatched duckling on the far side of the incubator wedged in with the other eggs.

Amazing how all that was folding & curled over on itself & grown inside an egg!!

I rescued it.

Look at how dark those feathers are! We've got a little stuffed animal in the brooder to keep it company til the other ducklings start hatching (we might be babysitting a box full of chicks starting next week too!) but for now the little darling peeps like crazy when it sees us - which is often as we can't help but go admire our first little duck.

I wonder what sort of blend we have with this one?!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Failing to Read the Small Print

I should properly introduce you to my 'not white' white rhododendron. This is "Mikkeli" - a Finnish rhodo which (as it says on the tag that was still on the plant) has: 'white flowers with pink tinge & green spots.'

Do not be fooled by pictures on your tags, nor the casual description of the word 'tinge' - this plant will become pinker as it matures (I'm actually surprised it has flowered every year since I bought it).

I feel some slight Gardener's Guilt in banishing the plant to back of the property because it was not what I envisioned it to be - all because I did not read the fine print on the tag & did not research it properly prior to planting. I'm sure I could have brought it back for exchange once I found out exactly what I had...

Lesson learned & I will surely start to appreciate 'Mikkeli' (St. Michael) more over the years as it is an early bloomer & a consistent bloomer. As for those green spots... I'd like to see more of them, if they do indeed exist...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slowing down for Spring - Part 4

This has been a slow & quiet week in the gardens. But if you listen carefully, you can actually hear the grass growing!
The buds on my lilacs are growing bigger & I'm eager for them to bloom & show off. I've waited almost 6 years for this! I'm already looking around the property to see where else I can plant a few more, knowing still that unless I buy larger plants, I will have to wait - oh, not so patiently wait - for them to bloom as well...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Slowing down for Spring - Part 3

 The return of my few tulips is just inspiring!

How could the Dutch blood running in my veins not appreciate the peculiarities of this wonderful flower that managed to survive years of deer abuse!

I think I will invest some time, energy & pocket change in purchasing more bulbs this fall & see how they fare in the coming years.

I understand that our climate might be a bit too wet for the bulbs, but if I plant them along my dry hillside, they just might appreciate the soil.

I know I would like to see the few in my veggie beds moved to more appropriate locations.

There is always room for more bulbs around here!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Slowing down for Spring - Part 2

~ money plant ~
The wild flowers are starting to pop up all over the place. Some in perfect spots, some in not-so perfect spots, but each one filling the spaces that only days before were empty.

This one is more a magical plant - a weed in any other situation - but offering much needed shine in my otherwise still empty flower bed.

Give us a few more days of warm sunshine & those empty spots will fill up quick!